Multivectorness in the post-Soviet space is a thing of the past

November 18, 2019 07:57

Interesting interview with Lukyanov, the editor-in-chief of the journal Russia in Global Affairs at „Eurasia. Expert“ . The EAEU failed in the economic perspective, No bridge states Belarussia and Ukraine, no multivectoral policy. NATO and the EU won´t expand anymore, we have won. Concentrate on the Russian speaking people of other nations. What about the Baltic gap? Michael O Hannon just wrote a book The Senkaku Paradox about it. Is it just for world peace or a Russification and the idea of a geopolitical system based on Russian speaking people as the core and „using their potential“. Russia first? Here the English translation:

In 2019, the Eurasian Economic Union will celebrate its 5th anniversary. During this period, the association entered into trade agreements with a number of Eastern partners. At the same time, the „integration of integrations“ with the European Union ended without starting, the pretext for which was the Ukrainian crisis. Against this background, the concept of a “bridge” between Russia and the West has gained popularity in the EAEU countries. Recently, Minsk has been particularly active in the role of mediator between Moscow and Brussels, as well as in the implementation of a “multi-vector” policy. In an interview with Eurasia.Expert, the editor-in-chief of the journal Russia in Global Affairs, the chairman of the Council on Foreign and Defense Policy, Fedor Lukyanov, analyzed the strategic prospects of the Eurasian Union, assessed the possibility of its expansion, and explained how relevant the concepts of “bridge” and “multi-vector policy are” „For the allies of Russia.

– Fedor Alexandrovich, in 2019 marks 5 years since the creation of the Eurasian Union. How do you assess the intermediate results of the development of integration and its strategic prospects?

– Eurasian integration, it seems to me, doesn’t have what is called “benchmarking” in business. There are no tasks that must be completed by a certain date. More precisely, they certainly exist: there is an idea of ​​the long-term perspective and the desirable direction of development, but since everyone is a realist, everyone understands that the project is very unusual for this space. Well, let’s say, even the fact that many somehow ignore that for the first time Russia participates in the territory of the former Soviet Union, in Eurasia, in a project with countries that are objectively much smaller and less powerful, with less potential, but at the same time decisions are taken by consensus. That is, Russia cannot carry out any of its ideas without convincing the others of its correctness. This is a new phenomenon for us, we are not very used to it, and it is very good, because in the modern world we generally see that the dictatorship is no longer working.

Eurasian integration is hard. There are a lot of obstacles. Political, economic, cultural, in the sense that the culture of different countries works differently, and it turns out that often the clash of bureaucracies does not generate a synergy of efficiency, but vice versa. That is, you can sit down and criticize from and to. But this should not overshadow the main thing: the project lives on, which initially not everyone was sure of, because there have been many attempts to launch some kind of associations in the territory of the former Soviet Union since 1992, but none of this has advanced much, even with all respect for the CSTO. This union, of course, is free and clearly breaking up into different groups of relations between different countries. In this regard, the EAEU is distinguished by the fact that although it is slowly and with difficulties, it is moving towards the creation of a single institution, a single system that will live its own dynamics.

– 2019 set new contours for the expansion of the Eurasian Union. The study of the possible entry of Uzbekistan into the EAEU has begun. What new connection will Uzbekistan bring to the integration association?

– As you correctly formulated here, the work has begun. And the work will be quite complicated, because, firstly, Uzbekistan itself is just opening up to the world – under the previous president Karimov, the development of the country was based on the philosophy of closure and conservation of potential that was there. Under President Mirziyoyev, a completely different model was chosen, proceeding from the fact that the potential can be preserved for a long time, but at some point it needs to be built up. And Uzbekistan, as we see, has changed its style of behavior very sharply, is actively joining international relations. Since the EAEU is the most significant integration association in the region, interest is natural. Moreover, there is counter interest on both sides.

Uzbekistan is perhaps the only country in Central Asia today that has serious industrial potential: it needs to be developed, updated, but, nevertheless, it has been preserved.

Other countries in the region cannot boast of this. Plus, it is traditionally a country of serious state culture. Again, the age is much older than many neighboring countries. And Uzbekistan, if it joined the EAEU, could certainly take advantage of this single market and coordinate economic efforts, and so on.

The Eurasian Economic Union also has unconditional interest, because Uzbekistan is a large country. If I’m not mistaken, if I join, it will be the second largest country after Russia [the population of Russia is estimated at 144 million people, Uzbekistan – 32 million people, Kazakhstan – 18 million people, Belarus – 9 million people, Kyrgyzstan – 6 million people, Armenia – 3 million people. – approx. „EE“]. This is a large market, it is a powerful reservoir of labor, and it is different, including quite qualified. Of course, in this regard, the complementarity of the EAEU and Uzbekistan is obvious.

Naturally, these reasons stimulate interest in rapprochement, but they inevitably make rapprochement very difficult, because joining such associations is always a bargain for conditions. Each country, even relatively weak, nevertheless, must protect some of its industries, somewhere to make concessions, and somewhere not, and this is a long process.

Therefore, if it begins – and the chances of it are quite high, political signals say that the topic is being seriously considered – it will take a couple of years, because Uzbekistan will not enter anyway just to join.

The entry of Uzbekistan, if it happens, will be a very serious border for the EAEU, because it will mean the transition of a certain, so to speak, expected border. As it is customary to philistinely say, „Well, it’s clear that the satellites of Russia are joining it, because they have nowhere to go.“ Uzbekistan is not a satellite of Russia, and vice versa, it has always fundamentally raised the question that „we are separate.“ Therefore, if Uzbekistan is inclined to this, it will be a very serious achievement, which opens up opportunities for further expansion, which is also not problem-free, and, of course, lasting, but nonetheless. Tajikistan, say, left alone in this region, will probably think about it.

– This year, special attention is focused on the talks between Belarus and Russia on “deepening integration”. In what scenarios can Russian-Belarusian relations develop, and is there an alternative to the development of the Union State?

– The Union State is not going anywhere, because both sides are interested in it as a marker of special relations. Another question than this marker, this shell will be filled. Here the main debate is just going on, the main bargaining. But if you do not go into details, the scheme is as follows: Russia does not infringe in any way and does not pretend to political sovereignty and independence of Belarus. This, thank God, is the lesson that has been learned, it seems to me, that in the 21st century to conquer countries, forcing them to live by their own rules … nothing good comes of it.

Even the European Union, despite the fact that it is a very successful, competently and thoughtfully structured association, is facing growing problems, as many countries are starting to feel the disadvantages of integration no less than the pluses.

Moreover, when it comes to countries that are very sensitive to the issue of their own independence – these are, as a rule, young countries – you absolutely must not try to infringe on this in any way. Therefore, politically, all the talk that they are supposedly swallowed is, in my opinion, complete nonsense.

Economically – is another matter. The Belarusian economy is very strongly connected with the Russian one. She is very dependent on her, gets many benefits from this bunch. Something she has to give up, but this is a very old and natural conglomeration. And now, as I understand it, there is a very substantive bidding on what conditions it will be a single economic complex.

That is, the Union State as a brand for a long time primarily had a political flair. Now it is a matter of not just pedaling it politically, but economically – filling it with real content so that it is economically practically one space. It is clear that all this is going on rather painfully, but what you agree on will continue to live, and Belarus understands this very well.

– Belarus and other allies of Russia focus on the importance of a multi-vector policy and equilibrium in cooperation with both the EAEU and the EU. What hinders the dialogue between the two integration associations, and are Russia’s allies really capable of acting as a “bridge” between Moscow and Brussels?

– Moscow-Brussels bridges are not needed. This is a beautiful metaphor, but it does not mean anything. Moscow and Brussels have a long history of relations, it is different, but somehow they always managed to do without intermediaries, bridges and other things. Now, unlike the 20th century, when binding rigid alliances were considered the main form of unification, NATO was considered to be a model type of organization of allies, but now even with all its might, NATO is experiencing serious problems. Countries do not want to be tied hand and foot, focusing on only one group of partners. In today’s interdependent world, it is necessary to be able to build relationships that are multi-vector. This, of course, applies to all partners and neighbors of Russia.

There were different periods in Russia. There were periods when we were incredibly painfully perceived by any attempts by certain countries to establish ties with the EU, NATO, and so on. Now this still remains: this is a very strong inertia related to how the USSR disappeared and how the Cold War ended, but, in my opinion, now it is gradually leaving.

There comes an understanding that Russia does not need a monopoly in neighboring countries. Russia needs a guarantee that its interests will be taken into account. This is painful and takes a long time, but the trend, it seems to me, is obvious.

In this regard, neighboring countries seem to have more opportunities. At the same time, we must admit that they are not added, for another reason: the side that has always been a magnet and was interested in attracting those with Russia to its side … now this magnet, this attraction has greatly weakened – just by internal reasons. The EU, let’s say, is not at all up to the point; there is no question of expansion. Plus, the tragic situation around Ukraine led to a rather painful and difficult, but sobering, because the same Western alliances – both the EU and NATO – were ready to absorb new countries only if it cost them nothing, if all It went by itself. As soon as it turned out that under certain conditions it is necessary to pay a heavy price, up to the threat of war, [it turned out that] the question is being removed because it is not worth it in the eyes of the United States or the European Union.

Opportunities to maneuver, vary your politics and try to play on the contradictions of external patrons decreased, because the positions of the “big players” changed. Therefore, multi-vector as a desire to use all the possibilities will continue, but multi-vector as a life credo, which we have observed for many years in Ukraine, is leaving because there are no opportunities, there are no objects to which it can be directed.

– Along with the development of economic integration in the Eurasian space, new risks are forming. In a recent article, Secretary of the Security Council of Russia Nikolai Patrushev emphasized that „the West has consistently pursued a policy towards the destruction of a single humanitarian space with regard to the CIS and the CSTO.“ What exactly is this expressed in and how does Russia plan to respond to these threats?

– I think that the destruction of a single humanitarian space is, unfortunately, an objective process, because we lived in one state, and now there are many of these states and each of them is building its own national identity. To consider that all this is someone’s intrigues is a simplification. This, unfortunately, is an objective process. There is nothing joyful for us in this, but it happens.

Another thing is that Russian culture, the Russian language, Russia as a factor continue to be a very powerful element of attraction in these countries, even those that are not oriented to Russia, like Azerbaijan or Uzbekistan until recently. This is a very powerful groundwork, it must be maintained and developed – not in the sense that we should impose our culture, but in the fact that the Russian language should not be the language that we oblige them to speak. It should be a language that opens a window for them into the world – it is Russian, not English, Turkish or any other.

This is a very difficult task, but, I repeat, the backlog is very powerful – after all, centuries of joint history. The example of Ukraine showed: five years of the most aggressive anti-Russian policy – consistent and focused on cutting off all ties – and as a result of three-quarters of the votes, a completely different type of person, Russian-speaking by birth, wins. This potential must be used.

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Eurasia – an economic space from Lisbon to Vladivostok and European security

Author: Walter Schwimmer, President of International Institute for Social and Economic Studies; Secretary General, Council of Europe (1999-2004). Vienna, 4 November 2019.

The fall of the Berlin wall opened many previously closed doors. But aren’t there also new obstacles and barriers to use these allegedly open doors? Are there new curtains and walls behind these doors? Are declarations like that of Minsk from February 12, 2015 just empty words, or will the leaders go to implement what they said: Leaders remain committed to the vision of a joint humanitarian and economic space from the Atlantic to the Pacific?

Countries east of the Union, in Eastern Europe as well as in Central Asia created the Eurasian Economic Union. Getting these countries used to integration and supranational standards, EAEU and EU could be natural free trade partners. The sanctions against Russia and the countersanctions may be seen as an obstacle. But the free trade and the humanitarian space from Lisbon to Vladivostok are strategic and visionary goals. Getting rid of the sanctions regime by creating a climate of confidence and mutual efforts to solve the problems that led to the sanctions should also be a strategic goal. Dialogue on this item is urgently needed. European Union has 27 (28?) commissioners. Why not to mandate one of them with the relations with the Eurasian Economic Union and for security in the wider European space?

The visionary goal could be a Euro-Eurasian partnership, two Unions united for the common good of their citizens, for prosperity, stability and peace.

There is also the pressing need for European security architecture. This continent has seen so many wars that devastated often nearly the whole continent, like the 30 years’ war, the Napoleonic wars, WWI and finally the culmination in the horrors of the WWII.  “Never again” is a common reaction to the bloody history. But how to realize this wish of the European people? In ancient times, and not only, many followed the Latin adage “Si vis pacem para bellum”, “If you want peace, prepare for war”. I am quite sure that this advice never worked. Good neighborhood, early warning systems, exchange of military information and above all inclusive security architecture may serve the goal of lasting peace better than arming. Again, we may find again conflicting messages. I learned on one day that the European Commission presented its plan to strengthen the military industry, so following the old concept, the same day I read that Jean-Claude Juncker thinks that there is no European security architecture without Russia which looks like the new model.

Again, the policy of President Trump who sees everything as a business – if the Europeans want security through the NATO umbrella, ok, we provide them with, but they have to pay for it – offers a chance to Europe. No, thank you, Mr. President, the Europeans NATO members stand loyal to the alliance, but instead of paying more for it, we are creating our own Pan-European security system built on confidence, good neighborhood and the belief in the common home of Europe. If somebody would be interested in a new Cold War, maybe we can not hinder it, but this time outside and without Europe, please.

In my book “The European Dream” I quote the historian Wolfgang Schmale who suggested “that a ‘myth deficit’ may prove fatal to the European project”. Should we leave myths only to the nationalistic, chauvinist, whatever country “first”, “No-to-Europe” scene?  We neither live in the golden age nor in an epoch of disasters. But to be honest, 72 years after the end of WWII and 60 years after the Treaty of Rome, we have to admit that the situation is closer to the golden age than to the opposite. Of course, the “better” Europe will always be ahead of us.

But with Vaclav Havel I believe that “without dreaming of a better Europe we shall never build a better Europe”.  The better Europe and Eurasia will certainly no be built by falling back to nationalistic divides, to failed ideas of the supremacy of some nations over the others, to protectionism, to hatred, stereotypes and ethnic prejudices. A vision of a future without these ugly attitudes shall prevail. We all know the famous question, whether a glass is half full or half empty. Applied to our theme, I would like to ask, whether neighbors are potential friends or potential enemies. Together with the optimist for whom the glass is half full, I choose the optimistic or visionary view of neighbors and declare them potential friends.

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What has Eurasianism to do with the Eurasian Economic Union?

What has Eurasianism to do with the Eurasian Economic Union?

_ Jurij C. Kofner, editor-in-chief, analytical media “Eurasian Studies”. Munich, 18 November 2019.

When talking about the various influences on Russia’s foreign policy and on the creation of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), Western journalists and professional kremlinologists generally mention the philosophy or ideology of Eurasianism.

Eurasianism is a school of thought that was incepted by a group of Russian white emigre intellectuals almost a hundred years ago during the inter-war period in Europe. It is a complex system of ideas, which since then has produced various theoretical renderings. Yet, in its key message it affirms a cultural communality of the peoples of northern Eurasia and the existence of the Eurasian civilization, which is distinct from Europe and Asia.

However, most often the Western perception of the sway of Eurasianist theory over contemporary Eurasian integration is riddled with overestimation, misinterpretation and a general anti-Russian bias[1],[2].

First of all, most Western analysts overestimate the influence that Eurasianism allegedly has on Russian president Vladimir Putin, on Moscow’s foreign policy and on its involvement behind the EAEU. Secondly, both intentionally and unintentionally Eurasianism has often received negative reviews by Western scholars and reporters, who draw similarities with European right-wing ideologies such as Italian fascism. Thirdly, this distorted view fits perfectly into the construed narrative of “a neo-imperialist Russian hegemon that coerces its neighbors and collaborates with European populist nationalists in order to build its own post-Soviet empire and undermine Western liberal order”.

Together, these arguments have become part of the overall agenda to discredit the Eurasian Economic Union as a liberal integration project and to dissuade European leaders from contemplating cooperation with it in form of a common economic space “from Lisbon to Vladivostok”.

In the following article I would like to show that Eurasianism in its attitudes is no more “radical” than pan-Europeanism, formulated by Coudenhove-Kalergi[3] and the other founding fathers of the modern European Union[4]. Modern Eurasianist theory is, in fact, conservative, but not nationalist, aimed at socially oriented market economics, and affirms equal international cooperation based on the supremacy of national sovereignty.

Pragmatic Eurasianism

At this point it should be noted that nowadays there actually are two intellectually dominant versions of Eurasianism: Firstly, that of so called “classical Eurasianist” ideology incepted in the 1920’s and 1930’s and modern “pragmatic Eurasianism”, which forms the true basis for post-Soviet integration.

It can be argued that two out of three heads of state, which stood behind the EAEU’s inception, namely Russia’s president Vladimir Putin and Kazakhstan’s former president Nursultan Nazarbayev, are well acquainted with classical Eurasianism, since they referred to it several times in their speeches and political program articles[5][6].

However, the classical version has had only a very indirect influence on the processes of modern Eurasian integration. Not Russian philosophical doctrine, but the pragmatic interests of the EAEU’s member states and European integration theory have formed the wording of the EAEU Treaty and the logic of building institutions of Eurasian integration.

Two of the most noteworthy proponents of pragmatic Eurasianism are Nursultan Nazarbayev himself[7] and the chief economist of the Eurasian Fund for Stabilization and Development Evgeny Vinokurov.[8]

Of course, the post-Soviet space has its own specifics and it is necessary to adapt Western integration theory and approaches to the given conditions. Firstly, the EAEU ought to be seen not as a new project, but rather as re-integration attempt, where the newly independent states of a former unitary authoritarian empire, i.e. USSR, are trying to reunite in a new format and on new principles[9]. Secondly, another important feature of Eurasian integration is the large weight of the former Russian metropolis in the Eurasian Economic Union, making up 87% of its GDP, 85% of its territory and 80% of its population.

At the current initial stage of modern Eurasian integration, the emphasis is placed on economic feasibility and mutual benefit, at least in all official documents and intentions. Of course, as with any regional integration project, there are political issues between member states. But even here, the key principle of cooperation is put on compromise and pragmatism, not on abstract dogma.

Oriental Europe

Classical Eurasianism affirms the existence of a distinct Eurasian civilization approximately on the territory of the former Russian Empire and the former Soviet Union. Yet, this argument has its weaknesses. Both skepticism of the post-Soviet states towards political re-integration, as well as the weakness of this civilizational argument, are the reasons why it is almost not used in the official rhetoric of modern Eurasian integration.

It can be argued that the cultural borders of the Eurasian civilization to the east and to the south of the post-Soviet space, i.e. towards China, Iran and the Arab world are relatively clearly outlined due to the presence of mountain ranges and deserts, i.e. natural geo-climatic barriers. However, on the western edge of the post-Soviet space, in the so-called „Russian plain“, i.e. where modern Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova are located, this boundary with Europe is rather blurry. Moving from west to east along this plain, the differences between peoples and cultures from Central along Eastern Europe and further along the western part of Russia change only slightly and more or less smoothly at each step. The absence of any significant geographical barriers and the blurriness of the civilizational “fault line” between Europe and northern Eurasia in the Russian plain also could explain why Belarus so often became an unfortunate “corridor” for European invasions into Russia and why the territory modern Ukraine was and is so often torn by civil war with the participation of external forces.

For this reason, perhaps it would be better to rethink the classical concept of a distinct Eurasian civilization, although its elements certainly exist, in favor of the image of a broader “Euro-Eurasian” civilization.

Or, we might assume that the Eurasian civilization, which the classical Eurasianists wrote about, is an “Oriental variety” of the global Western super-civilization. This thought was shared by both the Russian philosopher Alexander Zinoviev[10] and the founder of the pan-European movement Richard von Coudenhove-Kalergi[11].

If modern Europe grew out of the evolution of Western Rome, then northern Eurasia might be considered a descendant and successor of Eastern Rome – Byzantium. And if Belarusians, Russians and Armenians more or less are directly connected with the Byzantine cultural heritage – through Christian Orthodoxy, then the Muslim and Buddhist peoples of the post-Soviet space are connected indirectly through their Europeanization, which occurred under the influence of Russia during the periods of the Russian Empire, the USSR and in modern times. At the same time, the steppe nomad and Asian elements in the cultures of most of the peoples of the post-Soviet space once again emphasize the Eurasian character of this “Byzantine” (East Roman) branch of the global Western super-civilization[12].

This could form the cultural argument towards the notion that the only way out of the closed cycle of confrontation between Russia and Europe can only be the creation of a common economic space from Lisbon to Vladivostok, i.e. between the EU and the EAEU.

In addition, this scenario is further supported by German and Austrian research that clearly shows the potential economic benefits that the EU and the EAEU could gain from the synergy of their factors of production[13].

Europeans, sure. But Eurasians?

As said above, the weakness of the civilizational approach to justify modern Eurasian integration lies in the difficulty of clearly and unequivocally defining the western borders of the Eurasian civilization.

But this is not the only problem. Even if one agrees with the assertion that a distinct civilization exists in the post-Soviet space, even if it is “Euro-Eurasian” and an Oriental variety of the Western super-civilization, then still the larger part of the population of the post-Soviet countries are not aware of this fact. Unlike Europe, where the self-identification of “we are all Europeans” is in many respects the indisputable subject of modern European integration, in the CIS countries and in the EAEU, the identity of “we are all Eurasians” has not been fully developed yet. Therefore the category of a “Eurasian” identity cannot yet serve as the political subject of modern Eurasian integration.

So far, among the peoples of the post-Soviet space, self-identification dominates either with Europe or with its own ethnic group or nation[14].

This does not mean that the category of “Eurasians” does not exist at all. Potentials for its final formation certainly exist. Already, many representatives of the intelligentsia from Brest to Tashkent are in all seriousness calling themselves Eurasians. The history of civilizations and the evolution of cultures does not stop in the 21st century and the longer the Eurasian Economic Union will exist and successfully work, the wider will be the proportion of people who are likely to consider themselves to be Eurasians.

Synthesis as an advantage

However, the blurring of the western borders of the Eurasian civilization and the lack of the category of “Eurasians” as a historical and political subject of modern Eurasian integration are not only a problem, but also a competitive advantage – no matter how contradictory this may sound.

On the one hand, the EAEU itself is trying to provide the prerequisites in order to become an independent and competitive pole in the world market. Moreover, as mentioned above, as the EAEU strengthens and its importance for the economic development of its member states rises, the number of people wishing to call themselves Eurasians will gradually increase.

The desire to develop such a Eurasian pole (subject) in the economic, political, and, retrospectively, in the historical dimension, should certainly be welcomed and supported.

