Erdogan accesses Baku oil

Brussels 12.11.2020 Anna van Densky OPINION The result of the military campaign for Nagorno-Karabakh is the entry of Azerbaijan into the NATO orbit. Turkey is NATO, even the first NATO army in terms of military personnel.

This Turkish military base presence agreed with Azerbaijan means unhindered access to Baku (pictured) oil, which is imported by Turkey, lucrative contracts of the Turkish energy company BOTAS with the Azerbaijani SOCAR, and in return President Erdogan will export Islam. In short, the Turkish expansion in the Caucasus will proceed in the military, political, economic and cultural spheres.
Do svidania, Azerbaijan!
It doesn’t make sense to have a “poker face” and declare Putin a “great winner”. Russia got a burden of protection of the poorest country in the Caucasus, which became even poorer after the N.Karabakh war, and at the same time suffers from militant chauvinism and high levels of anti-Russian sentiment, while the wealth of oil fields went to Turkey under the leadership of Erdogan.

It is not clear what is so victorious in the duty of protecting Armenia, which is in the deepest economic and political crisis? After the pogrom in the parliament in Yeravan, and hospitalisation of the speaker caused by mob attack, and further vandalism in Prime minister Pashinyan residence, Armenia resembles a failed state.

Meanwhile “Sultan” Erdogan received what Germany did not get during the Second World War, and because of what, in fact, the Battle for Stalingrad, where two million perished – access to Baku oil. Now, Erdogan gained access to the Baku oil rigs during a campaign that lasted a little more than two months. And he fought mainly with the forces of the Azeri army and with their funds from the sale of the same oil. And the Russian peacekeepers went to defend the dilapidated quarries of N. Karabakh, used for graveyards.
Concluding mentioned above, N.Karabach war opened Turkish era in Caucasus, which will change the region entirely and without return, launching its Islamisation. Sunset of Russian influence. One more failure of President Putin.
Image below: Turkish Defence Minister and former Chief of Staff Hulusi Akar is on official visit to Baku.
The fraternal gesture between the two military Azerbaijani and Turkish have been duly displayed in the official images, flaunting Ankara victory.

Nagorno-Karabakh: Russia deploys 1960 peacekeepers

Brussels 09.11.2020 According to Russian TASS Agency a peacekeeping contingent of the Russian Federation will be deployed along the line of contact in Nagorno-Karabakh and along the Lachin corridor in the amount of 1,960 servicemen with small arms, 90 armored personnel carriers, 380 units of automobile and special equipment, the statement signed by Russia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan says. President Putin confirmed the decision to send peacekeepers in an TV addresse.

The peacekeeping contingent of the Russian Federation is being deployed in parallel with the withdrawal of the Armenian armed forces. The duration of the stay of the peacekeeping contingent of the Russian Federation is 5 years with automatic extension for the next 5-year periods, if none of the Parties declares 6 months before the expiration of the period of intention to terminate the application of this provision.

In order to increase the effectiveness of control over the implementation of the agreements by the Parties to the conflict, a peacekeeping center is being deployed to control the ceasefire.

The Republic of Armenia will return the Kelbajar region to the Republic of Azerbaijan by November 15, 2020, and the Lachin region by December 1, 2020, while leaving behind the Lachin corridor (5 km wide), which will ensure the connection of Nagorno-Karabakh with Armenia and at the same time not will affect the city of Shusha.

By agreement of the Parties, in the next three years, a plan for the construction of a new traffic route along the Lachin corridor will be determined, providing communication between Stepanakert and Armenia, with the subsequent redeployment of the Russian peacekeeping contingent to protect this route.
The Republic of Azerbaijan guarantees traffic safety
along the Lachin corridor of citizens, vehicles and goods in both directions.

Internally displaced persons and refugees return to the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh and adjacent areas under the control of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

The exchange of prisoners of war and other detained persons and bodies of the dead is carried out.

