by Pepe Escobar and first posted at Asia Times
So Sergey Lavrov and Tony Blinken met for nearly two hours at the Harpa Concert Hall in Reykjavik, on the sidelines of the ministerial session of the Arctic Council.
Frosty? Not really. Even if the get together may not have been a throwback to a Reagan-Gorbachev funfest in the good old Cold War days. After all, there was a NATO warship parked right outside the windows of Harpa Hall – like a prop in a Marvel blockbuster.
Self-described “amateur guitarist” Blinken may have been relatively swayed by the charms of the 1968 Elvis stunner A Little Less Conversation.
Well, at least there was some conversation. As for “a little more action”, as Elvis sang it, it remains to be seen. A good sign is that they addressed each other as “Sergey” and “Tony”. Blinken even attempted a “Spasiba”.
Let’s start with Lavrov – who routinely dwells in the Valhalla of diplomacy, unlike average apparatchik Blinken.
We agreed to continue our joint actions, which are developing quite successfully, on regional conflicts where the interests of the United States and Russia coincide. This is the nuclear problem of the Korean Peninsula, and the situation with efforts to restore the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action on the Iranian nuclear program. This is Afghanistan, where the expanded troika consisting of Russia, China, the United States, Pakistan is actively working. We discussed how at this stage we can make all our joint actions more effective.
So there was “a very useful conversation” (Lavrov again) on what they do coincide (revival of the JCPOA), don’t coincide (Afghanistan) and hardly coincide (North Korea).
More than useful, actually: “constructive”. Lavrov again: “There is an understanding of the need to overcome the unhealthy situation that developed between Moscow and Washington in previous years.”
Lavrov made it very clear what we are at a stage of mere “proposal” to “start a dialogue, considering all aspects, all factors affecting strategic stability: nuclear, non-nuclear, offensive, defensive. I have not seen a rejection of such a concept, but experts still have to work on it.”
So Blinken did not reject it. The devil is how the “experts” will “work on it”.
Those pesky “laws of diplomacy”
It’s quite useful to compare what they said to each other – at least according to what was leaked.
Lavrov stressed discussions must be “honest, factual and with mutual respect”. Most important area of cooperation is “strategic stability”. He crucially invoked the “laws of diplomacy” – something that the Hegemon has not exactly been fond of lately: they “call for reciprocity, especially when it comes to responding to any kind of unfriendly action.” Implied is Moscow’s willingness to solve problems “inherited from previous US administrations.”
Blinken said the US wants a predictable and stable relationship: “It’s our view that if the leaders of Russia and the United States can work together cooperatively, our people, the world can be a safer and more secure place.” Areas where interests “intersect and overlap” include battling Covid-19 and climate change, apart from Iran, Afghanistan and North Korea.
“Russian aggression” though could not simply be thrown into the Arctic Sea: “If Russia acts aggressively against us, our partners, our allies, we will respond… not for purposes of escalation, not to seek conflict, but to defend our interests.”
So “experts” will have a field day – actually, days, weeks and months – figuring out how which brands of “Russian aggression” attack “our interests.”
As it stands, it looks like the bilateral Putin-Biden summit next month in a “European diplomatic capital” – as rumors swirl in Brussels – may be a go. To hope that it would take place, for instance, in Nursultan – the diplomatic capital of Eurasia – is a long shot.
Lavrov: “We will prepare proposals for our presidents both on these issues [the work of diplomatic missions] and the matters related to our dialogue on strategic stability.”
It’s quite enlightening to consider two parallel developments to Reykjavik.
The State Dept. confirmed it will waive sanctions against the Swiss-based company overseeing the construction of Nord Stream 2. And SWIFT confirmed to the Russian Central Bank that business continues as usual, and Moscow won’t be cut off from the system.
These may be interpreted as goodwill gestures ahead of the possible June summit. Afterwards, no one knows.
It’s also enlightening to note what Lavrov and Blinken did not discuss: vaccine diplomacy.
