APEC-Forming Eurasia’s Eastern Pincer

“Volodya” looking good after a job well done

The recent APEC summit in Vladivostok, Russia’s far East city, has developed into one of the most crucial Geopolitical events of the 21st century. Politicians, political analysts and policy makers in the US have failed so far to develop a realistic plan of cooperation with Russia and that lack of judgement has backfired. In 2011 during the NRC-NATO summit and the subsequent formation of the Lisbon treaty, Vladimir Putin, then Russia’s Premier, had warned that “this is the last chance we give to the West to respect our good will to cooperate”. He also added that should the treaty fails to be implemented Russia would set off a new rally of armaments, just like the one pursued by the ex foes during the Cold War. Vladimir Putin, despite his political agenda, which is obviously different from the American one, is a predictable politician. The term predictable is used to emphasize that there is no need for 20 people to discuss about “what he actually stated”, because what he states is what’s in his head and apparently part of his political agenda. When Putin says don’t interfere in our affairs, and Alexey Navalny is accused of being bribed by the West in order to cause political turbulence, then apparently this rumor alone, regardless of being true or not, will cause strains between Russia and the US. When Putin says do not pursue an Anti-Ballistic Missile Shield in Poland, especially by using the pretext that “it is not directed against Russia”, then obviously the sovereignty of the Russian Federation is at stake. And the usage of such kind of childish pretexts such as “It is not meant to fire in your backyard” sounds as hilarious as it would sound should Russia decided to install an ABM shield in Venezuela with the pretext of fighting against the remaining Eskimos (or Indians).

As he stated in his recent interview on RT, backing up Barack Obama, he said: “Let’s say that this administration does not want to use the Missile Shield against us, but what about another one? Especially one that states that Russia is enemy number one!!!”.

Missile Defense Project, a venture which should have already be considered as a bad idea, by Washington’s policy makers! Yet the project is still pursued as a “necessity” despite the local and international criticism

While the US made one mistake after the other, Russia chose to follow a sovereign state policy from 2000 up to date and the country’s political decisions have just started to pay off, unfortunately not to the interests of the US. First and foremost Russia bonded with Germany, India and China, while the US was throwing money to Pakistan, which supported both the ISAF forces and the Taliban or other extremist groups such as the Haqqani network. As a matter of fact the Pakistani officials did not bother to deny those claims, stating that “You will leave sooner or later, but those guys will stay”! So, while the US was tolerating this “Bad Romance” of an alliance, the Russians partnered with India and China. Not that there were no strains in those interstate alliances, but they did not pose insurmountable barriers like the one involving US and Pakistan for example. India has complaints regarding Russian equipment, they needed something more high-tech and sophisticated than the cheap, albeit partially useful, Russia offered them, in order to counter China, but even this pretext is gone now when the two countries (India and China) announced a military cooperation, technological know-how exchange and joint military exercises. There is nothing which is impossible in life, in general, let alone Geopolitics and Geostrategic interests, but India-China’s cooperation had the same chances of happening as if for example Cyprus (which is partially occupied by the Turks) decided to strengthen its military ties with Turkey. That is far from being viewed as incidental, as both Countries want to exclude the US’s presence from the Asia-Pacific Region.

Last but not least, China, the country which has received the same political rhetoric aggressiveness from the US, as Russia, especially after the “Veto-Veto-Veto” incidents in terms of the Syrian crisis. If the US’s stance against Russia was flawed, its political approach to China was-the least to say-catastrophic! US behaved as China did not actually hold more than 60% of the country’s debt. The argument in Seoul in 2010 between Obama and Hu portrayed the strained relations between the US and China, with the US pushing China to devalue the  Yuan and Germany backing up China, by suggesting that if that happened then the markets would lose their “free character” (The notion of freedom and its “relation” to Germany is another subject for analysis, indeed a very difficult one). 

So, adding up all of the above plus Obama’s new approach to contain China’s military activities in the South China sea, it is evident that the Geostrategic background of Eurasia is changing notably. Specifically, Russia, China and India are willing to put aside any strains in their interstate relations, as long as the US is excluded from the Asia Pacific Region. Russia’s achievements in the recent APEC summit, have been tremendously important and surely cannot be ignored. Putin and Hu held talks over the establishment of a Free Trade Zone, which would increase APEC’s role over the TPP (an expanded version of the Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership Agreement) and in fact solidify Eurasia’s Eastern Pincer importance. Putin and Hu signed agreements that can reach up to 100 billion dollars in trade value by 2015. If a Free Trade Zone is established between Russia-China (and of course the other satellite Asian states) then the US will be cut off from the Eastern Pacific Region, a prospective which by itself sounds catastrophic.

US’s new strategic doctrine in the Asian Pacific may prove out to be another huge mistake especially after the APEC summit.

In the West, Germany’s struggle to contain the Eurozone crisis, along with the freshly started “civil war” between ex Goldman Sachs members (Draghi, ECB director and Mario Monti, Italy’s premier) and the country, facilitates Germany’s dependence on both Russia and China, thus deepening the already signed “Meseberg treaty” between Medvedev and Merkel, signed back in 2010. Putin’s desires to establish a Free Trade Zone from Lisbon to Vladivostok are widely known and as a matter of fact the whole “nagging” about Putin’s reelection had to do as well with the consequences of such a bonding. Germans naturally preferred Prokhorov to have won the elections, since back in the ’90s they went to “all that trouble” in order to detach the Baltic States from Gorbachev’s ailing power and set foot on the Ukraine as well. Now Putin wants Eurasia formed “his way”, in other words he competes to re-annex the Baltic States and as for Ukraine, well there is little room, if any, for further discussions, especially after the “Orange years” of Yaschenko and Timoshenko (now imprisoned for political reasons).

The concepts of this analysis that could have been pointed out by an undergraduate student in Political Sciences, still lie far beyond Washington’s perception. Considering American taxpayers on the one hand and the “smart looking” political advisers on the other, we cannot but conclude to this: “What a waste of money”

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