Russia’s “pivot” to Eurasia.

U.S. Rebalance in Asia


© photocredit

Putin ve Erdoğan Ukrayna’daki krizi konuştu

Türkiye Avrasya Birliği’ne aday


Russia’s “pivot” to Eurasia

In Astana, the presidents of the Russian Federation, Kazakhstan and Belarus signed the agreement that gives birth to the Eurasian Union – a Russia-led integrationist project designed to boost economic integration of the post-Soviet space. But what is the Eurasian Unionand what does it mean for the European Union and its relationship with Russia? Is Russia now turning away from the West in the hope of a brighter future in the Asia-Pacific region? Or is it all a mirage?

In a new essay collection published today, ECFR asked ten prominent Russian experts from across the political spectrum to explain why Russian elites are disappointed with Western policies and what this means for the resulting turn towards (Eur)asia. They discuss:
· The history of the idea of “Eurasia”and how it is applicable to the present day;
· Putin’s pet project – the Eurasian Union – and its prospects of success;
· Russia’s disappointment with the West;
· How Russia fears Chinese influence and competition and how it plans to “balance” it;
· The politics of energy in Russia’s pivot to (Eur)Asia;
· The impact of the Ukraine crisis and the annexation of Crimea.

These essays are interspersed by futuristic vignettes on Russia as a non-European country by some of Russia’s leading writers, which help to unlock realities that remain beyond the reach of expert analyses and give texture to the analyses.

‘What Russia is attacking is not just Ukraine, but the entire system of European rules and the European order. Moscow wants not only to restore but also to re-legitimise geopolitical spheres of influence as the organising principle of international life.’

‘The West needs to understand that, for most of its post-Soviet history, Russia has lived in a parallel world. The same events that we have witnessed – and sometimes encouraged or applauded – are not simply evaluated differently but also understood through entirely different paradigms.’ – Kadri Liik Download Related Document.

  • Landmark Eurasian Union Treaty Signed Amid Protests and Arrests


      U.S. Policy Towards East Asia and the Pacific

      (…)We have strengthened and reinvigorated relations with our five treaty allies in the region – Australia, Japan, the Republic of Korea, the Philippines and, despite recent unfortunate developments, Thailand.

      We have upgraded our economic and trade engagement. For instance, we ratified the Korea-U.S. free trade agreement and have worked to fully implement it. We’re negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP, which includes allies and other partners as well.

      And we have strengthened security cooperation with our allies, from our work with Japan and South Korea to counter the North Korean nuclear threat, to the new defense cooperation agreement signed during the President’s recent trip to the Philippines, to our rotational deployment of Marines to Australia. The strength of our alliances was highlighted by President Obama’s recent visit to Japan, South Korea, and the Philippines.

      Our growing ties with emerging powers were highlighted by the President’s stop in Malaysia in April. At the same time, we have rededicated ourselves to collaboration with longtime friends like New Zealand, Singapore, Taiwan, and the Pacific Island nations, as well as renewed engagement with Burma.

      Second, we are helping to build up the region’s security and economic institutions.

      For example, take the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN – a group formed not by us, but by countries in the region that see elements of a shared destiny and which also have shared concerns.

      We were the first non-ASEAN member to have a dedicated mission to ASEAN. President Obama participates annually in the East Asia Summit, a meeting of 18 of the region’s leaders convened and chaired by ASEAN. In the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, or APEC, forum, we work closely with 20 member economies from across the Asia-Pacific to expand trade and investment, promote sustainable growth and strengthen regional ties. And as I mentioned, we are negotiating the TPP. This is an ambitious, comprehensive, and high standard agreement that will promote growth and create jobs both at home and in the region, and includes nearly 40 percent of global GDP.

      These regional institutions and agreements are becoming an increasingly important part of the international system of the 21st century. This is worth putting in context, because the international system – a lot of which we take for granted – is unique in world history. For instance, never before have people, companies, and nations been able to travel and trade more freely. Most Americans take the ability to fly overseas for granted. They think about the cost, of course, but not about the global network of treaties, agreements, and institutions like the International Civil Aviation Organization that make it possible.

      This international system, these global and regional organizations, provide another long-term benefit as well. Because beyond what you read about any single meeting or accomplishment, these bodies inculcate a mindset of working together. Working together on a daily basis can help nations peacefully resolve disputes, and advance each other’s development.

      As countries see the value of working together on a growing range of issues, this mindset and the structures that support it become more and more self-sustaining. And so, too, does the shared understanding that rules and norms, and not size and power, determine the outcome of disagreements. While each group and each time is different, the benefits of global cooperation and regional integration are clear.

      And today, in Asia and the Pacific, regional institutions are driving real accomplishments, whether:
      · negotiating jointly toward a code of conduct for claimants in the South China Sea;
      · improving management of shared resources, like fisheries;
      · eradicating diseases; or
      · addressing pollution that crosses borders.

      Our support of regional institutions will be highlighted by the President’s participation in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in China, and the East Asia Summit in the fall.

      We also have initiatives that bring neighbors in the region closer both to us and to each other, such as the Lower Mekong Initiative. This initiative helps Burma, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam work together to tackle common challenges, including education, infrastructure, agriculture and the environment.