Sergey Naryshkin, the director of the SVR foreign intel, is now on the record saying that the registration of Sputnik V vaccine at the EU is being stalled by “signals from the corridors of power” in Brussels – something I confirmed weeks ago with relatively independent diplomats. The European Medicines Agency (EMA) still sustains that the vaccine may be registered before the end of the month.
And then there are glaring cases like Brazil, the target of tremendous pressure by Washington to prevent Sputnik V’s approval. Sputnik V has been registered by 61 nations, overwhelmingly in the Global South.
Let’s assume that Cold War 2.0, in theory, may have been put on hold. Now it’s time then for a “little more action”. Will it come to the point that Sergey and Tony will agree on “a little less fight, a little more spark” and dance to the rhythm of “all this aggravation ain’t satisfactioning me”?
don’t hold your breath pepe.
the battle between washington and moscow is, for both, a ”civilizational'” cage match only one of whom emerges a victor, everything in between then and now is noise and as they once said of newpapers (still do)…… fishwrap!
After the US has murdered the valiant General Qasem Soleimani (who was on a diplomatic mission to Iraq), there can be not a jota of trust towards the gangster empire owned by banksters and rabid zionists. The US military has been thoroughly zionized as well, which means that there is no codex of honor among the brass. The rotten brass. https://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2017/11/have-the-us-militry-gone-zionist.html
Colonel Lang has migrated his site to Iceland. The updated link to the article is https://turcopolier.com/have-the-us-militry-gone-zionist/
Due respect to all the good points made and excellent comments but Pepe left me cracking up one the floor with the little less conversation clip at the end; how can no one comment about that!
Come on I can not keep a straight face after seeing that. May never be able to.
Let’s face it Pepe it the nail square on it’s head.
Sorry, bad spot for a typo mistake, I meant “hit the nail on the head,” you knew it anyway. I was still laughing too hard to type straight faced-Pepe did hit it on the head, perfectly.
In a war there are temporary tactical retreats.
Sorry, I just don’t trust the Yanks. After what they did to General Solomeni I strongly suspect malicious intent toward Putin. Scary consequences. Being a leader to so many how would this affect Russia?
“These may be interpreted as goodwill gestures ahead of the possible June summit. Afterwards, no one knows.”
Is Russia able to speed up Nord Stream 2 and consolidate military deployments in the Caucasus before that meeting so as to present “faits accomplies” to that meeting, turning further financial aggression futile?
“And then there are glaring cases like Brazil, the target of tremendous pressure by Washington to prevent Sputnik V’s approval.”
Argentina was one of the first countries which approved and applied Suptnik V. Two airbus planes are continuously flying to and from Moscow to pick up vaccines. The planes have two crews on this 18 hours fights.
As soon as loaded (and fuel taken) the plane leaves back.
It is a shame that Brazil has to endure a Bolsonaro and be subject to genocidal politics encouraged by Washington.
Cheers from France.
Another Sun Tzu move by the US, this time to pull Russia into the embrace of NATO with Nord Stream2 as bait. If the US succeeds, it will free the US-NATO to deal with what they perceive to be the real existential threat to the US i.e. China.
And Ukraine? Russia is welcome to the economic basket case – Ukraine, especially the final looting by Victoris “%$# the EU” Nuland and co.
Now after the spider (US-NATO-EU) has lured the fly into its parlour, what surprise will it spring to make dinner out of the fly?
the empire has so badly played its hand for so long, neither china nor russia will ever trust it again. putin has no delusions about ns2, simply biden had to do something, had to put some tidbit on the table for putin, lavrov & russia to so much as take the call. the empire is on parole…extended. neither china nor russia believe a word it says, & will in no way compromise their relationship nor the safety of the world. for that is o/c the elephant in the room. the empire is mad & losing & capable of anything. mollifying the crazed beast is the sane & sensible approach.
I find it hard to believe that the US admin has any understanding of Sun Tzu and how to apply his teachings. My understanding is NS2 is very important to Germany and it’s economy. It’s no longer a big thing for Russia as the strategic alliance with China trumps the US/NATO. Russia does not want the Ukraine. the US broke it the US can pay to fix it, or not. Russian will protect the the peoples of the DPR/LPR and do what it can to have the terms of the Accord implemented.
