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    Russia as superpower status

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    Karl Haushofer

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    Re: Russia as superpower status

    Post  Karl Haushofer on Wed Aug 12, 2015 12:49 pm

    ExBeobachter1987 wrote:
    Karl Haushofer wrote:
    ExBeobachter1987 wrote:
    Karl Haushofer wrote:No. Without Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan there is no way for Russia to regain it's superpower status.

    And it is for the better. The Russian people did not benefit much from the superpower status of the USSR, but it cost them a lot.

    It is true but mostly because of communism. Imperial Russia could have developed into a wealthy state and a superpower had the WWI and Red Revolution never happened.

    Imperial Russia did also waste Russian blood and prosperity for the sake of a failed ideology (known as pan-slavism).

    Yes, it did. But who knows what had happened since 1911 if Stolypin had not been murdered.

    Karl Haushofer

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    Re: Russia as superpower status

    Post  Karl Haushofer on Wed Aug 12, 2015 12:53 pm

    flamming_python wrote:Constantly embroiled in foreign wars
    Ideological propaganda in society
    Half the world hates you
    A political elite bent on overthrowing governments and twisting the arms of allies

    Yeah I think Russia should give this superpower stuff a miss this time around.

    I think you just described a hyperpower.

    A superpower status for Russia would mean that Russia is able dominate and control it's near abroad while being one of the top-three economies in the world. Right now Russia cannot dominate it's near abroad and Russia is only a top-10 but not a top-3 economy in the world.
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    sepheronx

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    Re: Russia as superpower status

    Post  sepheronx on Wed Aug 12, 2015 1:12 pm

    They could control near abroad, as they proven their capabilities since 2008. They seem extremely reluctant. I cant blame them really and I have a feeling that Russia doesnt care if it is surrounded be enemies so much, cause they know that the idea of devide and conqure doesnt quite work anymore and the piss ant countries around Russia pose no real threat, even if US has bases on them. Only one is Khazakstan and they seem to be far more open to Russia than even Belarus.

    Karl Haushofer

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    Re: Russia as superpower status

    Post  Karl Haushofer on Wed Aug 12, 2015 1:26 pm

    sepheronx wrote:They could control near abroad, as they proven their capabilities since 2008.
    Georgia is a different thing from Ukraine.

    And this is not what I actually meant. If Russia was a superpower it would be able to draw it's near abroad towards it like a magnet and form a political, economic and military union between them.

    The most important piece Ukraine slipped away from Russia, drawn away by a much more powerful magnet that is  the West. Baltic states were drawn away 20 years ago and so were all the eastern European states.

    And since you mentioned Georgia it is true that Russia scored a military victory over Georgia in 2008, but Georgia is still seeking an integration with the West instead of Russia despite being landlocked from Europe in the southern Caucasus.

    If Russia was a superpower then Georgia would be in Russia's pocket and so would be Europe east from Germany.

    We can all blame the West for being imperialist and waging wars, but at the same time the West has an appeal that Russia is lacking. And that appeal comes from being a strong economy with a wealthy population as all Western countries have, and also having a "winner's reputation" since the West usually wins every geopolitical battle that it engages. As long as the West is seen as the winner most countries want to be in good terms with it.
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    sepheronx

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    Re: Russia as superpower status

    Post  sepheronx on Wed Aug 12, 2015 2:07 pm

    Karl Haushofer wrote:
    sepheronx wrote:They could control near abroad, as they proven their capabilities since 2008.
    Georgia is a different thing from Ukraine.

    And this is not what I actually meant. If Russia was a superpower it would be able to draw it's near abroad towards it like a magnet and form a political, economic and military union between them.

    The most important piece Ukraine slipped away from Russia, drawn away by a much more powerful magnet that is  the West. Baltic states were drawn away 20 years ago and so were all the eastern European states.

    And since you mentioned Georgia it is true that Russia scored a military victory over Georgia in 2008, but Georgia is still seeking an integration with the West instead of Russia despite being landlocked from Europe in the southern Caucasus.

    If Russia was a superpower then Georgia would be in Russia's pocket and so would be Europe east from Germany.

    We can all blame the West for being imperialist and waging wars, but at the same time the West has an appeal that Russia is lacking. And that appeal comes from being a strong economy with a wealthy population as all Western countries have, and also having a "winner's reputation" since the West usually wins every geopolitical battle that it engages. As long as the West is seen as the winner most countries want to be in good terms with it.

    I see what you are saying.  You mean in a political and social aspect.

    Well, the thing is, Russia has been always reluctant.  They have given plenty of money.  Actually, far more money than US and Nuland and co gave for the uprisings to happen in Ukraine.  Yet, that didn't stop Ukraine from siding with the US on this.  It really came down to Russia's reluctance.

    There is no appeal, let me tell you.  Many Russians who have moved here will tell the same thing.  Grass isn't greener on the other side.  Do you, as a Finn, feel like paying for the next 30 years for a shitty home?  I bet not.  But that is the reality of life here in the west.  Do you also want to buy things on credit card then have a hard time trying to pay it off?  Probably not.  But that is also the life here.  There is a perception that we are richer, but we are not.  And that is evident by debt count as you may have noticed.