      The third pillar of the rebalance that I mentioned is engaging with emerging powers. By this we have traditionally meant our engagement with countries like Indonesia (with which we have developed a comprehensive partnership and a hold annual joint commission meetings on a range of issues), India (with which I hold very productive East Asia Consultations as well as trilateral meetings on the Asia-Pacific with Japan) and of course, China. But a broader definition of emerging powers could include countries like Vietnam, Malaysia, and, hopefully someday, Burma.

      Expanding people-to-people ties is important throughout the region, and especially with emerging powers. We have increased people-to-people ties through programs like the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative. President Obama launched this initiative on his recent trip to Asia, with youth from across the region to develop patterns of interaction among the region’s future leaders.

      These three pillars support and reinforce each other.
      Strengthening our alliances provides a foundation of security for the region, giving countries the confidence and the space to move forward on their collective interests and strengthen regional institutions. Unforeseen challenges, such as the coup last week in Thailand, can strain relations with an ally.

      But other challenges can bring allies closer together. Amidst the terrible loss of life and devastation of Typhoon Haiyan, our support for the Philippines, along with that of other allies, has been a bright spot.

      Building up those institutions, in turn, helps the region develop the rules of the road that I mentioned. And those rules – developed by and for the nations of the Asia-Pacific – provide the environment for trade, prosperity, and for solving problems.
      Our engagement with emerging powers makes clear that the U.S. seeks partnerships and collaboration. It shows that we are committed to building positive-sum relationships. And it shows that we are prepared to welcome the peaceful rise of countries like China.
      As the invitation to this event mentioned, relations with China are an important component of our policy toward the region. So let me share the Administration’s approach to our bilateral relationship.

      How have we pursued the rebalance with China? By committing to develop a bilateral relationship where we expand areas of cooperation and constructively manage differences. By agreeing that both sides must continue to actively develop bilateral relations and avoid a drift toward strategic rivalry. And by strengthening our engagement with China at all levels, the helps to promote mutual understanding about each other’s intentions, thereby reducing the risk of miscalculation.

      By expanding engagement at the highest levels. President Obama has met with his Chinese counterparts some 19 times, and Secretary Kerry and other cabinet members meet with their counterparts on a regular basis. These meetings help us build and maintain the relationships we need to seize opportunities and address concerns:
      Our high-level Strategic and Economic Dialogue, chaired jointly by Secretaries Kerry and Lew and their Chinese counterparts, is a key venue for both sides to achieve progress toward these shared objectives. We will have two days of intensive senior-level engagement in Beijing this July. We will use them to candidly address areas of disagreement, while at the same time expanding areas of cooperation.

      This Dialogue brings together senior teams from across both governments to tackle some of the most vexing bilateral, regional, and global issues. Issues include the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, climate change, elimination of Syrian chemical weapons stockpiles, food security, maritime security, global health, human rights, economic rebalancing, and energy security.

      Our economies are increasingly intertwined, with investment flowing both ways:
      · In the last decade-and-a-half, cumulative Chinese investment in the U.S. has gone from near zero to $36 billion. Our Mission in China has done a lot to facilitate that investment.
      · And the U.S. Commercial Service, under the Department of Commerce has opened new offices in China.
      · And we agreed last year to pursue a “high-standard” bilateral investment treaty – one that can level the playing field for U.S. firms operating in China and create jobs here at home.

      We cooperate on protecting the environment:
      · Last year, Secretary Kerry and State Councilor Yang Jiechi created a high-level Climate Change Working Group that has made significant progress.

      We cooperate on socio-cultural issues:
      · Through the U.S.-China Consultation on People-to-People Exchange we work to enhance and strengthen ties between citizens of the United States and the People’s Republic of China in fields such as culture, education, science and technology, sports, and women’s issues.
      · The State Department supports more Americans studying in China than in any other country. Approximately 700 students, scholars, and teachers will conduct research, teach, or study Chinese in China through one of our exchange programs. This is in addition to the support we provide for Chinese students and scholars to study and conduct research in the United States.
      · China is the top sender of foreign students to the U.S., with over 230,000 in 2013. We are encouraging more American students to study in China through the 100,000 Strong Initiative and Foundation.

      But I believe we must do much more to expand cooperation in the years to come. The logic of our shared interest should compel greater coordination and cooperation.

      We share an interest in upholding the rules-based international system under which China has achieved historic levels of economic development. The United States has advocated for and embraced China’s inclusion in multilateral fora like the World Trade Organization, the G-20, and APEC, which China hosts this year. These groups create an environment conducive to China’s continued economic growth.

      And more broadly, we know that free access to information, free speech, and the rule of law have been proven ingredients for unlocking human potential in societies across the world. As China works to move up the value chain into innovative industries and the global creative economy, its incentive to reform will increase.
      These are all reasons why I believe China should strengthen its contributions to the international system, accepting its constraints to gain its far greater benefits. The U.S. accepts constraints – we lose some trade cases in the WTO, and some votes at the U.N., but we accept that, because the benefits far outweigh the costs.

