Putin-Merkel meeting-the ultimate breakthrough?
While Western media were very critical about the meetings between Merkel-Erdogan, Putin-Erdogan and Merkel-Putin, EU adviser to Gazprom Prof. Alexander Rahr summarized the Merkel-Putin-meeting as a „breakthrough from value-based policy to interest-based real politics“ Merkel realized that a solution of the refugee crisis, the stabilization of the Greater Middle East, the Iran deal cannot materialize without Russia and Turkey as the USA is withdrawing from the Middle East with the exception of Iran, more the trouble maker and the Europeans are paralyzed at the moment and can only play a mediator role and checkbook diplomacy. However, I would speak of the possible beginning of a breakthrough towards detente to Russia, a New East policy and it is unclear if this will be a real breakthrough as such a new policy would have to become common sense after Merkel´s retreat after the next elections in 2021 by a black-green coalition under the leadership of AKK/ Merz/?- Habeck/Baerbrock.and Germany would have to team up with Macron and other Europeans. And it also depends on the US election results, whether Trump will start a trade war with the EU and the development of the conflict between the USA and Iran.
But the Eurasians perceive the Putin-Merkel meeting and Macron’s statements as positive signs. And that Friedrich Merz, former chairman of the transatlantic organization Atlantic Bridge and competitor of Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer as a candidate for the next chancellor, supports the construction of a China bridge, which is being pushed forward by the former CSU minister Friedrichs, is also seen as a shift in the world order. No wonder Putin is now deposing the government, wanting to immortalize himself through constitutional reform, and Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov is also demanding India’s admission to the UN Security Council – in the hope that India will increase the Eurasian forces of Russia and China according to the BRI triad model of Eurasia invented by Primakov wants to support against the exclusive, China-excluding Indo-Pacific concept of the USA, especially since India also became a member of the SCO. So right now a tug of war over India and Turkey on the part of Russia, the USA, China and the EU is taking placer in view of positive signals regarding Eurasia.
While Prof. Rahr claims that NATO will dissolve, listen to Trump. What is his idea? The most interesting thing was his tweet that NATO should incorporate Middle East countries. This would mean that NATO transforms from a value-based military alliance in a pure interest-based military alliance which would then have non-democratic and authoritarian members. Very unlikely. As Macron and even, the British or AKK want NATO to concentrate more on the South than to the East and against Russia, even see Russia as a potential partner in the Greater Middle East, nobody seems to recognize this in German media. Trump´s focus is on Iran and China, not on Russia and North Korea. NATO for him is only valuable if it serves this idea. This also the reason that China for the first time was mentioned as a potential threat for NATO at the 70 year meeting. And nobody takes his idea that NATO should enlarge to the Middle East a serious idea. Or is Trump´s enlargement talk just a way to find NATO support for his Iran war and how would Turkey and Russia react if NATO would intervene in the MENA region? Is this realistic? Or wants Trump to make the test and replace NATO by a bilateral US security architecture for Europe and the Greater Middle East with some willing key states?
Trump is meaning more the operational area than membership of Middle East states. In the talk show on German television ARD Hard but fair, Iran and Trump´s policy was the topic. Interesting was the assessment of Trump by Trittin (Green Party) and Röttgen (CDU). Trittin contradicted the assessment that Trump wanted to withdraw from the Middle East. Trittin said that Trump wanted to use NATO in this area and that also includes the USA, although this time expanded to include Europeans. Röttgen said that the EU would not achieve a consensus for a Middle East mission, but the E3, Germany, GB, and France would have to go ahead. This sounds a bit megalomaniac, especially since Russia is still lurking in the east. In my opinion, this would result in a coalition of the willing instead of NATO and would have a detente with Russia in the east and the Middle East as a precondition to have resources for a NATO engagement or a European engagement the South. And what should the specific mission be? And how could NATO be a neutral mediator, even with UN mandate, if Turkey still is NATO member which reapproaches Russia? However, at the moment, these are more theoretical questions as Europe is not prepared for a military engagement. Therefore Merkel has the real policy approach to accept that Russia and Turkey are the main stabilization forces in the MENA region while the USA is more the trouble maker.
Prof. Rahr even predicts an Eurasian coalition of Europe, Russia and China about the Iran deal and even the creation of an Eurasian financial system against US sanctions which might also lead to an Eurasian financial system vis a vis the Anglosaxon- financial system of the petrodollar.and the Wall Street and the City of London. However it is unsure if Merkel and the Europeans will engage so intensive in a confrontation with the USA for Iran as the USA is still an important market, the US dollar is still the world´s leading reserve currency and if petro-Euro, petro-Rubel or petro-Yuan can replace the US-led global financial system is questionable. It would also been perceived by the USA as an open war declaration. After WW 2 the dollar was defined by the Bretton Woods system as the world´s leading reserve currency and guarantees the USA that it can print money and pay its rapidly expanding state debts. After the collapse of the gold standard, the Nixon/Kissinger administration made an agreement with Saudi Arabia and the OPEC to fracture oil in US dollar which created the petrodollar system. The petrodollar is an important pillar of the US-dominated global financial system. But not only oil is fractured in the US dollar, but also other commodities, industrial products and services. Therefore the petrodollar remains important and the USA didn´t like it when Saddam Hussein, Chavez and Maduro or Ghaddafi tried to use the Euro for oil payments. Or that Russia and China use the currency fort hat purpose. And in 2019 Saudiarabaia thought about abolishing the petrodollar system when the US Congress pushed a NOPEC bill that didn´t find a majority in the houses or support by the US president. And it needs more than petrodollar to become a global world currency. The US currency dominance is partly based on the petrodollar, but not only or mainly. And another question would be what such a Eurasian financial system if it ever materializes would have on the global economy and who dominates this Eurasian financial system-the Euro, the Rubel (unlikely), the Yuan or would there have to be a currency basket. This sounds more like an unrealistic illusionary utopia.
And it is not only about oil or currencies, but the driving force is technology that will restructure the new world order, its societies and their relations to each other. Whether you call it digitalization, 4 th industrial revolution, Second/Third Nuclear age or posthumanism and singularity as Ray Kurzweil. Some think tanks have tried it, including in Russia, such as Dr. Kulikov’s Dialogue of Civilizations, which also sees demographic development alongside technology as the main driver for structuring the global order of the 21st century, but all of this does not find many followers at a higher level. Russia and the EU are not important in that sense. It is mostly a fight between Silicon Valley/new technologies and Made in China 2025. And even their apologetics don´t know what the future will be.
Technologically it is between the USA and China who decide the new world order and with their quantum computers are the digital invention of the steam engine again, but also of new societies as you see in Xi-China´s use of digitalization for a new bonus system and a new totalitarianism in competition with a liberal world order. Russia and the EU have nothing comparable in AI, blockchain technology, quantum computers, nanotechnology, genetic engineering, renewable energies and more importantly a creative human capital pool or enough venture capital and/or state investment by industry policy..