However, at the same time, one should condemn attempts to artificially construe an ostensibly independent or even isolated “Eurasian civilization” by trying to dig up every implausible justification. The worst version of such attempts to exaggerate the Eurasian “otherness” is the concept of a “Fortress Eurasia”.

On the contrary, Eurasia is often called a crossroads of cultures and civilizations. It is a wide and open space, where for centuries people have been resettling and uniting, and where not only goods, but also ideas were exchanged along the Silk Road(s). This spatial openness, this synthesis of the ideas and principles of West and East is depicted on the EAEU logo and is a unique feature. Neither Europe, nor Africa, nor Asia, nor North America, nor even South America, where European, African and Native American peoples mixed and intermingled, can boast of such a rich history of interaction of such a large number of peoples, cultures and civilizations as Eurasia, in particular – northern Eurasia, i.e. the post-Soviet space.

In this regard, it would be foolish not to take advantage of this unique advantage in the further construction of the Eurasian integration project. The key expression of this idea is the concept of a “Greater Eurasia” or “Greater Eurasian Partnership”, which implies the creation of a complex network of free trade zones, the integration of regional integration projects and the connection of continental transport corridors throughout the wider Eurasian continent. The result would be the creation of a common space „from Lisbon to Shanghai“. The main goal would be to promote economic prosperity and the development of the welfare of the national economies through different formats and degrees of economic integration of the mainland[15].

At the same time, one should not think that this Eurasian spatial openness for the perception and transmission of external impulses is evidence that wider Eurasia in general and the EAEU in particular are only an empty object for fertilization by external forces. Rather, spatial openness is one of the attributes of the Eurasian subject.

Mixed economy

Previous reflections lead us to the question of the economic model in modern Eurasianism.

Here, first of all, it ought to be stated that, in contrast to Europe, the economies of most of the post-Soviet countries are characterized by a market economy structure with significant government involvement.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union, in Russia, Belarus and other post-Soviet countries a dispute has arisen and is actively going on between supporters of the Western school of liberal capitalism, on the one hand, and a national view in favor of economic statism, on the other.

Unfortunately, too often these liberal and statist economists have been guided not by empirical observations, but by their own dogmas, which either do not meet the criteria of scientificness or are true “in principle”, but only under conditions typical for developed OECD countries.

On this background, the economic school of modern Eurasianism complies with the above-stated principle of pragmatism. The pragmatic approach in the Eurasianist political economy is expressed in three aspects: firstly, that Eurasian economic policy should be based solely on the results of empirical research and on a scientific approach.

Secondly, that it has to take into account the conditions of post-Soviet reality in the socio-economic, legal and political dimensions. For example, certain principles developed as part of the EU monetary policy can be viewed as universally applicable. At the same time, one cannot blindly copy the monetary policy of the EU and the eurozone to apply it in the Eurasian Economic Union due to the many differences between them: higher inflation rates, volatility of exchange rates, a less effective monetary transmission mechanism, etc[16].

Thirdly, the Eurasianist political economy combines the principles of economic competitiveness and social justice. Normally, such a balance is ensured by a good combination of market liberalization with government regulation and social transfer. This aspect, of course, is still more related to the national economic policies of the EAEU member states rather than to the integration agenda as a whole. This is primarily due to the fact that such important areas of economic regulation as industrial and fiscal policy were only partially transferred to the supranational level.

On the one hand, the history of the world economy and most economic studies show that a liberal market economy is more efficient than a planned economy. Moreover, the experience of countries such as Germany and that of Scandinavia shows that only liberal market economies are productive enough as to accumulate the necessary surplus of wealth, which then can be redistributed among the citizens in the form of a high level of social security. In Europe, this model of a socially oriented market economy has worked quite successfully for the past 70 years[17].

On the other hand, in most countries with a Soviet heritage we notice the prevalence of a developing nature of legal and civil institutions, a dominant position of the public sector and a raw material orientation of exports. In such conditions, moreover, in the context of catching up with technological competition, the preservation of an important role of the public sector and of state development programs seems appropriate[18]. It is this combination of market and statist principles that the classical Eurasianists already proposed in their program manifestos for the time “after the Communist regime”[19],[20],[21]

Eurasia of Nations

One of the fundamental theses of classical Eurasianism is a call for the preservation and development of the cultural identity of each of the peoples of the world. At the same time, this slogan has nothing to do with some kind of separatist provincialism or narrow-national chauvinism. Simply put, according to the “formula” developed as part of the civilizational approach of the classical Eurasianists[22]: a certain group of (sub-) ethnic groups is part of a certain peoples (nation) and a certain number of peoples (nations) make up a specific civilization (union, i,e. regional integration bloc). Like the Russian “matryoshka” doll. For example, the Bavarians are part of the German peoples, which are the core population of the Federal Republic of Germany, which, in turn, is part of European civilization and the European Union. Another example: the Tatars are part of the multi-ethnic Russian peoples forming the Russian Federation, one of the EAEU member states.

In Eurasianism, ethnic or local patriotism does neither contradict national patriotism nor wider civilizational patriotism. On the contrary, as part of one civilization, patriotisms of different levels complement each other.

Out of this call for the preservation and development of cultural identities, as well as from this thesis of “multi-level patriotisms”, modern Eurasianism derives two approaches to regional integration.

At the national level, Eurasianists would prefer a federal structure in those countries where their multi-ethnic nature is evident. That is why most of the pro-EAEU political forces in Ukraine on the eve and during the Maidan protests in 2014 continuously called for the federalization of the country[23]. Potentially, if this federalization would have been realized, then the intra-Ukrainian civil war might have been prevented and the Ukrainian state might have preserved the territories that it had then lost.

At the supranational level, the Eurasianist approach to regional integration presupposes the primacy of the principles of the supremacy of national sovereignty and of non-interference in the internal affairs of states. According to the Eurasianists, it is the states that guarantee the preservation and development of the cultural identity of the peoples that form them, which implies the principle of the inadmissibility of interference by external and supranational forces in the historically established specificities of their political and social structures.

In this regard, modern integration processes within the framework of the Eurasian Economic Union are characterized by another important feature, apart from the two that have been mentioned at the beginning of the article (the re-integration nature and economic “domination” of Russia): a rather weak supranational component and the predominant role of intergovernmental modes of decision making[24]. In the EAEU administrative hierarchy, the supranational EEC Board is at the lowest level, below three intergovernmental bodies (the EEC Council, the Eurasian Intergovernmental Council and the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council), where each member state has an equal vote and decisions are made by consensus.

On the one hand, many experts rightly see this as a weakness that slows down integration and limits its effectiveness. On the other hand, this property can, again, be presented as a competitive advantage and attractive feature of the EAEU compared with other integration projects, for example, with the EU. As a researcher at the University of Cambridge, David Lane, writes: the Eurasian Union horizontally creates democratic conditions between its member states, whereas the European Union from above imposes “democratization” at its discretion within states[25].

Along with this, the Eurasian Economic Union has not yet been assigned supranational competencies on humanitarian and cultural cooperation. Many politicians and representatives of the intelligentsia of the member states oppose the addition of such powers to the agenda of exclusively economic integration within the EAEU, since they equate cultural cooperation with the politicization of integration processes in favor of Moscow’s alleged „hegemonic ambitions”.

However, such suspicion could be erroneous. Adding elements of cultural cooperation to economic integration does not necessarily lead to political unification.

Firstly, research shows that humanitarian cooperation successfully complements economic integration, increasing its effectiveness. For example: to complete the creation a single labor market it is necessary to cooperate in the field of education and in order to conduct a Union-wide industrial policy it is essential to cooperate in the scientific and technical sphere[26].

Secondly, as already mentioned above, it is extremely important not to force the emergence of a general Eurasian patriotism. For the citizens of the member states, self-identification with the concept of “being Eurasian” has to occur voluntarily and gradually based on the success of the Eurasian integration project.

The EAEU’s role is not so much in political unification of the post-Soviet space or imposition of a Eurasian civilizational community, but as a tool for the preservation and development of the cultural identities of each of the Eurasian peoples and member-states individually. And of course, this does not contradict the above stated principle of „multi-level patriotism“.

It is in this light that the Eurasian Economic Union can offer an attractive alternative to the European project, where the trends of Americanization, open border policies, multiculturalism, deconstruction of European nation states and cultures prevail.

In 2013 Russian president Vladimir Putin expressed this exact notion rather nicely in a famous speech held at the Valdai think-tank:

“We can see how many of the Euro-Atlantic countries are actually rejecting their roots, including the Christian values that constitute the basis of Western civilization. They are denying moral principles and all traditional identities: national, cultural, religious and even sexual. […] In Europe and some other countries so-called multiculturalism is in many respects a transplanted, artificial model that is now being questioned, for understandable reasons. This is because it is based on paying for the colonial past. It is no accident that today European politicians and public figures are increasingly talking about the failures of multiculturalism, and that they are not able to integrate foreign languages or foreign cultural elements into their societies. […] The future Eurasian Economic Union, which we have declared and which we have discussed extensively as of late, is not just a collection of mutually beneficial agreements. The Eurasian Union is a project for maintaining the identity of nations in the historical Eurasian space in a new century and in a new world. […] I want to stress that Eurasian integration will also be built on the principle of diversity. This is a union where everyone maintains their identity, their distinctive character and their political independence”[27].

In this sense, the EAEU could formally proclaim the slogan of building a “Eurasia of Nations” as a futuristic eastern echo to Charles de Gaulle’s concept of a “Europe of Nations”.

Geographic determinism

As already said, the culturological outline of the borders of the Eurasian civilization, proposed in classical Eurasianism, has its weaknesses. Against this background, the geographic determinism, which is embedded in classical Eurasian theory turned out to be much more stable and successful in framing the borders of northern Eurasia.

The main figures of the classical Eurasian movement, such as Peter Savitsky, Nicolas Trubetskoy and George Vernadsky, clearly showed in their works: firstly, that there are clear geographical and climatic features that contribute to the internal unity and shape the external borders of the northern Eurasian space, i.e. the historical territory of the former Russian Empire and the former Soviet Union [28],[29],[30].

Secondly, that economic integration is the only reliable way to compensate and overcome the negative aspects of the geographical and climatic features of the northern Eurasian space.

It is this geographical determinism that is another unique feature of Eurasian integration. Contemporary research on this topic is being developed by the former chief economist of the Eurasian Development Bank (EDB) and now the chief economist of the Russian Sberbank, Yaroslav Lisovolik.

There is an unprecedented distance of Greater Eurasia’s hinterland/heartland, where most of the EAEU’s territory lies, from the global ocean and accordingly from international markets. Four out of five of the EAEU’s member states are landlocked: Kazakhstan is the largest landlocked country in the world. Belarus is the largest landlocked country in Europe. Kyrgyzstan, apart from being landlocked, is among the countries with one of the highest levels of elevation above sea level in the world. Armenia is the only country of Western Asia without access to a sizeable water space.

In view of the higher transportation costs faced by landlocked economies they are less competitive, as imports and exports are more expensive. According to research by the World Bank, landlocked countries have on average 30 per cent lower trade turnover than countries with access to the sea; continentality reduces a country’s growth rate by 1.5 per cent as compared to coastal countries. Here, the founding of the Eurasian Economic Union can be seen as an answer to this geographic problem, since the EAEU performs a crucial role of improving the access of its members to international markets via reducing customs duties and non-tariff barriers, as well as by advancing connectivity in transportation through the formation of a common transportation space.

Golden mean

As has probably become noticeable throughout this article that the central “spirit” of classical and pragmatic Eurasianism is the dialectical approach, i.e. the desire in all phenomena, and especially in its normative part, to find a synthesis and a middle ground between opposing principles: West and East, private economy and the state, ethnic, national and civilizational patriotisms, etc.

The dialectical approach is a fairly simple and understandable rule on how to approach problem solving in all spheres of life and social development. In the desire to find balance in everything there is a certain intuitive truth, like the eastern philosophy of „yin and yang.“

At the same time the approach of finding a golden mean excludes extremes from both sides. In this sense it is opposed to populism which by definition tries to give glaring and simple answers do complex problems of the society.


So far, the classical Eurasianist theory has had little influence on Russian foreign policy. Despite some rather superficial references by the EAEU’s high-level policy makers, it is rarely used in the official rhetoric on modern Eurasian integration. Classical Eurasianism focuses on culturological, historiosophical and civilizational aspects of the northern Eurasia. However, as so far, exactly these aspects were of little relevance to contemporary integration in the post-Soviet space.

Firstly, the classical Eurasianist civilizational approach is flawed by the fact that the original myth of “Eurasia” has not yet developed, that a supranational self-identification of being “Eurasian” is just beginning, and that it is difficult to determine the border between European and Eurasian civilizations proper. For example, the European Union’s self-branding often refers to the famous ancient Greek myth about „Europa“, a young Phoenician princess that was kidnapped by the Zeus in the form of a white bull, which subsequently gave the name to the continent. “Eurasia” has no comparable myth. It is actually possible that the term was first used by the German explorer Alexander von Humboldt.

Secondly, there is an internal consensus between the EAEU heads of state not to create a political union. No significant cooperation in the cultural dimension is envisaged as well. The EAEU Treaty signed in 2014 puts forward a pragmatic and purely economic integration agenda which mirrors the national interests of the Union’s member states and is based on the logic of Western integration theory, mainly the concepts of cooperative hegemony and liberal intergovernmentalism. At least in its intentions, the EAEU declares the supremacy of national sovereignty and democratic relations between member states.

In the future we might see high-level policymakers appeal more frequently to the ideas of the classical Eurasianists, such as: spatial openness of northern Eurasia; mixed or even socially oriented market economy; the preservation of cultural identities and multi-level patriotisms; geographical determinism of the development of Eurasia; and a dialectical non-populist approach.

However, these concepts are far from the negative interpretation currently given to them by Western scholars and journalists. Only the notion about “the preservation of cultural identities” might be deemed problematic in the contemporary Western discourse.

In conclusion: The modern EAEU is defined by pragmatic Eurasianism. We might see a stronger appeal to some classical Eurasianist concepts in the future. Yet even they are not so different from the ideas that set the foundations of the modern European Union.

[1] E.g. Claude Forthomme (2019. The Deadly Ideology Driving Putin: Eurasianism. //

[2] E.g. Andreas Umland (2018).

Post-Soviet Neo-Eurasianism, the Putin System, and the Contemporary European Extreme Right. //

[3] Richard N. Coudenhove-Kalergi (1923). Pan-Europa. (In German). //

[4] European Commission (2012). The founding fathers of the EU. //

[5] E.g. Vladimir Putin (2014). Eurasianism is especially significant for Russia. (In Russian). //

[6] E.g. International news agency “RIA Novosti” (2015). Nazarbayev: Eurasianism is a unifying idea for all residents of Kazakhstan. (In Russian). //

[7] E.g. Nursultan Nazarbayev (2011). Eurasian Union: from idea to future history. (In Russian). //

[8] Evgeny Vinokurov (2013). Pragmatic Eurasianism. //–16050

[9] Alexander Libman, Evgeny Vinokurov (2012). Holding-Together Regionalism: Twenty Years of Post-Soviet Integration.

[10] Alexander Zinoviev (2003). The ideology of the party of the future.

[11] Richard N. Coudenhove-Kalergi (1923). Pan-Europa. (In German). //

[12] This notion is also outlined in the book by the British intellectual and Eurasianist Henry Norman Spalding: Henry N. Spalding (1928). Russia in Resurrection. A summary of the views and of the aims of a new Party in Russia.

[13] Felbermayr, Aichele, Gröschl. (2016). Free trade from Lisbon to Vladivostok: who benefits, who losses from a Eurasian trade agreement? (In German). ifo Forschungsberichte No. 79. //

[14] Eurasian Development Bank (2017).  Integration Barometer. //

[15] International Discussion Club “Valdai” (2019). To the Great Ocean: a chronicle of a turn to the East. (In Russian). //

[16] Eurasian Development Bank (2017). Monetary Policy of EAEU Member States: Current Status and Coordination Prospects. //

[17] ifo Institute (2019). 70 years of social market economy – what future has our economic system?  (In German). //

[18] Oliver Falck (2019). Do we need an active European industrial policy? (In German). //

[19] Eurasian Organization (1932). Eurasianism: declaration, wording, theses. (In Russian). //

[20] Peter Savitsky (1926). On the Question of the Economic Doctrine of Eurasianism. (In Russian). //

[21] Svyatoskalv Malevsky-Malevich (1972). USSR today and tomorrow.

[22] In the writings of the classical Eurasianists, this formula is found in the form of the concept on the “symphonic personality”. E.g. Eurasian Publishing House (1926). Eurasianism. The experience of systematic presentation. (In Russian).

[23] Yuri Georgievsky (2015). On the activities of Ukrainian Eurasianists in Ukraine before the Russian Spring. //

[24] Yuri Kofner (2019). Pragmatic Eurasianism. Four approaches for better understanding the Eurasian Economic Union. //

[25] David Lane (2017). Going Forward: The Eurasian Economic Union, The European Union And The Others. //

[26] Evgeny Vinokurov (2018). Introduction to the Eurasian Economic Union.

[27] Administration of the President of the Russian Federation (2013). Meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club. //

[28] E.g.: Peter Savitsky  (1933). Geographical and geopolitical foundations of Eurasianism. (In Russian). //  

[29] Peter Savitsky (1921). Continent-Ocean: Russia and the world market. In: Exodus to the East. Premonitions and accomplishments. The statement of the Eurasianists. Book 1. (In Russian). //

[30] A brief listing of these geographical and climatic features can be found here: Yuri Kofner (2017). The National Identity of Russia in the 21st Century. //

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The solution to the global food and ecological crisis: artificial meat from Silicon Valley?

Here we want to discuss the Youtube video „Eat animals“ (Tiere essen ) by David Precht on the world food crisis. Not the usual veggie day morals, but the solution of meat consumption by means of the artificial meat from Silicon Valley. In this area now flow more investment than in Artificial Intelligence and it could be the solution to the world food crisis and the eco-crisis, which is why such investment has such a priority in Silicon Valley. Although if you think of Silicon Valley you are thinking of digitization, quantum computers, microchips, the Internet of Things, Industry 4.0, autonomous driving, artificial intelligence and computer algorithms, but nanotechnology, and biotechnology are leading the way, as evidenced in the writings of Ray Kurzweil and his book „Singularity“ that envisions a posthuman fusion of man with machine and biotechnology and genetic engineering. A lot of science fiction, and a lot of spinning, a lot is being tested, but the main investments of the Silicon Valley are going into the technology of the artificial meat, and that is already feasible and is already produced, albeit not yet in mass production.

According to Precht, the cost of an artificial meat burger has dropped from initially 330 000 euros in 5 years to 80 euros and will soon be available soon for 1-2 euros and thus mass compatible and thus the challenge for the natural meat. Of course, first of all it would be necessary to check whether the eschatological world salvation promises of David Precht are technologically and economically correct or whether Precht does not make himself the uncritical advocate of the Californian ideology and the PR promoter of the Silicon Valley. Elon Musk also invests in many projects, of which Space X and Tesla are successful, but already the Hyperloop and other projects are on weak legs. Investment volume does not say anything about the success of such investments. Scientific history is paved with bad investments. It is quite possible that the scientifically, technologically and economically less well-educated philosopher and humanities scientist Precht got an overdose of Californian ideology. Likewise, the question remains whether artificial meat would prevail against cultural resistance.

A friend wrote in response:

„I think that way is the wrong way, because all these things lack the essential element that I would like to call „souled nature“or „soulful nature“. After all, all these retort creations are not beneficial to our health, as we already experience with GMO food, the frequency of these creations does not correspond to ours. Since most people have „no antenna“ for such a thing, we are running in the wrong direction like the lemmings.

Imho there is only one way: a radical global reduction of birth rates. For this, the UN would have to raise the bell as a voice and control authority. But since, in such questions, our Asians, Latinos, and Africans have the majority in voting procedures, that is, our representatives of the unrestrained „child blessing,“ it requires greater persuasion and effort from the „awakened“ industrialized nations.
But perhaps the problem is also regulated by nature itself, because with our growing misconduct. it is already measurable our life expectancy is reduced, a steadily rising repair medicine obscures that a little, and sperm fertility has been steadily decreasing for 2 decades according to the research report.“

But it is actually natural flesh, which is bred from natural flesh. Soulful nature sounds religious, even a little pantheistic, has probably the idea that what has no soul, can not be healthy either. Apart from the question of whether there is a soul and nature, man or an animal or even plants have a soul, apart from whether or not one believes in the more panthesistic idea of a „soulful/souled nature“. Of course, it would make sense to first research whether the artificial flesh is harmless to humans. Before it comes to production and use, it should first be explored whether it has harmful effects on the human organism. Especially since it also depends on the production process, such as whether growth hormones or other growth-promoting substances are added with already have known effects.

Nevertheless, one should address such innovations and sometimes even further think about their possible consequences.

Although meat consumption in Germany is increasingly questioned and 10% of the population are now vegetarians, this is marginal on a global scale, with meat consumption rising as a result of the population explosion, as well as billions of Indians, Chinese and Africans eating more and more meat. Once India was a veggie nation with the Dall dish in particular, but it has become a carnivore nation today, the largest beef exporter despite sacred cows and meat consumption will continue to grow. And China and Taiwan are no longer the rice nations they were so eager to idealize themselves, though they ate anything that had more than 2 legs, as well as there was cannibalism during the Cultural Revolution in Guangxi and elsewhere (Jung Chang: Mao), not because of famine and there are also dog restaurants in Beijing, although the northern Chinese want to attribute these culinary excesses rather to the southern Chinese. At least one is criticized by the Chinese, if you order more vegetarian food or rice to the extent, why you order this „poor people food“, which also shows that here the meat consumption is more related to status issues.

Before trying to compensate for the global protein supply of humanity by insect food, there is now an innovation: artificial meat. Invitrofleisch. No science fiction: Meat that is already bred from meat cells today and in the future in mass production in silos, by means of 3d printers or what still exists ..No genetic engineering, but in the broadest sense reproduction technology. It does not breed a whole chicken, but only the chicken thigh, does not fatten a whole goose but only breeds the goose liver, etc. No science fiction, but is already done and the prices fall rapidly. No more factory farming, no more destruction of the rainforests and deforestation, no wastes that pollutes the groundwater, no cruelty to animals and no more animal transports, no chick shredding, no vegetarianism and veganism more than the only way out, no ecological disaster more and the organic farmers, the bio farmers are no longer the good guys. While vegetarians and vegans criticize this because the change is happening technologically and from the outside and not from the inside by a change in consciousness and thinking, David Precht sees here rather the problem that the companies have the patents on the manufacturing processes and monopolize the production chain as Montesano monopolizes seed.

