Beijing is hosting the summit of the SCO on which it is planned to strengthen the integration of countries members of the Shanghai cooperation organization. For Vladimir Putin this is the first participation in the international summit of such level after the election of the President. It is noteworthy that he chose Beijing and not American camp David as a geopolitical center for the restart to politics. In the language of political gesture that speaks about the Russian priority of East over West.
The SCO is not the only Union that includes our country. We enter the BRICS, and the Eurasian Customs Union, the CSTO, a number of other associations. The majority of Asian focus. What is their practical value? What does Russia gain from participation in these structures? Why do we need geopolitical alliances? These questions are answered by Sergey Grinyaev, doctor of technical Sciences, General Director of the Center for strategic estimates and projections.
- On the one hand, Russia is experiencing a shortage of political communication. Europe and America in the club prefer to discuss the problems of the world among themselves, sometimes causing a "carpet" or for consultation by other participants in the global space. On the other hand, Russia's participation in unions where there is China, allows us to constantly measure the degree of Russian-Chinese relations. It is unlikely in the coming years, China will enter aggressive attitude to Moscow. The same Siberia that attracts her, is a natural defensive barrier which will give time for a counter attack. China would be quite content with Mongolia, uranium Deposit which would be able to remove energy dependence on other countries. Direct or indirect annexation of Mongolia would give China a strong competitive advantage and weaken Russia. The Chinese were able to assimilate the Mongols in inner Mongolia, and if not for Russian support of Ulan Bator, the same fate befell the independent Mongolia. Perhaps this is the main question that decides now Russia in the East, participating in the Asian unions.
There are other reasons for Russia's participation in international alliances. It is known that the deterioration in recent years, key global issues such as depletion of hydrocarbon resources, climate change, General aging of the population of Western civilization and others, were forced to act quickly and smoothly. Already since 2008 began actively observing the options of forming new configuration of geopolitical forces. So, for 2011, clearly delineated the contours of the new power centres of the Commonwealth countries of the Persian Gulf. Another emerging centre is the African Union which was personally Muammar Gaddafi, as a result of aggression against Libya and eliminate the leader of the project was not implemented. During these years there appeared two competing project, the main actor in which resource-rich Russia – the BRICS and the Eurasian Union.
As for the BRICS project, it is not that other, as a product, which quite distinctly the ears of the strategists of Her Majesty the Queen of great Britain: two of the five BRICS Nations are the countries of the British Commonwealth. Include Russia in the BRICS, the Anglo-Saxons have decided to play on the ambition of the Russian leadership, formally making Russia (with its 4% global GDP per capita and 91 in the ranking of countries by this indicator) is a leader in the process of becoming BRICS. But the formation of Eurasia's new geopolitical center, the Customs Union of Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus – became a very real and necessary.
"SP": - What are the geopolitical centers now exist in the world and in General, how big is the real influence of Russia on world politics?
- First of all – is America next in order of importance: the EU, MERCOSUR (common market of South America, brings together 250 million people and more than 75% of the total GDP of the continent – ed.), the cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf, ASEAN, which will include China and most likely Japan (based on CAFTA or ASEAN+5), the Eurasian Union, the Organization of Islamic cooperation and, finally, the BRICS. In the next few decades, the concept of "dictatorship of the USA" anywhere from the political and journalistic lexicon't going anywhere. However, narrows its scope, but not to the critical limits, when we could talk about turning the US into a secondary power.
By mid 2020-ies in Asia will loudly declare themselves another leader, India, with the greatest potential (amongst the rest of the BRICS) economic growth: the decline of the working age population will happen much later than it is to take place in China (population policies of Mao Zedong) and Russia. The numerical advantage of the Indians in the workforce will be accompanied by the cheapness of their intellectual resources (relative to the countries of the Big eight), which will allow new Delhi to make a breakthrough in the technological development of the economy.
The future of Russia as a geopolitical center, is unclear. Russia never recovered from the effects of geopolitical catastrophes of the 20th century. Nuclear forces and other elements of global military might allow Russia for several decades to maintain their position, but we are talking about the Soviet legacy and not their own achievements. In the end, Russia is not the first Empire in the history of mankind, which was forced to temper their ambitions and claims on bigger roles. We can recall Spain or Portugal, the colonial Empire of the past era which has taken its place in the EU. In any case, such a scenario is quite likely, if everything will remain as it is.
"SP": - Analysts ironic that the Eurasian Union Putin is needed for the image, (as the "gatherer of Russian lands") and the BRICS needed his team to the business. How successful and adequate is the current position of the Kremlin?