Yes, I agree. It’s an old ploy to divide and conquers. Pretend that Russia instead of China is your friend, then stab both of them in the back.
America is not agreement capable.
So all we have is shadow dance and the traitors in the Kremlin who are expecting a huge payout in order (like Gorbachev and Yeltsin to throw Russia in a bucket of geopolitical shite!
But of course, at least one hopes, that Russia dances the dance as she did with Hitler until such time as Operation Barbarossa part 2 begins in earnest.
Remember, Americans are the stupid ignorant psychopathically declining ones, not the Russians.
Lol @ American Sun Tzu.
Germans have been let off sanctions re NS2 as a sop to USA Germanic relations but USA is hoping that AFD will stop NS2 …just in time for September elections…but 4 Russian ships are or remain sanctioned. No direct mention of Ukraine…nor the 60000 secret army costing nearly 1 billion the USA has with goodness knows what covert agendas….that comes under stability.? Perhaps later.
It’s not the AfD, it’s the Greens who may likely take over from Merkel and her party in the next election. The Greens already said they would “get tough with Russia”…
Ta for correction.
Only ever heard people from the UK us Ta. Is that a giveaway? Lol.
As others noted, it’s the “Green Party” that is America’s pawn. Diana Johnstone wrote about how the Greens sold their soul to some bogus media star a very long time ago. She ran the interface to the journalists and quit not long after that sell-out action. That’s in her very informative autobiography, Circle in the Darkness: Memoirs of a World Watcher which was published in 2020. In short, the Greens sold out because short-term gains were prioritized over strategic goals. Brain dead apparatchiks were principle-free and foolish, too-easy prey for the Empire. That was many years ago and things only got worse, of course. As for AfD, I have a little hope that party might find their way eventually.
Elvis had an autoimmune disorder triggered when he hit his head and cracked his skull in 1967. This autoimmune disorder attacked Elvis’ organs and was the cause of his death in 1977.
The drugs and bad nutrition he practiced for a decade had no effect on his ultimate demise?
Elvis was depressed by simple matters like losing his wife to another man.
Then, drugs. Then bad food. Then death.
Despite some of his faults due to the excesses of fame, Elvis was a good man. When asked how he felt when a group of female fans ripped his expensive shirt to shreds, he replied that it was ok because they were the ones who put it on his back.
When you hit the uppers and downers at same time, you don’t know if you’re up or down.
Blinken continues to dance around the simple fact that Trump killed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action at the behest of Sheldon Adelson and the Likudniks who showered him with 30 pieces of silver in 2016. He can’t just come right out and say to Lavrov that Zionism (Christian, Jewish, and otherwise) controls both major parties in the USA and that there is no way a reconceived JCPA would ever pass Congress.
That Russia has managed to escape the chosenite yoke and is not many trillions in debt to the international banksters is testimony to the fact that Russians play chess and Americans play tiddlywinks no matter which party is in power.
Lavrov knows full well what the game is, as Russia experienced their first “Zionist moment” over a century ago now and then again another attempted “leveraged buyout” thirty years ago. The fact that the second one didn’t quite work out is causing no small amount of consternation for the US Zionist elite, hence the tension in these sham meetings, where what doesn’t get said is actually far more relevant than what does. Zionists just hate to be talked down to when they realize the other party is holding the winning hand. You just know that Blinken has to be seething privately that he spent his whole career sucking up to these monsters to get to his current position, only to be dealt a crap hand and get it lorded over him by an opponent of “inferior” lineage who is more than happy to play along with his little game in public. Oh to be a fly on the wall of any private discussions between these two and/or their aides that might go on behind the scenes.
Chosenites like Blinken, Nuland, and Kagan have a long history of animosity toward Russia. The Ashkenazim have always coveted Ukraine as being their old Khazar stomping ground. Now that Biden has put them in charge of US foreign policy again it’s easy to see how they would view Lavrov and Putin as being of “inferior lineage.”
But, Russia holds all the cards and isn’t beholden to the international banksters like the USA is. Russia and China are in ascendancy whereas the AngloZionist Empire is in decline. The biggest drag on the Empire right now are still the 9/11 wars that just go on and on, bankrupting the nation both monetarily and morally. There’s no way out of them because they were all fought for bullshit reasons, ultimately for Greater Israel. In 1990 Netanyahu said that “America is a golden calf and we will suck it dry, chop it up, and sell it piece by piece until there is nothing left but the world’s biggest welfare state.” How right he was.
Washington is putting everything on the possibility of regime change in Berlin following the September elections. The US/NATO proxy party, the so-called Green Party led by Baerbock, is in “lockstep” with Washington’s interests, according to the Atlantic Council. And they have been gaining in the polls; no doubt on the back of a massive NATO propaganda campaign.
Every current action should be viewed in this light, rather than as attempts to stop Nord Stream 2 directly. Blinken pledges to stop the pipeline, but waives sanctions on core non-Russian entities? It’s a PR move: make America look good, and Russia bad, by any means available. Crucially, by not attacking German industry directly, America saves face in the upcoming election, where its connections to the Greens will be obvious. If puppet Baerbock wins, Washington gains enormous political leverage over Europe.
The Cold War returns to the heart of Europe. But it’s going to be a hot summer in Berlin. The choice is for the Germans: Atlanticism or pragmatism?
We are a little surprised that Jurgen doesn’t view what the US is really up to with this dialogue between Lavrov and Blinken.
Some expert geo-political strategists in Europe are looking through a wider lens here.
Here’s a brief synopsis that relates how the faltering US Hegemon of Finance/Military power is beginning to make its moves in Europe, AKA- China’s immense trade with Europe, and especially with Germany.
In order to maintain its hegemony around the world, the US is adamant that the thriving Chinese (and Russian) trade and technological exchange with Europe be stymied, but Germany is as adamant
that it must continue and even expand, because that’s the main source of its revenue, strategic reach and financial power. Spain, Italy and other smaller nations are forced to depend massively on Germany.
In essence, Italy and the others are squeezed between Germany, which is its economic overlord. (And you wonder why Goldman Sachs’ Dracula, Mario Gazzi usurped the Conti government? The Conti govt.had been increasing their trade with China. )
On the other side, the US, which is the military overlord, is suspicious of German moves and has been hindering and countering German economic policies for some time. The result is that the country lies in
the middle of a grand strategic contest between Germany and the US and can’t find a way out of this predicament.
Is the US now warming up to better relations with Russia, since Germany is their primary target?
We shall see. We hold great confidence in both Putin and Lavrov who must see the ultimate aims made by the US.
Is the US now warming up to better relations with Russia, since Germany is their primary target?
That would make sense. Too much sense in fact, since US policy makers have been exhibiting precious little of it of late. I’m sure Putin and Lavrov would see right through such a gambit in any case. Getting harder and harder for the US to think strategically when they’re getting their butts handed to them daily.
“Disaffected” We agree that Lavrov and Putin would see through this very quickly.
But the point is, Russian trade, its economy is not as large as China’s.
Upon that basis, perhaps the US will throw a carrot out to Russia to entice them. Something small, but slightly relevant to increase Russian trade and its economy.
I have no doubt that Moscow suspects what Washington is up to re: regime change in Berlin. Just as they saw through the Maidan. The more relevant question is: what are they going to do about it?
Realpolitik agrees that Washington *should* cozy up to Russia–Mearsheimer lays it out very clearly. However, you can’t just dismiss the Atlanticists with a wave of the hand.
Totally agreed. But I think Putin and Lavrov are sufficiently wary of such “deals with the devil” to take such overtures from “non-agreement capable” partners such as the US for what they’re worth, which is pretty much nothing. And although Russian economic issues are of course relevant, they shouldn’t be the primary consideration when dealing with such a deceitful foe as the US. Shoot, the standoff in Ukraine right on Russia’s border isn’t even definitively settled yet. Let the German’s twist in the wind a little bit longer to concentrate their minds. It might snap them to their senses enough to realize where their best interests lie.