Exciting social debates and conflicts will be the result: Quasi-religious and moral vegetarians, vegans, regional and organic farmers, and conventional agriculture business and factory animal farmers then would unite against „artificial meat“ for very different reasons, but in the consensus that you want nothing „artificial“, but only „natural“. But the artificial meat producers will then argue that their product is not artificial, but meat from natural meat cells, so very natural, even without chemistry and no genetic engineering, especially just without cruelty against animals, the waste and contamination of groundwater, without deforestation, that artificial meat will prevent the food and ecological disaster. It will be exciting to see how the established parties position themselves, especially the CDU / CSU wich is obedient to the established agricultural lobby and the Greens, whose members often are vegetarians and vegans, but they also could also face problems with animal rights activists. The AfD is likely to be against artificial, un-German meat, which damages the peasantry, its sacred soil, and the previous business model.

We live in a time of new disruptive technologies and disruptive social changes. New means and technologies of production will be tried out, much will be tested after the try and error procedure, and the social forces will be rearranged and restructure themselves. The result is open and is currently being attempted to be understood and adapted, with some hoping for a 1970s Germany or going back further in history, while others want to rush forward a futuristic future, to a supposed new modernity of progress The latter is not the case in Germany, the energy transition and digitization threatens to fail and you talk more about flying taxis and e-scooters, but not about the really crucial issues. For example, artificial meat.

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Interview mit General a.D. Wittmann zur AfD in der Bundeswehr:“Aber der wichtigste Grund ist die Verharmlosung der Verbrechen des Nationalsozialismus“

Global Review wollte ein Interview mit General a.D. Wittmann führen, dessen Offenen Brief gegen die AfD-Infiltration der Bundeswehr wir schon veröffentlicht hatten. Aus Zeitgründen konnte General a.D. Wittmann unsere Fragen nicht beantworten und hat uns den Nachdruck eines Inteviews genehmigt, das von der Neuen Berliner Presse mit ihm gehalten und an zahlreiche Regionalzeitungen verbreitet wurde. Hier das Interview und danach nochmals die Interviewfragen, die wir gestellt hatten. Vielleicht werden diese durch den Nachdruck des Interviews teilweise beantwortet.

Herr Wittmann, warum halten Sie es für unzulässig, dass Soldaten sich der AfD anschließen?

Wittmann Ich halte es nicht für unzulässig, aber persönlich könnte ich diese Partei nie wählen – allein schon wegen ihres Führungspersonals. Aber der wichtigste Grund ist die Verharmlosung der Verbrechen des Nationalsozialismus. Ich verweise nur auf den Ausspruch von AfD-Chef Alexander Gauland von Hitler und NS-Zeit als „ein Vogelschiss“ in 1000 Jahren erfolgreicher deutscher Geschichte. Das schlägt allem ins Gesicht, was wir in der Bundeswehr an politischer Bildung, Erinnerungskultur und Traditionsrichtlinien pflegen.

Unterwandert die AfD die Bundeswehr?

Wittmann Der CDU-Politiker Friedrich Merz hat jedenfalls nicht ganz unrecht mit seiner Sorge, dass Bundeswehr und Polizei tendenziell an die AfD verloren gehen könnten. Es gibt Anzeichen dafür, dass diese Partei sehr bewusst versucht, Soldaten in die AfD hineinzuziehen.

Welche Anzeichen?

Wittmann In Hannover kandidiert nun der ehemalige Luftwaffen-General Joachim Wundrak als AfD-Kandidat für das Amt des Oberbürgermeisters. Der erste Drei-Sterne-General, der sich öffentlich zu dieser Partei bekannt hat. Es gibt  Berichte, wonach unter den rund 35 000 AfD-Mitgliedern  circa 2000 Berufssoldaten sind – wobei solche Schätzungen nicht überprüfbar sind. Und dann hat die AfD im Bundestag vor Kurzem ein Strategiepapier zur „Streitkraft Bundeswehr“ vorgelegt: Das liest sich zunächst sehr glatt, enthält aber eine Menge sehr problematischer Einzelheiten. Das alles kann man schon Unterwanderung nennen.

Was ist problematisch an dem Strategiepapier?

Wittmann Es enthält einerseits viel Selbstverständliches, es nennt unstrittige Defizite beim Namen. Aber es gibt auch sehr rückwärtsgewandte Passagen. Zum Beispiel die Forderung, die deutsche Armee müsse in der Lage sein, das deutsche Staatsgebiet 20 Tage lang autonom zu verteidigen, wofür ein deutscher Generalstab zu bilden sei. Das lehne ich ab.

In dem Papier fällt ja vor allem die Sprache auf, zum Beispiel die Formulierung, jeder einzelne Soldat müsse zum „unerbittlichen Kampf im Gefecht“ befähigt und motiviert werden.

Wittmann Natürlich muss die Bundeswehr tapfer kämpfen, das ist ja Teil des Diensteids. Aber diese Formulierung, vor allem das Wort „unerbittlich“, erinnert mich an Nazi-Durchhaltebefehle: Es wird Rücksichtslosigkeit eingefordert. Da sehe ich einen Widerspruch zu den Wertvorstellungen der Bundeswehr und auch zum Kriegsvölkerrecht.

Es gibt nun Streit um den Kommandeur Innere Führung, Generalmajor Reinhardt Zudrop. Er soll in einer internen Dienstversammlung gegenüber Untergebenen die AfD als nicht wählbar für Soldaten erklärt haben. Die AfD wittert einen Skandal und fordert seine Suspendierung.

Wittmann Jeder Staatsbürger und damit jeder Soldat hat natürlich das Recht, die Partei zu wählen, die er will. Deswegen gibt es im Dienstrecht die Vorschrift zur Zurückhaltung der Vorgesetzten. Ob dagegen verstoßen wurde, wird nun geprüft. Ich halte es aber grundsätzlich für angemessen, dass man in der Bundeswehr auch sagt, dass man diese Partei nicht wählt und warum – und dass man sich  vor allem auch kritisch mit ihren   Vorstellungen  über die künftige Bundeswehr auseinandersetzt.

Was sollte mit Zudrop geschehen, wenn er tatsächlich das Neutralitätsgebot verletzt hat?

Wittmann Wenn der Kommandeur tatsächlich über das Ziel hinausgeschossen sein sollte, sind ja mehrere Konsequenzen denkbar; auch eine Belehrung oder Ermahnung zum Beispiel. Ich warne vor einer Dramatisierung nach dem Motto: Der General muss weg. Damit wäre die Forderung der AfD erfüllt – und das würde ich für sehr schwerwiegend halten.

Warum ist die AfD attraktiv für Militärangehörige?

Wittmann Die Bundeswehr ist natürlich Abbild der Gesellschaft. Wenn in der Bevölkerung zehn bis 15 Prozent die AfD wählen – warum sollte  das in der Truppe ganz  anders sein?  Zudem ist es soziologisch altbekannt, dass uniformierte Männerbünde wie Bundeswehr oder Polizei eine gewisse Anziehungskraft auf Leute mit Vorliebe für autoritäre Strukturen ausüben. Damit dennoch nicht die Falschen kommen, haben wir sorgfältige Überprüfungen durch den Militärischen Abschirmdienst und klare Konsequenzen bei extremistischen Vorkommnissen.

Im Osten wirbt die AfD für sich mit dem Argument, den Enttäuschten eine Stimme zu geben. Gilt das auch für die Bundeswehr?

Wittmann Es gibt dort natürlich Enttäuschungen über die Defizite und die Langsamkeit, mit der diese  behoben werden: Das Zwei-Prozent-Ziel wird bestritten, Beschaffung und Instandhaltung sind strukturell ineffizient – in der öffentlichen Wahrnehmung: Die U-Boote tauchen nicht, die Panzer fahren nicht, die Flugzeuge fliegen nicht. Zum anderen gibt es Defizite in unserer Diskussion über Sicherheitspolitik; zu wenig Rückhalt im Parlament und zu wenig öffentliches Interesse.

Wie könnte man dem begegnen?

Wittmann Ich werbe zum Beispiel für eine jährliche Grundsatzdebatte  im Bundestag über die Sicherheitspolitik. Bislang ist das allenfalls bei den Mandatsverlängerungen Routine-Thema.

Helfen Freifahrtkarten für Soldaten bei der Bahn?

Wittmann Es mag symbolisch erscheinen, aber wenn damit die Bundeswehr  in der Öffentlichkeit wieder etwas sichtbarer ist und die Soldaten sich  stärker gewürdigt fühlen, ist das sicher nicht schlecht.

Mit General a.D. Klaus Wittmann sprachen Guido Bohsem
und Ellen Hasenkamp

Global Review: General Wittmann, Sie haben einen offenen Brief an den ehemaligen 3 -Sternegeneral Wundrak geschrieben, in dem Sie dessen Mitgliedschaft in der und Kandidatur für die  AfD kritisieren. Inzwischen sollen über 20% der Bundeswehrangehörigen AfD wählen, viele Bundeswehrler Mitglied sein,aber was hat Sie konkret bewogen zum jetzigen Zeitpunkt zu agieren? Dass bisher nur niedere Ränge wie Junge oder Pazderski das Problem waren oder dass  nun ein hochrangiger Militär übergelaufen ist? Sehen Sie da wie die ehemalige Verteidigungsministerin von der Leyen ein Haltungsproblem in der Truppe?

Global Review: Wie schätzen Sie denn die AfD selbst ein? Ist dies eine rechtsradikale Partei, eine NPD light, eine parteigewordene Harzburger Front zwischen Nationalkonservativen und Rechtsradikalen? Oder nur eine weitere konservative Partei oder nur eine Protestpartei?

Global Review: Womit erklären Sie sich die AfD-Zugehörigkeit von so vielen Bundeswehrangehörigen? Ist es das Geschichtsbild, das vielzitierte Haltungsproblem und die Hoffnung auf die Rückkehr zu einem Militärstaat nach preußiischen Vorbild und einer Großmachtrolle für Deutschland in der Welt oder mehr die Unzufriedenheit über die kaputtgesparte und desolate Bundeswehr?Sind weitere Erosionserscheinungen in der Truppe wahrscheinlich?

Global Review: Für wie gefährlich halten Sie die Forderung der AfD nach einem „Aufstand der Generäle“? Sind Szenarien wie der Kappputsch oder der Ludendorf/Hitlerputsch zu erwarten, vielleicht auch noch in Verbindung mit rechtsradikalen Massenaufmärschen und -demos vor dem Kanzeleramt oder Bundestag, wie Höcke, Gauland und Meuthen dies gerne würden?

Global Review: Sie haben in ihrem offenen Brief auf das Soldatengesetz verwiesen. Die AfD hat nun den Spieß umgedreht und im Zusammenhang mit dem Chef der Inneren Führung Zudrop, der vor der AfD warnt ebenso auf das Soldatengesetz und die Neutralität von Militärangehörigen hingewiesen. Wie verhält sich das und welche Institution ist zuständig Verletzungen des Soladatengesetzes festzustellen und zu ahnden? Könnte die AfD Klage gegen General Zudrop einreichen und Recht bekommen? Gibt es da Präzedenzfälle oder wäre dies einer?

Global Review: In Ihrem offenen Brief halten Sie viele AfD-Forderungen unter Punkt 3 wie die Wiedereinführung der Wehrpflicht, der Einsatz des Militärs im Inneren, Militärgerichte. u.ä. für entweder illusorisch oder aber für verfassungsmäßig bedenklich. Welcher Staat und welche Rolle des Militärs schwebt der AfD nach Ihrer Meinung nach vor, wenn man das AfD-Programm realisieren würde?

Global Review: Welche Reaktionen gab es auf Ihren offenen Brief von Politik, Medien, Militär im aktiven und nicht mehr aktiven Dienst, bei den Offizieren und an der Basis? Ist das überblickbar? Sind Sie ein Rufer in der Wüste oder warum sind bisher nicht andere offene Briefe gefolgt und hat es keine massenwirksame Diskussion in den Medien darum gegeben?

Global Review: Die Bundeswehr, das britische und das US-Militär hat Pläne in seinen Schubladen wonach bei Klimakatastrophen das Militär der zentrale Krisenmanager wird. Sei es nun in Bezug Katastrophenschutz, sei es in Bezug auf der  Garantie der inneren Ordnung, sei es in der Sicherung der nötigen Infrastrukturen und Bedrohungen im Ausland. Ist unter solch einem Szenario auch eine Art Ökoputsch des Militärs denkbar, weil die politischen und zivilen Stellen nicht ausgerüstet und vorbereitet sind auf solche Szenarien?

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Die Lösung der Welternährungs- und Ökokrise: Kunstfleisch aus dem Silicon Valley?

Anbei ein Youtubevideo von David Precht über die Welternährungskrise. Nicht die übliche Veggieday-Moral, sondern die Lösung des Fleischkonsums mittels des Kunstfleischs aus dem Silicon Valley.In dieses Gebiet fliessen inzwischen mehr Investitionen als in Künstliche Intelligenz und es könnte die Lösung der Welternährungskrise und der Ökokrise sein, weswegen dies eine derartige Priorität im Silicon Valley hat. Mag man zwar bei Silicon Valley an Digitialsierung, Quantencomputer, Mikrochips, Internet of Things, Industrie 4.0, autonomes Fahren, Künstliche Intelligenz, Computeralgorithmen denken, so ist doch die Nano- und Biotechnologie da auch ganz führend, was sich auch in Schriften von Ray Kurzweil und seinem Buch „Singularity“ zeigt, das ein posthuanes Verschmelzen des Menschen mit Maschine und Bio- und Gentechnologie als Vision hat. Viel Science Fiction, viel auch Spinnerei, hier wird gerade viel ausgetestet, aber die Hauptinvestitionen des Sillicon Valley gehen in die Technologie des Kunstfleisches hinein und das ist jetzt schon machbar und wird auch hergestellt, wenngleich noch nicht in Massenproduktion.

Laut Precht sind die Kosten für einen Kunstfleischburger von anfangs 330 000 Euro in 5 Jahren auf 80 Euro zurückgegangen und werde dieser auch schon bald für 1-2 Euro verfügbar und damit massenkompatibel und damit zur Herausforderung für das natürliche Fleisch. Natürlich wäre erst einmal nachzuprüfen, ob die eschastologischen Welterlösungs- und Heilsversprechungen David Prechts technologisch und ökonomisch so stimmen oder ob Precht sich hier nicht zum unkritischen Fürsprecher der kalifornischen Idelogie und der PR-Promotion des Silicon Valley macht. Elon Musk investiert ja auch in viele Projekte, von denen Space X und Tesla efolgreich sind, aber schon der Hyperloop und andere Projekte auf schwachen Beinen stehen. Investitionsvolumen sagen ja noch nichts über die Erfolgsträchtigkeit selbiger Investitionen aus. Die Wissenschaftsgeschichte ist gepflastert mit Fehlinvestitionen. Gut möglich, dass der naturwissenschaftlich, technologisch und ökonomisch weniger versierte Philosoph und Geisteswissenschaftler Precht da eine Überdosis Californian Ideology abbekommen hat. Ebenso bleibt die Frage, ob sich Kunstfleisch auch gegen kulturelle Widerstände durchsetzen würde. So schrieb mir auch ein befreundeter Bekannter als Reaktion:

„Ich halte solche Wege für Irrwege, weil all diesen Dingen das wesentliche Element fehlt, das ich mal als „beseelte Natur“ bezeichnen möchte. Letzten Endes sind all diese Retortenschöpfungen unserer Gesundheit unzuträglich, wie wir jetzt schon mit der GMO Nahrung erleben, die Frequenz dieser Schöpfungen korrespondiert nicht mit der unsrigen. Da die meisten Menschen für so etwas „keine Antenne“ haben, rennen wir wie die Lemminge in die falsche Richtung.

M.E. gibt es nur einen Weg: den einer radikalen weltumspannende Verringerung der Geburtenraten. Dazu müsste sich mal die UN aufraffen als Sprachrohr und Steuerungsauthorität. Da dort aber in solchen Fragen unsere Asiaten, Latinos und Afrikaner die Mehrheit in Abstimmungsprozeduren haben, also unsere Vertreter des ungebremsten „Kindersegens“, bedarf es größerer Überzeugungsarbeit und Kraftanstrengungen der „aufgewachten“ Industrienationen.
Aber vielleicht regelt sich das Problem auch durch die Natur selbst, denn mit unseren wachsenden Fehlverhalten geht bereits messbar unsere Lebenserwartung zurück, eine stetig steigende Reparaturmedizin verschleiert das noch ein wenig, und die Fertilität der Spermien nimmt seit 2 Jahrzehnten laut den Forschungsberichten stetig ab.“

Kunstfleisch hört sich erst einmal gruselig an.Aber es ist eigentlich natürliches Fleisch,das aus natürlichem Fleisch gezüchtet wird. Beseelte Natur hört sich religiös, ja etwas pantheistisch an, hat wohl die Vorstellung,was keine Seele hat,kann auch nicht gesund sein. Abgesehen von der Frage,ob es eine Seele gibt und die Natur, der Mensch oder ein Tier oder gar Pflanzen eine Seele haben , abgesehen davon, ob man nun an die mehr panthesistische Vorstellung einer „besselten Natur“ glaubt oder nicht. wäre es natürlich sinnvoll erst einmal zu erforschen,ob das Kunstfleisch für den Menschen unbedenklich ist. Bevor es zur Produktion und zum Einsatz kommt, wäre erst einmal zu erforschen, ob es schädliche Auswirkungen auf den menschlichen Organismus hat. Zumal es wohl auch auf die Produktionsverfahren ankommt, etwa ob Wachstumshormone oder andere zellvermehrende und wachstumsfördernde Substanzen beigegeben werden, die schon bekannte Auswirkungen haben.

Dennoch sollte man solche Innovationen thematisieren und auch mal weiter auf ihre möglichen Folgen durchdenken.

Mögen zwar in Deutschland immer mehr auf Fleisch verzichten, 10% der Bevölkerung inzwischen Vegetarier sein, so ist dies global betrachtet marginal, zudem der Fleischkonsum infolge der Bevölkerungsexplosion steigen wird, wie auch Milliarden Inder, Chinesen und Afrikaner immer mehr Fleisch essen. War Indien einmal eine Veggie- Nation, bei der es vor allem das Linsengericht Dall gab, so ist es heute eine Fleischfressernation geworden , der größte Rindfleischexporteur trotz heiligen Kühen und wird dies weiter zunehmend werden. Und China und Taiwan sind auch nicht mehr die Reisessernationen, als die sie so gerne idealisert wurden, obgleich da alles gegessen wurde, was mehr als 2 Beine hatte, sowie es auch Kannibalismus während der Kulturrevolution in Guangxi und andernorts gegeben haben soll ( Jung Chang: Mao) , nicht etwa wegen Hungersnot und es in Peking auch Hundelokale gab, obgleich die Nordchinesen diese kulinarischen Exzesse eher den Südchinesen andichten wollen. Zumindestens wird man von Chinesen, wenn man mehr Vegetarisches oder Reis ordert dahingehend kritisiert, warum man dieses „Arme-Leute-Essen“bestelle , was auch zeigt,dass hier der Fleischkonsum eher auch mit Statusfragen zusammenhängt.

Bevor man nun versucht die globale Proteinversorgung der Menschheit mittels Insektennahrung zu kompensieren, gibt es nun neuerdings eine Innovation: Kunstfleisch. Invitrofleisch. Keine Science Fiction: Fleisch,das heute schon aus Fleischzellen gezüchtet wird und in Zukunft in Massenproduktion in Silos, mittels 3d druckern oder was es noch gibt.. Keine Gentechnik, im weitesten Sinne Reproduktionstechnik. Man züchtet kein ganzes Huhn,sondern nur den Hühnerschenkel, mästet keine ganze Gans sondern züchtet nur die Gänseleber,etc. Keine Sciencefiction,sondern wird schon gemacht und die Preise fallen rapide.Keine Massentierhaltung mehr,keine Abrodung der Regenwälder mehr, keine Gülle, die das Grundwasser verseucht, keine Tierquälerei und Tiertransporte mehr, kein Kükenschreddern, kein Vegetariertum und Veganertum mehr als einziger Ausweg, keine Ökokatastrophe mehr und die Biobauern sind auch nicht mehr die Guten. Während Vegetarier und Veganer dies kritisieren, da der Wandel technologisch und von außen und nicht von innen durch eine Änderung des Bewusstseins und des Denkens erfolge, sieht David Precht hier eher das Problem, dass die Firmen die Patente auf die Herstellungsverfahren haben und Monopole wie bei Montesano bei dem Saatgut die Folge sein könnten.

Spannende gesellschaftliche Debatten und Konflikte tun sich dann auf: Quaisreligiöse- und moralische Vegetarier, Veganer, Regional- und Biobauern und konventionelle Landwirtschaft und Massentierhalter gegen „künstliches Fleisch“ aus ganz unterschiedlichen Gründen, aber im Konsens, dass man nichts „Künstliches“ wolle, sondern nur „Natürliches“. Doch die Kunstfleischproduzenten werden dann argumentieren, dass ihr Produkt nichts Künstliches ist, sondern Fleisch aus natürlichen Fleischzellen, also sehr natürlich, auch ohne Chemie und keine Gentechnik, zumal eben die ganze Tierquälerei, die Gülle und Verseuchung des Grundwassers, die Abrodung der Wälder und Regenwälder,ja eben die Ernährungs- und ökologische Katastrophe verhindere. Es wird spannend sein, wie sich dann die etablierte Parteien dazu positionieren, vor allem die der etablierten Landwirtschaftslobby hörige CDU/CSU und die von Vegetariern und Veganern durchtränkten Grünen, die aber auch Probleme mit Tierschützern bekommen könnten. Die AfD dürfte gegen künstliches, undeutsches Fleisch sein, das den Bauernstand, seine Scholle und bisheriges Geschäfftsmodell schädigt.