    Russia appeals to me because I can actually purchase a home, with real money, or obtain the needed materials and build it myself without all these regulations that are not needed or I know that I did a good enough job but still have to pay professionals to come in and inspect it then have additional charges, and then tell me to go back and have someone else do it, that does it sub par job and I have to pay for that.  Russia appeals to me as land is far more attainable and I can actually have a proper garden to grow my own fruits and vegetables like so many people in Russia does.  Russia also appeals to me that I can go to university for free as long as I pass the entrance exam, and I don't have to worry about an 18K or higher debt hanging over my head just to go to school like it is here in Canada.

    Maybe because you live in Finland and many aspects of Finland are similar to Russia's in the western part of Russia.  But let me tell you, the grass is far from greener on the other side.  And I hope that these Ukrainians actually see it.  Heck, you can see it amongst many former soviet countries that are now part of EU - Poland for example, or Romania, etc.  Still considered shitholes by people from outside, yet is ridiculously costly to live in and wages suck hard, while debt is higher for these nations than it ever was.

    Edit: Maybe Russia needs to indeed work on its image a little better. Maybe they need to kind of promote their towns and villages. I mean, maybe, build them up a bit, provide newer infrastructure like roads and services, and promote the idea of "living free, having lots of land, and the ability to farm on your own. Live in peace and enjoy the environment while still enjoying the little luxuries in life". I have seen what some villages and towns look like. Some are complete shitholes and some are actually quite nice. Then again, that can be found everywhere. But I noticed that they can even try to sell shitholes here in Canada a lot better than Russia can. So I suppose they need better advertisement for that cases. I guess they also need to fund organizations like the west does, in other countries that tries to portray things in a better light.
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    AlfaT8

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    Re: Russia as superpower status

    Post  AlfaT8 on Wed Aug 12, 2015 2:28 pm

    Karl Haushofer wrote:
    sepheronx wrote:They could control near abroad, as they proven their capabilities since 2008.
    Georgia is a different thing from Ukraine.

    And this is not what I actually meant. If Russia was a superpower it would be able to draw it's near abroad towards it like a magnet and form a political, economic and military union between them.

    Uum... Eurasian Economic union, Collective Security Treaty Organization and BRICS, there not doing to badly.

    The most important piece Ukraine slipped away from Russia, drawn away by a much more powerful magnet that is  the West. Baltic states were drawn away 20 years ago and so were all the eastern European states.

    Let them go, they were dead weight anyway, and as for Ukr it looks like they tried going West, but now the West don’t want them so now there screwed, i said it before and i'll say it again "let those F"kers drown in there own faeces"

    And since you mentioned Georgia it is true that Russia scored a military victory over Georgia in 2008, but Georgia is still seeking an integration with the West instead of Russia despite being landlocked from Europe in the southern Caucasus.

    Without saakashvili, it's all talk, they're simply neutral at this point.

    If Russia was a superpower then Georgia would be in Russia's pocket and so would be Europe east from Germany.

    All the above mentions are dead weight, especially eastern Europe, they all blame there problems on Russia, despite the "Russia" that they blame no longer exists.

    We can all blame the West for being imperialist and waging wars, but at the same time the West has an appeal that Russia is lacking. And that appeal comes from being a strong economy with a wealthy population as all Western countries have, and also having a "winner's reputation" since the West usually wins every geopolitical battle that it engages. As long as the West is seen as the winner most countries want to be in good terms with
    it.

    I'm not touching this one, kvs and others will want it.
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    kvs

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    Re: Russia as superpower status

    Post  kvs on Wed Aug 12, 2015 2:39 pm

    Karl Haushofer wrote:
    We can all blame the West for being imperialist and waging wars, but at the same time the West has an appeal that Russia is lacking. And that appeal comes from being a strong economy with a wealthy population as all Western countries have, and also having a "winner's reputation" since the West usually wins every geopolitical battle that it engages. As long as the West is seen as the winner most countries want to be in good terms with it.

    You are either totally clueless or trolling. This "wealth" image might have had some appeal during the 1990s, but the days of $80 per month wages
    are long over. They went up to $960 per month before the 2014 ruble devaluation. Given the lack of housing costs and other savings
    this is basically around $2500 per month in western lifestyle terms. The ruble devaluation did not actually halve the incomes of Russians
    since their costs are in rubles and not in dollars. People don't live off high priced foreign imports so you can't claim that Russians all
    of the sudden got poor in 2014. They can still afford LCD TVs, appliances and furniture. Car sales dropped, but that means basically
    f*ck all since Russians will migrate to less imports. I don't see too many Canadians driving BMW 7 series and Mercedes 600 series sedans.
    Most people buy cheap econo-boxes (that includes all the Chrysler vans).

    Today NATO and the west (not much more than NATO actually since Latin America does not count) are at their lowest level of respect
    in Russia ever:

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    sepheronx

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    Re: Russia as superpower status

    Post  sepheronx on Wed Aug 12, 2015 2:52 pm

    kvs wrote:
    Karl Haushofer wrote:
    We can all blame the West for being imperialist and waging wars, but at the same time the West has an appeal that Russia is lacking. And that appeal comes from being a strong economy with a wealthy population as all Western countries have, and also having a "winner's reputation" since the West usually wins every geopolitical battle that it engages. As long as the West is seen as the winner most countries want to be in good terms with it.