- Yes, there is such opinion. The BRICS and the Eurasian Union directly compete among themselves in the vision of the world Vladimir Putin and his team. This is bad, this indicates an extremely weak conceptual-analytical study of the strategies of Russia. Given that a number of Moscow, St. Petersburg and other Russian, Belarusian, Kazakh think tanks and individual analysts is strong enough interesting developments on the Eurasian Union, BRICS, the SCO, means that the government itself in the person of the Russian leadership does not want to determine the strategy of development and so far is satisfied with the "manual" control. This in reality undermined the foundations of the same power, because now we can formulate the fundamental problem of Russia — "either the Eurasian Union will appear in 2013-m to year, or us will crumple".
"SP": - Create all kinds of unions, as a rule, speaks about the geopolitical contradictions. The more is created, the sharper the conflict. Again, loomed the specter of world war III? And where can we expect the shot in Sarajevo", by analogy with the first world war?
We must understand the nature of geopolitical alliances. For example, the European Union, which absorbed 27 nation States, will become the twenty-first century in an indispensable platform for the application of imperialistic plans of Germany. This time it will happen with financial and economic power in German industry and banks.
France, driven by strategic interests on the continent and commitment around a single currency will strengthen the cooperation with Berlin, which automatically distances Albion from the ideas of complex integration. The Commonwealth will become the last hope of the Bank of England to an independent existence from the ECB and the fed.
Further, the increasing dependence of EU countries on external supplies of energy (primarily Russian gas) will only accelerate the political rapprochement between Russia and Germany, and will stimulate the struggle for gas and oil fields of Iran and Syria. This will bring turmoil throughout the greater Middle East.
The sustainability of the economic growth of China, will strengthen its geopolitical position in Asia and beyond, which will contribute to the development of the concept of "greater China". Also due to the diversification of energy resources to increase the value of the Central Asian geopolitical center. Since blocking of Maritime routes of supplies of energy raw materials and fuel from Africa and the Persian Gulf provoked by the West encourages China and India to strengthen presence in Central Asia, which will depend on the stability of their economies.
And yet, the probability of a third world war at present is not so great. If it's meant to be, "shot in Sarajevo" will be performed in Pakistan, or parts of the Baluchi in Iran.
"SP": - the Stability of any Alliance depends on mutual interests. BRICS countries do not need Russia, but the Eurasian Union, Kazakhstan and Belarus dependent on Russia, but this dependence is based only on the petrodollars. Once they dry out, the Union will collapse? Or other rods?
- Here everything is quite clear. Russia's financial problems, which arise due to the lack of petrodollars, in the beginning will lead to a weakening of the Eurasian Union. But then again will the forces of convergence. The fact that Russia, having lost some money, finally cleansed of corruption. And its human resource is mobilized again. Only then the possible modernization of the economy, for it will go without a pointer from above, and naturally, as required by the evolution of any society.
"SP": - whether Ukraine will join the Eurasian Union? In fact, the West Yanukovych pointed to the door. And Ukraine will go nowhere, like five hundred years ago, except that back in muscovia. What is your opinion on the future of Kiev?
- The answer should be sought in the history. Before 1991, our Nations have been United in a single Imperial education, the power which guaranteed their security. The coming era of civilizations, and the sovereigns will not serve the nation-state, and blocks consisting of several countries belonging to the same ecumene. For example, the European Union or geopolitical Anglo-Saxon a couple of USA +UK.
It is clear that under these conditions Ukraine will have to join one of the blocks. It's not a question of national identity, and issue – trivial economic survival. Its a binary nation composed of two ethnic groups – Ukrainians and Russians, will long continue "to play" in independence, missing for the last five hundred years. It is also clear that the investment climate in Ukraine shumoizolyatsiya will only get worse. The EU now needs no Ukrainian steel and Russia will find a legally justified reason, even in the WTO to drastically reduce purchases of black metal from Zaporozhye. It is also clear that in the EU, if accepted in this Union of Ukraine, de facto independence of Kiev will be reduced to zero. At the same time, the Eurasian Union it will have the right to vote and with it will be considered.
I think that in the future, the pragmatic leaders of Ukraine will no longer be dependent on Western-Ukrainian electorate, in connection with logical weakening of nationalist ideas. By analogy with Anglo-Saxon couple in 10-20 years will occur East Slavic duet: Russia + Ukraine, mutual interests will be balanced. In particular, this is evidenced by historical experience. If Ukraine remained in the Commonwealth, it would be polonizirovanny. In Moscow, the Kingdom has retained its identity.
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