Wir leben in einer Zeit der neuen Technologien und damit einhergehenden gesellschaftlichen Umbrüche. Neue Produktionsweisen werden ausprobiert, viel auch nach dem Try und Errorverfahren ausgetestet und die gesellschaftlichen Kräfte werden sich neu sortieren. Das Ergebnis ist offen und wird gerade versucht zu verstehen und sich darauf einzustellen, wobei die einen noch auf eine BRD der 70er Jahre hoffen oder weiter in die Geschichte zurückgehen wollen, während andere zukunftsverliebt und futuristisch zu einer vermeintlichen neuen Moderne des Fortschritts voranstürmen wollen, wobei letzteres in Deutschland nicht so der Fall ist, die Energiewende und Digitalisierung droht zu scheitern und man mehr über Flugtaxis und E-Roller spricht, denn über wirklich zukunftsentscheidende Fragen. Zum Beispiel eben das Kunstfleisch.Deswegen der Verweis auf den hervorragenden Vortrag von Daniel Precht, den man weiterverbreiten sollte

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Trump, the Impeachment and the Civil War

It looks like the Democrats will fail with their impeachment against Trump, as they have only second-rate witnesses and the Senate Republicans will vote for Trump. I saw the House of Representatives‘ intelligence committee hearing yesterday, and there was no real smoking gun. Still, it is a novelty that a US president is threatening to mobilize his armed supporters, militias, and the Alt-Right, and that there is even talk about the possibility of civil war. Reminds of an armed US – SA and the bleak warnings of Robert Kagan about Trump „How fascism came to the USA“. It would also be interesting to see where the US military would stand in such a case or whether it would split and whether we would see a constellation like in the Weimar Republic when Seeckt declared „troop does not shoot at troop“ or something similar. But it shows the ruthlessness of Trump and the increasingly radicalized US right. Wild West.High Noon.And it remains unclear how Trump would react in the event of an election defeat, whether he then does not recognize it, will speak of conspiracy and electoral fraud and does not want to leave the White House. Let’s hope that it does not come to this worst case scenario, because then the US would be paralyzed and this would be an invitation for Putin and Xi to challenge the US geopolitically or perhaps even the USA would like to fight wildly to compensate for the internal crisis by a foreign policy crisis and rally around the flag.

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Trump, das Impeachment und der Bürgerkrieg

Es sieht so aus,dass die Demokraten mit ihrem Impeachment gegen Trump scheitern werden,da sie nur zweitklassige Zeugen haben und die Republikaner im Senat recht geschlossen für Trump stimmen werden.Ich habe mir gestern einmal die Anhörung des Geheimdienstausschusses des Repräsentantenhauses angesehen und da fehlte die wirkliche smoking gun. Dennoch ist es ein Novum,dass ein US-Präsident mit der Mobilisierung seiner bewaffneten Anhänger, Milizen und der Alt-Right droht und überhaupt von der Möglichkeit eines Bürgerkriegs gesprochen wird. Erinnert an eine bewaffnete US-SA und die düstersten Warnungen Robert Kagans vor Trump „How fascism came to the USA“. Es wäre auch mal interessant,wo das US-Militär in einem solchen Falle stehen würde oder ob dann auch dieses gespalten würde und sich ala Weimarer Republik dann ein Seektsches „Truppe schießt nicht auf Truppe“ oder anderes ergeben würde. Es zeigt aber die Verwilderung der Sitten in den USA durch Trump and die sich zunehmend radikalisierende US-Rechte. Wilder Westen.High Noon.Und es bleibt auch offen, wie Trump im Falle einer Wahlniederlage reagieren würde, ob er diese dann nicht anerkennt, von Verschwörung und Wahlbetrug sprechen wird und das Weiße Haus nicht räumen will.Hoffen wir, dass es nicht zu diesem worst case kommt, denn dann wären die USA paralysiert und wäre dies geradezu eine Einladung für Putin und Xi die USA geopolitisch herauszufordern oder aber würden die USA vielleicht auch selbst blindwütig umherschlagen, um die innere Krise durch eine außenpolitische Krise und Rally around the flag zu kompensieren.

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Hong Kong: Increasing violence and rumors about a Trump Xi deal

In Hong Kong, the protests continue as usual, only with increasing violence. A protester was shot and protesters poured gasoline over a man. The last few days there are repeatedly reports that it will soon come to a Sino-American trade agreement. Then again and again denials from the White House. Of the 5 claims of the Hong Kong opposition, one has already been met-the repeal of the Extradition law.3 other demands – investigation of police violence, amnesty, refusal to call the protests riots.wouldn´t be the fundamental problem for Carrie Lam and the CP China. The tipping point is the demand for free elections (puxuan) and what that means. Here, the 1997 compromise is called into question and this could mean a new political system. What Joshua Wong said in Berlin was a declaration of intent to integrate the Hong Kong movement on a long-term and large scale into the global movement against the CP China that is just beginning to emerge. He wants to make Hong Kong the new front city Berlin in Asia for a new Cold War between the West and China. Yes, Joshua Wong intends an international anti-CP front, breaking with the Hong Kong local patriotism, which prefers to limit this to Hong Kong. But the question is also how far Joshua Wong’s position is majority opinion within the movement. That might be more heterogeneous than It seems in the pseudo onity of the 5 demands.Carrie Lam and Beijing will try to split the movement about this issue.

Optimists believe in a solution based on the model of the Wukan uprising in China. The population of the Chinese village of Wukan was dissatisfied with the city government, protested, stormed the government buildings and replaced the mayor with its own people’s candidate. Strangely, this was accepted by the Communist Party of China. Provincial Governor Wang Yang, unlike Bo Xilai, was even admitted to the Politburo, as one would have thought that would be a stigma of loss of control from the point of view of the CPChina. How the situation developed afterwards  in Wukan, you do not know. The last report I about it saw that the CP had tried to make the new mayor a member of the party and to corrupt it. The CPC showed enormous flexibility. Nevertheless, I believe that this has happened at a local level and would it have been more widespread, for example at provincial or national level, the CP China would have suppressed the riot with violence. At the same time, Carrie Lam and the CP China could allow new elections under the 1997 consensus, perhaps with a few alibi candidates from the protest movement But it is not even sure if that will happen or if they do not intend to sit out and then suppress the oppositin by force. An oppositionist wrote to me : „

Yes, I also heard of Wukan, it was also a bit violent, the villagers also formed a vigilant militia, the village was closed both inside and out. The closeness and combat readiness of the inhabitants have brought about the partial successes. But as you have guessed, and also in the case of Hong Kong, you should never have illusions in the CP. I think they have managed to corrupt the Wukan’s new leadership and incorporate it as a political force. One of the active fighters Zhuang Liehong went into exile to the USA and became an important assistant to Guo Wengui, as far as I know. Conclusion: if you mess with KP, you have to be mentally and strategically well prepared and certain narrow-mindedness is definitely one of them. Because it is not a parent-child relationship, as many would like to imagine. „

It was interesting to see  the illusion that many Chinawatchers had in Wukan’s case. It was fantasized that this could become the future model for the CPC in dealing with riots and Wang Yang in the Politburo could become a new Chinese Gorbachev. I thought that was squeaky nonsense. Wukan remains the exception to the rule, was a village and Wang Yang is not a Chinese Gorbachev. Beyond this the tendency of zhe püolitzicalsystem in China now goes to the one-man rule and digital totalitarianism.

The current violence in Hong Kong plays two cards in the hands of the CP: International sympathizers are more likely to expect a peaceful German revolution, which had the battle cry: no violence. In addition, in the special case of Germany, you have to realize that the postwar Germans are mostly very pacifist, at macimum only accept peaceful protests (with the exception of left and right radicals) and even Lenin said that if Germans want to make a revolution and occupy a train station, they would first buy a platform ticket. Only In France and other European countries, people tend to have a different relationship with protests and violence.

Secondly, it provides Lam and the CPC with an ideal pretext to suppress the movement. I also guess the CP China will try to infiltrate the Hongkong mopposition movement by some agent provocateurs to catalyze the violence. But first it remains the  task of movement to de-escalate the conflict and go back to peaceful forms of action like in June, maybe even going on strikes. Of course, it sounds a bit arrogant, if one writes remote diagnosis and comments on the Hong Kong protests. Firstly, I know even from demos and movements, that it is not so easy to stop violence, especially since the Hong Kong police is also quite violent. Nevertheless, there are limits. If someone is ooured over with petrol and lit, here are clearly the limits of protest and counter violence. In addition, the symbolic effect reminds me  of the self-immolation of the Falungong members at Tiananmen Square. That was propagandistic water on the mills of the CP.

One should also keep an eye on whether or not an agreement can be reached in the trade dispute between Xi and Trump. Perhaps Xi is still holding back in Hong Kong, as he does not want to burden the trade negotiations any further. However, whether the deal will ever come to fruition it at best, would be a ceasefire before the US elections, but would only delay the Sino-American conflict and its further escalation. I guess Trump does not care about the Hong Kong protests, human rights and democracy, especially since he sees authoritarian leaders like Xi as his equals. Unlike most Democrats and Republicans.  Trump`s goal is to get a deal with Xi, that degrades China in the medium term economically and militarily to the No.2. Hard to imagine that Xi will accept this.

It is possible, however, in the short term with the perspective of the upcoming US elections, that a limited trade agreement might be reached which Trump can sell as a success. Then he would not care about Hongkong. The question is how far the US demands go and second, whether Xi is willing to give Trump this election gift willing -maybe in return for Trump’s noninterfrence, if Xi oppresses the Hong Kong protest movement-much like the Kurds. And he could then point to the violence and stability and calm and order. Some Chinese oppositionists are now talking about making Hongkong the Waterloo and Staklingrad for the CPC. Waterloo, Stalingrad-historically different – be it the balance of power and the international constellations., Similar to Joshgua Wong´s  Berlin comparisons.In Berlin stood US, British and British troops and then the entire NATO in the background, as well as the West at that time was still unified. But some Fortune, like Fritz the Great, and fighting spirit like the Zionists could do well to the Hong Kong and Chinese opposition, who, like David, are fighting Goliath and hoping that they can delay the conflict until it expands to China and the Sino- American conflict continues to worsen. But it is questionable whether the Communist Party will continue to watch such a possible scenario and development for so long.

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Hongkong: Zunehmende Gewalt und Gerüchte über einen Trump-Xi-Deal

In Hongkong gehen die Proteste wie gehabt weiter, nur mit zunehmender Gewalt.Ein Angeschossener und ein mit Benzin Übergossener.Die letzten Tage dazu immer wieder Berichte,dass es bald zu einem sinoamerikanischen Handelsabkommen komme.Dann immer wieder Dementis aus dem Weissen Haus. Von den 5 Forderungen der Hongkonger Opposition wurde eine schon erfüllt-die Rücknahme des Sicherheitsgesetzes.3 weitere Forderungen sind problemlos-Untersuchung der Polizeigewalt, Amnestie, Verzicht darauf die Proteste Krawalle zu nennen. Darauf könnte die Regierung von Carrie Lam noch eingehen. Knackpunkt sind aber die Forderung nach freie Wahlen (puxuan) und was das bedeutet.Hier wird der 1997 er Kompromiss infrage gestellt und es läuft auf ein neues politisches System raus. Was Joshua Wong in Berlin gesagt hat, war eine Absichtsbekundung, die Hongkonger Bewegung langfristig und in großen Umfang in die weltweite 反共Bewegung zu integrieren, die gerade am Entstehen ist. Er will Hongkong zur neuen Frontstadt Berlin eines neuen KaltenKriegs zwischen dem Westen und China machen. Ja,Joshua Wong beabsichtigt eine internationale Anti-KP-Front, bricht damit mit dem Hongkonger Lokalpatriotismus,der das lieber auf Hongkong begrenzt sieht.Aber die Frage ist auch,inwieweit Joshua Wongs Position Mehrheitsmeinung innerhalb der Bewegung ist.Die dürfte doch heterogener sein als die Scheineinigkeit von den 5 Forderungen suggeriert.Ich schätze,dass Carrie Lam und Peking hier versuchen werden zu spalten.

Optimisten glauben an eine Lösung nach dem Modell des Aufstandes in Wukan in China.Die Bevölkerung des chinesischen Dorfs Wukan war unzufrieden mit der Stadtregierung,protestierte,stürmte die Regierungsgebäude und ersetzte den Bürgermeister mit einem eigenen Volkskandidaten.Erstaunlicherweise akzeptierte dies die KP China. Der Provinzgouverneur Wang Yang wurde anders als Bo Xilai sogar ins Politbüro aufgenommen, hätte man doch meinen können, dass das ein Makel des Kontrollverlust aus Sicht der KP China ist.Wie es weiter in Wukan ging,weiss man nicht.Den letzten Bericht den ich darüber sah,sprach davon,dass die KP China versucht habe den neuen Bürgermeister zum Parteimitglied zu machen und zu korrumpieren.Die KP China zeigte da eine enorme Flexibilität.Dennoch glaube ich,dass dies auf lokaler Ebene geschah und hätte sich dies im größeren Rahmen,etwa auf Kreis-, Provinzebene oder gar nationaler Ebene abgespielt,sie wohl mit Repression geantwortet hätte.Auch fraglich ob man das auf Hongkong übertragen kann.Bestenfalls dürfte Carrie Lam und die KP China Neuwahlen unter dem 1997er Konsens erlauben,vielleicht mit ein paar Alibikandidaten der Protestbewegung.Aber nicht einmal sicher,ob das geschehen wird oder sie das nicht auszusitzen und dann niederzuschlagen gedenkt.Ein Oppositioneller schrieb mir dazu noch: „

Ja, von Wukan habe ich auch gehört, es war auch ein wenig gewaltsam, die Dorfbewohner haben auch eine Bürgerwehr gebildet, das Dorf wurde sowohl von innen als auch von außen gesperrt. Die Geschlossenheit und Kampfbereitschaft der Bewohner haben die Teilerfolge zustande gebracht. Aber wie du geahnt hast, und auch im Falle von Hongkong einschätzst, sollte man nie Illusion machen bei der KP. Ich glaube, die haben es geschafft, die neue Führung der Wukan zu korrumpieren und als politische Kraft einzuverleiben. Einer der aktiven Kämpfer von damals Zhuang Liehong, ist ins Exil nach USA gegangen und wurde ein wichtiger Helfer von Guo Wengui, soweit ich weiß. Fazit: wenn man sich mit KP anlegt, muss man mental und strategisch gut gewappnet sein und gewisse Engstirnigkeit gehört auf jedenfall auch dazu. Denn es ist keine Eltern-Kinder Beziehung, wie viele sich gern einbilden möchten.“

Interessant war welche Illusionen viele Chinawatcher im Falle Wukans hatten.Da wurde phantasiert,dass das das zukünftige Modell für die KP China im Umgang mit Unruhen werden könnte und Wang Yang im Politbüro ein neuer chinesischer Gorbatschow werden könne.Ich hielt das für quadrierten Blödsinn.Wukan bleibt die Ausnahme von der Regel,war zumal ein Dorf und Wang Yang ist kein Girbatschow.Zudem geht die Tendenz jetzt zur 1-Mannherrschaft und digitalen Totalitarismus.

Die momentanen Gewalttätigkeiten in Hongkong  spielen der KP zweierlei in die Hände: Internationale Sympathisanten erwarten eher eine deutsche friedliche Revolution,die ja als Schlachtruf hatte:Keine Gewalt. Hinzu kommt im speziellen Falle Deutschlands,dass die Nachkriegsdeutschen mehrheitlich sehr pazifistischen sind,nur und maximal friedliche Proteste akzeptieren(mit Ausnahme von Links-und Rechtsradikalen) und schon Lenin meinte,wenn Deutsche eine Revolution machen und den Bahnhof besetzen wollen,sie sich erst eine Bahnsteigkarte kaufen würden.In Frankreich und anderen europäischen Ländern hat man da tendenziell ein anderes Verhältnis zu Protesten und Gewalt.

Zweitens liefert es Lam und der KP einen idealen Vorwand die Bewegung zu unterdrücken.Ich schätze auch die KP China wird versuchen einige agent provocateur in die Bewegung zu schleusen,um die Gewalttätigkeiten zu katalysieren.Aber zuerst bleibt es dessen ungesehen Aufgabe der Bewegung zu deeskalieren und wieder mehr zu friedlichen Aktionsformen wie im Juni ,ja vielleicht auch mal Streiks überzugehen. Es hört sich natürlich etwas arrogant und überheblich an, wenn man hier Ferndiagnosen über die Hongkonger Proteste anstellt.Zum einen kenne ich selbst von Demos und Bewegungen,dass es nicht so leicht ist Gewalttätigkeiten zu unterbinden,zumal ja auch die Hongkonger Polizei recht gewalttätig vorgeht.Dennoch gibt es Grenzen.Wenn jemand mit Benzin übergossen und angezündet wird,sind hier klar die Grenzen zu Rangeleien und Gegengewalt überschritten.Zudem erinnert mich das von der symbolischen Wirkung etwas an die Selbstverbrennung der Falungongmitglieder am Platz des Himmlischen Friedens.Das war ja propagandistisch Wasser auf die Mühlen der KP.

Im Auge behalten sollte man auch ob es im Handelsstreit zwischen Xi und Trump noch zu einer Einigung kommt.Möglicherweise hält sich Xi in Hongkong noch zurück,da er die Handelsverhandlungen nicht weiter belasten will.Fraglich aber,ob es überhaupt zu dem Deal kommt,der bestenfalls ein Waffenstillstand vor den US-Wwahlen sein würde, aber den sinoamerikanischen Konflikt und seine weitere Eskalationm nur verzögern würde. Trump schätze ich so ein,dass ihm die Hongkonger Proteste,Menschenrechte und Demokratie egal sind,zumal er autoritäre Führer wie Xi als seinesgleichen sieht.Anders als die meisten Demokraten und Republikaner.Ziel Trumps ist es mit Xi einen Deal zu bekommen,der China mittelfristig wirtschaftlich und militärisch zur No.2 degradieren soll.Ich kann mir nicht vorstellen,dass Xi darauf eingeht.

Möglich ist aber kurzfristig mit Blick auf die kommenden US Wahlen ein begrenztes Handelsabkommen,das Trump als Erfolg verkaufen kann.Dann wäre ihm auch Hongkong egal.Die Frage ist aber wie weit die US-Forderungen gehen und zum zweiten,ob Xi Trump dieses Wahlgeschenk zu geben bereit ist-vielleicht als Gegengeschenk für Trumps Stilhalten,wenn Xi die Hongkonger Protestbewegung unterdrückt-ganz wie bei den Kurden.Und er könnte dann auf die Gewalt verweisen und auf Stabilität und Ruhe und Ordnung. Einige chinesischen Oppositionelle sprechen nun davon, dass man der KP China in Hongkong ein Waterloo und Staklingrad bereiten solle. Waterloo,Stalingrad-historisch etwas andere Kräfteverhältnisse und internationale Konstellationen.,ähnlich wie der Berlinvergleich Joshua Wiongs.In Berlin standen US,frz.und britische Truppen und dann noch die gesamte NATO im Hintergrund, wie auch der Westen zu dieser Zeit noch geeint war..Aber etwas Fortune wie beim Fritz den Grossen und Kampfeswillen wie die Zionisten könnte der Hongkonger und chineischen Opposition gut tun, die ja wie David gegen Goliath kämpft und darauf hofft, dass sie den Konflikt so lange heruauszögern kann, bis es ein Überspringen nach China gibt und der sinmoamerikanische Konflikt sich weiter zuspitzt. Fraglich aber, ob die KP China noch solange zuschauen wird..

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Is a non-interference pact between the West and Russia feasible? The West and Russia between a regional or an Eurasian power

During the Cold War the West always complained about 5 th columns of Moscow, infiltration of universities, companies, security apparatus, media and political parties and movements by the KGB, Eastern support for the peace movemnent, while the own interference in the Eastern bloc via the CIA for the Solidarnosc, Charta 77, the East German churches and opposition ,  mudjahedin, Muslimbrotherhood  and Islamists and anticommunist movements and groups were kept secret. While the Cold war ended in a peaceful revolution, Western interference has not stopped. There were many efforts by the West to support the Arab spring, but brought not that peaceful results as the European coloured revolutions of 1989, but a desaster and mess to the Greater Middle East, millions of refugees,civil wars, the Islamic State and and Islamist winter.  The West also tried to inplement its sort of capitalism in Russia by sending US economist Jeffrey Sachs as Jelzin adviser who made the 100 day´s  crash privatization leading to a economic desaster Sachs today is apolozing for. The Western interference in Ukraine lead to the situation that Putin intervened as he didn´t want another NATO state at his bordes and see the Black Sea Fleet vanished. In Ukraine there were Putinbashers as Mc Cain or Guido Westerwelle at the forefront of the Maidan . It would have been interesting to see one of Putin´s representative at an anti-NATO demonstration in front of Merkel´s goverment building calling for her toppling.

Now the West is complaining about Putin meddling in Western elections, the Brexit, portraying Trump as Manchurian candidate of Putin, giving a 40 million Euro credit via an oligarch to the Front National. If it is not a selfexcuse for own political mistakes, Western politicans should take this serious. Of course this is annoying for the West, but on the other side the question is really if Russian interference is the decisive factor for lost elections or referendums and one should not forget the funds for the Russian opposition by the West and NGOs to topple Putin or the young leadership programme by an US university for Nawalny which are normally sponsored by the CIA. Also interesting to see that Nawalny could start a drone to make a propaganda movie in the Russian social media which showed Medjedevs villa. Therefore you need some sort of intelligence and support. We also shouldn´t forget about the reality that the CIA and the MI 6 were and maybe are supporting Little Russia oligarchs in New York or London together with the Chechechnian opposition.

Dr. Kurtonov ( chief of the Rusian International Affairs Council) proposed a non-interference pact between the West and Russia to make clear that the West didn´t want to topple Putin and in return Putin doesn´t want to topple Western goverments. The question is: How could this be achieved? Has the West to silence the exile opposition, freeze the assets of anti-Putin oligarchs, sent them back to Russia and expel them? How could they be silenced as the West has constitutional rights allowing the freedom of opinion and expression and political activities even for the exile opposition. How could they freeze their assets? Like Al Capone to bring them to trial for tax fraught, money laundering or what? Expel them and send them back to Russia would be another unthinkable option as it would be against the selfunderstanding of the West as haven for freedom.

Therefore such an noninterfernce pact seems to be not feasible or if the West would agree on it it wouldn´t be a matter of open policy, but an inofficial gentlemen´s agreement of secret diplomacy. But what the West could do is stop ist support for NGOs and opposition leaders in Russia if Russia stops meddling in Western elections and supporting parties like the Front National. The West has to ask itself what is the goal of its interference: Even Freedom House isn´t speaking in categories of the free world and the unfree world anymore , but is at least distinguishing between free elected goverments, semi-free elected goverments and not elected goverments. Authotariatism is also a spectrum of intensities. The Polish Pis is not that authotarian as Putin and Putin is not that authotarian as Xi- China which will be the avantgard leading state towards a new digital totalitarism as Kai Strittmatter describes in his book „The reinvention of the dictatorship“.