    You are either totally clueless or trolling.  This "wealth" image might have had some appeal during the 1990s, but the days of $80 per month wages
    are long over.   They went up to $960 per month before the 2014 ruble devaluation.    Given the lack of housing costs and other savings
    this is basically around $2500 per month in western lifestyle terms.     The ruble devaluation did not actually halve the incomes of Russians
    since their costs are in rubles and not in dollars.   People don't live off high priced foreign imports so you can't claim that Russians all
    of the sudden got poor in 2014.   They can still afford LCD TVs, appliances and furniture.    Car sales dropped, but that means basically
    f*ck all since Russians will migrate to less imports.   I don't see too many Canadians driving BMW 7 series and Mercedes 600 series sedans.
    Most people buy cheap econo-boxes (that includes all the Chrysler vans).  

    Today NATO and the west (not much more than NATO actually since Latin America does not count) are at their lowest level of respect
    in Russia ever:


    Right now, sdelanounas isn't operating for me properly. But essential, 90% of sales of cars in Russia this year has been models that are mostly made in Russia and not kit cars. Also, you are right that devaluation isn't what makes Russians all of a sudden poor, it was the the inflation. And as much as they say inflation was "this or that %", if you break it down to where the inflation is and what items, you will notice that majority of it are really either superficial or just pure imports (handbags for example). At that point, minimum wages will go up by 7% across the board in Russia, so various items that didn't go up much in terms of price due to inflation, will be far more attainable now than before for people whom were working poor. There are TV's made in Russia, be it foreign brand or domestic, and same with refrigerations and what not (as I argued with Hannible over this prior) and even though a huge portion of them are foreign based companies, they still manufacture within Russia. So that will bring down the costs significantly. Or at least make it far more attainable. Housings is one of the cheaper things in Russia, but that all depends on which area. Of course there are homes for sale in Moscow or near beach front in Crimea that goes for millions, but the average place is much cheaper than it is out here.

    Hell, now with the policy of families with 3 or more kids getting free housing, I would love to live there. I could save ridiculous amounts not paying a mortgage for the rest of my life like I am now.
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    magnumcromagnon

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    Re: Russia as superpower status

    Post  magnumcromagnon on Wed Aug 12, 2015 4:33 pm

    kvs wrote:
    Karl Haushofer wrote:
    We can all blame the West for being imperialist and waging wars, but at the same time the West has an appeal that Russia is lacking. And that appeal comes from being a strong economy with a wealthy population as all Western countries have, and also having a "winner's reputation" since the West usually wins every geopolitical battle that it engages. As long as the West is seen as the winner most countries want to be in good terms with it.

    You are either totally clueless or trolling.  This "wealth" image might have had some appeal during the 1990s, but the days of $80 per month wages
    are long over.   They went up to $960 per month before the 2014 ruble devaluation.    Given the lack of housing costs and other savings
    this is basically around $2500 per month in western lifestyle terms.

    Interesting you should say that because, residents of Russia's two most expensive cities, Moscow and St. Petersberg, were polled and asked what was considered a minimum living wage, and according to them it was at least $387/month. Citizens who live in Russia's rural areas consider $268/month to be the minimum to be considered a living wage, and urban and rural residents average out to $354/month.

    Opinion poll suggests $354 a month is enough for plain living in Russia

    So if what you say is true about the monthly average wages of Russia, then the average Russian believes that current monthly wages already exceed 3 to nearly 5 times (depending on who you ask) the minimum living wage needed to survive off of.
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    kvs

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    Re: Russia as superpower status

    Post  kvs on Wed Aug 12, 2015 6:48 pm

    magnumcromagnon wrote:
    kvs wrote:
    Karl Haushofer wrote:
    We can all blame the West for being imperialist and waging wars, but at the same time the West has an appeal that Russia is lacking. And that appeal comes from being a strong economy with a wealthy population as all Western countries have, and also having a "winner's reputation" since the West usually wins every geopolitical battle that it engages. As long as the West is seen as the winner most countries want to be in good terms with it.

    You are either totally clueless or trolling.  This "wealth" image might have had some appeal during the 1990s, but the days of $80 per month wages
    are long over.   They went up to $960 per month before the 2014 ruble devaluation.    Given the lack of housing costs and other savings
    this is basically around $2500 per month in western lifestyle terms.

    Interesting you should say that because, residents of Russia's two most expensive cities, Moscow and St. Petersberg, were polled and asked what was considered a minimum living wage, and according to them it was at least $387/month. Citizens who live in Russia's rural areas consider $268/month to be the minimum to be considered a living wage, and urban and rural residents average out to $354/month.

    Opinion poll suggests $354 a month is enough for plain living in Russia

    So if what you say is true about the monthly average wages of Russia, then the average Russian believes that current monthly wages already exceed 3 to nearly 5 times (depending on who you ask) the minimum living wage needed to survive off of.

    I think you are citing post-devaluation dollar amounts. The $960 figure was from before devaluation, after devaluation it would be about $500.
    But dollar amounts are meaningless. The forex market has a few hundred key players at most even if there are millions of transactions and
    these players drink the koolaid that Russia is a one-commodity (oil) banana republic.

    I think the $1000 per month rent/mortgage costs that Russians do not see but westerners enjoy should be included in any comparison.
    Take whatever "rich" westerners make, subtract this amount, and then compare to what "pauper" Russians make.
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    GarryB

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    Re: Russia as superpower status

    Post  GarryB on Thu Aug 13, 2015 2:06 am

    Half the world already hates Russia so.....

    Only if you believe western propaganda and think the west is half the world... in terms of land area the west would fit within Russias borders, and in terms of population they are an even smaller percentage of the world...

    The BRICSA countries hold more of the worlds population than the west does and it seems happy enough with Russia.

    Russia should just focus on its own problems and not worry too much about solving the rest of the worlds problems except when the solution coincides with solving their own.

    Rather than competing with the west it should just look after its own and work to improve its own situation and quality of life for all of its citizens.

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    Re: Russia as superpower status

    Post  Guest on Thu Aug 13, 2015 2:29 am

    GarryB wrote:
    Half the world already hates Russia so.....

    Only if you believe western propaganda and think the west is half the world... in terms of land area the west would fit within Russias borders, and in terms of population they are an even smaller percentage of the world...

    The BRICSA countries hold more of the worlds population than the west does and it seems happy enough with Russia.

    Russia should just focus on its own problems and not worry too much about solving the rest of the worlds problems except when the solution coincides with solving their own.

    Rather than competing with the west it should just look after its own and work to improve its own situation and quality of life for all of its citizens.
    Thing is that the world's population isn't represented equally. When talking about governments, half the world hates Russia and will continue to do so.

    The Soviet Union was focused on competing with the US that it ended up hurting a lot of its own people. Russia on the other hand is on making the quality of life better for its people. I would argue that they are moving in the right direction overall. That direction has also resulted in the rebirth of a strong Russia. Unfortunately, a strong Russia doesn't fair too well with the other world powers.
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    KoTeMoRe

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    There is simply no way Russia can become leading country in the world.

    Post  KoTeMoRe on Thu Aug 13, 2015 2:47 am

    kvs wrote:
    magnumcromagnon wrote:
    kvs wrote:
    Karl Haushofer wrote:
    We can all blame the West for being imperialist and waging wars, but at the same time the West has an appeal that Russia is lacking. And that appeal comes from being a strong economy with a wealthy population as all Western countries have, and also having a "winner's reputation" since the West usually wins every geopolitical battle that it engages. As long as the West is seen as the winner most countries want to be in good terms with it.

    You are either totally clueless or trolling.  This "wealth" image might have had some appeal during the 1990s, but the days of $80 per month wages
    are long over.   They went up to $960 per month before the 2014 ruble devaluation.    Given the lack of housing costs and other savings
    this is basically around $2500 per month in western lifestyle terms.

    Interesting you should say that because, residents of Russia's two most expensive cities, Moscow and St. Petersberg, were polled and asked what was considered a minimum living wage, and according to them it was at least $387/month. Citizens who live in Russia's rural areas consider $268/month to be the minimum to be considered a living wage, and urban and rural residents average out to $354/month.

    Opinion poll suggests $354 a month is enough for plain living in Russia

    So if what you say is true about the monthly average wages of Russia, then the average Russian believes that current monthly wages already exceed 3 to nearly 5 times (depending on who you ask) the minimum living wage needed to survive off of.

    I think you are citing post-devaluation dollar amounts.   The $960 figure was from before devaluation, after devaluation it would be about $500.  
    But dollar amounts are meaningless.   The forex market has a few hundred key players at most even if there are millions of transactions and
    these players drink the koolaid that Russia is a one-commodity (oil) banana republic.  

    I think the $1000 per month rent/mortgage costs that Russians do not see but westerners enjoy should be included in any comparison.
    Take whatever "rich" westerners make, subtract this amount, and then compare to what "pauper" Russians make.

    West is "West" when people need it. See Greece, Italy, Spain, all West, all Perennial losers since they joined the club. See France, See Great Britain, they have to roll back on every recent "geopolitical battle" they've engaged. Libya is a Failure. Syria has gone the way of Lebanon. The great Arab Spring we were sold went bust. Instead every little bit of agreement is a bitter fought one, with less and less traction from the "West" to obtain anything. Worse, the biggest challenges that lie ahead, seem to be own goals for "The West". Chinese expansion and subsequent bubbles that will inevitably happen, make Western victories Pyrrhical at best, strategic defeats at worst. There's a resettlement that is happening, with people eager to compete, eager to find a place in this economy, yet Europe and America are about to try and shortcut it by the most recent TTP/FTA. That's not how it works in real life. Perpetual movement so far is on the Eastern Side. It will take a lot to change that. It's simply numerical superiority at work.
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    George1

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    Re: Russia as superpower status

    Post  George1 on Mon Oct 12, 2015 2:43 pm

    Russia Is On the Cusp of Regaining Global Power

    Oil and Middle East politics combine to afford Russia a chance to resume a position it lost at the collapse of the USSR

    Vladimir Putin has chosen the timing of his intervention in Syria very skillfully. Through his operations in the Middle East, he has the chance to make Russia a world power again. This game is all about the price of oil, and Putin knows: the hand that turns the oil spigot has the last word in all geopolitical issues.

