By Pepe Escobar, posted with the author’s permission and widely cross-posted
The SCO and other pan-Eurasian organizations play a completely different – respectful, consensual – ball game. And that’s why they are catching the full attention of most of the Global South.
The meeting of the SCO Ministerial Council in Tashkent this past Friday involved some very serious business. That was the key preparatory reunion previous to the SCO summit in mid-September in fabled Samarkand, where the SCO will release a much-awaited “Declaration of Samarkand”.
What happened in Tashkent was predictably unreported across the collective West and still not digested across great swathes of the East.
So once again it’s up to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to cut to the chase. The world’s foremost diplomat – amidst the tragic drama of the American-concocted Era of Non-Diplomacy, Threats and Sanctions – has singled out the two overlapping main themes propelling the SCO as one of the key organizations on the path towards Eurasia integration.
- Interconnectivity and “the creation of efficient transport corridors”. The War of Economic Corridors is one of the key features of the 21st
- Drawing “the roadmap for the gradual increase in the share of national currencies in mutual settlements.”
Yet it was in the [email protected] session that Lavrov for all practical purposes detailed all the major trends in the current, incandescent state of international relations. These are the key takeaways.
How comfortable are you with the US dollar?
Africa: “We agreed that we will submit to the leaders for consideration proposals on specific actions to switch to settlements in national currencies. I think that everyone will now think about it. Africa already has a similar experience: common currencies in some sub-regional structures, which, nevertheless, by and large, are pegged to Western ones. From 2023, a continental free trade zone will start functioning on the African continent. A logical step would be to reinforce it with currency agreements.”
Belarus – and many others – eager to join the SCO: “There is a broad consensus on the Belarusian candidacy (…) I felt it today. There are a number of contenders for the status of observer, dialogue partner. Some Arab countries show such interest, as do Armenia, Azerbaijan and a number of Asian states.”
Grain diplomacy: “In regard to the issue of Russian grain, it was the American sanctions that did not allow the full implementation of the signed contracts due to the restrictions imposed: Russian ships are prohibited from entering a number of ports, there is a ban on foreign ships entering Russian ports to pick up export cargo, and insurance rates have gone up (…) Financial chains are also interrupted by illegitimate US and EU sanctions. In particular, Rosselkhozbank, through which all the main settlements for food exports pass, was one of the first to be included in the sanctions list. UN Secretary General A. Guterres has committed to removing these barriers to addressing the global food crisis. Let’s see.”
Taiwan: “We do not discuss this with our Chinese colleague. Russia’s position on having only one China remains unchanged. The United States periodically confirms the same line in words, but in practice their ‘deeds’ do not always coincide with words. We have no problem upholding the principle of Chinese sovereignty.”
Should the SCO abandon the US dollar? “Each SCO country must decide for itself how comfortable it feels to rely on the dollar, taking into account the absolute unreliability of this currency for possible abuses. The Americans have used this more than once in relation to a number of states.”
Why the SCO matters: “There are no leaders and followers in the SCO. There are no situations in the organization like in NATO, when the US and its closest allies impose one line or another on all other members of the alliance. In the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the situation that we are currently seeing in the EU does not arise: sovereign countries are literally being ‘knocked out’, demanding that they either stop buying gas or reduce its consumption in violation of national plans and interests.”
Lavrov was also keen to stress how “other structures in the Eurasian space, for example, the EAEU and BRICS, are based and operate on the same principles” of the SCO. And he referred to the crucial cooperation with the 10 member-nations of ASEAN.
Thus he set the stage for the clincher: “All these processes, in interconnection, help to form the Greater Eurasian Partnership, which President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly spoken about. We see in them a benefit for the entire population of the Eurasian continent.”
Those Afghan and Arab lives
The real big story of the Raging Twenties is how the special military operation (SMO) in Ukraine de facto kick-started “all these processes”, as Lavrov mentioned, simultaneously leading towards inexorable Eurasia integration.