Nagorno-Karabakh: Armenia confirms complete ceasefire

The text of the statement of the presidents of Russia, Armenia and Azerbaijan is being distributed on social networks (information needs to be confirmed)

Statement
President of the Republic of Azerbaijan,
Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia
and the President of the Russian Federation

We, the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan I. G. Aliyev,
Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia Nikolai Pashinyan and
President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin
announce the following:

1. A complete ceasefire and all hostilities in the zone of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict are announced from 00:00 hours Moscow time on November 10, 2020. The Republic of Azerbaijan
and the Republic of Armenia, hereinafter referred to as the Parties, stop at their positions.

2. The Aghdam region and the territories held by the Armenian Party in the Gazakh region of the Republic of Azerbaijan shall be returned to the Azerbaijan Party until November 20, 2020.

3. Along the contact line in Nagorno-Karabakh and along the Lachin corridor, a peacekeeping contingent of the Russian Federation is deployed in the amount of 1,960 military personnel with small arms, 90 armored personnel carriers, 380 units of automobile and special equipment.

4. The peacekeeping contingent of the Russian Federation is being deployed in parallel with the withdrawal of the Armenian armed forces. The duration of the stay of the peacekeeping contingent of the Russian Federation is 5 years with automatic extension for the next 5-year periods, if none of the Parties declares 6 months before the expiration of the period of intention to terminate the application of this provision.

5. In order to increase the effectiveness of control over the implementation of the agreements by the Parties to the conflict, a peacekeeping center is being deployed to control the ceasefire.

6. The Republic of Armenia will return the Kelbajar region to the Republic of Azerbaijan by November 15, 2020, and the Lachin region by December 1, 2020, while leaving behind the Lachin corridor (5 km wide), which will ensure the connection of Nagorno-Karabakh with Armenia and at the same time not will affect the city of Shusha.

By agreement of the Parties, in the next three years, a plan for the construction of a new traffic route along the Lachin corridor will be determined, providing communication between Stepanakert and Armenia, with the subsequent redeployment of the Russian peacekeeping contingent to protect this route.
The Republic of Azerbaijan guarantees traffic safety
along the Lachin corridor of citizens, vehicles and goods in both directions.

7. Internally displaced persons and refugees return to the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh and adjacent areas under the control of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

8. The exchange of prisoners of war and other detained persons and bodies of the dead is carried out.

9. All economic and transport links in the region are unblocked. The Republic of Armenia provides transport links between the western regions of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Nakhichevan Autonomous Republic in order to organize the unimpeded movement of citizens, vehicles and goods in both directions. Control over transport communication is carried out by the bodies of the Border Service of the FSB of Russia.

By agreement of the Parties, the construction of new transport communications linking the Nakhichevan Autonomous Republic with the western regions of Azerbaijan will be provided.

Erdogan anger amid fossil fuel decline

Brussels 26.10.2020 Anna van Densky OPINION Recent President Erdogan verbal attacks on France have many reasons rooted in frustrations, not least is the economic difficulty of Turkey, experiencing sharp decline of demand of fossil fuels on world markets. Related to COVID-19 pandemic reduction of demand has dropped to record 30%, however the experts explain that the trend is here to stay. Before the pandemic broke out Turkey has been gaining strength as an energy corridor, supplying oil and gas to Europe from oil-rich suppliers of the region. However now, in so rapidly changing world, will Ankara be able to preserve its plans, or following the hydrocarbons definite decline of demand, it will face the economic consequences of end of fossil fuel era?

In the beginning of the pandemic, China’s economy slowed down, impacting fossil fuel demand, subsequently the OPEC tried to negotiate with Russia the limitations of production, but failed, the price struggle erupted between Saudi Arabia and Russia, and oil prices collapsed. Moreover, end October crude oil prices sank after Libya’s National Oil Corp (NOC) announced the output would reach one (1) million barrels per day in four weeks. Futures in New York fell 2.3% to drop below $39 a barrel.

In this volatile context Turkey will begin to discuss the new long-term energy contacts with a number of suppliers – Russia, Azerbaijan, Iran, Algeria and Nigeria, of total 45 billion cubic meters of gas. Three of them are covering one third of the energy imports – with Russia, Azerbaijan and Nigeria – will expire next year. The Turkish state-owned crude oil and natural gas pipelines and trading company BOTAŞ and Russian Gazprom had to negotiate delivery of 8 billion cubic meters of gas; the contract with Azerbaijan is covering 6.6 billion cubic meters of natural gas and with Nigeria for 1.3 billion cubic meters of LNG will – all of them expire in 2021.