    Russia's intervention in Syria as a means to fight terrorism is only a superficial goal. Unlike the Americans, the Russians calculate their actions with prudence; not just militarily, but geopolitically as well.

    Russia has long since been a partner of Syria. Syria is an important bridgehead to the Middle East, particularly with regard to transport routes for raw materials. Originally, the Americans wanted to have the Russians cut off from these routes, but the shot backfired. The US Army refused to follow President Barack Obama.

    So in going after Assad, the Americans had to join the front with unpredictable mercenaries and terrorists. The only partner to the US was Turkey, but Turkey chose to pursue its own self-interests. The terrorists, in turn, were happy with the weapons they’d captured – and used them against the Americans, when necessary. Washington had accepted the formation of IS [ISIL/ISIS/Daesh] in the beginning. The Americans had hoped to use this war machine to topple Assad.

    At the same time, the neocons, who are behind the US strategy, tried to keep the Russians occupied with Ukraine. Through the expansion of fracking, they had hoped to establish an alternative to crude oil in the US and in Ukraine, possibly even in the EU. That, however, turned out to be a long, hard road. The fracking method is expensive and can only be financed through taxpayer money. The fracking companies were far away from any profit-earnings; stock prices plunged.

    This is the moment Putin seems to have been waiting for, because Russia was hit hard by the price decline that OPEC had instrumentally used to ward off fracking. The implementation of skillful monetary policy helped to ease the pain – i.e. strong dollar, weak ruble – but the dependence on commodity exports is Russia’s Achilles heel. During the Yeltsin years, in a trusted play between the US neo-cons and some willing oligarchs, the country was looted for all it was worth. No government has managed to diversify the Russian economy. The new commodity shock is extremely dangerous for Russia.

    The first developments in oil prices proved Putin right. The price rose after the intervention in Syria was started.

    The commodity analyst Dallas McEndree has a very interesting analysis on Oilprice.com:

    Energy is the foundation of Russia, its economy, its government, and its political system. Putin has often stressed the importance of mineral resources for the preservation of Russia's economic growth and industrial development. Mineral resources are needed to help Russia catch up to the more developed economies and for modernizing Russia’s military, and their defense industry.

    Since 1992, the correlation between GDP growth on the one hand and the production of oil and gas, exports and prices on the other has been clearly evident. Russia’s oil and natural gas are not just important for Russia, but for its Eurasian neighbors as well. In 2014, Russia supplied about 30 percent of Europe's gas and a quarter of its crude oil in 2013.

    Besides the raw materials themselves, Russia’s well-developed ground infrastructure for the distribution of these resources is of great importance to Russia. Tatiana Mitrova, Head of the Oil and Gas Department in the Energy Research Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences (ERI RAS), reckons: “Russia has a unique, transcontinental infrastructure in the heart of Eurasia (150,000 km of pipelines), which makes it the backbone of a vast and developing Eurasian gas market.

    The control over both the means of transport as well as the gas reserves makes Russia the pivotal center of this new market.” The land-based oil-distribution network is small, but not insignificant. The 4000-kilometer-long Druzhba Pipeline, for example, covers about 30 percent of total deliveries to Europe. The Russian government is keen on furthering the development of this infrastructure, and has already introduced a number of pipeline projects.

    The threats to the Russian energy sector have intensified more and more in recent years and the revenues that Russia is able to draw from the business are under severe pressure. The decision of Saudi Arabia to let the market determine the prices has led to sharp drops in the prices of crude oil and petroleum. The export prices are also affected, which in turn, are what is partly responsible for the switch to hybrid pricing models for gas in Europe.

    The charts show how threatening the situation is:

    The sanctions ordered by the US against Russia have increased the pressure. Due to the sanctions, Russian energy projects receive no financial backing, nor can projects be supported through the delivery of technology or equipment. On top of that, the US and Canada have already established themselves as strong competitors in oil and gas production, as McEndree has analyzed.

    It was therefore necessary for Putin to act. He managed to persuade the rebels in the eastern Ukraine to keep quiet. Recently, they have even canceled the regional elections – brokered by Putin. Lucky for Putin, the EU-funded Kiev government is corrupt and argues mainly about which pockets the EU taxpayers' money should be flowing into. The EU has to finance the Greek debt at the same time, and is busy dealing with the refugees, therefore neither Germany nor France have an interest in escalating the conditions in Ukraine. They simply can’t afford it.

    The third aspect is the issue of the US elections. Obama is a lame duck - and perhaps that is why he’s the only one in Washington who’s still somewhat sane. Obama knows that the military involvement in Syria was a disaster. Obama doesn’t want to go down in history as the president who threw the Middle East and Europe into total chaos.