The Russians are aware, I suppose, that no promise, not even written signature should be believed & acted upon from this Administration, a nest of hardcore Judeo-Zionist warmongers, starting with the head of their Executive. Their only objective is to preserve the exchange value of their “printed” wealth based on the US Dollar. Which let them proclaim it “our US way of life”, aka living at the expense of the rest of the world, like parasites hosted by the rest of humanity. Only their acts should be considered worth discussing. All the other rabbinico-sophistical “antics” & their corollaries, the bluffing threats, should be debunked prima facie. Time is long due to get rude with these people if we want to get them back into the human community.
Pepe’s SitRep on dialogue is ever insightful.
Lavrov presents the Russian goal of strategic stability. The top powers need to work to prevent the second tier powers (Iran, Israel, North Korea, Taliban, Pakistan, Turkey) from destabilizing global affairs.
Blinken presents the US goal of global legitimacy. Without dialogue, the US has no standing. It’s vassals see weakness and decline.
So, the agenda is Russian. Lavrov is laying down the roadmap. Blinken gets to bump elbows with Sergei. Photo op.
The real results will come from the professionals working on the details and specifics.
Have they cleared away the crappola enough for Putin and Biden to agree on something?
We have to wait.
Don’t expect a major breakthrough. Too much “stabilizing” has to happen for Ukraine or Syria or Afghanistan to be a topic of agreement.
This is more about sanctions and civility between the two superpowers.
The US goal in the long run is to separate Russia from China.
It won’t happen.
it won’t happen because Russia knows that deep down if China falls she would be next. This is the key to all diplomatic calculations.
“The real results will come from the professionals working on the details and specifics” – Larchmonter445
It seems to me the Uncle Sam doesn’t have any diplomatic professionals, and hasn’t had for a long time. They abandoned diplomacy at least as far back as the collapse of the SU, believing that they were now the sole hegemon and so could enforce their agenda without the tiresome business of diplomacy.
What also will not happen is any U-turn or significant de-escalation by the Empire. Any such U-turn would have already started after Biden/Harris took office. Instead, Washington (1) egged Kiev to heat up the war in Donbass, (2) tried a color revolution in Belarus, (3) continued building up the Kurds as a nation to oppose authentic governments in Iraq and Syria, (4) steals oil and wheat from Syria as total war (an American and British specialty), (5) still ratchets up sanctions on Russian diplomats and businesses (directly yes, but also by getting the Czech Republic to cook up a fraudulent claim that came only 1 or 2 hours after the US-sponsored color revolution for Belarus was caught red-handed and exposed to the world. That hoax grabbed MSM headlines away from the real story in Belarus), (6) reneged on Trump’s deal with the Taliban for withdrawal from Afghanistan by May 1, (8) has refused to restore even the facade of the JCPOA and has lied through its teeth about Iran’s “violations” even though Paragraphs 26 and 36 gave Iran an honorable exit in the event of massive non-compliance by Washington and its vassals in Europe. I call out the lies in particular because these lies create barriers to any progress, and (7) even Israel’s escalation of crimes against Palestinians had Washington’s approval.
In short, Nowhere has there been any de-escalation. The Empire slowed down to get a tighter grip on things in Ukraine and Belarus, but only because there was no way to go forward for the moment.
As noted by other comments, Washington is banking on the German Greens to roll back NS2, so nothing has changed with Blinken’s gambit. I am not enough of a fool to predict anything anymore, but the possibility of actual war in the July to October period is higher than at any time since the “Cuban missile crisis” of 1962. ZATO miilitary preparations would say earlier in that period, but German elections in September are relevant. I’m sure German voters don’t want reminded of their fragility and could turn away from the Greens, but on the other hand a war could simply preempt the elections. If we were to see a de-escalation, we would probably first see a changing-out of the layers-thick Deep State players, and that won’t happen without a real shock of some sort. Israel holds the Deep State, and the only thing that seems plausible would be if the Israeli government felt such a serious threat that it would order the Deep State to cool things down. We are clutching at straws.
Blinken said the US wants a predictable and stable relationship: “It’s our view that if the leaders of Russia and the United States can work together cooperatively, our people, the world can be a safer and more secure place.
This will never happen. Amerika is good at saying and signing agreements to only break them later.
Larchmonter445 on May 20, 2021 · at 12:07 pm EST/EDT
Cold War 2.0 put on hold? No, not by the US that can’t stop digging itself into a hole.
Putin shouldn’t lower himself to meet with the useless and incompetent Biden.
Watch the US pile on sanctions after the meeting schedule is set.
All I see is Lavrov and a dual citizen.
A dual citizen with a single loyalty.
In the past, U.S. domestic politics has been the long shadow influencing its foreign policy. It sounds like the White House has the bare minimum of sense to recognize that the U.S. cannot afford to operate that way anymore, at least not to the same degree.
It’s hard to tell when your dealing with the devil for what’s been agreed on today is a no-go tomorrow, I wouldn’t believe a thing Blinken said or anyone else up there, for Russia’s going to be made out to look like the spoiler anyway..
Some context Pepe omitted: The Outlaw US Empire was the only major name on the very recently published list of “unfriendly countries,” the other being the Czech Republic. That coincided with Lavrov’s brief recap of the poor state of relations and why that’s so. Then we have today’s very strong rhetoric from Putin:
“Everyone is attempting to take a bite out us or bite something off us. But they should understand that we are going to kick them in their teeth [if they try to] so hard that they won’t be able to bite anymore.”
The only entity that’s stolen Russian property–“taken a bite”–is the Outlaw US Empire as Lavrov remined the world. So, while the air might have been warm, relations are still very cold and will take at least a generation to recover to the level of 1916.
Imagine being a diplomat having to have polite conversation with an YankeeDoodleDandy who’s true allegiance is for the Jewish state. Though in any job’s 10 hour day a short time has to be washed down the sewer in the toilet.
Russia believes its always better to talk than fight. Your right nothing will come of the meeting,and Putin knows that.But it will show that Russia is willing to talk about peace.And it will show the World how lacking Biden is compared to Putin.They’ll make some statements about peace and working on better relations.But then everything will go back to the way it was before the meeting.And more importantly the idea of the summit is hated in the US.And all Biden’s enemies will attack him for it.It will weaken even more Biden,not Putin.
Till you have the biggest swinging d*ck in town, you have to bow to the guy with the biggest swinging one in town.
That’s what VVP is doing and that’s what strategy calls him to do.
Remains to be seen how far the discrepancy between what Blinken says abroad and back home will resemble that of John Kerry.
Adorei a relação com a musica do Elvis…. vais comentar sobre o pronunciamento de Putin ? talvez tem à ver com o que não foi leaked ?
I loved the relationship with Elvis’ music…. are you going to comment on Putin’s speech? maybe it has to do with what hasn’t been leaked?
Here’s “a little more action” from the GOP to accord Sleepy Joe the hallowed title of “Putin puppet” aka Trump v2.0:
Act containing sanctions against Nord Stream 2 operator submitted to US Senate
The act dubbed Protecting Our Well-being by Expanding Russian Sanctions (POWERS) will mandate that the US administration impose restrictions against “subcontractors of any entity which works on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline”
And even more action:
US imposes sanctions on Russian companies and ships related to Nord Stream 2
US also imposes sanction against three Russian legal entities
No, there is no detente, and there is not even any attempt to understand the futility of sanctions.
My laptop tells me this site is not secure. Can that be fixed?
sure use https when connecting eg https://thesaker.is … mod
‘Areas where interests ‘intersect and overlap’ include battling Covid-19 and climate change, apart from Iran, Afghanistan, and North Korea.’