Should the goal of Western policy be a totally value-based regime change policy towards Russia pronouncing the differences or should it get to some real politician compromise and a new sort of cooperation instead of confrontation? What should be the goal: To topple Putin or his successor to get a democracy in Russia and let Ukraine and Georgia become new EU and NATO states and reduce Russia to a regional power or not to risk an Russian spring which could bring instability, drive it into the arms of China and maybe risk a war and promote a New East Policy which accepts Russia´s geopolitical interests and let Ukraine and Belarussia become neutral bridge states connecting the Eurasian Economic Union and the EU to an Eurasia or Greater Europe.

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30 years fall of the Berlin wall-time for a New East Policy?

Yesterday was the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Time to reflect on the development of the last 30 years and why we are on the verge of a new Cold War today. Perhaps Gorbachev made the mistake of not securing his own design for a New Europe at the time.. The United States and the United Kingdom got Germany´s  NATO membership, France the euro, Gorbachev $ 13 billion for the withdrawal of troops and $ 1.5 billion food aid as the supply situation of the Soviet Union worsened and the West feared that Gorbastchov would be overthrown. Perhaps more simply said, than done, in addition, the Soviet Union was in dissolution, so such a contract would then have to be renegotiated under Yeltsin and with Russia and at that time were also the signs of relaxation. Gorbachev has never contracted on provisions for NATO extensions, it was briefly mentioned, but then no longer addressed by the Russian side. Under Yeltsin was then signed the NATO Russia Founding Act, which left the post-Soviet states the free choice to become members  in a Russian or Western military alliance. as long as no substantial military contingents and military bases were set up.

Yeltsin may have assumed that Russia would also be integrated into the West or that NATO would not absorb so many new members and that the trend was not so much directed against Russia, but that did not happen. Since then, the geopolitical power relations and the economic conditions have deteriorated massively to the detriment of Russia, which is why Putin came to power and in the case of Ukraine he pulled the emergency brake. In Ukraine and Syria, the Russians have- differently than in the new NATO membership countries- military bases that are part of their geopolitical security architecture that they saw as threatened. Putin also described the dissolution of the Soviet Union as „the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the 20th century.“ At least Russia seems no longer willing to accept further NATO or EU memberships of Ukraine, Georgia and Belarus, as it would react in the case of a colorful revolution in Belarus probably similar to Ukraine.

The question is whether Putin now intends to smash and sustainably weaken the EU politically by supporting right-wing parties such as the Front National and militarily test out NATO’s defense promises in the Baltic Gap, for example, in order to plunge NATO into a lasting crisis. in order to weaken the West so effectively that Russia is renegotiating its ideas of a multipolar world order on a new level. In the Baltics, it would not be about territorial gains, but testing of NATO’s defense guaranty and creating disagreement between NATO members on how to react to a minimal hybrid operation – whether announcing the case of defense or escalation, with the danger of nuclear escalation, as exemplified in the CSBA study Rethinkling Armeggedon, or by non-response and rift in the Alliance. Micheal O Hannon, in his book The Senkaku Paradox, exposes this danger and designs a new US strategy that proposes, in response, the military containment of a local hybrid war spot and integrated economic warfare.

Political measures, however, are less discussed, namely the opportunity to propose a New Eastpolicy (Neue Ostpolitik) and to take into account Russia´s  geopolitical interests. A New Eastpolicy (Neue Ostpolitik) could include the agreement that both Ukraine, as well as Belarus will be neutral bridge states between Eurasian Economic Union and EU, as well as NATO and Russia conceived, refrains from further NATO and EU enlargement rounds, besides  a gurantee for Russia`s  Black Sea port in Sevastopol by contract. autonomy for the Crimea and eastern Ukraine, as well as the withdrawal of Russian military advisers and green men as well as support for the Eastern Ukrainian separatists. The minimum requirement would of course be compliance with the Minsk Agreement, but beyond that, the West should also take action. The former Kohl consultant, co-architect of the reunified Germany and former head of the Munich Security Conference Horst Teltschik is complaining about this shortage of Western initiatives in his new book „Russian Roulette“

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30 Jahre Mauerfall-Zeit für eine Neue Ostpolitik?

Gestern war das vielgefeierte 30 jährige Jubiläum des Fall der Berliner Mauer und der Reichspogromnacht. Zeit auch einmal die Entwicklung der letzten 30 Jahre zu reflektieren und warum wir heute am Rande eines Neuen Kalten Kriegs stehen (Betrachtungen zum Antisemitismsu und des Wiederstarken des Rechtsradikalismus inklusive AfD zu anderer Zeit). Möglicherweise beging Gorbatschow den Fehler, dass er damals nicht seinen eigenen Design samt einhergehender Forderungen zu einem Neuen Europa und einem europäischen Haus vertraglich absicherte. Die USA und GB bekamen die NATO-Mitgliedschaft Deutschalnds, Frankreich den Euro, Gorbatschow 13 Milliarden für den Rückzug der Truppen und 1,5 Milliarden Nahrungsmittelhilfe, als sich die Versorgungslage in der Sowjetunion eintrübte und man befürchtete, dass Gorbastchow gestürzt würde.

Vielleicht einfacher gesagt, als getan, zudem sich die Sowjetunion in Auflösung befand, also solch ein Vertrag dann neu unter Jelzin und mit Russland ausgehandelt worden sein müsste und damals auch noch die Zeichen auf Entspannung standen. Gorbatschow hat vertraglich auch niemals auf Bestimmungen zu NATO- Erweiterungen bestanden, es wurde zwar kurz einmal erwähnt, doch dann von russischer Seite nicht mehr angesprochen. Unter Jelzin erfolgte dann 1997 die Unterzeichnung der NATO-Russland-Grundakte, die den postsowjetischen Staaten eine Mitgliedschaft in einem russischen oder weltlichen Militärbündnis ihnen selbst überliess. solange keinen substantiellen Militärkontingente und Militärbasen errichtet würden. Jelzin ist vielleicht davon ausgegangen, dass Russland auch noch in den Westen integriert werden oder die NATO nicht soviele neue Mitglieder aufnehmen würde und sich der geopolitische Trend nicht so sehr gegen Russland richtete.

Seitdem haben sich dann die geopolitischen Machtverhätnisse wie auch die ökonomischen Bedingungen massiv zuungunsten Russlands verschlechtert, weswegen auch Putin an die Macht kam und im Falle der Ukraine die Notbremse zog.In der Ukraine wie auch in Syrien unterhalten die Russen anders als in anderen Beitrittsländern eben auch Militärbasen, die Teil ihrer geopolitischen Sicherheitsarchitektur sind, die sie bedroht sahen. Putin bezeichnete die Auflösung der Sowjetunion auch als „die größte geopolitische Katatstrophe des 20. Jahrhunderts“. Zumindestens scheint Russland nicht mehr gewillt, weitere NATO- oder auch EU-Mitgliedschaften der Ukraine, Georgiens und Weissrusslands zu akzeptieren, sowie es auch im Falle einer farbenen Revolution in Weißrussland wohl ähnlich wie in der Ukraine reagieren würde.

Die Frage ist, ob Putin nun gedenkt, die EU politisch durch Unterstützung rechtspopulstischer Parteien, wie z.B dem Front National zu zerschlagen oder nachhaltig zu schwächen und die Verteidigungsversprechen der NATO etwa im Baltic Gap militärisch herauszufordern, um die NATO in eine nachhaltige Krise zu stürzen, um den Westen so nachhaltig zu schwächen, dass Russland auf neuer Augenhöhe seine Vorstellungen einer multipolaren Weltordnung neuverhandeln kann.Im Baltikum ginge es nicht um Territorialgewinne, sondern primär um ein Austesten des Verteidigunsgarantie der NATO und etwaiges Auseiandnerdividieren der NATO-Mitglieder über die Frage, wie man bei einer minimalen Hybridoperation reagieren solle–ob nun mit Verkündigung des Verteidigungsfalles und Eskalation, mit der Gefahr auch einer nuklearen Eskalation, wie dies etwa in der CSBA-Studie Rethinkling Armeggedon skiziert wird oder durch Nichtreagieren und Zerwürfnis im Bündnis. Michael O Hannon weist in seinem Buch „Das Senkaku Paradox“ auf exakt diese Gefahr hin und entwirft eine neue US-Strategie, die als Reaktion die militräische Einkreisung des lokalen Brandherdes zur Eindämmung des Konflikts unterhalb der Kriegserklärung sowie integrierte Wirtschaftskriegsführung vorschlägt.

Weniger erörtert werden aber politische Massnahmen, nämlich, ob nicht die Möglichkeit besteht Russland eine Neue Ostpolitik vorzuschlagen und seine geopolitischen Interessen zu berücksichtigen. Eine Neue Ostpolitik könnte auf dem Übereinkommen bestehen, dass man sowohl die Ukraine, wie auch Weißrussland als neutrale Brückenstaaten zwischen Eurasischer Wirtschaftsunion und EU, sowie NATO und Russland konzipiert, von weiteren NATO-und EU-Erweiterungsrunden absieht, zudem Russland seinen Schwarzmeerhafen in Sewastopol vertraglich garantiert und dafür eine Autonomieregelung für die Krim und die Ostukraine sowie den Abzug der russischen Militärberater und grünen Männchen sowie Unterstützung für die ostukrainischen Seperatisten im Gegenzug erreicht.Mindestforderung wäre natürlich erst einmal das Einhalten des Minsker Abkommens, aber darüberhinaus sollte der Westen auch aktiv werden. Der ehemalige Kohlberater. Mitarchitekt des wiedervereinigten Deutschlands und ehemalige Chef der Münchner Sicherheitskonferenz Horst Teltschik beklagt gerade diesen Mangel an westlichen Initiativen in seinem neuen Buch „Russisches Roulette“

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Baghdadi Dead : What it means for Terrorism in West and South Asia

Author: General (ret.) Asthana

President Trump’s announcement  that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the Islamic State(IS) commander, died during a US military operation in Syria, later confirmed by ISIS itself, was a welcome news for all fighting terrorism or suffering from it in any part of the world.  This was followed by death of their spokesperson and arrest of his sister and wife by Turkey. After the decimation of IS caliphate, IS continues to exist in small modules in many parts of the world, mainly in West Asia, but the loss of its undisputed leader who inspired many youth globally towards radicalisation as never before, during his peak performance days will not be easy to fulfil. He revolutionised the art of extending terror network through internet, made IS the richest terror group in the world, with a caliphate to govern through sharia laws and revived sex slavery. It’s a major setback to IS & affiliated terror groups but long overdue good news for those suffered its brutality like Yezidi women. The idea of IS does not end with leader, who stands replaced by Ibrahim al Hashemi al Qurayshi from Prophet Mohammad lineage (qualified to become caliph) with a vow to avenge Baghdadi’s death. There being no change in the overall aim and ideology of IS, it will manage to regroup with lesser fund flow and area of influence and wait for opportunity to re-emerge; hence the global fight against IS has to continue. 

What does it mean for Regional Terror Groups?

The US has given a strong message to terrorists but its declared withdrawal from Syria is untimely; hence the Middle-East needs a fresh look from strategic perspective. Turkey cross-border offensive on October 9 against the Kurdish YPG militia, whose fighters made up the bulk of the SDF controlling IS is a game spoiler in fight against IS. Turkeys double game with terrorists is marred with helping IS and treating Kurds as terrorists as they demand a homeland. Its desire to invade Syria and destroy Assad’s supporters made it an ally of US, but US is not keen on decimation of Kurds, who will be left with no choice but to commence terrorist activities against Turkey. The temporary five days truce, sanctions against Turkey could buy some time, but is unlikely to change Erdogan’s intent who seems to have decided to go Wahhabi way. It does give some extra lifeline to IS, which is going to get dispersed to other areas, in addition to some existing ones like Afghanistan. US withdrawal also cedes this strategic space in Syria to the forces loyal to Assad and Russia, something which US was not very keen to concede till short while ago as it was not in the best interest of Israel. This strategic equation does not change the terror potential of Hamas appreciably.

The internal political disturbance Lebanon puts Hezbollah in tight spot. The current internal political turbulence in Iraq is helpful for reorganisation of IS as it dampens the Shia spirit which indirectly helps Sunni terror groups. The recent strategic clash between Iran and Saudi Arabia triggered by a drone attack on Saudi’s oil establishment followed by attack on Iran oil tanker is also a recipe for refuelling of Shia – Sunni terror competition in West Asia. After US walked out of JCPOA (Iran Nuclear Deal) renewed and clamped additional sanctions on Iran which European Union could not prevent, Iran has also climbed the escalation ladder by announcing to fill gas in over 1000 centrifuges to enrich uranium further, which it was holding out due to the deal. This is another dangerous spiral in the region to increase the insecurity of Saudi Arabia and may result in further push to Sunni cause.  These developments have blurred the definition of victim and oppressor. The internal turbulence of West Asia therefore is creating an environment for breeding terrorists.

After IS suffered these reverses it has opened opportunities and ignited some competition for other terror groups like Taliban and al Qaeda, to strive to gain the influence they lost to ISIS earlier. This has increased their quest to grab more power and money, a bulk of which comes from coercion globally, prove their terror potential to the target population and governments to get more attention, followers, logistics and other resources. It is however noteworthy a number of terror organizations having allegiance to IS have still not changed their allegiance, indicating that demise of IS may not be on the card so soon and the group is still not out of competition.

What does it mean for Afghanistan-Pakistan (Af-Pak) Region?

Afghanistan continues to face aggressive and coordinated attacks by ISIS’s branch in the region, the Islamic State’s Khorasan Province (ISIS-K) and the Afghan Taliban, including the affiliated Haqqani Network (HQN). Afghan Taliban seems to have grown much stronger for the fact that it controls more territory in Afghanistan than what it controlled when US forces marched in 19 years back. The fact that all world powers talked to them for peace (to fulfil their respective interests) indicate the blackmailing potential of Taliban.  Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) and remaining US forces have not been able to control their terror strikes despite their best efforts, which are likely to increase if US choses to withdraw completely. I do visualise some more efforts of global powers for talks to Taliban in near future.  Although al-Qa’ida in Afghanistan and Pakistan was degraded earlier by multinational forces, remnants of al-Qa’ida’s global leadership, as well as its regional affiliate – al Qa’ida in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS), continue to operate from remote locations in the region have a reason to cheer Baghdadi’s death.

Pakistan continues to be the epicentre of global terrorism playing host to maximum UN designated terrorist organisations and terrorists in the world, a large No of them have indicated allegiance to IS. Pakistani military counter-terrorism operations are more of ethnic cleansing acts against Pashtuns and Baluchis directed against groups which conducted attacks within Pakistan, such as Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). Pakistan Army and ISI supports externally focused groups such as Lashkar e-Tayyiba (LeT) and Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), which continue to train, organize, and fundraise in Pakistan with a narrative of pseudo Islamic Jihad. The Pakistani Army does not restrict the Afghan Taliban and HQN from operating in Pakistan and threatening US and Afghan forces in Afghanistan, despite being placed on the “grey list” continuously till date, since June, 2018. The support of Pakistan to Sunni terror groups is well known and IS is no exception. The increasing radicalisation of establishments in Pakistan, conglomeration of terrorist groups in Af-Pak Region is a dangerous sign as it indicates a caliphate in making, far more dangerous than ISIS caliphate.

What does it mean for South Asia?

After the declaration of the caliphate, the newly named Caliph, Baghdadi while addressing the jihadists the world over explicitly mentioned China and India as one of the prime targets of the ISIS amongst many others and there are no signs of change in that narrative. ISIS and other militant groups are attempting to spread their ideology to countries that have Muslim population, and where there is a chance to reach out to dis-satisfied youth. al-Qa’ida in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) and ISIS have together claimed responsibility for over 40 attacks in Bangladesh since 2015. The Government in Bangladesh continues to battle terrorism with strict Anti- terrorism Act in place, however terrorists do manage to operate there with backing from ISI,Pakistan. Terrorist organizations are using internet, social media to spread their ideologies and solicit followers globally including South Asia and many terrorists have been featured in multiple publications, videos, and websites associated with ISIS and AQIS. Terrorist attacks in Sri Lanka and rapid radicalisation in Maldives are some more examples of IS mastered methodologies to spread terror, which is likely to continue. 

India having the second largest Muslim population in the world is an obvious target for IS. India is a tolerant and pluralist society with a mix of Shias and Sunnis, which has absorbed all religious faiths, hence the rate of penetration of radicalisation has been extremely low, although some individuals have been attracted to it. Many Lone Wolf Attacks in Europe, like the suicidal car crash attack in Westminster in London on 22 March 2017, are a possibility in India as well, in future, for which it needs to be prepared. The Incidents like the train explosion in Bhopal-Ujjain express by a terror suspect, Mohammad Saifurullah alias Ali, allegedly a member of the ISIS(K) module, on 07 March 07, 2017 injuring 10 passengers, occasional display of IS flags in Kashmir Valley, bursting of few IS modules in South India by National Investigative Agency, announce the arrival of IS in India. These incidents need to be viewed in consonance with the global scene, wherein Daesh is looking for new hosts after decimation of their caliphate.

Recent Trends in Terrorism

The peaceful coexistence of IS, Taliban and al Qaeda in Afghanistan and so many terror groups in Pakistan indicates that they are also collaborating and economising on certain activities and efforts like intelligence sharing, training camps, arms transfers, irregular trade and related activities on mutual benefit basis, hence it is increasingly difficult to use one against the other, despite intense competition amongst some of them. They are generally keen to expand their terror industry under pseudo religious cause of avenging perceived atrocities to muslims and continue to fight security forces trying to disturb their design. Their fight against each other is rarely seen in recent times. The other interesting trend especially in Pakistan is that whenever a terrorist organisation is banned globally, it changes its name, registers as social welfare organisation, and continues terrorist activities as usual.

A very well organized media and cyber campaign by the IS by incorporating technologically savvy cadres from western countries affecting some Indian youth is still on. Some media news that it had gained access to fissile material and suspected access to chemical weapons like Sarin gas, indicates that its potential for global nuisance is far from being over. The same is being tried by other terror groups as well. To fight the global war on terror the world community will have to shun double gaming, individual country interest over global safety, the concept of good and bad terrorist and strict sanctions on terror sponsoring countries because terrorism cannot flourish without financial and logistics support.

Major General S B Asthana

The views expressed are personal views of the author, who retains the copyright. The author is Reachable at Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+ as Shashi Asthana, asthana_shashi on twitter, and personnel site     email   LinkedIn Profile  Youtube link   S B Asthana

S B AsthanaMajor General S B Asthana sharing his talks, interviews, speeches, views expressed in various Television Discuss…


·               Veteran Infantry General with 40 years of varied experience in national, international fields and UN. Former Additional Director General of Infantry of Indian Army. Presently Chief Instructor of all Courses for military officers in United Service Institute of India.Awarded twice by President of India, twice by UN, CEE excellence award for Nation building by Governor of Haryana and award for “International Diplomacy and Global Conflict Resolution” by “IOED” and the International Police Commission – IPC India,  from the former Prime Minister of Moldova.

·                Globally acknowledged strategic & military writer/analyst on international affairs. Authored over 150 publications/articles and over 140 blogs, mostly on international issues specially China. Continues to write on international subjects in globally renowned publications, newspapers and web portals.

·               Has been interviewed by various National and International media channels/newspapers/organisations. Writing in various globally acclaimed newspapers and journals. Delivering talks on strategic, military & motivational subjects in various universities/organisations, and UN peacekeeping (globally). On Board of Advisors/Governing body of various international Organisations related to education and UN, Life member of various Think Tanks like IDSA, USI of India, CLAWS & FDI (Australia).

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The Myth of the New Silkroad:Xi´s Great Leap Forward?

Read the article by Ryan Manuel in the Jamestown Foundation’s Chinese Leadership Monitor: „Twists in the Belt and Road“

Assuming that the BRI is a centrally planned, strategic-geopolitical project based on a well thought-out master plan and the mastermind Xi, the article shows that it is above all an economic project that is essentially determined by local cadres. Foreign Ministry and military officials remain outside, it was not Xi’s priority, mainly state-owned enterprises are promoted and lending and financing are only 8% awarded by the AIIB and 92% by national funds and the 4 state-owned banks. In addition, the direction was changed completely, although the BRI was included in the constitution. Was BRI first a project to promote exports, it now officially serves as a result of the trade war with the US to secure imports and export only Chinese standards. Also, BRI does not encounter as much love as hoped from abroad. Because not as claimed 185 states participate in it, but only 53. The criticism of foreign countries is growing – because of debt traps. Also, the statistical figures on BRI investment seem to be propagandistic over-dimensional inflated. The internal criticism is growing as well, but can not be articulated openly and the contradictions increase, indeed block the development of the New Silk Road. Despite all opposing propaganda by CP China: The BRI could become Xi’s big leap forward

The importance of the local cadres and how they try to keep their position under the transformation of China from a one-party rule into a one-man dictatorship, describes another article by Min Xinpei Bureaucratic strategies of coping with strongman rule: How local officials survive in President Xi Jinping’s new order

This analysis by the US think tank Jamestown Foundation which also has a special section“Russia in decline“  is not just American propaganda as Russian experts also have similar doubts about BRI after an inital phase of euphoria about the project and the propaganda of the CP China. A good summary about the Russian elite discourse is the article:

The “Belt and Road” in Russia: Evolution of Expert Discourse

From Caution to Euphoria to Disappointment

Alexander A. Gabuev – Senior Fellow and Chair of the Russia in the Asia-Pacific Program, Carnegie Moscow Center.

Ivan Yu. Zuenko – Research Fellow, Institute of History, Archeology and Ethnography of the Far East Department, Russian Academy of Sciences.

Resumee: The implementation of the “Belt and Road” initiative became dependent on the pro et contra balance that is not conducive to cooperation for the time being. “Gains and prospects” are abstract, while “risks and threats,” on the contrary, are quite concrete and cannot be ignored.

The first doubts whether the Chinese New Silk Road really was such a thoughtful geopolitical project going beyond a military port in Djibouti and unconnected military forums with Africa came to me when I became a guest commentator at China Radio International and once asked the question of how the New Silkroad should also be militarily stabilized and secured. The simple question of a security belt was censored at the same time and the article was not published, as was the fact that so far the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs have not been significantly involved in the Silk Road project. On the one hand, it dampens Western fears that China wants to take over the world militarily. But on the other hand it also shows the lack of stabilization of the whole project, which, according to the Jamestown Foundation, is more of an economic project than a really centrally thought-through megaproject with a plan and perhaps Xi Jinping who makes it a top priority. There is a danger that he will not have a grip on the project he has so loudly promoted and which was now written in the constitution like his longterm rule and the Xi Jinping ideas. The essential abstract corridors of the New Silkroad seem to be determined, but how they are concretlly organized seems yet not to be a decision of the central government or Xi, neither the foreign ministery or military , but of local cadres and their connections to state-owned companies. Here is the article for China International Radio which was not published:

Does One Belt, One Road need a „security belt“?