    Obama is therefore willing to cooperate with Putin and is glad that he is there to pull his chestnuts out of the fire for him. The Neocons are in an uproar, but can’t do much. The advantage of the military-industrial complex is in this case, the fact that Obama is the commander-in-chief. The neocons and NATO can’t do much more than bark.

    Putin's alliances with Iraq, Iran, and especially with China are proof of a certain foresight. With partners like these, Russia can play a leading role in the Middle East. By wisely looking ahead, Putin was also able to involve Israel. Above all, Putin might succeed in breaking OPEC’s power hold. This is directed primarily against Saudi Arabia. The Saudis themselves are busy at the moment with the generation change and are going in a direction so that the young sheikhs can distinguish themselves with an illegal war against Yemen. This occupies a lot of forces and serves to divert their attention.

    McEndree has precisely analyzed this aspect in Putin's strategy:

    The question remains to be clarified as to whether the developments in the Middle East could save the Russian energy market. Tensions there are usually linked to the security of transport routes for raw materials. The Middle East itself is primarily dependent on sea transport. Since all waterways include a geographical bottleneck, they are far more vulnerable to external threats than the pipelines used by Russia. By expanding the airbases in Syria, Russia could influence these pathways.

    Putin’s action has significantly strengthened Russia's influence on OPEC. Russia already has close ties with Iran and Venezuela, and soon possibly with Iraq. These countries stand against Saudi Arabia's decision on oil prices. The Russian Deputy Prime Minister for Energy Policy noted that OPEC members are now suffering from the effects of their own strategy to edge out rivals by flooding the market, and doubts that OPEC members would be really satisfied with long-term low oil prices.

    Russia could indeed succeed in splitting OPEC into two blocks, and thus isolating Saudi Arabia. A strategic alliance between Putin and Iran, as well as Putin and Iraq, could create even more opportunities for Russia to put pressure on Saudi Arabia. For one thing, they could test Saudi determination to defend its market. Secondly, by cooperating with Iran and Iraq, one could take over Saudi market shares in the Chinese market. The Chinese market will be the second largest import market, and with its ever-growing demand, it will be of even greater interest to all parties in the next few years.

    So thanks to his impeccable timing, Putin could achieve far more than just a military prestige victory over the Americans. Turkey, led by an opportunistic and unscrupulous Erdogan, will quickly bring Putin to its side. The Turkish Stream project is underway. Current delays are not very important; they’re Putin’s threats against Erdogan. So far, Putin hasn’t said anything about Erdogan’s private war against the Kurds. He’s pleased that Erdogan is preoccupied with the Kurds and doesn’t have any corresponding interests with the Americans.

    The EU won’t budge. It is now totally dependent on the Russian supply of energy. If Russia controls the Middle East, the talks with the EU will all of the sudden become very constructive for the following reason: there will be two partners sitting at the table for these energy imports with Russia and Iran, and the chaotic EU leadership will be hopelessly secondary.

    McEndree thinks Putin would have to consider his actions carefully, so as not to arouse the fear of total energy dependence on Russia in Europe. The risk is negligible, because most of the EU’s fears are currently centered on the refugees, and they will pay any price to get the issue off the table. Erdogan has already flexed his muscles in Brussels. Once Putin pacifies Syria, he’ll be welcomed with open arms.

    If the plan works, Russia could actually break up OPEC and thus win access to the oil price. It’s not possible for Russia to exist with a long term low gas price. A not-to-be-underestimated danger for Putin is the recent warning of the Governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney. He said with unusual clarity that drastic regulations for oil and gas products could happen very suddenly. That would hit Russia hard.

    Granted, it wouldn’t hit Russia in the short term, but it could redirect the flow of capital into alternative energy sources. Russia is too weak to stop this sort of attack. The alliance with China could pay off here. China has created a new level of infrastructure projects with the aid of the new Investment Bank AIIB and the Silk Road Project.

    McEndree writes, “All of these options require successful cooperation with Syria, Iraq, and Iran. This is not completely guaranteed in light of the Ukraine crisis.”

    That's true, but if Putin wins this battle, he has at least a fair chance to have Russia taken seriously as a world power. Big talk coming from the US or the EU is not enough, because what matters in the foreseeable future is this: the hand that turns the global oil spigot has the last word.

    http://russia-insider.com/en/politics/russia-cusp-regaining-global-power/ri10435
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    flamming_python

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    Re: Russia as superpower status

    Post  flamming_python on Mon Oct 12, 2015 3:27 pm

    Screw that.
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    Walther von Oldenburg

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    Re: Russia as superpower status

    Post  Walther von Oldenburg on Mon Oct 12, 2015 3:54 pm

    Screw what?
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    sepheronx

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    Re: Russia as superpower status

    Post  sepheronx on Mon Oct 12, 2015 3:59 pm

    Walther von Oldenburg wrote:Screw what?

    Russia becoming a super power.

    I tend to agree cause it causes more trouble than it is worth. instead, Russia should just stick as a partner for Russian friendly nations (Iran, Syria, Kazakhstan, etc) and use the CSTO as a method of trying to keep the balance and peace (I really hope that Iran and Syria joins CSTO eventually).
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    kvs

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    Re: Russia as superpower status

    Post  kvs on Mon Oct 12, 2015 4:03 pm

    1) Russia never stopped being a superpower. To call it a regional power is retarded. Germany is a regional power.