Blinken in Reykjavik is advancing a pawn as the opening move of the new game. Subtract Covid, Afghanistan, Iran, NK and ‘Russian Aggression’. These are side shows. The real agenda is Climate Change. The rentier oligarchy of the West will call up a global green youth movement to oppose ‘industrial civilisation’ in the name of saving Mother Earth. Alastair Crooke first fingered this scenario (as I understand things). Just as they eschew diplomacy so also they’ll ignore scientific opinion when they can finance all the Greenpeace and Co. spinoff NGOs to take to the streets to provide the special effects while the international media conducts the kangaroo court against the Carbon pushers. I’d expect it will be a bit like the War on Drugs. Russia, Iran, and Venezuela framed as ‘The Dealer’ (think Lou Reed) with China ‘The User’. Already MI6 has openly announced that they were getting into the carbon emissions monitoring biz. ‘Just checking!’. They’re playing their best hand. Abysmal diplomacy? Of course. But don’t underestimate these people. It all looks to be part of the fabled ‘reset’ wherein the plebs of the West will be told that they cant afford to drive cars anymore. Because we have to make ‘sacrifices’. I’d expect that diplomacy will be relied upon to extort taxes out of the rising Eurasian powers to finance the new woke boards of moral highmindedness whose self appointed task is to point the finger at the guilty parties, all in the name of Environmental Rectitude. But however this may be it appears that they actually do have a plan.
If the Biden admin. really plans to cut back carbon emissions in the most carbon polluting country (per capita) in the world it would serve their purpose to backstop their austerity agenda – what else could it be? – with the authority of an international agreement. They’re willing to throw America under the bus as a gesture of environmental ‘good faith’. Their ‘Trump card’ so to say. This is the comparative advantage of a rentier elite.
The acumen and professionalism of Russia’s Foreign Minister is legendary. But even so somebody should tell him that the next time Mr. Blinken has occasion to call him ‘Sergey’ .. he should check to see if he’s still got his wallet.
This is the people who yes, represents us all.
A call to all those at the hemls of the world, at every nation, included those who, now it´s clear, undereservedly seat at the UNSC.
What is to be said and done…
Martyanov has an article up, “Bernard is furious…”, on NS2. I commented but it is being blocked by Discus… don’t know why, maybe the word “hologram”. It seems to fit into the discussion here:
Looking forward, or „über den Tellerrand“, as the Germans say – over the edge of the plate – I’ll suggest that it is useful to move beyond generalizations that will soon prove non-actionable.
There were several “chess moves” leading into The Washington Administration’s (the most natural characterization since it is a hologram projection of past failures) step-back from attempting to sabotage NSII. Although it is not mechanically related, the failure of the color-revolution in Belarus was one move that all but settled the question “who depends on who?”, which was followed by the German-MI6 Navalny gambit, played to the hilt by Angela Merkel, which proved to the hard-nosed “atlanticists” in Berlin, Washington and Brussels that Russia cannot be forced to “behave”, then followed by the back-down over Ukraine (details are all known here, no need for superfluous documentation).
So now the headlines are spewing out: Merkel is really a nationalist and not a globalist, Germany is acting in the interest of German industry, Germany is regaining its sovereignty, etc. None of that is true, and it is especially not true if the logical deductions are pinned on NS2. The chess game continues and the fundamental German “system-control” perspective is still in play: The worst crime that can be committed in war is to lose. I “learned” that formula years ago from the Planning Staff of the German Defense Ministry, it shocked me at the time, but it provides a metric for assessing the German role in the game. The Washington Administration accepts the German role in the game, not German sovereignty. The question is: What is the German role in the game?
First of all, we should be clear about the role NS2-gas is supposed to play for “German industry”, in ironic quotes because there are a lot of fantasies about the “power of the German economy”. There are three basic “system analysis” gambits here: 1. Burn gas to produce electricity, but only temporarily because Germany is set on a path to zero-CO2; 2. Use the gas, convert it to hydrogen as a storage medium feeding off electrical power produced by solar and wind units, then re-convert hydrogen back to electricity when the sun is not shining and the wind is not blowing (currently, Germany has to pay consumers all over Europe to take excess power from the “renewables”, and there is no way to reduce power production from nuclear or coal because the renewables cannot provide the baseload to keep the grid stable); 3. Power German steel plants with hydrogen. Oh, and I’ll add a “gambit #4”: Use the NS2 pipeline to transport Russian hydrogen, produced with nuclear power, to Europe.