Publiziert am 6. November 2017 von Ralf Ostner

The CPChina´s OBOR initiative is welcomed by many countries of the world including most Western countries except the USA, Japan and India. As China wants to build infrastructure projects connecting Central Asia, the Greater Middle East , Africa and Europe there isn´t any Western megaproject like the New Silkroad. The last Western megaproject was Desert Tech which wanted to build a solar panel belt in Africa to deliver electricity for the industrialization of Africa and the consumption of Europe. However, Desert Tech was canceled as the Western economic and political system is not that farsightetd, visionary and strategically thinking as China and it has no state funds or investment funds which think in geopolitical terms, but are profit orientated and want a quick revenue from their investment.However another factor against Desert Tech was the political and militarily unstable enviroment in Africa.

China´s OBOR initiative wants to connect regions which are best known for their instablity– Central Asia, Afghanistan/Pakistan, the Middle East and Africa.Therefore the question is: Can the One Belt, One Road be successful without having a stabilzing security belt? Such a security belt already exists in the region of Central Asia within the framework of the Shanghai Cooperation Organiszation (SCO) which except economic and cultural cooperation also includes military cooperation and annual excersises against terrorism, seperatism and Islamism.However, the creation of the Pakistan-China- Economic Corridor faces threats from Islamism like the Pakistan Taliban, Al Qaida, IS and seperatists groups like Beluchinstan militants.Here China can rely on the Pakistan army and give military assistance,but India is angry about OBOR in Pakistan as it perceives it as a threat to its souvereignity and would be very suspicious if the PLA was deployed along the corridor or the PLAN in ports in Gwadar or Sri Lanka or Burma.However, India would voice some symbolic protest and counterbalance the Chinese influence—India wants to build a port in Iran next to Gwadar and strenghtens its relations with the USA.So far no real problems would emerge in the Asian region, but the Middle East and Africa is a different story for OBOR as it faces extremist Islamist movements and terrorism, the collapse of the territorial integrety and souveignity of states like in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Lybia, Somalia or Sudan. To project stability China would have the following options:

Build a network of military bases along the New Silkroad. In some respect this will happen, but not to the extent as the USA has military bases worlwide and not at this scale.The USA set up their global military bases network due to the result of the Second World War when the other states faced German and Japanese aggression and afterwards communism.This has been a unique opportunity for the USA , but today a new worldwar is unlikely and other states don´t want to be drawn in a conflict between the USA and China, nor give China military bases which could alienate them from the USA.Therefore this option couldn´t be China´s way to create a security belt for OBOR. China with its policy of noninterference, peaceful rise and its tradition of antiinterventionism, anticolonialism and antiimperialism won´t enter this path.The CP China is a learning organism and draws its lessons from the arrogant, interventionist mentality of the USA which destabilzed the Greater Middle East with its wars in Iraq and Lybia. Boots on the ground became very costly for the USA, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq hyped the US state deficit and nearly ruined its economy. As Chinese leaders are not stupid, but dialectical and strategic thinkers they won´t repeat the mistakes and errors of the USA. The Chinese also think in terms of comprehensive national power, have a very holistic and strategic view of power, have read their Sun Tze and Deng Xiaoping which perceive military power as instrument of the last resort.

Build military alliances. Also very unlikely as it´s not China´s policy and even the SCO is not an anti-NATO or an military alliance. Likewise China has seen what NATO and the USA did in Iraq and Lybia, that military alliances need a military core body to project military power worldwide and China could have a military power as the USA at maximum in 2050, if it wants to build such a military power or not choose another path of the peaceful rise.

Military cooperation. As China faces the same threats in the Greater Middle East and Africa, mostly Islamist terrorism and extremism, especially the IS and other Islamist groups it could support the antiterror coalition of the West and the anti-IS coalition.Maybe it would be also an option, if China tries to convince the USA that OBOR is not directed against them and that AFRICOM and the PLA could make a military cooperation for the stabilization of Africa.

Military assistance, training, arms exports to countries which will be part of the OBOR initiative and economic and diplomatic efforts to stabilize them and their neighbouring countries. That will be in my opinion the prefered Chinese instrument to create a security belt along the OBOR project.However, the confrontation between Iran and Saudiarabia which is fueled by the USA and brings conflict in Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and parts of the Arab and Northafrican world will be a challenge for Chinese intermediators. Russia, Syria, Iran and Turkey had their summit to solve this problem, but the USA and Saudiarabia are playing their own game. Hard to say, how OBOR could be stabilized in a unstable region like this. China has to build OBOR in the stabile countries and promote stability in the rest of the region. Therefore OBOR can only be built in the stabile regions and the instabile regions wait for their stabilization, but China can only play a minor part in it.

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Mythos Neue Seidenstrasse: Xis Grosser Sprung nach vorn?

Lesenswerter Artikel von Ryan Manuel im Chinese Leadership Monitor der Jamestown Foundation:„Twists in the Belt and Road“

Ging man immer davon aus, dass die BRI ein zentral geplantes,strategisch-geopolitisches Projekt nach einem durchdachten Masterplan und dem Mastermind Xi sei,so zeigt der Artikel,dass es vor allem ein ökonomisches Projekt ist,das im wesentlichen von lokalen Kadern bestimmt wird,Vertreter des Aussenministeriums und des Militärs aussen vor bleiben, es nicht Xis Priorität war,vor allem Staatsunternehmen gefördert werden und die Kreditvergabe und Finanzierung nur zu 8%von der AIIB und 92%von nationalen Funds und den 4 Staatsbanken vergeben werden. Zudem wurde die Richtung völlig geändert, wenngleich die BRI in die Verfassung aufgenommen wurde.War BRI zuerst ein Projekt um Exporte zu fördern, so dient es nun offiziell infolge des Handelskriegs mit den USA Importe zu sichern und nur noch chinesische Standards zu exportieren. Auch stößt BRI im Ausland nicht so auf Gegenliebe wie erhofft. Denn nicht wie behauptet 185 Staaten beteiligen sich daran, sondern nur 53. Die Kritik des Auslands wächst-wegen Schuldenfallen. Auch scheinen die statistischen Zahlen zu BRI-Investitionen geschönt und propagandistisch überdimensional aufgeblasen.Die interne Kritik wächst ebenso,kann jedoch nicht offen artikuliert werden und die Widersprüche nehmen zu, ja blockieren die Entwicklung der Neuen Seidenstrasse. Trotz aller gegenläufiger Propaganda der KP China: Die BRI könnte Xis Grosser Sprung nach vorne werden

Die Bedeutung der lokalen Kader und wie sie versuchen, ihre Stellung unter der Transformation Chinas von einer Ein-Parteienherrschaft in eine Ein-Mann-Diktatur zu halten, beschreibt ein weiterer Artikel von Min Xinpei Bureaucratic strategies of coping with strongman rule: How local officials survive in President Xi Jinping’s new order

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RCEP, Greater Eurasia and the coming New world order

While Trump canceled freetrade agreements like TTIP and TPP, renegotiated NAFTA and pushes protectionism and trade wars, the Asians want to choose the other way by the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). While India is still hesitating to sign the RCEP agreement because in India there is an anti-.Chinese mood, fears of am alleged buy out, Buy Indian campaigns and worries that China might create a sinocentric order in Asia, the ASEAN countries are divided about a RCEP with or without India. While some as Malaysia are more pro-Chinese and see Trump´s trade war and protectionism against them more a threat than being dominated by China, others still don´t want RCEP without India as a balancing power.

Interesting that German Chancellor Merkel just visited India at this moment to propose a freetrade agreement between Germany, the EU and India after the EU already signed a free trade agreement with the Mercusor countries in Latinamerica and an EU-Japanese free trade agreement. Germany and the EU don´t want Asia playing the dominant and sole role in further globalization, free trade and multilateralism. However the EU is taking this Asian effort seriously as it is not just an economic agreement, but also a political signal. In their article „Asia pushes back against global protectionism with big trade and cooperation agreement“ (6 November 2019), Peter Drysdale and Adam Triggs analyze the meaning of RCEP:

„The world view of populist politicians has been in the ascendancy, characterised by isolationism, protectionism and nationalism. The path to prosperity, they argue, is one where economies are closed. Trade is restricted. Markets are managed. Foreign investment is blocked. Immigrants are expelled. Economic cooperation is for the weak.

The protectionist, isolationist economic model of the populists has been nothing short of a catastrophic failure, associated with a collapse of global confidence and investment that threatens global jobs and growth. Global GDP growth is falling, trade growth has halved since 2017, foreign investment has fallen by almost a third since 2017 and supply chains are unravelling at dangerous speed, threatening a sharp rise in production costs and a sharp fall in already anaemic productivity growth.

The leaders of the ASEAN+6 group — which includes the 10 ASEAN countries plus Australia, China, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand and, hopefully soon, India — are poised to sign the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement, comprehensively rejecting the flawed economic model advocated by political populists.

In signing RCEP, Asia has chosen openness over protectionism, regionalism over nationalism, cooperation over confrontation, and solidarity over suspicion. They have sent a clear and unambiguous signal to the world: that Asia remains very much open for business, committed to the open regionalism that has seen East Asia’s share of global GDP soar from 15 to 30 per cent since 1980, while South Asia’s remains stubbornly has not budged, stuck around 3 to 4 per cent.

RCEP was hard fought, but a choice made easier by the calculation that Asia needed to push back against protectionism even as the United States chose that path.

For countries seeking new sources of growth, increased living standards and fresh productivity growth, regional cooperation was the answer. Analysis by Australia’s Productivity Commission presented the options in stark detail: choose protectionism, and ASEAN+6 GDP would fall by more than 8 per cent. Choose openness, and ASEAN+6 GDP would rise by up to 4 per cent.

Asia has made the right choice. The path of protectionism is costly. Almost 100 per cent of President Trump’s tariffs have been paid for by American citizens, plunging the poorest Americans into an even deeper poverty. President Trump’s misguided desire to reduce the US trade deficit has seen the deficit blow-out by more than a third. His trade war has forced the US Federal Reserve to cut rates in a desperate effort to ward off what the yield curve and financial markets are overwhelmingly predicting: a looming US recession.

The same protectionist, isolationist model is being implemented by Boris Johnson in the United Kingdom. The results do not surprise. Johnson’s desired hard-Brexit is forecast to break-up the United Kingdom and plunge it into recession. So desperate was he to become the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, there’s a chance that Johnson may now be its last.

The countries pursuing this protectionist model have never been more divided. The global economy is suffering as a result.

The path that Asia has chosen to take could not be more different. RCEP is the green shoot in the otherwise deserted field. As the world divides, Asia has come together. To focus on the economic numbers — as impressive as they are — misses the point. RCEP is not just a trade agreement. RCEP is an economic cooperation arrangement. It brings together a group of countries some of which previously had no free trade agreement that linked them. It brings the region together in their common pursuit global interests and goals.

Even the holdout country, India, is a source of hope. India was slow to grasp the strategic significance of RCEP. But like ASEAN, Japan and other countries, it has now elevated RCEP as a strategic priority and an opportunity to boost its lacklustre growth. While India is yet to sign on, RCEP remains open to India and the likelihood of its joining in the future is high as the costs of staying out increase. Unlike TPP11, RCEP is open to new entrants. Commitments under RCEP are implemented gradually, allowing countries the flexibility they need to ease domestic adjustments and manage concerns.

However, the hope is also that RCEP will give the Asian economy and the world economy a boost and relocate the economic center further to the Asian pivot. In my opinion the slowdown of the world economic growth cannot only being refered to Trump´s trade war, but we have to include other factors:First after 10 years of boom since the financial crisis 2008 , there are some symptoms of overaccumultation of capital and overproduction in industries. The slowdown is also a effect of the normal cyclical crisis of capitalism as described by Marx in The Capital or Keynes or traditional macroeconomy. The present slowdown is caused at least by three contributing factors: First, the normal recession after a boom phase (cyclical crisis) , the politically induced slowdown by trade wars and third because of the beginning of digitalization.

But digitalization could in the mid and long term  contribute to a new long wave if you are a fan of Trotzki, Kontradieff and Schumpeter. A long wave would make the oscililations of the cyclical crisis weaker and have an overall upward effect for the longterm trend of the world economy, but could also bring new social and global inequalities and a restructuring of the world economy with some political and geopolitical backlashes. A part of China´s concept of the New Silkroad is also caused by an overaccumulation of capital (China became a net capital exporteur since 2013) and an overproduction crisis in industry.Therefore China tries to expand to its West and abroad and to find new markets. But the New Silkroad is not just an outlet for Chinese capital and industry, but also a gigantic global Keynesian-Rosseveltian New Deal with anticyclical infrastructure spending. This global  Keynesian New Deal will also have impact on the growth of the world economy as do freetrade areas like the RCEP have or the infrastructure project of the Quad (India, Japan, Australia, USA), the Asian-Africa Growth Corridor.

We are in a transition period to a new world order and the outcome is unclear. A new world architecture  could have different options and designs and appropriate institutions. A reform of the UNO, a G 20 centered new world order, a G ??? whatever, a totally new body, a pax chinoise instead of a pax americana, a multipolar world with cooperation between the poles,etc. Many new architectures are possible , but it is too early to favour one certain architecture, but it is better to have different options and always a plan B, C, D, E and F as the results of this transformation period can be different as today´s prognosis and expections. However, the forces of a Hobbesian world and great power „games“ are becoming stronger and especially the sinoamerican conflict will be decisive because the USA and China  are fighting about the No.1 status which even can lead to a devasting sinoamerican war.

Everybody thinks that Trump is just a business man who just wants an economic  deal with China. Most people think that it is just an economic issue about trade balances and underestimate the fundamentality of the sinomamerican conflict. In reality this deal would include making China the longterm No. 2 and probably Xi Jinping and the CP China won´t accept that status. Then the question will be what Trump will do if he doesn´t get his deal. Maybe he will escalate the sinoamerican conflict to a sinoamerican war , perhaps by a seablockade like Offshore Controll designed by US strategist TX Hammes or a mix of military operations with economic warfare as proposed by Michael O`Hannon in his new book „The Senkaku Paradox“. But that is a worst case scenario, but not that unlikely as it was a decade ago. And first Trump has to be reelected. If the Democrats seize power again, other options are on the table as a new TTIP (Gabor Steingart: „economic NATO“) or TPP or a revival of the West, multilateralism and free trade.

In his analysis „ How will shifts in US foreign policy effect Sout East Asia „, Daljith Singh comes tot he conclusion:

„•   A new phase in US foreign policy, in which China is viewed as a major threat to American economic and security interests, has begun under the Trump administration.

•   The strong anti-China sentiment is accompanied by efforts to “decouple” from China. If carried too far, they will alienate allies and friends whose cooperation the US will need in order to compete with China.

•   In the broader American foreign policy community, there is an intense ongoing debate on how strong the push-back against China should be. Both moderates and hawks agree on the need for a “tougher” approach but differ on the degree and method of toughness. No coherent strategy has been possible partly because President Trump’s thinking does not always accord with that of his own administration and partly because it is still too early in the day to come out with well-thought-out policies to support such a major change in foreign policy direction.

•   The ongoing adjustments to global policy and strategy will therefore continue as the security focus shifts to the Indo-Pacific region. The “Free and Open Indo-Pacific” concept provides some signs of the broad direction policy may take but its vital economic dimension is still missing.

•   There is greater recognition in Washington of the importance of Southeast Asia. Located in the middle of Indo-Pacific, it will be a contested zone between China and the US and its allies. The US will step up its public diplomacy to better promote its own narrative in Southeast Asia.

•   Under the Trump administration the importance of the South China Sea to the US has risen.

•   The US will remain a powerful factor in Asia despite Trump and problems at home. China is not on an inevitable path of dominance given its own significant domestic challenges“

The full text oft he study is available at Institute for South East Asian Studies (ISEAS) website.:

And if the USA should under a Democratic president restart TPP  to counter RCEP or get many RCEP countries and India in the TPP or another sort of free trade agreement or even join the RCEP, this would shift the Asian pivot maybe away from a sinocentric order and counter Chinese influence more effectivly than Trump does. However, as the Democrats try to portray Trump as puppet of Moscow and Mandchurian candidate of Putin, Trump fights back and tries to portay the Democrats as puppets of Beijing and Mandchurian candidates of Xi who sold out the USA and American jobs to the Chinese and that China wanted to topple him by a sinodemoctratic conspiracy. The multipolar world at its best. Since Mc Carthy we haven´t seen an election campaign which accuses the other side of being an agent of a foreign power.

It is also interesting to see, how Russia perpares for the coming new world order after the transistion period. The Russian International Affairs Council ( RIAC) besides bilateral projects with China, India, South Korea,etc. has different multilateral and regional projects. An Russia-Euroatlantic  project—seems to be Gorbatchev´s  and Jelzin´s vision of an economic and security architechture from Vancouver to Vladivostok, a  Russia-EU  project, an Greater Europe project-seems to be more the vision Putin had in his speech at the German Bundestag 2001 .An Eurasia project, but the clear meaning of Eurasia isn´t spelled out. Some Russian strategists think about distinguishing between Inner Eurasia Eurasia, Greater Eurasia, but the terms still have to be defined. Does Inner Eurasia mean a cooperation between the EEU and the EU as Dr. Walter Schwimmer ( IISES) proposes, with the establishment of an EU commisioner for EU-EEU cooperation and security or a union of former Sovjet republics or the SCO? Or would this already be Eurasia or Greater Europe?  And what would Greater Eurasia mean? A cooperation between Russia ( the EU) and the RCEP countries—with or without India? RCEP is not an economic union like the EU with a common market, 4 freedoms and institutions or like the EEU, neither a pure free trade area like Obama´s TPP . And India is still  hesitating to join the club under the existing conditions.

The EU and the EEU could technically much easier make a cooperation as both organizations have appropriate institutions. However, as RCEP has not institutions comparable to the EU and the EEU and India might not be part of  it, it might be more difficult to enlarge such a EU-EEU cooperation to a Greater Eurasia vision. And there is also a RIAC project Russia-Asia-Pacific which might have a different architecture for a new world order and maybe there will also be a Russia-Indo-Pacific project in the future. But the struggle between the USA and China for the No. 1 status will be decisive and play the dominant role in defining the outcome of the new world order and one should forget not Brzezinski´s „Chessboard“ and the main objective of US foreign policy: That the USA had to prevent the rise of a dominant Eurasian power or an Eurasian axis under all circumstances.Therefore a new world order which wanted to isolate, exclude or contain the USA might be a dangerous experiment. But Brzezinski had even bolder visions like a Trans Eurasian Security Structure (TESS) and an OSCEA (Organization for Security and Cooperation in Eurasia)–an OSCE together with Asia. which also never materilized.And Trump is doing his best to create an Eurasian bloc Brzezinski always tried to prevent.

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Interview with Russia´s Former Deputy Finance Minister Dr. Leonid Grigoryev: „Russia will supply EU demands for energy till the end of drinking beer by people in the EU“

Leonid Grigoriev, Russia Economics
Former Deputy Finance Minister

Global Review had the honour and pleasure to have an interview with Russia´s Former Deputy Finance Minister Dr. Leonid Grigoryev.

GlobalSource Partners Russia Country Analyst Leonid Grigoryev is one of the country’s top statesmen and theoreticians. He has served at the highest levels of government and academia and is an acknowledged authority on all aspects of the Russian economy, including its macro and fiscal dynamics, legal and institutional framework, and cultural trends.

Based in Moscow, Dr. Grigoryev is a professor and Chairman of global economics at the National Research University Higher School of Economics. As Deputy Minister of Finance during the Yeltsin administration, he chaired the Foreign Investment Committee, helping lead the country’s transition to a market economy. Prior to his service in the government, he was head of the Institute of World Economics and International Relations at the Russian Academy of Sciences. After serving the Finance Ministry, he was a senior advisor to the Russian Federation’s executive director at the World Bank and then was Director General of the Bureau of Economic Analysis. He was President of the Association of Independent Centers of Economic Analysis, which unites more than 50 Russian research institutions, and more recently, he headed Moscow’s Institute for Energy and Finance.

Dr. Grigoryev received an M.S. and a Ph.D. in economics from Moscow State University. He has written more than 300 publications, including more than 20 books, on topics such as Russia’s economic and energy prospects, social stratification and the development of the middle class in Russia, property rights, corporate governance and privatization in Russia, and Russian capital formation and private finance. He is also an authority on global issues, including global energy and climate problems, and economic sustainability issues in BRICS.

Global Review: Professor Grigoryev, in which phases would you define the transformation of the Russian economy from the state planned economy of the Soviet Union and GOSPLAN, to the laizess faire capitalism under the Jelizin rule with the big bang privatization programme under US adviser Jeffrey Sachs to the nowaday´s Russian economy under Putin?

Dr.Grioryev: Russia has come through three major transformations: ideological – not a single course on Marxism in the country now; state – changes from USSR to Russia; and the turn to a market economy. The transitional crisis lasted a decade 1990-1998 – minus 44% GDP, with 50% of population in poverty, and doubling the relative number of suicides. So, reforms we conducted in the dramatic economic environment. The transitional crisis in Central and East European countries was dramatic, but lasted about five years (1990-1994) with the decline of GDP close to 25%.

The major institutional changes may be described as: freedom to open business and hire people; no state price fixing; open foreign trade; no up-down target plans to enterprises on output (expect for limited state owned like in defense). Land may be sold and purchased; housing is mostly private (even more than rented); most of manufacturing was privatized in 1990s. State owns some infrastructure (pipelines), Nuclear and Water power plants and main Power Grid. State keeps control capabilities in few major banks, Gazprom, Rosnefty, Aeroflot, some other companies. The state owned or controlled companies are expected to be run by market principles, while it is not exactly the best efficiency is observed.

Big bang privatization has happened in 1993-1996 and brought almost no income (from more than 46 th enterprises privatized)  to Treasury during the crisis and huge budget deficit times. It had changed the social structure of the societ quasi-egalitarian society forever – we may recommend to look at F. Novokmet, T. Piketty, G. Zucman. “From Soviets to Oligarchs: Inequality and Property in Russia 1905-2016.”