    2) Russia has no interest in Soviet-style superpower activity. That is now the job of the USA, which is exporting revolution
    (aka regime change) around the world.

    3) Russia will counter US imperialism when it is necessary since the USA cannot be allowed to undermine Russia. This
    is not "Russia regaining its superpower status". This is Russia acting rationally to defend itself.

    Project Canada

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    Re: Russia as superpower status

    Post  Project Canada on Mon Oct 12, 2015 6:27 pm


    Russia can be a "silent" superpower, a country that has the all the parameters of a superpower but without the hype and enormous boasting like Pindostan

    BTRfan

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    Re: Russia as superpower status

    Post  BTRfan on Mon Oct 12, 2015 7:11 pm

    Vann7 wrote:
    mx109 wrote:Im just throwing this out there why doesnt russia try to strengthen alliances with mexico and help them deal with the cartels


    Because mexican government fears US retaliation. MExican presidents understand that the American CIA and its anti drug agencies are the biggest traffickers of Drugs in USA..They don't want US to start flooding mexico with NGOs and terrorist and repeat a Syrian fake revolution in mexico. And this is not mentioning how US could easily give weapons to Drug cartels. They can however ask for technology and weapons to be more efficient, to counter drugs and intelligence.

    TR1 and other fanboys of the "land of freedom" will love this.. Not conspiracy theories.. but a major scandal in USA for CIA busted helping drug cartels.  and US arming criminals in Nicaragua (just like they doing in Syria today) to overthrow a legitimate government that was friendly to Russia.



    So Mexico well knows they have a very dangerous neighbor at their borders ,and prefer to just look to the sides.
    Honestly is hard to say if they are doing the right thing or not.. because if you don't have a united country , US could destroy it in no time ,the Ukrainian way.  You bet.. that the white house who is always planning how to increase its empire ,will have a plan B and Plan C and hundreds more, to overthrow any Mexican government that seeks a military alliance with Russia and ask for Russia military bases. Mexico shares a big border with US , and it requires
    a major nation unity with very educated society ,with a very strong economy to become a fully independent nation in Mexico..  Look at Russia how  US is attacking their currency.. This is the reason most latin countries prefer to look to the sides.. since do not have the capabilities to resist a US offense. By the way.. the american journalist Gary webbs who uncovered the story of US Government drug trafficing was murdered later ,in a very violent way .  US have a multibillionaire business in Drug trafficing.. and they use their military bases today to bypass any country security.
    in argentina the government was not impressed and ordered its police to inspect their airforce transport plane and found cocaine bags. In afganistan NATO traffic Heroine and the money goes to Generals and politicians pockets.
    That say the level of corruption in US gov..is mind blowing.. movies fall short of their actions.


    Amongst those who understand reality in the USA, the joke is that CIA stands for "Cocaine Importing Agency."
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    George1

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    Re: Russia as superpower status

    Post  George1 on Fri Jan 15, 2016 8:05 am

    Back With a Bang: How Russia is Growing on the International Stage

    Political experts at the Bruno Kreisky Forum for International Dialogue held in Vienna agree that Russia has become a much more influential player in the international arena over the past few years.

    In 2014, the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea declared independence from Ukraine and officially asked for entry into Russia. The EU and European countries accused Russia of illegal annexation of Crimea and introduced a series of sanctions against Moscow.

    Tensions further escalated when Russia started an air campaign in Syria to defend the legitimate government against Daesh terrorists. Relations between Moscow and the West reached their lowest point since the 1980s.

    Despite the sanctions and tense relations with the West, Russia has made a strong come-back to the global arena of international players.

    Political analyst Ivan Krasteav said at the forum, “Russia is back. The problem is that Russia is mainly back because of its ‘hard power’. This is a significant difference between countries such as China, on the one hand, and Russia on the other,” Press TV reported.

    Deliberating on whether Russian air campaign in Syria may lead to mutual interaction between Moscow and the West in the fight against terrorism, Gerhard Mangos from International Security Research Group said that there is an active Russian military presence in the conflict in Syria and this may lead to Assad remaining in power for the foreseeable future.

    “This has made European governments understand that a political solution to the Syrian crisis, and there is no military solution, can only be found in cooperation with Russia,” Mongos said.

    According to the experts of the forum, what Russia wants to do is transform the hegemonic system in which the United States plays a leading role into a multipolar system by the inclusion of more centers of power and decision-makers in the international sphere.

    Read more: http://sputniknews.com/russia/20160114/1033132893/russia-leads-political-arena.html#ixzz3xKFvYuE3
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    JohninMK

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    Re: Russia as superpower status

    Post  JohninMK on Thu Feb 04, 2016 3:15 pm

    I'm back with another VT thread for your perusal. Again it has to be said that there can be some off the wall stuff over there but there are gems too. This, to my mind is one, it is a very very long read for a thread but very thought provoking. Here are the first few paras setting the scene


    The Russian Phoenix: Hope or Illusion? By Moti Nissani on February 3, 2016

    Russia and the USA: Criminal Gangs Competing for Turf?