Once again he had to recall two basic facts that continue to escape any serious analysis across the collective West:
Fact 1: “All our proposals for their removal [referring to NATO-expansion assets] on the basis of the principle of mutual respect for security interests were ignored by the US, the EU, and NATO.”
Fact 2: “When the Russian language was banned in Ukraine, and the Ukrainian government promoted neo-Nazi theories and practices, the West did not oppose, but, on the contrary, encouraged the actions of the Kyiv regime and admired Ukraine as a ‘stronghold of democracy.’ Western countries supplied the Kyiv regime with weapons and planned the construction of naval bases on Ukrainian territory. All these actions were openly aimed at containing the Russian Federation. We have been warning for 10 years that this is unacceptable.”
It’s also fitting that Lavrov would once again put Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya in context: “Let us recall the example of Afghanistan, when even wedding ceremonies were subjected to air strikes, or Iraq and Libya, where statehood was completely destroyed, and many human lives were sacrificed. When states that easily pursued such a policy are now making a fuss about Ukraine, I can conclude that the lives of Afghans and Arabs mean nothing to Western governments. It’s unfortunate. Double standards, these racist and colonial instincts must be eliminated.”
Putin, Lavrov, Patrushev, Madvedev have all been stressing lately the racist, neocolonial character of the NATOstan matrix. The SCO and other pan-Eurasian organizations play a completely different – respectful, consensual – ball game. And that’s why they are catching the full attention of most of the Global South. Next stop: Samarkand.
How much more time does Glazyev et al need to IMPLEMENT nevermind “Draw “the roadmap for the gradual increase in the share of national currencies in mutual settlements.””?? The Global South hungers while they dither over their exquisite tea and biscuits. This needs a sense of alacrity.
Please look into the current state of the wooing of two key swing states – Azerbaijan and Poland. Full court presses are in motion by both sides.
An interesting viewpoint from India says the publication of Mr. “iPhone” Medvedev’s incendiary map is a charm offensive for the impatient and insouciant Poles. To frag the NATO tent and more importantly Intermarium cabal, thereby splitting the 5-Eyes from them. Recall both the Polish FM and V Orban visited Moscow in the days leading to February 24.. 5G has not yet destroyed the Hungarians’ short term memory capabilities but we wonder about the Hyena of Europe, generational suckers of the British.. If this Indian interpretation is correct (and why not, NATO messages via maps too), then hopefully it will give Poles pause and dampen the expansion of the war, at least until they freeze this winter.
Meanwhile, if Europe is starting to get cold feet (literally soon), the busy little minions relight fires in the Balkans, daily FF atrocities in the Ukrainian killing fields, and romanticize the Kievan kleptocracy via western elite photographer Annie Leibowitz..
It is interesting this grandee of portrait myth-making, who broke her teeth on the Rolling Stones an age ago, has ancestors from both Russian Jews (great-grandfather) and Romanian Jews (grandfather). Much of Bessarabia dissolved into Moldova which swung back and forth between Russia and Romania for almost two centuries. Parts of Odessa were part of Bessarabia.. ancestral home to Victoria Nuland and many neocons too. It all segues to sealanes leading via the Bosphorus to the nearby Holy Land. Odessa to Jerusalem is only 1,666km direct flight, and Crimea even closer. Undoubtedly this entire expanse was earmarked for the coming Erez Israel.. a merging of the old stomping grounds and new holdings. Connecting these frenzied dots, all minions of the Cabal are being rolled out for this Last Crusade, no expense spared and old reputations being wantonly burned. What a grand stage is being set by the disparate descendants of ancient Khazaria.. but the best laid plans of men! Their current panic is palpable, as they dive deeper into the Metaverse, hoping spinning ludicrous narratives wills them into being.
Putin, Lavrov, Patrushev, Medvedev have all been stressing lately the racist, neocolonial character of the NATOstan matrix.
It targets Yemen too, which is being openly reoccupied. It will not end well for the rabid Exceptionals. They are begging to be put outta their misery, hypersonic-style.
Thanks for all you do. I am happy to see your spiritual journey and rejuvenation through Rumi.
itz oke…denazification is the word of the day, remember?
Thanks for your good insights
It is difficult to imagine a real reserve currency being practical as Glazyev thinks.
My wonderment is why is China dragging its feet on digital yuan? They could roll through unbanked populations in the 3rd world like a hot knife through butter. Furthermore, they must realize that they will never see $1 trillion in US securities again. Why hold them? Buy gold or something tangible.
The digital yuan is a tyrannical instrument of controlling people one by one.
Kissinger says: Control energy and you control the nation, control hunger and you control the people; digital currency will be used to selectively starve many, western elites are also behind this tyrannical project.
Xi has seen that the Chinese people are not as docile as he thinks.
Why are the Chinese dragging their feets ?
Maybe because they are wise enough to know that trade always is a structural component of inter State processes whom need to be carefully arranged – a very, very fine Higher Art !!
The mode and medium of settlement comes second and has to fit in, and not vice versa which is ‘magic’ ideology-stupidity – normally dished out – to cover some power-politic moves – which cannot be tolerated anymore (atleast not being ‘hidden’ but rather openly considered, because power as such is neither good or bad – but rather a potential one can use) you’re going almost in a straght line back to field one – because you did learn nothing of the last several hundred years.
It’s our luck to have such States as Russia and China which atleast by instinct know the better direction and if only for a good Start – there certainly will be problems also along this road BUT the ‘inception’ is key !!!.
‘Africa: “We agreed that we will submit to the leaders for consideration proposals on specific actions to switch to settlements in national currencies. I think that everyone will now think about it. Africa already has a similar experience: common currencies in some sub-regional structures, which, nevertheless, by and large, are pegged to Western ones. From 2023, a continental free trade zone will start functioning on the African continent. A logical step would be to reinforce it with currency agreements.”
Africa should take a jolly good look at what has happened in Europe in the 21st century era of a common currency.
It’s pretty darn obvious to those with their eyes open:
1. The euro was pegged at a rate lower than the DM, which made German industry more competitive.
2. It was pegged at a higher rate than the Italian Lira, the Spanish peseta, the Greek drachma etc etc, which made all those nations less economically competitive.
3. The common currency meant that regional devaluations to restore competitiveness became impossible, which entrenches the potential for long term depressions, decline and industrial decimation.
4. Fiddling the rules to allow Greece entry into the Euro completely destroyed Greece as a functioning nation, it now being a protectorate of French/German banks, all of which should have been told to go belly-up.
5. All the Eastern European entrants into the EU became depopulated as all the most skilled young labour migrated West. The UK received upward of 2 million EU migrants over a 15 year period, all of whom could purchase family properties back home for under £100k, whereas their UK-born competitors would be lucky to get a 2 bed flat in the SE of England for £250k. To say that there was a level playing field means you have taken on lying as your life’s principle.
I don’t know enough details about all the economies of all African nations to comment specifically about Africa, but you would suspect that a common African country would see South Africa dominate the southern region at the expense of Swaziland, Lesotho, Angola, Mozambique etc. The oil-rich nations in West Africa might want to remain outside the Union, just as Norway did whilst building up its massive Sovereign Wealth Fund.
What I would suggest that Africans at least discuss at the following:
1. Holistic water-management strategies for the entire Nile River basins, including managing uplands in Ethiopia; allowing greater agricultural development in Egypt whilst ensuring that where the rains actually fall do not lose their ground water reserves. Similar approaches could be developed for the Zambezi, the Niger and the Congo.
2. An holistic approach to timber management – thus ensuring that over the entire continent, photosynthetic capacity does not decline and, where appropriate is planned to increase slowly but steadily throughout the century.