      As the President said yesterday, “America benefits when those norms are not only being upheld by us individually, but where all countries buy in… And China now as a rising power needs to be part of that….”

      We will always need to protect our interests where they diverge. We have, and will continue to have, real differences. The question is how we deal with them. The test of our engagement, of our diplomacy is whether we are able to expand practical areas of cooperation on regional and global issues and at the same time manage these differences candidly and constructively.

      In fact, this is the challenge of diplomacy writ large – working together when we can, and working to resolve disagreements peacefully when they arise. And that diplomacy depends on the support of the American people. It depends on people like you, who understand that spending on diplomacy and development is just one percent – less than one percent – of the Federal budget.

      We need to invest in these tools. As President Obama said at West Point yesterday, this is “one of the hard-earned lessons of Iraq and Afghanistan, where our military became the strongest advocate for diplomacy and development. They understood that foreign assistance is not an afterthought, something nice to do apart from our national defense, apart from our national security. It is part of what makes us strong.”
      Because when you only have a hammer, every problem becomes a nail.

      Relations with the Asia-Pacific region matter to all Americans – for our economy, our security, and the advancement of our values. Daniel R. Russel – Assistant Secretary, Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs Full transcript.


      OSCE Says Another Group of Monitors Detained in Eastern Ukraine

      KYIV, 30 May 2014 – At around 19:00 yesterday the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine lost contact with some members of its Luhansk-based team.
      The team was stopped in the town of Severodonetsk (100km north of Luhansk) by armed men.
      The team consists of four international SMM members, as well as one Ukrainian language assistant travelling in two vehicles.

      The detained team is in addition to one currently missing in the East that was last heard from on the evening of May 26. That group consists of four internationals. Source.


      The Crimean operation, a case study…

      by Jolanta Darczewska – Information warfare has a long tradition in Russia. Over the past few years it has been redefined, using geopolitical theory as its foundation. According to this theory, information warfare is a means used by the state to achieve its ends in international, regional and domestic politics and also to gain geopolitical advantage. Geopolitics has also provided Russia with ideological arguments in its strategy for rivalry with the West. As opposed to the ideology of liberalism, it promotes a “neoconservative post-liberal power struggling for a just multipolar world, defending tradition, conservative values and true liberty.” It provides an explanation for the internal crisis in Ukraine and grounds for the annexation of Crimea by Russia in the context of rivalry between ‘Eurasian civilisation’ and the ‘US-led Atlantic civilisation.’

      This text is an attempt to reconstruct an outline of the information warfare theory based on the writings of the leading representatives of Russian geopolitics, Igor Panarin and Aleksandr Dugin, and also its applied use during the operation in Crimea. Download Full text in PDF


      Who was Maidan snipers’ mastermind?

      By Adam LARSON – Andriy Parubiy co-founded the Nazi-inspired Social National party, now Svoboda, in the 1990s. Outwardly, he went mainstream early on, and joined Yulia Tymoshenko’s Fatherland party, running security operations on the Maidan for the 2004 “Orange Revolution.”
      In 2013-14’s more violent regime-change “protests,” he was given the same responsibility. As Euromaidan Commandant and head of the Self-Defense Committee, he was in charge of security for areas where the mob’s authority had overridden the government’s.

      We now know (partly from MP Moskal) that – on the pivotal day of February 20, which will remain the main focus of this report – sniper shots first hit police forces, and came from buildings Parubiy controlled. Ukraine’s previous head of the Security Service (SBU) Alexander Yakimenko said so in March, after fleeing to Russia. When the Commandant proved unable to stop the sniping, which everyone claimed to be against, Yakimenko says he offered to send in a unit to help. He only needed a guarantee his men wouldn’t be shot by Parubiy’s, but he says that was denied. From all this, the SBU chief deduced the snipers were under Parubiy’s command and protection.

      In truth, this failure to stop the killing could be due to malice, or incompetence, or some mix. Whatever the case, the resulting bloodshed was all but necessary for the Kiev Cabal to finally take over. And considering his eminent competence, they made Parubiy security chief for all of Ukraine as soon as they could. Full analysis.


      Power to the Regions

      by Bruno Coppieters – May 30, 2014/ Federalism for Ukraine undoubtedly constitutes a formidable challenge. But the risks involved remain acceptable—when faced with the threat of all-out civil war or the creation of new, unrecognized statelets, a federation can still be judged a necessary compromise.

      There are good reasons to go for the latter option. Federations offer regions genuine autonomy and strong constitutional guarantees that there will be no unilateral changes in how powers are divided between the different levels of governance. For the proponents of a decentralized but unitary Ukraine, however, such federal guarantees would be of no avail in a confrontation with separatist forces. As they see it, federal institutions would, on the contrary, give the necessary leverage and legitimacy to those who strive for the dissolution of the country, and the multiplication of veto powers in the hands of the regions would paralyze state reforms. Political fragmentation, they argue, would make it almost impossible to tackle corruption and establish the rule of law. Full analysis.


      More reading.

    • Leave a Reply

      Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

      You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

      Google photo

      You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

      Twitter picture

      You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

      Facebook photo

      You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

      Connecting to %s

      This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

      %d bloggers like this: