An outstanding article by former CIA analyst Ray McGovern, whose speciality while at CIA was Russia.
McGovern refers to Russia's "pivot East." Last week Russia sponsored an economic conference attended by 62 nations -- all of them ready to abandon the US dollar.
At the conference Russia and China announced a $400 billion energy deal. That's a very significant fraction of the total world energy use -- that will be paid for in rubles/yuans -- not petro dollars. MHG
Premature US Victory-Dancing on Ukraine
May 28, 2014
By Ray McGovern
Washington’s role in the coup d’etat in Kiev on Feb. 22 has brought the U.S. a Pyrrhic victory, with the West claiming control of Ukraine albeit with a shaky grip that still requires the crushing of anti-coup rebels in the east. But the high-fiving may be short-lived once the full consequences of the putsch become clear.
What has made the “victory” so hollow is that the U.S.-backed ouster of elected President Viktor Yanukovych presented Russia’s leaders with what they saw as a last-straw-type deceit by the U.S. and its craven satellites in the European Union. Moscow has responded by making a major pivot East to enhance its informal alliance with China and thus strengthen the economic and strategic positions of both countries as a counterweight to Washington and Brussels.
In my view, this is the most important result of this year’s events in Ukraine, that they have served as a catalyst to more meaningful Russia-China rapprochement which has inched forward over the past several decades but now has solidified. The signing on May 21 of a 30-year, $400 billion natural gas deal between Russia and China is not only a “watershed event” – as Russian President Vladimir Putin said – but carries rich symbolic significance.
The agreement, along with closer geopolitical cooperation between Beijing and Moscow, is of immense significance and reflects a judgment on the part of Russian leaders that the West’s behavior over the past two decades has forced the unavoidable conclusion that – for whatever reason – U.S. and European leaders cannot be trusted. Rather, they can be expected to press for strategic advantage through “regime change” and other “dark-side” tactics even in areas where Russia holds the high cards.
This Russian-Chinese rapprochement has been a gradual, cautious process – somewhat akin to porcupines mating, given the tense and sometimes hostile relations between the two neighbors dating back centuries and flaring up again when the two were rival communist powers.
Yet, overcoming that very bitter past, Russian President Putin – a decade ago – finalized an important agreement on very delicate border issues. He also signed an agreement on future joint development of Russian energy reserves. In October 2004, during a visit to Beijing, Putin claimed that relations between the two countries had reached “unparalleled heights.”