Global Review: What has changed, how powerful are the oligarchs, what are the biggest companies in Russia and how has the structure of the Russian economy changed since the 90s?

Dr. Grigoryev : Oligarchs – as believed – exercised the political control in 1994-2000, but were sided out at the time of the eight years of the presidency of Vladimir Putin (2001-2008). They have retained the most of the Wealth and have substantial control over economic decision making in their domains. Roughly speaking, forty huge companies of state and private ownership or control are the backbone of the Russian economy – probably conducting about half of capital investments.

Global Review: How strong is the influence of the state and is there some kind of modernized Gosplan which leads the Russian economy?

Dr. Grigoryev :There is no Gosplan per se at all – probably Russian state exercises less planning than some market economies. Many economists see the inadequacy of strategic planning in the country for the solution of the real problems of development.

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Global Review: What does the Russian new and IT-/hightech industry look like? Are there competive IT companies or has Russia hightech parks or ist own Silicon Valley?

Dr. Grigoryev : IT-high tech is in wide use by population, businesses and government. There is no such big companies in production of IT, comparable to Western and Chinese – only Yandex stands aside. But Russian talents are working all around the World and at home as well – at many old and new domestic institutes and companies. Russia is not selling too many of IT products, but is capable to invent anything sophisticated. Tradition of the good education and young people orientation on innovations is quite alive, while not bringing much export. Access to computers and Internet is close to 80% of population – essentially to all capable to use them. With open socials nets, TV etc.,  and with the relatively widespread knowledge of English (at least among people with universities) Russian families basically are very well informed on global affairs and can make their own judgment.

Global Review: Is Russia developing artifical intelligence, super- and quantumcomputers and technlogy or has it to import these technlogies?

Dr. Grigoryev : Russian government has recently created the position of Deputy Prime Minister for Information technologies use and added “digital” to Ministry of Information (practical – not on “content” of course). Probably the Government is focusing on AI very seriously – it may be considered as an attempt to prevent any lagging behind other countries in this area.

Global Review: Is Russian high tech industry promoted by state-led industry policy , the military or even a state fuind o rare private companies the backbones?

Dr. Grigoryev : High tech is going by some state establishments – for private firms it is hard to be involved with anything classified. The key elements of Russian R&D are human brains and quality of professors – Russia has them.

Global Review: Is there something comparable as China´s Made in China 2025 programme

Dr. Grigoryev : Russian spending of course are not in the range of “zillions” of dollars. And number of people involved – much less to compare with China and other countries. While we are used to discover from time to time that Russian scientists are capable to make interesting discoveries and break through “by little money”.

Global Review: Is Russia prepared for industry 4.0 and digitalization and how do you think they will change the structure and the perspective of the Russian economy?

Dr. Grigoryev : Russia does not have big unemployment and imports millions of low quality labor. It means that Russia will stay probably with its unique industry (and employment) structure for next decade or two: producing some sophisticated products and services, plus the upgrading commodities. Hardly Russia would go into competition with Asian (or poor) countries on mass consumer goods.

Global Review: The agriculture in the Soviet Union had to import grain from the USA to survive. How dependent is nowaday´s Russia´s agricultural industry and what has changed since the 90s?

Dr. Grigoryev : Russia is exporting grain like before 1917, while needs to upgrade its quality. So called “counter-sanctions” has given a boost to domestic pork and chicken line.
Grains’ export of Russia was growing rapidly. In 2001 the value of grain export was 271,6 million dollars while in 2018 the indicator reached 10,5 billion dollars making Russia the second largest exporter of cereals in the world after the (United States being the first.

Since Russia introduced an import ban on a range of European Union in 2014, agricultural products, the imports of meat from the EU has fallen dramatically from 363,1 million dollars in 2014 to 2,1 million dollars in 2018.

Average growth rate of pork production in 2014–2018 was the highest among all kind of meats and constituted 24,9% – its share in meat production increased from 32,8% to 34,9%. Chicken meat grew by 19,5% on average in 2014–2018 and its share rose from  45,9% to 46,7%.

Global Review: How exportorientated is Russia´s economy and how influential are sanctions by the West?

Dr. Grigoryev : Export from Russia is mostly oil-gas-coal plus metals-chemicals – fertilizers. Country has retained positive trade balance. Sanctions have a very different impact on Russian industries – depending on situation. Of course, they are felt in financial sector – no cheap long-term credits from outside. At the same time Russia keeps exporting capital and can used its own financial resources. In the engineering Russian companies are experiencing certain difficulties. But domestic view among professionals on tech-sanctions is predominantly optimistic in the long-run: “Miracle in disguise”. Russian enterprises have been purchasing technologies for quarter a century and not financing research. Sanctions played a role of wake-up bell for returning to domestic research in many areas. So far, it is just a beginning. Altogether the impact of sanctions (not to mix them with oil prices drop effect) is being counted in the range approximately as half a percentage point annual growth rate of GDP down.

As trade with the EU and China seems to be important, Russian trade with the USA or other regions seem not to be important.

Trade with the USA is not big, while important on some items. China is supplying a lot of materials and consumer goods, but trade balance is covered by energy products.

Global Review: Prof. Rahr said that Putin and most of the Russian elite see the future of Russia in a resource empire for the next decades –do you agree?

Dr. Grigoryev : Russian elite is rather sober on that matter – country cannot jump out of its structure in a short period of time. My country is producing right now roughly 10% of global primary energy (not counting other commodities and semiproducts). About 5 p.p. is being exported abroad. Domestic energy consumption is rather specific: a lot of Nuclear and Water, more than a half energy supplied by natural gas. Russia annually is consuming more gas than all EU. Let’s also mark the important point: Russian export of metals, paper, chemicals etc. contains 1% of global CO2 emission, emitted in Russia, but consumed in other countries (in which this import is reducing their own emissions).

Global Review: Russian former Yukos oligarch and dissident Khodorkovsky writes in his book in the chapter „The Future of Russia“ that Russia has to modernize by the influx of foreign investment, technology, the transformation of the Russian authotarian mentality to create a new creative innovative entrpreneural spirit in Russia.

Dr. Grigoryev : Russian economists are normally critics of the growing bureaucratization and considerable state involvement in business affairs (mostly in big investment projects). With positive trade balance Russian economy is not suffocated without cash. And the idea of big inflow of foreign investments was circulated by decades, but never materialized. Now it is probably considered more as a myth. The right time to help Russia out of crisis was in 1990s. And Russian Budget has some money for social and economic projects, introduced by the Orders of the President Putin (attached at the end of this text) with the horizon of 2024.

Global Review: However he claims that Russia should not develop traditional industries or become the working bank for foreign companies like China, but to leapfrog the economy and only develop new industries and  IT technology companies.

What do you think about the idea of „leapfrogging“ an economy. Are there any historic examples for this and is this possible in Russia or not a very risky approach?

Dr. Grigoryev : It is hard to make a definite long-term plan in the field of hi-tech. Leapfrogging will be dependent on ingenuity. As I said above – Russia will be trying to continue as country of art and science rather competing with Asia on ordinary consumption goods.

Global Review: What about foreign investment in Russia and Russian investments worldwide? What is their share and their structure? What role does Russia play in the world economy?

Dr. Grigoryev : Net inflow of FDI in Russia in 2018 accounted for 8,8 billion dollars which is three times lower than the previous year (28,5 in 2017), according to the World Bank data. The outflow of FDI was also falling recently but not dramatically: in 2018 the outcoming FDI dropped to 31,4 billion dollars in 2018 from 36,7 trillion dollars in 2017.

Russian and foreign companies are cooperating in many areas, in Russia and outside. This cooperation generally has survived in the years of sanctions. But naturally Russia is not a big actor in both respects globally. Some BRICS cooperation also is developing.

Global Review: As the energy and oil industry is a backbone of the Russian industry, how did the structure of the Russian oil industry change since the collapse of the Sovjetuinon?

Dr. Grigoryev : In the 1990s, the most of manufacturing has collapsed due to opening an economy, low efficiency of enterprises and low quality of products. The industrial policy was non-existent, while the privatization contributed to the loss of time. That is how current unique structure of economy was fermented. 

Global Review: Are the oil and energy companies now private owned, nationalized, state owned, joint ventures? Which are the biggest oil companies, how much do they produce, export and what are their main consumers and world market shares?

That is a mixed picture on the ownership side: from private – Lukoil to state Roshefty.

Top-5 oil producing companies in Russia, 2018


Oil production, million t

Export, million t









Gazprom Neft







Source: Annual Reports of given companies

Global Review: How do they produce—they produce as much as possible, according to quotas or a plan like GOSPLAN?

Dr. Grigoryev : They and invest by themselves – children already do not know what is Gosplan. Ministries of Energy and Finance may influence export by operating with taxes.

Global Review: Some experts in the West say that the Russian oil industry was outdated and had to be modernized.

Dr. Grigoryev : Experts on the West are hardly saying anything positive about Russian affairs. Of course Russian industries are in need of modernization. And oil branch keeps exporting oil on contracts without stoppages. With the expected flattening demand for energy in the World there is nothing to worry about on the outside.y

Energy balance of Russia, 2017, mtoe





Stocks change


The share in TPES, %








Oil and oil products







Natural gas







Nuclear energy














Renewable energy sources (except hydro)















Source: IEA

Global Review: Former oil oligarch Chodorkovsky claimed that a modernization of the Russian oil industry was only possible by Western investment and he wanted to sell 50% of Yukos to Western oil companies and create joint ventures.

Dr. Grigoryev : It is a very old story of 2003 – oil prices at that time were rather low. They have grown since that time – all oil companies have got a lot of money…

Global Review: Putin wasn´t happy and prevented what he thought would be a sell-out of Russia´s strategic resources. Does Russia rely on Western technology to modernize its oil industry and has it joint ventures with foreign companies in Russia and worldwide?

Dr. Grigoryev : Russian industry has been using mostly imported technologies in 1990-2014 more and more until the sanctions had come. Now it is trying to revive domestic R&D institutions.

Global Review: In the 1990s and 2000s there were ideas about a free trade zone from Lisbon to Vladivostok, but they never became reality. Russia has now founded the Eurasian Economic Union.

Dr. Grigoryev : It was before China “Silk Belt” project and the establishing EEU. It is a good idea but it must taken into account the new configuration of economic and political interests.

Global Review: What do you think are the perspective of the EEU? Could you also imagine a Eurasian economic bloc with the SCO or with China and India?

Dr. Grigoryev : We probably in the beginning of the long-term process of creating the effective “long” market from Vladivostok/Shanghai to Moscow. There are huge opportunities of building infrastructure and industrial development inside Asia continent. Lisbon connection via Berlin – Rome – Paris would be welcomed by Moscow and Beijing, but it is not up to us for adjoining this segment. But we will be waiting… 

Global Review: What do you think are the future perspectives of Russia´s economic relations with the USA, the EU and China?

Dr. Grigoryev : China will be growing and pulling Asia up. Russia will be modernizing itself with the active friendly interaction with China.

Political situation and Western pressure on Russia, and trade war between USA and China are forcing the cooperation between Russia and China.

Global Review: Will Russia become an independent strong pole in a multipolar world or polycentric new world order or is there the danger that it will become dependent of one of these powers?

Dr. Grigoryev : Russia will be obviously pursuing its own interests. Another clear point – adding Russian resources, strength and ingenuity will be greatly helping to any friendly power.

Global Review: Until 1989 the Western Seven Big Sisters controlled the world oil and gas market, but now you also have Russian opil companies, Chinese oilcompanies and others. Has the energy market become multipolar? Which are the biggest global players and what is Russia´s role in the world energy market?

Dr. Grigoryev : Western Seven Sisters had been keeping the price of oil at $4 per barrel of export from Persian Gulf to the USA from beginning of XX C. until 1973 – practically for whole XX Century. Russian companies will not play any extravagant games, but will be trying to stabilize output and maximize its income. The current global upturn in 2016-2019 at 3+% of GDP growth has become possible because of “global public good” of OPEC+Russia agreement. I has allowed (so far) to avoid price wars and new big swings of oil prices. It opened the room for investments on predictable terms.

Global Review: There is a lot of talk about the decarbonization of the world economy, renewable energies, electro mobility and climate protection. Will oil and gas become unimportant for the world economy in the future. And what about the long term oil and gas resources—will we face Peak Oil in a distant future? What is your prognosis?

Dr. Grigoryev : 2019 will probably bring 100 mbd – spectacular event! Peak oil – I would wait – at 110 mbd around 2030. And mark that all the major forecasting outlooks are still expecting more than 70% of fossil fuel in global energy consumption for 2040.

Review of Paris 2015 Agreement on Climate change prevention may register the situation far from success. Global (and Chinese) emission in 2017-2018 was growing again.

The dynamics of CO2 emissions in the world, 1990–2018

Source: BP Stat. Review 2019

Global Review: How dependent is Europe from Russian oil and gas and how reliable is Russia as an oil supplier?

Dr. Grigoryev : Dependence of EU is rather stable. It naturally prevents too harsh sanctions against Russia. Russia will not stop supplying EU. The problem is the opposite –  how far sanctions against Russia may go?

Global Review: Do you understand the critic about North Stream and do you think an European Energy Union will ever materialize or will energy policy mostly be practised by the different nation states in Europe?

Dr. Grigoryev : North Stream for Russian interests is a commercial project (replacing the loss of Dutch gas) plus it gives some security of transit and demand. Russian companies have been adapting to EU legislation for a decade. It will take few months – one year from now and we will see the outcome of a transit drama.

Global Review: How big are the Russian energy resources for the future and how long could they be a reliable supplier for Europe?

Dr. Grigoryev : Russia will supply EU demands for energy (even doubled) till the end of drinking beer by people in the EU…

Global Review: As China and India also need oil and gas, can Russia supply Europe and the Asian markets at once or could it get in production problems? 

Dr. Grigoryev : Russia may produce a trillion of cubic meters a year. China will keep diversifying its import. For India, natural gas is too far and a bit expensive. That is not a problem in the foreseeable future. – it’s hard to see any problem on a physical quantities side.

Global Review: What are the plans of the Russian energy companies for Europe and Asia for the future? And what role plays the USA and the OPEC as oil producers and suppliers for the future world energy market?

Dr. Grigoryev : EU had essentially blocked an attempt of Gazprom to supply gas in Europe on retail basis. It is hard to see anything in Russian business more than wholesale supplies. OPEC+ will try to adapt to changing situation, esp. for US shale oil growing supply. At the same time, all key exporting countries will keep trying to restructure from oil&gas income dependence, with different success.

Global Review: Could under a Trump-Putin deal which defines Russia as a resource, oil and gas empire with defined spheres of interests, a new OPEC or some sort of energy alliance become possible?

Dr. Grigoryev : There is nothing like this deal in sight, especially in 2020…

Global Review: As the USA have become an energy exporting state, Russia is and will be, Venezuela has the biggest world oil reserves in the world and in Guyanna similar amounts of oil have been discovered and in Texas, the Perm region new giant oil reserves have been discovered, maybe an energy alliance between the USA, Russia, Venetuela, Guyanna, Brasil and maybe Saudiarabia could be possible.

Dr. Grigoryev : It is very hard imagine it on political side – Global Gosplan for Climate chage prevention is also not expected tomorrow.

Global Review: An Anti-OPEC which makes the West independent from the Greater Middle East and the OPEC which faces failed states and Islamism. Therefore, such an energy alliance could be beneficial to these countries, guarantee energy security to the West, unite the Americas and end the Cold war between the USA and Russia. Do you think such a scenario is feasible or realistic as Trump doesn´t like multilateral institions and Russia has not become member of the OPEC, but remained an independent oil exporting state?

Dr. Grigoryev : I would recommend the global energy-climate cooperation without attempts to exclude somebody or to damage interests of other parties. Anyway nobody on the West has tried to make a step in this direction, it goes for years to the contrary… and now there is a great deal of mistrust in stock

Russia is not member of OPEC, the issue is that the global economy was few times undermined by prices swings in $10-$120 corridor. Pitching Russia against anybody is useless practically and outdated. Losses were huge for all sides. Let’s now take care of global stability, what is left of it…

Global Review: Mark Zuckerberg wants to create a new crypto currency Libra using his 2, 7 billion Facebook members. Libra is based on a currency basket with US $, Euro and Yen and on a portfolio of short term state obligations to prevent a volatility of this new currency as the oszilating bitcoin.

Dr. Grigoryev : I do not believe it…

Global Review: While the bitcoin was rejected by most goverments in the West and the East, the Facebook currency seems to get more approval. Still the potential for criminal moneylaundering or terrorist activities, data protection are discussed.

Dr. Grigoriev : It will not be implemented any time soon – too many risks…

Global Review Do you believe in the future of such a new world currency and what influence would it have for Russia and fort he international financial system?

Dr. Grigoryev : It is too far from us… and not my field…

Global Review: As we already experienced the financial crisis 2008, he might now be facing an new international financial crisis as the debts by many countries with China reached 6 trillion US $ and become a danger to world economy as a study by Harvard professor Carmen Reinhart and the econiomists  Christoph Trebesch und Sebastian Horn at the Institute for Worldeconomy in Kiel claimed.

Dr. Grigoryev : Debt is always a key element of any business crisis. The prediction, that Chinese “bad banks” and debt would create a new crisis, we have heard for two decade. SO far it is domestic Chinese problem. Debt risk is a question of servicing and open market sales. And I do not expect default on Chinese external debt.

Global Review: Wouldn´t it be good idea to promote a Western-Russian cooperation to prevent the next international financial crisis as Dr. Kulikov proposed?

Dr. Grigoryev : It is a good idea – and Russia could contribute to stability, but we do not see West responding…

Global Review: Russia has signed the Paris Climate Agrrement. But Russia is an oil and gas exporting and producing state which might have no interest in a decarbonized world society.

Dr. Grigoryev : Decarbonization is a long a painful process. Emission in developing countries, including China and India is growing (see the graph above). We are more and more talking about adaptation instead of mitigation! Europe may think again what it is really about: reduction of emission in EU or more effective use of funds in Asia…

Global Review: How does Putin combine ecology and economy? As China is deforresting the Siberian forrests, this means with the destruction of the forrests in Brasil, Papa New Guninea, Indonesia, and other patrts of the world this will fuel the cilmate change in a dramatic way.

Dr. Grigoryev : It is still too early for the funeral of Siberian (cold climate) forests. Hot climate Amazonia is in a real danger… Russia has recently introduced the Law of the Best available technology for new investments in Energy – it is a must. The old stock of power stations, transport and housing is being replaced step by step. Russian CO2 emission is not growing much – now far behind India. 

Global Review: Shouldn´t there be a Western-Russian ecological cooperation to rebuild the forrests of Siberia and to modernzie the Russian economy in an ecological way?

Dr. Grigoryev : Forests in Siberia are growing very slow anyway. Cooperation is welcome – but that would mean the reducing technological sanctions. So far we are not in that phase for cooperation on the Globe! 

Grigoryev L, Kurdin A. „Mechanisms of Global Governance: economic analysis“ // „Voprosy Ekonomiki“, 7, 2013, pp. 4-28.

Grigoryev L., Pavlyushina V. “Relative social inequality in the world: Rigidity against the economic growth, 1992–2016”, RuJEc, #5 2019.

Grigoryev L., Pavlyushina V. “Global Recession and Income Inequality: Factors of Disruption for Elites in the Twenty-first Century” in “Global Governance in Transformation – Challenges for International Cooperation” Eds: L Grigoryev & A. Pabst, Springer, 2020

National Goals and Strategic Objectives of the Russian Federation through to 2024

National Project


(billion rubles)

Main Targets



  • decrease mortality rate
  • ensure better prophylactic measures coverage and access to medical services



  • ensure global competitiveness of Russian educational system
  • take Russia into the top 10 countries by the quality of education



  • increase life expectancy to 78 years (80 years by 2030)
  • ensure sustainable natural population growth



  • increase the number of cultural events by 15%
  • reach a 5-time increase in the use of digital technology in culture

Safe and High-Quality Motorways


  • increase in the number of regional roads and motorways corresponding to the quality standards
  • decrease the number of deaths occurring in car accidents

Residential Housing and Urban Environment


  • improve housing conditions for at least 5 million households annually



  • increase the quality of water
  • liquidate all the illegal dumps in the cities
  • preservation of biodiversity



  • take Russia into the top 5 countries by research and development activity in technological space

Small and Medium-Sized Business and Support of Sole Proprietorship


  • increase employment in SME, including individual entrepreneurs
  • increase the share of SME in GDP

Digital Economy


  • accelerate technological development and increase the number of organizations engaged in technological innovation to 50 percent of the total
  • speed up the introduction of digital technologies in the economy and the social sphere

Labor Productivity and Support of Employment


  • increase labor productivity of the non-commodity sectors

International Cooperation and Exports


  • support high-productivity export-oriented businesses in manufacturing and the agroindustrial complex, based on modern technology and staffed with highly qualified employees
  • take Russia into the top five largest economies, ensure economic growth rates exceeding international rates, maintain macroeconomic stability, including inflation under 4 percent


Veröffentlicht unter Allgemein | Kommentare deaktiviert für Interview with Russia´s Former Deputy Finance Minister Dr. Leonid Grigoryev: „Russia will supply EU demands for energy till the end of drinking beer by people in the EU“

China passes new digital currency law- the struggle between US-Libra and the digital yuan

After China has passed its new digital currency law the Chinese digital currency seems to be in preparation. Shenzhen will be a pilot city to test the new digital currency–maybe also to weaken Hongkong´s position as financial center. China`s goverment long resisted the introduction of a digital currency as it saw problems with national soveringity, the weaking of the central bank, money laundering, stability of the financial system and it also refered to the volatile performance of the bitcoin.

While China rejects the bitcoin, it say Yes to blockchain technology and digital currency. as Facebook tries to introduce its own global currency the Libra which is tied to a currency basket and has many supporters. China sees the coming of a digital currency as a development you cannot prevent, but you should try to controll. It also sees a digital currency as an instrument for the internationalization of the Yuan in competition with the US dollar. Li Daokui from the Tsinghua University wrote about this a programmatic article in the Global Times.

The author sees in the Libra the potential of a super-sovereign currency. Although these are used only by states that have no confidence in their own currency, the Libra for intra-China financial transactions is uninteresting and has to be rejected, but this looks different in the transnational financial actions -Here China and its companies should try to play an important role within Libya institutions in order to work for the internationalization of the Yuan.

China needs to be prepared to cope with Libra amid yuan internationalization

By Li Daokui Source:Global Times Published: 2019/8/22 21:26:46

Facebook recently released a white paper for Libra, its newly created cryptocurrency, and co-founded the Libra Association. Given that Facebook already has over 2 billion monthly users, the launch of Libra will bring challenges to the current monetary system, macroeconomic management and financial supervision. 

