It is customary for European schools to resume their activities with the beginning of September, which provides us all with the opportunity to picture ourselves back in a school bench and pore over the map of the world. Some of the facts that we learnt back then and have long forgotten might turn up handy to help us through today’s unstable geopolitical situation. Others will let us unravel the complex networks that we, accustomed to our European perspective, have lost sight of. A look at a world’s map is enough for us to put everything in the right perspective. Nowadays we are facing a number of agendas that are propagandized by the powers that be. Facts are propaganda’s most implacable enemies since they provide an average citizen with food for thought, enabling him to come up with his own worldview. Such facts can surely be found in a world’s map.
The time of Kazakhstan’s stability and prosperity is just passing away. And this conclusion does not come from recent protests and shootings in the city of Aktobe, but from the panicky reaction of President Nursultan Nazarbayev. According to the 75-year old declared Leader of the Nation and his officials, latest developments are a “color revolution” aiming at a “coup” made by “pseudo-religious extremists” financed by detained pro-Russian businessmen; the President voices this opinion despite the fact that previously he claimed it was the “fifth column” of undefined third (western) powers that attempted to interfere with Kazakhstan’s internal policy. Madness. As if it were not the sharp decline in oil revenues has nothing to do with that in a country which produces 1.7 million barrels per day.
Making things even worse, it is questionable if the Aktobe event was prepared by Wahhabis or other Islam terrorists. Religious extremists usually do not attack gun shops and military units, but prefer bombings and random mass killings1)Kazakhstan: Nazarbayev Embraces Color Revolution Paranoia, Source: Eurasia.net 2016-06-08. Moreover, they usually wear beards, whereas most of Aktobe assailants were clean-shaven2)Nazarbayev believes that in the tragedy of Aktobe blame the “color revolution”, Source: The Newspapers 2016-06-09. Radio Liberty attributes the responsibility for the attack to the “Army for the Liberation of Kazakhstan,” which, according to officials and some other experts, does not even exist. The level of misinformation is enormous.
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Currently, less than half of the EU’s gas demand is met by domestic production. The rest is imported, mainly from Norway (36%), Russia (41%) and Algeria (10%). In recent years, LNG, or liquefied natural gas, has accounted for around 10% of the imports, with most of them coming from Qatar, Algeria, and Nigeria.
Up to the dissolution of the Soviet Union the world had been bipolar: there had been two superpowers, the USSR and the USA, with two rivalling military (NATO, the Warsaw Pact) and economic (the European Economic Community and the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance in the West known as COMECON) blocs of vassal states. When the Soviet Union collapsed (1991) the world was left with but one superpower: the USA.
Horst Seehofer, Bavarian CSU prime minister, paid a visit to Moscow at the invitation of Mayor Sergey Sobyanin, where he held talks with President Putin. Though the talks centered around fostering cultural and economic relations between Russia and Bavaria, (Bavaria accounts for 20 percent of all Russian-German economic ties with fifty percent of Germany’s investment projects in Russia being of Bavarian origin1) and building up mutual trust in solving the Ukrainian and Syrian conflicts2, Berlin did not seem to be pleased.
It took three wars for Rome to destroy Carthage. Carthago delenda est was the catchphrase of the day. Weakened though Carthage was, it was not allowed to exist. It took two wars for the Atlantic Anglo-Saxon alliance to destroy Germany. Germany must perish1 was the catchphrase of the day. And so Germany perished in the firestorms of carpet bombings. Now Germany is an American protectorate with a docile government and a people so re-educated that it has been turned into German self-haters. What will it take to destroy Russia? Because Ruthenia delenda est, Russia must perish, has been the catchphrase of the day for years now. And will be.
The tension between the USA and Russia has grown enormously over the couple of months. The case of yet another Russian jet shot down by Turkey pushed Ankara into the American embrace. Iran and Syria has stood by Moscow, the guarantor of their independence of the Western powers. Turkey, faced with no real choice, decided to throw in her lot with the USA. Wasn’t it the Allies that won in World War One? Was Turkey not defeated then because she backed the wrong horse? So Erdogan, Turkey’s president for life, has taken his decision: let the Americans make use of Kanal İstanbul and move their fleet into the Black Sea. The Montreux Convention forbidding passage of navies through the Bosporus does not apply. It is not the Bosporus, it is Kanal İstanbul. The year is 2023, the canal has just been completed.
That might be a scenario playing out in the nearest future. If. If the idea for cutting a waterway through the mainland will have materialized within several years from now.
NATO is about to expand taking on a new member: Montenegro. Podgorica’s bid to start accession talks and become the 29th member of the alliance was accepted on 2 December1. Strategically the country is no gain, politically it is. Russia is being sent a signal that yet another state that used to be under her influence is being taken away. The alliance is taking the Balkans piece by piece. Serbia, too, is being considered as a prospective NATO member.
The move that has been spearheaded by PM Aleksandar Vučić is strongly resisted by the Montenegrin population and by Russia. Montenegrins staged protests long ago, even during the visit paid to Podgorica by Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg2. People do remember NATO aerial bombings of former Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro) that took place during the 78 days of the war of 1999, which left many casualties and areas radioactively polluted due to the NATO’s use of missiles with depleted uranium. The opposition Democratic People’s Party advocates a referendum as the only way of deciding whether the country should join the alliance, but the authorities refuse3. Is it because they are afraid of losing?
It was a political decision to down the Su-24, and it reflected more the growing impatience on the part of the Turks at the Russian military actions in Syria rather than an exasperation at the violation of Turkish airspace. The decision also showed Turkish shortsightedness and political immaturity. It was a blow to Russia, one that may lead to far-reaching international consequences. The long-term consequence for Turkey may be the loss of some of her territory to Kurds.
The course of events and their background
If each single violation of a country’s airspace were to lead to the outbreak of hostilities, we would long have had world war three that would have erupted in the region of the Baltic states where such incidents caused by Russian and NATO pilots are far from being rare. The long accepted practice is that in such cases the pilots of both sides try to make eye contact in order to identify the intruder beyond any doubt. Then the alien craft is escorted out of the country’s airspace.
Vladimir Putin is resuming the play. A year ago he was spurned on the international political scene only to become a key player nowadays. As he had a face-to-face talk with Barack Obama during the G-20 Summit in Turkey, he must have been complacent about his plan coming to fruition. Making use of the terror victims, of whom 224 were his compatriots, the Russian president is slowly but surely re-establishing his position, gradually fulfilling his aims. Europe needs Putin in her struggle against Jihadists. It will, however, have its price: Europe will have to lift the sanctions imposed on Russia and give up on plans of integrating Ukraine within the Union.
National security agencies are failing to protect their airline carriers. Travel agency and airline carriers can not rely on traditional security information and security agencies. As states disintegrates, traditional governmental organization do not provide safeguards for reliable operations anymore.
We mentioned back in July that there is a full blown war in the Sinai. The Egyptian authorities do everything in their power to downplay the facts in order to hold the image of them being in full control. To protect their economical interest they do not share information about the situation. Hundreds of people have been killed in the Sinai last year alone. In September 12 Mexican tourists were accidentally shot by the Egyptian army and in august of this year a passenger airliner was targeted by a missile. The British plane was landing at Sharm el Sheikh airport when a rocket was launched in their direction the pilot barely managed to dodge it. This serious event did not result in appropriate actions by the UK’s or Egyptian security authorities.
Egypt, being in a very difficult geopolitical position, may be the next victim of the Syrian war. The Egyptian army has beens truggling with Islamic terrorists on the Sinai Peninsula for a long time, with he Libyan branch of Islamic State causing problems in the western part of the country. Unfortunately for President Abd al-Fattah as-Sisi, with Russian raids in Syria, Islamic militants are now moving to Libya through Sinai.
Egypt did not want to get involved in the war in Syria or in Iraq, directly or indirectly, trying not to spoil the relations with Saudi Arabia. Egypt shared with Bashar al-Assad the common aim, which is to fight the Islamic insurgency. In fact, the nation is waging a war in the north of Sinai against militant groups loyal to the Islamic State. The worst is yet to come, though.