Till present Russia remains the largest gas supplier to Turkey – 33.6% of total imports, followed by Azerbaijan 21.2% and Iran 17.1%. The rest 28.1% is covered by the liquefied gas (LNG) from other sources. However fossil fuel companies have entered the state of “terminal decline”, and fossil fuel companies are set to face it because of falling demand and higher investment risks caused by competition from clean technologies and tougher government climate and energy security targets, according to climate finance analysts, because of falling demand accelerated by COVID-19 pandemic, and higher investment risks explained by competition from clean technologies and strict government climate and energy security targets.

In this contemporary context the belligerent rhetoric of Erdogan against President of France, reflects tensions in Turkish society, facing the economic crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The government has no plan B to answer to the fossil fuel decline impact of the economy. According to official figures Turkey’s unemployment rate improved slightly to 12.8% in April despite the raging pandemic, while the alternative calculations indicate that more than 50% were jobless. These figures might grow sharply while fossil fuels demand is declining, and plans of President Erdogan to create Turkish energy hub became dim.

The exaltation of the crisis of the relations between Turkey and France did not come as a surprise: France had systematically criticised Turkey’s role in Syria and Libya, and nowadays the unfolding conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the Nagorno-Karabakh region, defending human rights of the Armenian inhabitants there. This recent conflict has added to the other tactics of President Erdogan to deviate the attention of his compatriots from gravity of economic situation in Turkey to various conflicts and crisis he stirs in outside world.
But not only, the active Ankara political support of Azerbaijan in Nagorno-Karabach conflict, will certainly reflect on energy talks of next year expired contracts, the moment when Erdogan will attempt to convert his political influence into preferences and privileges enshrined in new energy energy agreements with Russia and Azerbaijan, allowing Turkey better gains from gas and oil transit.

EU «wahsed hands» of Belarus

#Belarus #Lukahsenko #BelarusProtests
Anna van Densky OPINION Today, on August 19, an extraordinary meeting of the Council of the EU on the situation in Belarus took place by teleconferencing.

The feeble answer has surprised many. The EU leaders have not pronounced the name of the genuine elections winner Svetlana Tikhanovskaya even once (!)While being so ardent about Ukraine integration into the bloc, why showing so little engagement towards dramatic events in Belarus?

First of all the context has entirely changed for the Europenan Union as an internationl organisation, transcending a profound systemic crisis itself. The bloc is in a difficult economic and financial situation because of the pandemic and because of the Brexit. The UK, the second largest contributor to the EU’s coffers, has left the organization and there is no trade agreement yet, and most likely will be none, which will create a considerable number of the economic problems in short, medium and long term.

At present the economy of Belarus is integrated into Russian and it is also orientated to the former Republics of the USSR, exporting there machinery. What is especially lucrative is the export of agricultural products to Russia, while it would be not easy to find the replacement for clients at the EU market, which has a surplus of agricultural products to an extend that the farmers receive funds not to produce, and not to develop the arable lands.

The dependency of Belarus on Russian hydrocarbons (Yamal gaz pipline) is a common place, and does not need any additional clarifications; the machinery, produced for former Republics either.

Regarding political transition to democracy from Lukashenko authoritarian rule, the major riddle is how to integrate the country into the EU politically, while it’s economic foundation is firmly intertwined with Russian Federation, and former Soviet bloc.

The defence issue is not less problematic: joining the CSTO, Belarus became a military ally of Russia. Certainly it can cancel the CSTO membership, but the maximum of what can be achieved afterwards from the army and the people is military neutrality. Due to its history, the country will opt for neutrality policy, since the people do not sympathise with NATO and, unlike Ukraine and Georgia, there has never been any talk of joining the North Atlantic Alliance for Belarus.

And here the geopolitical level of the issue is reached: there is no point in integrating a country into the EU which will not host military bases of the United States, and even less so joining the the North Atlantic Alliance. If the Belarussians keep Lukashenko in disdain, it does not mean that they are ready to join the “belt of infidelity” and serve Western interest, regarding Russia as a foe, as Ukrainians and Georgians are eagerly doing.