3. A cooperative approach to feeding all Africans – the desperate dependence on Ukrainian grain has just been highlighted, when it behoves all African leaders to look at the continent as a whole and determine how to feed its people sustainably by 2100, with reductions in foreign food dependencies achieved clearly by 2040, 2060 and 2080.
4. A commitment to reducing the flow of migrants from Africa to Europe and, especially, Western Europe. It is the conditions in Africa which cause such migration to occur and it is the responsibility of African leaders to address those issues. Europeans will be extremely friendly and cooperative in that regard, even if a small minority of people traffickers will not.
5. A commitment to creating a pan-African Sovereign Wealth Fund, providing a buffer for the continent as well as a source of fiscal standing in the global financial world. It would be entirely appropriate for those benefitting from the minerals, oil and gas bonanzas to contribute significantly to such funds….
Of course, what may emerge are African ‘oligarchs’ who want to keep all the people poor whilst they build fortunes of £100bn or more. There is zero evidence that Africa has not had dictatorial war-lords, financial embezzlers with Swiss bank accounts etc etc. So it would be no surprise at all if 21st century Africa mimicked Boris Yeltsin’s Russia.
But at least if Africans dream cooperatively and plan skeptically and prudently, then they can’t blame the West for what happens to them in the future.
I agree fully with your two points. However the second section, are managerial-, development- processes and fundamentally have nothing to do with trade and it’s mode of exchange !
One should not mix things up, the transactional nature of a currency needs to be rooted on a fixed-entity. The mapping of the transactional nature to the (always) local Intra-State processes and and it’s value transmission and store is something else in nature completly and must be subject to Inter-State regulatory processes which must be transparent and under full control of the participating States at all time.
We can deduce with certainty thus that the creation of the Eurozone was a disruptive process because it in fact blocked above and bound the participating States as Slaves to either their own stupidity or an external entity enforcing it or a mix of the two……
Your 5 points aim to make Africa more independent, primarily foodwise but also financially. I should like to see the same for Europe, where 3 giant Anglo Zio Capitalist companies took advantage of the armed U$ coup in Ukraine 2014 to buy up 60% of Ukraine’s agricultural land. These global corporations (and not Ukraine) will be profiting from African purchase of Ukrainian wheat!
Giant corporations like Anglo-American Corp own most of Africa, and set the pattern for staple diet bought in shops. Why is Africa eating more wheat?
“Between 2000 and 2009, in sub-Saharan Africa alone, wheat consumption increased at a rate of 0.35kg/year, outpacing maize and rice. It **became** a staple due to increased **urbanisation** and changes in food preferences. Consumers in Africa use wheat for easy and fast food, such as bread, biscuits, pasta, noodles and porridge.”
The same applies to Europe. Wheat demands large fields, complex machinery and heavy use of chemicals: hence capital intensive. Europe is equally at the mercy of food scarcity and regimentation of food availability by Global Capitalism.
Let me end with a parable from the great Dr.Burkitt who studied disease in Africa:
“In the hospitals I began to meet Africans who had bowel cancer. Every one of them could read and write. I never met an illiterate African who had bowel cancer. Since literacy itself does not cause cancer, the answer lay in their changed diet. Educated Africans living in the white man’s cities adopted the white man’s diet — which was white wheat bread — and so picked up the white man’s disease”.
To dr ng maroudas
RE: “Educated Africans living in the white man’s cities adopted the white man’s diet — which was white wheat bread — and so picked up the white man’s disease [viz., bowel cancer]”.
Dr Burkitt may have omitted due consideration to the fact that wheat is one of the top gmo products created by the so-called “elite” white man. As such, it may not be the wheat grain per se (i.e., “the food of the white man”) that is causing the bowel cancer but the engineering of that variety of seed plus its newly acquired ability to cling to its life force in face of the onslaught of poisonous herbicides, particularly glyphosphate, that it must ingest in order that the seed fulfill its life’s function to grow to maturity.
I have seen many videos of bill gates, depopulationist extraordinaire, bragging about bringing both vaccines (that sterilize, paralyze, or outright kill) and the gmo agriculture industry (that reduces fertility, causes diseases, or outright kills) to Africa (and India).
Gates is continuing the mind set of Henry Kissinger who, back in 2009, bragged at a conference about how wonderful it is to get filthy rich off of patented products that simultaneously depopulate the “useless eaters” of the planet.
And now i read that Monsanto, Dow, and other such manufacturers of chemical products have purchased millions of hectares of farmland in Ukraine (for pennies on the dollar, thanks to corrupt clown Zelensky) and shall be depopulating the planet with their shipped poisoned food products grown from what was once pristine soil in UKR. So, even if Africa bans the likes of bill gates, his products –and their effects — will still reach African people.
The only solution that i see is a trade embargo with western countries on agriculture products that are not certified organic and a return to local farming. But even this may not be sufficient. Just look at what monsanto did to the once pristine farmlands of both Argentina and Iraq (see William Engdahl, globalresearch.ca). Unclear if that soil, saturated with glyphosphate, can ever be purged of that assault on nature.
I had quite the experience while working at a restaurant some years ago. They hired a female chef who stayed around for only two weeks. After she left the owner told me how old she was and I was like no way is that lady 56 years old No Way!!!! But it was true and when I asked what her secret was to looking like she was only about 45 years old the reply was she eats nothing white!!! Nothing White? Ah, yes everything white has been refined and processed hasn’t it? If you can all should stick with organics.
Thank you for your wonderful and thought-filled post. Please see my response below to Dr Maroudas.
Is there anything suggesting that Eastern African nations like Uganda, Kenya or/and Tanzania are very interesting in to join BRICS/SCO/Belt and Road process?
Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya [in that order] most certainly are more than interested. Aside Uganda under M7, Kenya and TZ are stuck in the time warp of economic colonialism and the ruling “non elites” are in Western banks’ pockets re debt. Kenya election is next Tuesday with 2 non entities [Odinga and Ruto] annointed to do the Western bidding. The majority of Kenya’s population refuse to vote for 2 entities offering nothing but more debt and no plan. Expect problems in Kenya to ratchet up soon
Whats the implication with NATOstan name, is a “stan” meant to be a negative connotation? Because that’s pretty racist.
-stan is a Persian suffix, it means “land” or “country”.
Afghanistan is land of the Afghans. Turkmenistan is land of the Turkmens. NATOstan is land of the NATO.
What negative connotation do you have in mind? Let me guess. Something racist?
Stan is a word in Ancient Iranian as well as in the sister language Sanskrit, in both meaning “place”
Wow a lot of triggers, nice, could’ve called it NATOland right, same amount of letters, still gets the point across? I’m pretty sure it’s just a racist attempt to tie it to the middle east as some sort of backwards place hence the Persian suffix, just like the west is silly and backwards always.
Would you prefer NATObourgs? NATOlands? How about NATOstates? NATOtribes? NATOhamlets? Or maybe NATOkhanates? NATOcounties? NATOprincipalities? NATOblasts? That one would be rather ironic, don’t you think?
NATOsatrapies would capture the full, bureaucratic debacle of NATO today, though it might be obsolete. I don’t think there are any more satrapies in the world, which is actually a plus now that I think of it. The United States of NATO? The NATO Federation? Or maybe The Evil Galactic Empire of NATO Vassals?
Which would not activate your racism?
To Jonlx, VVAnand, Al-Kaftarbaz
I would argue that it is a linguistic error to view the term ‘NATO’ as having any physical location as its referrent. Au contraire, it refers to a mind set; hence, its meaning is fully and transparently captured by its synonym, NITWITOville.
NATO is one of Empire of Lies’s power projection tools, and the Empire by it’s own open and very clear declaration and more so by it’s doings is and always was profoundly racist.