There are feasibility studies and scenarios worked out for each of these gambits, i.e., on the German, Brussels or Washington side of the divide. The Ostausschuss der deutschen Wirtschaft really thinks it can win Russia over to a common New Green Deal policy. Of course, Russians will have studied these studies and scenarios, and I would have “very high confidence” in an assessment which says that they do not think any of these gambits will succeed. But, like the master-engineer with the apprentice, it is neither good pedagogy nor prudent politics to simply insist that it won’t work. Give the apprentice a pointer or two, but let him try to make his nonsense work, apply “the Putin-method,“ “x generally does the right thing at the end, but only after trying everything else”. And there are a slew of scientists, engineers and systems engineers in Germany who are quite sure, for obvious reasons, that none of these gambits will play out. (By chance I picked this up today after reading “Bernard is furious”: https://www.eike-klima-energie.eu/2021/05/18/klimapolitik-was-das-land-klimaneutrale-stahlerzeugung-kosten-wuerde/, url for an English translation : https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=de&tl=en&u=https://www.eike-klima-energie.eu/2021/05/18/klimapolitik-was-das-land-klimaneutrale-stahlerzeugung-kosten-wuerde/ , and the comment sections is hilarious.)
It is probably intuitively obvious that gambits 1, 2 and 3 involve immense capital investments, gigantic energy losses, overall massive costs to the consumers, private and industrial (and I would love to hear from an engineer who can explain how hydrogen transport over such long NS2 distances is supposed to function), so that the underlying assumption is that the financialization/fake subsidization of the German economy, which accelerated with so-called “German reunification”, will continue. We are not talking about something which makes economic sense under the current regime. That, after all, is the agenda of deindustrialization. The Russian view and game, of course, is very different: Russia is not being “played” at all.
”German industry”, or what is left of it, has accepted the financialization assumption up to now, if only because they have had no other options, and they have therefore entered a scorpion-frog deal with the “greens” (and the entire party landscape is green, with the exception of the AfD) under the condition that their very existence is not threatened, which means they get price breaks on energy, which is paid for by the German private consumer… but the scorpion always stings at the end. Both the deal and financialization are nearing their crash-points, for many and diverse reasons, so we can assume “with very high confidence” that that has been factored in, both by “German industry” as well as Russian strategists.
Somewhat OT but not really, consider https://breakingdefense.com/2021/05/aerospace-industrial-base-cant-handle-the-future-mitchell-institute/?mc_cid=431ddba143&mc_eid=4df961d084 Aerospace Industrial Base Can’t Handle The Future: Mitchell Institute.
Amazing how the US MIC is figuring out that its business model doesn’t work, and they are figuring that out without even really considering the adversary’s capacities in any significant detail. Similarly, literally for very similar reasons, the German business model doesn’t work. They are heading into choppy, stormy seas, all for the good. For the moment, the one hologram, the Washington Administration, has to back off sabotaging NS2, not so much as a concession to Russia but more because Germany, the other hologram, is supposed to be the driving power for the global New Green Deal. If the German Greens take over, and if they ditch NS2, no Green New Deal, so even the Greens will go along, considering — in their language — that their co-hologram, The Washington Administration, is a “renewal”. – The hologram is in self-check, the end-game can begin.
Putin is way to precious to the entire world to be as naive as to go to Brussels,headquarters to american-led NATO,and american-puppy European Union.The killing of the great Qassem Sulaymani ,the plot in Belarus,and other suspect deaths of leaders in independent nations should be a clear warning to the head of the RussianFederation to refuse this possibility.Drones are dangerous and diplomatic missions do not carry Air defense missiles in their suitcases.Please Vladimir,do not go there!
I am impressed with the level of comments and sensible remarks for the status of the situation surrounding Russia. The commentators are clearly intelligent and knowledgeable and say it like it is. a huge difference from many other blogs that I follow where the comments are often stupid and ill informed. It is a valuable source of information and congratulations to the author of the lead article and to the sensible comments by the readers. Thank you to all.