Taking into consideration mentioned above one should not expect active political support and financial assistance to Belarus from the EU similar the one they offer to Ukraine and Georgia.

A policy of sanctions against Lukashenko’s entourage has already been chosen by the EU, which is related to the policy of sanctions againstRussia and will be further harmonized with it. De facto, what looks like support to Belarussians will be an additional package of sanctions against Russian economy.

Subsequently further retention of Lukashenko in power by allies in Moscow is not only meaningless, but frankly detrimental to the economic interests of Russia, because they will be used by the West as a tool for expanding sanctions. Lukashenko life-long presidency will also significantly deteriorate image of Vladimir Putin in domestic politics, and deepening of the Belarussian crisis will have a negative impact on the entire range of Russian interests at home and abroad.

In their best interest Russians shouldn’t hold on to the political corpse of Lukashenko, but should arrange his swift and humble funeral and turn their attention to the other contemporary political players preferred by Belarus people:

The king is dead! Long live the king!”.

Inauguration of incumbent President Lukashenko one more time will take place in two month, Russian TASS new agency reported. He has been Belarus authoritarian ruler for 26 years, who came to power as a “new type of leader” in last millenium and stayed due to his “clinch” with power for almost three decades, erasing smallest signs of dissent.

Khabarovsk: Russians protest against Putin

#Khabarovsk #Russia The protestors started with the demands of release of their governor Sergei Furgal, who was abdicted, they believe, because of his refusal to falsify the results of the Constitution referendum, which aimed at crowning Putin lifelong President of Russia.

The Far East region of Khabarovsk showed very little support to a plan of leaving Putin at power to 2036, with 36,64% of «NO» votes among 44% turnout, and after that failure Sergei Furgal «lost confidence» of the President, and was literally kidnapped, and transported to Moscow prison.

The abdicated on July 9 governor denies all accusation of plotting murders of businessmen committed in 2004-2005, claiming his innocence.
People in Khabarovsk insist the entire Furgal affair is fabricated, being the revenge for his independence, and democratic attitude towards the plebiscite, letting the vote happen without manipulations.

Nowadays the citizens are not only demanding his liberation, but also the resigantion of Putin, and respect of democracy, being indignant by the foul play around Constitution, with one single aim of continuation of Putin’s presidency.

They are chanting «Putin’s thief!», «Putin resign!», «Putin out!», «Crime against Constitution», «Russia without Putin!». National Guards sent to the central square said they will not act against people, in case of order to use force, they will surrender uniforms and quit.

Remarkable, that Khabarovici use method of Catalans and Yellow Vests, manifesting on Saturday, and working during the week to keep movement going for a long period of time.
It is also special that people went out in the streets in spite of the summer heat: + 31 C°
Cases of heat stroke were reported, and at least one woman received medical assistance.
Citizens-journalists claimed there were 100 000 people in streets today, more than last Saturday.
The protests started shortly after arrest of Sergei Furgal, and became massive from July 11.

Reacting upon the situation, Putin has appointed a new governor Mikhail Degtiarev from the same Liberal party, however he was not accepted by the citizens, even as deputy to revolve the situation temporarily.

At present the authorities try to play the COVID-19 card, demanding everyone «STAY HOME-STAY SAFE», but it is obvious that they are concerned about FREEDOM – “the most contagious virus known to man” spreading all over Siberia, already showing discontent with Putin’s authoritarian rule, absence of genuine political competition causing endmemic corruption.
Following Bolshevik Revolution the Far Est Republic was established in 1920-1922 in Siberia by Social-Democrats, but after the failure of White movement requested joining Russia. However nobody in Siberia has forgotten the legendary years of independence.

Review by Anna van Densky

Lavrov birthday and birth of Politburo II

Anna van Densky OPINION Amid coronavirus pandemic drama a few noticed a remarkable milestone date, defining the future of Russian Federation for next couple of decades: the birth of the second grand “Politburo” with life-long members. (Image above: Vladimir Putin and Sergey Lavrov).

On March 21 Sergey Lavrov, the Foreign Minister of Russia became de facto a “member of Politburo” to stay most probably as long as one of his great predecessors – Andrey Gromyko who led Soviet diplomacy for 28 years (1957-1985). This perspective is especially real in the context of change of Russian Constitution, breaking the time limits for Vladimir Putin to become life-long President.