Libra, unlike other cryptocurrencies, has a stable currency value and is convenient and safe to use in cross-border transactions. In fact, Libra is in many ways the same as Alipay and WeChat Pay. The difference is that Alipay and WeChat Pay are directly pegged with the yuan – 1 yuan in an Alipay or WeChat Pay account equals 1 yuan of fiat money – while Libra is pegged with a basket of currencies. This difference indicates Libra is an independent currency, and one that could very well grow into an important super-sovereign currency.

Libra is based on other major currencies around the world. So far, Facebook’s money move has not triggered hostility from central banks, yet there is a possibility that the management of Libra will become a complicated geopolitical issue under specific circumstances. 

It is possible that, in some cases, powerful countries may force Facebook to intervene in the transactions of other countries, or even freeze or confiscate Libra accounts based in those countries. Alternatively, considering Facebook’s current ability to influence public opinion, the giant could perhaps use Libra to paralyze a country’s economy.

Another issue worth noting is that once a growing number of financial companies start to use Libra in their transactions, more financial assets will be priced in terms of Libra. It is not hard to imagine that, when the world’s economic and financial systems face fluctuations, major countries around the world may require Libra to adjust the rules of Libra’s circulation and transactions in order to expand or shrink the cryptocurrency’s issuance. The Libra association would, in this case, become a super central bank with its own independent monetary policy, and Libra would become an independent currency. Central banks worldwide are well aware that Libra has this potential. 

Suppose the Libra Association and Libra run like a central bank and an independent currency. Who will determinate a monetary policy? What will the goal of this monetary policy be? Which country’s or region’s economic situation will be Libra’s reference? 

There are two fields in which Libra has the most potential for success. The first is in countries with fragile economies, where the people do not believe in their currencies. People in such countries may rather use Libra to save and as a measurement of value. Libra is expected to become a daily-use currency in these countries.

On the contrary, in developed regions such as the EU and the US, Libra is unlikely to replace existing currencies. This is down to the fact that Libra does not represent an equivalent domestic currency, and will create issues for users who are confident in, and refer to, the value of the currency regulated by their own central banks.

The second field that Libra will likely see success in is cross-border transactions. Libra has found a way out of the current complexity of such transactions via the convenience of the internet. For this reason, many financial companies have filed requests to join the Libra Association. In this sense, Libra is expected to have an edge in pushing forward economic and financial globalization.

As the birth of super-sovereign currencies is at this point inevitable, China should take advantage of WeChat Pay and Alipay, among other technological innovations, to increase the cross-border use of the yuan and accelerate the yuan’s internationalization. The nation should also take an active role in the operation and management of Libra, to establish a foothold in the future international currency battlefield.

China should stick to the principle that Libra is not allowed to be used in domestic trade so as to maintain sovereign currencies‘ unrivalled positions.

Chinese regulatory authorities should also declare in advance that cross-border trade of Libra can be limited in emergencies, in order to prevent capital flight and economic crises. 

In addition, as a great power, China must consider permitting its major firms to join Libra’s governing body. Instead of rejecting Libra’s potential, China might as well join it and participate in its rule setting. 

There is a small chance that Libra will evolve into a new currency similar to the IMF’s Special Drawing Rights (SDR). Since China has taken an active role in IMF and SDR operations, why can’t it join Libra’s governing body? They are essentially the same. 

On top of that, China has supersized social networking and e-commerce platforms, which should be encouraged to push for their own digital payment tools as part of their internationalization drive, so as to increase the yuan’s clout in international trade. It is only once the home currency is strong enough that the nation will be capable of getting involved in the future issuance of international currencies. 

China should be sober-minded and realize that the yuan, however globalized it becomes, will remain the sovereign currency, while the creation of super-sovereign currencies is inevitable. The odds are low that China’s local financial institutions and businesses will launch super-sovereign currencies, taking into account restraints on online transactions and cross-border trade. Therefore, China ought to cope with super-sovereign currencies in an active and pragmatic manner, amid its push for the yuan’s internationalization.

The author is director of the Academic Center for the Chinese Economic Practice and Thinking (ACCEPT) at Tsinghua University and chief economist at the New Development Bank.

Beyond participating in the Libra, China now also wants to introduce its own digital currency. About the new Chinese digital currency the South China Morning Post, which belongs to Alibaba, a participant of China´s new digital currency reveals the following facts:

„China is the first major economy to explore launching its own digital currency and established a PBOC-backed research institute to study the field in 2016.

Despite notching up dozens of patents over the past five years, China’s central bank disclosed little about the technology or design underpinning its coin until Facebook announced plans to launch a new digital currency named Libra in June, a move that sent shock waves through central banks and financial institutions the world over.

Mu Changchun, the PBOC official who oversees research into digital currency, said last month China’s proposed digital token would have same legitimacy as yuan banknotes and, in time, replace them to a large extent.

The coin would be tightly controlled by the government rather than built on “pure blockchain” technology, a decentralised system that underlies cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and does not require administration from a central authority.

The PBOC plans to make the coins available through four state-owned banks, as well as online payment platforms operated by tech giants Tencent, China UnionPay and Ant Financial, a unit of Alibaba, which owns the South China Morning Post.

It would primarily be used for online retail transactions, officials said, but many analysts say Beijing’s goal is to accelerate the yuan’s use internationally and counter the challenge from cryptocurrencies like bitcoin.

“It would help promote yuan internationalisation for cross-border payments,” said Alicia Garcia-Herrero, Natixis’ chief economist for Asia-Pacific region.

Beijing’s plan to make the yuan a major international currency has stalled in recent years, with its share of international payments falling and use in currency transactions rising only slightly.

In response, China is banking on a digital version of the yuan to boost its use internationally.

State-run newspaper China Daily has reported “closed-loop testing” of the digital currency has already begun to simulate payment scenarios with “some commercial and non-government institutions.”

The PBOC started a pilot research and development project for the digital currency in Shenzhen, which was later expanded to include Hong Kong, the main yuan offshore trading centre.

Beijing has goals to make Shenzhen, a hi-tech hub home to Huawei and Tencent, a model global city in the coming decades.

China already has a well-developed mobile payment system through Alibaba’s Alipay and Tencent’s WeChat Pay that would be natural conduits for a digital currency.

In addition, China UnionPay, the country’s largest credit card company, has been testing the feasibility of the sovereign digital currency on its platforms for retail purchases, corporate banking and cross-border financial payments, the company’s director Chai Hongfeng said last week.

Shen Jianguang, deputy head of the Moganshan Research Institute and a former economist at the European Central Bank, said China was well positioned to be a world leader in digital currency.

“The digital currency will be an area where [China] can overtake others,” he told a forum on Friday.

Shen said although China’s intention was to compete with other cryptocurrencies and central banks, international promotion of the yuan through a digital currency would not change the country’s long-standing concerns over excess capital outflows.

Facebook’s Libra – a “stablecoin” cryptocurrency whose value is tied to a basket of currencies to limit price volatility – could pose a big test for the digital yuan’s use internationally, since China maintains strict capital controls and now bans domestic internet access to both Google and Facebook.

Beijing has long been suspicious that Libra would extend the US dollar’s dominance in international payments.

US dollar assets would make up 50 per cent of weighting in the basket of currencies used to underpin Libra’s value, compared to 18 per cent for the euro, 14 per cent for the Japanese yen, 11 per cent for the British pound and seven per cent for the Singapore dollar, according to a report in the German magazine Der Spiegel this week. The Chinese yuan would not be included.

In addition, American businesses account for a majority of the 28 founding members of the Libra Association, the consortium that will back the cryptocurrency.

And what about Europe and Russia?

As I see Russia’s economy will be more the model of a resource empire and manufacturer of some upgraded products and doesn’t want to copy the Asian model of cheap mass production for the West.But maybe Russia underestimates the driving productive forces of digitalization in form of industry 4.0 and digital currency. The Bitcoin cannot be seen as alternative to existing currencies and is more a speculation gadget and toy . But Libra and the question of digital currency are different.China says No to Bitcoin,but Yes to digital currency and blockchain technology.China has just passed a new digital currency law.I guess that Russia-different from China- doesn‘ t want and cannot become an international financial power and the Rubel never can replace the US-$ as world currency. However the introduction of the Libra and China’s digital currency will have effects on the Euro and the Rubel as well as on the international financial system.It is the next logical step of neoliberalism as described in the writings of Hayek about currency competition which he wants to privatize from the central banks.In Germany the discussion about digital currencies just started. There are now many articles about digital currencies as of Jesús Fernández-Villaverde, Professor of Economics, University of Pennsylvani who sees neoliberalist Hayek as ingenoious avantgardist for crypto currencies:

„In 1976, Friedrich Hayek published a short pamphlet, The Denationalization of Money. Worried that political constraints in developed countries prevented central banks from tackling the high inflation at that time, he argued that money-issuing should be opened to market forces, and the government monopoly on the provision of means of exchange should be abolished. Hayek envisioned a system of private monies in which the forces of competition would induce banks to provide a stable means of exchange (Hayek 1999). Despite some attention (e.g. Salin 1984), for decades Hayek’s proposal was considered more a curiosity than a workable idea.

Technological developments over the last few years have made Hayek’s proposal a reality. This is the result of many individual decisions, rather than the outcome of a planned policy change (a process that Hayek would have appreciated). Nowadays it is straightforward to create privately issued money as a cryptocurrency. Thanks to fascinating advances in cryptography and computer science, cryptocurrencies are robust to over-issuing, the double-spending problem, and counterfeiting (Narayanan et al. 2016). Cryptocurrencies are different from the notes issued by financial institutions during times of free banking (Dowd 1992) for three reasons:

  • Most cryptocurrencies are fully fiduciary. Notes in the free banking era usually represented claims against deposits in gold or other assets.
  • Cryptocurrencies are not directly related to credit. They are issued by computer networks.
  • Cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum can also work as a sophisticated automatic escrow account. It is effortless to add to the code a condition that states: “Peter will pay Mary 10 ethereum if, tomorrow at noon, the temperature in Philadelphia according to is above 80 degrees.” Once that code is in place, the verification of the condition and the payment, if the condition is satisfied, would automatically be implemented.“

There is an important lesson here: the threat of competition from private monies imposes market discipline on any government that issues currency. If a central bank, for example, does not provide a sufficiently ‘good’ money, then it will have difficulties in implementing allocations. This may be the best feature of cryptocurrencies. In a world in which we can switch to Bitcoin or Ethereum, central banks need to provide, paraphrasing Adam Smith, a tolerable administration of money. Currency competition may have a large upside for human welfare after all.“

Digital currencies as the next logical step of neoliberalism,. The last experiment brought us the financial crisis 2008, now more and more fanatics are hyping the crypto currencies. However I think that China will manage this issue better than the USA with Libra. But we will have this discussion next time in Germany and Europe with its fragile Euro . And due to the zero rate-policy or negative rate policy of the ECB and the state intervention in credit the neoliberals will have some arguments to let the market decide the credit lines and that private currencies could be a better allocator of resources and credit than the central banks or the ECB. On the one side you have the technological option for that as the production forces generate these opportunities as Marx foresee, on the other side it still is a political decision. And as more and more people question the role and reliabilty of politics as a market force and guarantator of financial stability, the neoliberals may prevail that private digital currency and a market competition should decide instead of the state and the central banks. Questions of the stability of the national and international financial system are then ignored in this debate or labeled as backward thinking and anti-modern, etatist and nationalistic thinking.

Veröffentlicht unter Allgemein | Kommentare deaktiviert für China passes new digital currency law- the struggle between US-Libra and the digital yuan

Lesetip: Männer – und Frauenbilder in der Multikultigesellschaft: Malte-Torben – eine nicht ganz politisch korrekte Lovestory

11. Februar 2018 / hypermental#035[945]

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Eingangs meines heutigen Blogbeitrags möchte ich um Nachsicht bitten – möge man das Folgende nicht als erzreaktionäre Scheiße lesen, sondern als bittersüße Lovestory-Satire…

Malte-Torben war ein Guter, einer, der alles richtig machen wollte. Schon während des Studiums schwänzte er immer wenn Cornelia ihre Tage hatte seine Soziologie-Vorlesungen, und setzte sich aus Solidarität mit einer zweiten Wärmeflasche (und verkniffener Leidensmiene unter der selbstgehäkelten Wollmütze) mit zu ihr ins Ikea-Futon-Bett. „Co-Menstruation“ hieß das bei seinen Studienkollegen. Er hatte sogar kurz darüber nachgedacht sich dabei auch einen Tampon ins Rektum zu schieben – aber das war ihm dann doch irgendwie übertrieben vorgekommen. Cornelia hätte sich dadurch eventuell verarscht fühlen können – quasi im Wortsinne sogar…

Er wollte Cornelia bloß niemals stören, oder gar schaden. Er war sehr rücksichtsvoll – wenn Cornelia mit ihren kleinen strammen Brüsten vor ihm keck durchs Badezimmer wackelte, schämte er sich, wenn er deshalb einen Ständer bekam. Er fühlte sich dann gleich wie ein kleiner Harvey Weinstein. Sofort erschlaffte seine Nudel wieder politisch korrekt – er wollte schließlich nicht als „angry white old man“ gelten…

Einmal ging Cornelia dann alleine aus. In einen anderen Club als sonst tanzen – vielleicht war sie sauer auf Malte-Torben, weil dieser lieber zu einer veganen Weihnachtsfeier seines Strickclubs mit anschließender Gruppenmeditation gegangen war, statt mit ihr ins großstädtische Nachtleben zu ziehen. Sie lernte Mahmood kennen. Mahmood war gewaltig. Groß, dunkel, breit, stolz, laut und dominant. Maximaler Kontrast! Nach dem Clubbesuch landeten sie umgehend im Bett. Mahmood zog sie magisch an – allein seine Oberarme waren doppelt so breit, wie Malte-Torbens blasser kleiner Hintern. Mahmood war geheimnisvoll und exotisch – sie sah in ihm den „edlen Wilden“. Leuten wie ihm hatte sie schon 2015 am Bahnsteig zugejubelt, junge Ingenieure, die frischen Wind ins konservativ-vermuffte Spießer-Land bringen würden! Gute Zähne, gute Gene… Er besorgte es ihr dann stundenlang, hart und heftig, bis ihr blassrosafarbene Schaumfetzen zwischen den Schenkeln hervorwehten. Mit Puls 185 kam sie irgendwann, besinnungslos schreiend und sich mit splitternden Fingernägeln in das hölzerne Kopfende des Bettes krallend, von orgasmischen Spasmen in wildeste Zuckungen getrieben nahezu minütlich auf der klatschnassen Matratze in Mahmoods winzigem Ein-Zimmer-Appartement. Malte-Torben sollte sich auch mal beschneiden lassen! Aber der kam ja nur alle paar Wochen verstohlen im Krebsgang zu ihr geschlichen, wenn er was wollte – verschämt die Packung mit den Lecktüchern schwenkend… Penetration war nichts für Malte-Torben, denn er sah darin eine invasiv-dominate Übergriffigkeit, ein atavistisches Relikt aus voremanzipatorischen Zeiten. Penetration war etwas für Nazis – eindeutig!

Schnell war Cornelia mit Mahmood zusammen. Sie zog sogar aus der gemeinsamen Wohnung von Malte-Torben und ihr aus. Sie nahm auch den Thermomix mit, den sich Malte-Torben kürzlich gekauft hatte – der ist eh mit moderner Technik überfordert. Ganz anders als Mahmood. Der hatte gleich nach der ersten Nacht die Winterreifen an ihrem kleinen Micra gewechselt! Malte-Thorben hingegen hatte nicht einmal den Akkuschrauber aus der Verpackung ausgepackt, den sie ihm damals zum Einzug in die erste gemeinsame Studentenbude geschenkt hatte. Der lag nun schon seit über vier Jahren noch im Plastikblister eingeschweißt im Schrank. Die Glühbirnen musste sie auch immer selber wechseln! Mahmood hingegen…

Aber leicht war es mit ihrem starken, dunklen Mahmood auch nicht. Das erste Mal, als er ihr eine knallte, hatte sie gar nicht so richtig registriert, was da gerade passiert ist. Sicherlich ein seiner Heißblütigkeit geschuldeter Ausrutscher. Als sie dann das Kopftuch tragen musste, sagte ihr Mahmood auch, dass er das so eigentlich gar nicht wolle, sondern sein Vater derjenige sei, der das verlangte. Sie versuchte dann nach der Konvertierung stolz auf den Schleier zu sein. Eine stolze, moderne Muslima – die das Kopftuch als Ausdruck ihres sexy-weltoffenen Feminismus 3.0 trägt! Sie zeigte damit immerhin deutlich, dass sie eine Frau war…

Mahmood sah es gar nicht gerne, dass sie noch Kontakt zu Malte-Torben hielt, der ihr noch regelmäßig Fotos von den Katzen schickte – er schlug ihr das Smartphone aus der Hand und warf es aus dem Fenster. Nur als es mit Mahmoods jüngerem Bruder Ärger gab, war ihr neuer Freund froh, dass Cornelia noch auf Malte-Torbens Schulfreund Alex zurückgreifen konnte, dessen Vater ein Top-Anwalt war. Der konnte Mahmmods Bruder vor einer jahrelangen Haftstrafe bewahren, nachdem dieser seiner aufmüpfigen Freundin im Trennungsstreit ein paarmal das Messer durchs Gesicht gezogen hatte. Aber was bildete sich diese Trine auch ein? Ging ohne jede kultursensible Rücksichtnahme einfach verbal-aggressiv auf den Burschen los, der gerade erst hochtraumatisiert aus dem Bürgerkriegsgebiet geflüchtet war und nicht so wie der ältere Bruder zu den Schon-länger-hier-Lebenden zählte! Zum Glück zahlte sich der alte Draht zu Malte-Torben aus, der Anwaltsvater dessen Schulfreundes sorgte dafür, dass Mahmoods kleiner Bruder statt in den Knast in ein Resozialisierungsprojekt auf einem südschwedischen Öko-Bauernhof kam. Nach den drei Monaten, die aufgrund der drei Betreuer und 90.000 Euro aus der Steuerzahlerkasse wie im Fluge vergingen, war der kleine Hobby-Gesichtschirurg dank günstiger Sozialprognose wieder ein freier Mann. In Schweden hatte er auch gleich eine neue Freundin gefunden, die auf dem Bauernhof ein Praktikum machte…

Bei ihr selber und Mahmood lief es leider nicht so gut. Spätestens nach ihrem Kieferbruch zweifelte sie an der neuen Verbindung. Als dann einmal gleich mehrere Onkel von Mahmood in der Wohnung standen und in der ihr trotz aller Lernfortschritte (vielleicht lernte sie auch einfach nur die falschen Vokabeln?) noch ziemlich fremden Sprache auf sie einschrieen, zog sie ins Frauenhaus. Nach der Babypause könnte sie vielleicht auch ihr Studium fortsetzen, ohne dass ihr jemand aus Mahmoods Familie vor dem Mensa-Eingang auflauern würde.

Kurz vor der Geburt von Karim zog sie wieder bei Malte ein. Schließlich war dieser immer so süß zu ihr gewesen: Als sie ihre Bachelorarbeit (Thema: „Metamethodische Reduktionstrategien zu retro-kolonialistischen Strukturismus-Clustern in der LGBT-Touristik“) schrieb, hatte er ihr täglich Blaubeer-Muffins und Erdbeer-Vanillecreme-Cupcakes gebacken! Cornelia war deshalb zwar oftmals wütend auf ihn gewesen, weil sie davon ordentlich an Hüftgold zulegte – aber Malte-Torben hatte es schließlich nur gut mit ihr gemeint. Außerdem würden ihr ein paar Pfunde bei ihrer Tätigkeit als Anti-Fat-Shaming-Aktivistin die nötige Credibility geben – da konnte sie schließlich nicht mit Kleidergröße 36 auftauchen. Das wäre eine unnötige Provokation…

Mahmood war ein heißes Erlebnis gewesen, zweifellos! Ein geiler Genspender – aber Malte-Torben gibt eindeutig den besseren Papa ab! Alpha-Fucks & Beta-Bucks… Der kleine Karim – pardon, „Karim-Sören“, das hört sich besser an, wenn nun schon Malte-Torben der neue Papa sein wird – soll es schließlich gut haben und in eine Privat-Kita gehen können! Schließlich hat Malte-Torben mittlerweile sein Studium abgeschlossen. Ganz so blöd, schien Cornelia der Wollmützenträger mit dem dünnen rotblonden Ziegenbärtchen, das er erst seit kurzem trägt (vielleicht steht er jetzt auch endlich mal ein bisschen mehr zu seiner Männlichkeit? Wäre ja gut für die Vaterrolle!), auf einmal doch nicht mehr zu sein – schließlich hatte er sich vor dem Masterabschluss auf „Wirtschafts-Soziologie“ spezialisiert und würde nun gleich im ersten Job an die 80.000 Euro netto im Jahr verdienen… Karim, padon „Karim-Sören“ würde es sicherlich gut bei ihr und Malte-Torben haben. Dieser würde den Kleinen auch mal im lila Kleidchen in die Kita schicken, damit dieser „genderneutral“ aufwachsen kann. Bei Mahmood hätte das hingegen bestimmt Ärger gegeben…

Aber diese lodernd-virile Glutäugigkeit! Unwillkürlich griff sich Cornelia in den Schritt, als sie an die muskelbepackten Oberarme des Orientalen denken musste, der die Winterräder an ihrem Micra sogar ohne Wagenheber gewechselt hatte… Alpha-Fucks and Beta-Bucks – Malte-Torben hatte kraft seiner bezaubernd reichhaltigen Jobeinsteigerkohle gleich einen Makler zur Suche nach einer schönen Doppelhaushälfte im Speckgürtel angesetzt! Wenn es Cornelia dort zwischen Kiesgärtchen, Klettergerüst, Trampolin und Formschnitt-Bäumchen einmal langweilig werden sollte, könnte sie ja wieder ihr rotes Pailletten-Cocktailkleid aus dem untersten Wäscheschrankfach holen und in einen innerstädtischen Club tanzen gehen – schließlich braucht „Karim-Sören“ irgendwann noch ein Schwesterchen: „Lena-Safiye“.

Veröffentlicht unter Allgemein | Kommentare deaktiviert für Lesetip: Männer – und Frauenbilder in der Multikultigesellschaft: Malte-Torben – eine nicht ganz politisch korrekte Lovestory