    Apart from the mainstream portrayal of Russia as a ruthless expansionist dictatorship (a portrayal too ludicrous to merit attention here), most awake commentators fall into one of two camps.

    Members of the first camp believe that the realization of a better world depends on Russia’s success in its efforts to reform itself, maintain its independence, and contain American ambitions.

    Members of the second camp believe that the Russo-American confrontation is of no significance to the long-term future of humanity either because that conflict is being engineered by the people who control both nations, or because both sides to the conflict are “criminal networks that use brutality and violence to enforce their control over given areas and to terrorize others.”

    Neither camp, to my knowledge, provides a fact-based bird’s-eye view of this topic. The present article attempts to close this gap, thereby enabling readers to form their own opinion. The article concludes with my own tentative attempt to resolve the dispute between these two camps, arguing that both are partially in the right—and partially in the wrong.


    http://www.veteranstoday.com/2016/02/03/the-russian-phoenix-hope-or-illusion/

    Firebird

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    An enlarged 21st century Russia-based superstate during the 21st century..?

    Post  Firebird on Thu Sep 01, 2016 4:24 am

    Obviously until 1991 there were 2 world superpowers. The USSR (often incorrectly called "Russia") and the USA. Since then, the EU and China have emerged major players. And Russia has taken a deliberate "lower profile" atleast until the last few years.

    I was thinking about China and how Russia MIGHT develop as a "megapower" in the 21 century.
    China is actually "7 kingdoms" or was traditionally, before it became an empire. China also has many languages. So you could argue that China isn't even really one country today - given that the provinces are culturally, linguistically etc rather different.

    So I wonder... how far a "Russian superstate" might be feasible? Or even a "Russia centric superstate". Here's the points in its favour:-

    1)Global warming.
    Good land eg in the US and Africa and Asia will become too hot for farming perhaps.
    Russia's vast colder spaces may become vastly more valuable. Especially if you look at ways of reclaiming the Tundra for farming (check out Pleiceocene Park in Sakha Rep).
    Check out some reports and Russia+Canada are tipped to be potential "megapowers" in this century as water and food become much more valuable.

    2)Russia can sustain a huge population. UNlike other powers. It is "underpopulated".
    3)It is a military, intellectual and resource powerhouse.
    4)Its "lean and mean" - low debt, low levels of "decadent frivolity" unlike some states.
    5)In 1900, its population (the Russian Empire) was expected to reach 650 MILLION by the late 20th century. But it is now under 150M - for various reasons.
    6)Most former Soviet states are pro Russia or have pro Russian elements. That easily brings a population up to 225m or so
    7)Rivals have major problems.
    America's dominance is purely historic (it was the sole WW2 "victor" etc and has a waning dollar hegemony. America has lost its lead, it has debt, and potential racial/class unrest. Its spending more than it earns in many ways and is hooked on immigration and excess materialism.

    Europe has some of America's problems esp racial/other disharmony.
    China will come to a crunch when its workforce has to retire. How will it fund that? Also there are potentially many angry young men who can't find wives.

    8)Much of Eastern Europe shares immense cultural roots with Russia. Much of the Ukraine basically IS Russia. But look at Bulgaria, Poland and others. Likewise, linguistic links.

    Now I'm sure some will say "I'm Polish, its nothing like Russia". Well? Will you accept zillions of Iraqis into Poland as Frau Merkel demands? Do you think Polish and French are similar culturally or linguistically? Nope. China is 7 kingdoms and its pretty integrated. So, I wonder if much of the Slavic world could reintegrate. After all Slavic nationalism or patriotism wasn't a Stalin idea. Hungary and Bulgaria's residents even migrated from what is now Russia/related places many many years ago. West Europeans don't particularly "like" E Europeans. However, in Russia there will be the perspective of "slavic brotherhood". Perhaps more than a feeling of brotherhood between a European Russian and certain Asian Russian republics etc.

    So, I wonder if there is any upshoot to all this?
    Could a Russia centric superstate appear this century?
    What sort of format will it be in?










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    kvs

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    Re: Russia as superpower status

    Post  kvs on Thu Sep 01, 2016 4:39 am

    I think there is a low chance of the other Slavic states joining Russia in a pan-Slavic entity. They have been very effectively conditioned by cold war
    propaganda to hate Russia. Most of them behave like spoiled prats with an entitlement syndrome. They think they were deprived of their due
    riches between 1945 and 1989 instead of saved from racial extermination at the hands of the Nazis. The butthurt in countries like Poland is
    stupendous. Ukraine is the latest clown state in this collection. One-note Johnny spazzes that define their whole identity as being un-Russian,
    i.e. they have no real identity of their own.

    China is way too distinct to ever form a combined entity with Russia. The current "alliance" is one of convenience. China is very opportunistic
    and arrogant.

    Project Canada

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    Re: Russia as superpower status

    Post  Project Canada on Thu Sep 01, 2016 5:14 am


    It might not happen in my lifetime, however I do want to see Russia expand its territories into atleast Ukraine and Belarus. Later additions with great strategic importance would be central asia and the southern caucasus, but with USA around it is not possible at the moment, USA must collapse first so any expansion can be successful

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