Before crushing Russian Constitution to dust to establish dictatorship, rooted in methodically consturcted “cult of personality” during last 20 years, Vladimir Putin signed Federal Law No. 143-FZ of May 23, 2016, which provided for a phased increase in the old-age retirement for people who fill government positions in the Russian Federation and positions in constituent entities, as well as those who hold state and municipal services.

The age limit for civil service became 65 years. Previously this age level was 60 years old (Part 1 of Article 25.1 of the Federal Law of July 27, 2004 No. 79-FZ “On the State Civil Service of the Russian Federation”).

Extension of the service remains possible, but only for civil servants filling the posts of the category “assistants (advisers)”, established to assist the person filling the public position. The term of extension will not change for them – until the end of the term of office. But the rest of the civil servants, who can be extended to 65 years today, will lose the possibility of further extension.

For the top figures of public service the term can be extended to 70 years. But for them, the procedure for agreeing on such an extension has changed. Before the signature of the law it was decided by the President, then after the amendments enter into force, further service by such persons should be extended by the Federal state body that appointed them to the position or by the corresponding official.

The new rules came into effect on January 1, 2017, however Minister Lavrov has successfully ignored them to stay “forever” top diplomat of Russian Federation, illustrating the predominant culture of contempt to laws, that is so typical for post-Soviet period. None of the official instances clarified the legal basis for the permission to Lavrov to stay beyond legally established age.

However this episode facilites the shaping of Western policies vis-à-vis Russia, returning to the déjà vu pattern of Soviet era of Brezhnev stagnation, ending in biological change of power after him and his Politburo passing away.

Nowadays with the significant achievments of medicine visible on example of “eternal‘ President of Cameroon Paul Biya (87), Putin and his “Politburo” reign togehter with the five year period of Politburoostentatious” funerals can last easerly up to 2040, until Death do us part. Amen!

Putin myth in Western politics

Anna van Densky OPINION It is a seductive idea to explain personal failures with exterior factors, declining any responsibility, pointing to the extraordinary powers of deities. This impulse is as old as the world. They heroes of Iliad, waging Troy war were also explaining the misfortunes of military operations by interferences of gods and goddesses. Greeks even promoted a chance to divinity, depicting her as as a running woman with short hair, reducing an opportunity to stop her, when she passed by. (Image below: social media, happy tourists next Elgin marbles, British Museum).

However the influences of the incumbent Russian President are depicted as far more grande, than just momentum services of the goddess of Chance, passing by. In modern Western discours Vladimir Putin has received the central place on the Olympus, representing powers of Zeus (Jupiter) himself, overthrowing and making kings.

The so called Russianmeddling in elections“, appeared after the failure of the American Democrats to win the third presidential mandate in a raw, and was presented to broader public as an explanation of this political loss, in a desperate attempt to “save face“. In the beginning the concept was received with a lot of scepticism and even irony, but after a huge investment into promotion, it was firmly integrated into political environment. Subsequently Trump era in politics is characterised not only by return of nation state as a major entity in political process, and its antagonism with globalists, but also by an unprecedented magnitude of invasion of mythology into politics.

As a result of adventurism and opportunism, modern political process is plagued by mythology, flooding public information space with legends and images deriving from archaic concepts. Explaining every political failure with supranatural powers of Putin-Jupiter is intoxicating, and discrediting the democratic political culture by imposing the idea of divinity, demoralising electorate and impacting negatively people’s creativity. It is also catastrophic for future of democracies, preventing entire societies from analysing and correcting human errors.

The continuation of attributing Brexit to influence of PutinDeity” will cause further decline of the EU27, derailing rational and imposing mythological into politics, averting scientific process of examination of phenomena of Euro scepticism, while imposing fatalism and paralysis in face of supranatural powers, leading to immobility and total collapse of the bloc.

Russian Lavrov FOREVER!

For those who worried about the resignation of Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov (69) it is a good new – he is re-appointed. Just a bit of thrill of drama, but in reality the science was staged.

Lavrov – FOREVER! A symbol of a typical feature of modern Russian political life – change without change. A paradox? Not at all, just running on empty.