Only through this back relfection to it’s own value-system the name receives it’s derrogatory nature in relation to it’s standing by it’s own standards – namely being – subpar – to express it mildly…
It’s always nicest to kill the Beast with it’s own sword, isn’t it ?! (https://youtu.be/6sc1g1EAGuE?t=219)
Pepe isn’t that Rumi land….
china obviously takes her own course & does not reveal her hand: putting it out to all qualified they will be richly rewarded for their services, skill set & intelligence if they choose to relocate to china & help her overcome her sanctioned situation, meaning ambitious young minds could earn in some few years their lifetime savings: result china has been happily supplying her own needs, & i suspect russian’s as well. most this brain power undoubtedly came from taiwan. i suppose it’s no surprise the pentagon has decided to re-establish primacy in one of the few keystones left in its crumbling facade of superiority. china is going to play nancy’s flight in with much forethought & skill. divulging they intend to give the flight full flank was i suspect a counter to the jake sullivan call for a pearl harbour horror (where the americans take out nancy’s plane & blame it on the chinese; they have used this ploy more than once). i don’t expect the chinese to use their EWs or if they choose only the most elementary.
re: the of speed of the digital, i expect again it’s not in good order or timely. allow the trade transits to firmly establish themselves; each country trading in commodities or their national coin, testing & trusting the system. psychohistorian proposed one of china’s responses to america’s misplay might be a selling of her treasuries. which makes a beautiful sounding splash. not maybe entirely fortunate for the fed bt will have a resplendent long lasting roll. many wondered why china continued to hold them & shook their heads bt as we are beginning to observe china plays a long game, & with a very well attended plan.
re: the chip sanction on china, i forget maybe a year & half ago, possibly 2. certainly china scooped some high priced minds, as evidenced in her space achievements. she quietly kept doing what needed doing in tech areas without gaining a flicker of notice. a nation/world has been boastful for a hundred years & floating on its big blow big medicine, discretion is an incredulous concept.
These RAAAAACIST that certain people speak of; Did it ever occur to anyone that the people behind the evil empire hate whites even more than others? Just look at the death count: Two world wars, several bloody revolutions in Europe in the first third of the twentieth century, and now the food, medicine and energy crisis’ that is looming over Europe. Who has/will this all affect mostly? Whites. Untold millions dead. So to imply this is done because of white racism is false. I say these people have a problem with humanity in general, regardless of race.
Stan is short of the word Aastaan in Persian. There is no link to other languages, others borrowed it. Aastaan means place of abode/living.
Pepe has a very good grasp of the colloquial meaning of this word I would say, because the use of this suffix loosely with any other prefix has to rhyme and also convey a greater meaning to the listener. This is only possible if he has been around the regions and paid attention. His use of ‘Pipelinistan’ has been attention grabbing for people who read his articles since late 2000s, about Dana Rohrabacher et al.
I am not sure about currency swap being any replacement for $. Because you have to still price the goods and services in a single currency terms. Currency swap only dodges the financial sanctions, but when trading across several nations you can price very few things outside of dollar terms. If you take raw materials and energy, with their technology Russia is pretty much up there; for goods you have China, and for services there are many, but India would probably be counted as one of the major economies.
How can India agree to outside dollar valuation? They sell services to dollar economies, and buy from a mix of dollar and non dollar.
Meanwhile gold and minerals aren’t equally distributed among nations, so a nation with less of it but much more to offer will have qualms about its GDP valuation on a currency pegged to gold based currency. Central banks using 200 odd mathematical equations seem to get it completely wrong pretty much every time. Is it then even worth having central banks controlling money supply against inflation targets? It gets more complicated the more people explain. No currency works without accounting under it, so who is there to ensure accounting underlying gross output data is sound if everyone is independently posting it?
At best currency swap looks like a stopgap measure to say no to $ blackmail.