Sergey Lavrov is the head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs si ice 2004. A remarkable longevity. Will he continue to lead Russian diplomacy until his last breath? It is a possible scenario. Some of his colleagues, like Vitaly Churkin, who represented Russian Federation in the UN, worked until he passed away in his office on day before his 65 birthday.

Respected for his professionalism by both allies and foes Lavrov, and admired by many by his sharp sense of humour, he is one of the longest serving Russian cabinet members and in March turns 70, which is currently the maximum age limit for state officials.

Nomandy Four: «winners and losers»

Anna van Densky OPINION Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said it is inappropriate to assess the outcome of the Normandy Four Summit in Paris in terms of the “winners and losers“.

Everyone pursued the same objective, that is, to resume the work of the Normandy format after a long break and revive real efforts to find a solution to the conflict in southeastern Ukraine” he explained.

Certain steps, important steps in that direction have been taken, but much more remains to be done,Peskov underlined.

It is inappropriate to say here who was the winner and who was the loser at that Summit,” Peskov concluded.

However Peskov is wrong, because not everyone pursues the “same objective“, and the Normandy Summit projects on the broader political context, where there are “winners and losers” in the protracted Donbass conflict, and their numbers multiply each single day.

Zelensky presidency and Kiev government to deal directly with people of Donbass, whom they formally consider their citizens, but the same time also “separatists” or “occupants“, creates a toxic atmosphere, affecting all spheres of life, including investment climate. However it is mass migration that damages Ukraine the most, forcing the active and skilled population to flee instability, and search for jobs outside the country. During last five years of Poroshneko mandate the figures of departures mounted up to 100 000 people a year. Will Zelensky be able to renverse the trend?

When electing Zelensky, the voters massively rejected the belligerent politics of his predecessor Petro Poroshenko, who ascended power by the violence coup d’état, and launched offensive against the Russian-speaking est of the country, calling the operation a “counter-terrorist” raid. The Ukrainian electorate expects from Zelensky the Donbass conflict resolution without delay. In many cases falsely presented as a conflict between Ukrainian pro-Europeans and pro-Putinites, it is about the respect of the fundamental rights of minorities in Ukraine.

“After Viktor Youchenko attributed a statuts of hero of Ukraine (2010) to Nazi criminal and Holocaust ideologist and active participant Stepan Bandera, the assimilation firmly replaced the respect of minority rights.

If later Petro Poroshenko initiated the inclusion in the Constitution of Ukraine the clause on EU integration, the claim stayed totally nominal, while the EU has 60 regional languages, Kiev marched the opposite direction. The European Union was established as a project of peace, while Ukraine decides arguments with artillery.

Suffocated by chauvinism and corruption, the Ukrainian society is in perpetual conflict with all the national minorities who are denied of the elementary individual and linguistic rights.

The slow motion for the implementation of Minks agreements, also projects on the degradation of relations between the ethnic communities within the Ukrainian society, while they realise that reluctance of Kiev to grant Donbass a special status means a denial of their identity as well. Meanwhile the notorious language law, voted by Rada and endorsed by President Porkoshenko causes concerns of the Venice Commission, making a conclusion that it strips ethnic minorities of use of their mother tongue, violating their fundamental rights.

“The language law, breaching international laws and commitments of Ukraine, is a bad omen for Donbass people, and all the other minorities in the country, but it would be naïve to think that it does not rub off the credibility of Zelensky. Silently agreeing to serve as a blunt instrument of the West to deter Russia, through repressing Russian minority in Donbass, he is undermining his own leadership in eyes of around hundred other minorities living on the territory of modern Ukraine.

While the West is cheering Zelensky, encouraging him to oppose President Putin in a Cold War syndrome style, refusing fundamental rights to Russian ethnic group in Donbass, the entire complex of minority rights in Ukraine are sacrificed, overlooked as collaterals in the crusade against Kremlin. However, hostage to Ukrainian radial nationalists with their agenda of total “Ukrainisation” of population, Zelensky‘s target of “de-occupation” of Donbass creates a self-destructive narrative, betraying his own electorate demanding peace, and surrendering further grounds to nationalists, hailing Bandera, the true winners of protracted Donbass conflict.