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Moscow’s Strategy: To Win Everywhere, Every Time

Moscow’s Strategy: To Win Everywhere, Every Time

Authored by Federico Pieraccini via The Strategic Culture Foundation:


Important events have occurred in the Middle East and North Africa in recent weeks that underline how the overall political reconfiguration of the region is in full swing. The Shia axis continues its diplomatic relations and, following Rouhani’s meeting in Baghdad, it was the turn of Adil Abdul-Mahdi to be received in Tehran by the highest government and religious authorities. Among the many statements released, two in particular reveal the high level of cooperation between the two countries, as well as demonstrating how the Shia axis is in full bloom, carrying significant prospects for the region. Abdul-Mahdi also reiterated that Iraq will not allow itself to be used as a platform from which to attack Iran: “Iraqi soil will not be allowed to be used by foreign troops to launch any attacks against Iran. The plan is to export electricity and gas for other countries in the region.”

Considering that these two countries were mortal enemies during Saddam Hussein’s time, their rapprochement is quite a (geo)political miracle, owing much of its success to Russia’s involvement in the region. The 4+1 coalition (Russia, Iran, Iraq, Syria plus Hezbollah) and the anti-terrorism center in Baghdad came about as a result of Russia’s desire to coordinate all the allied parties in a single front. Russia’s military support of Syria, Iraq and Hezbollah (together with China’s economic support) has allowed Iran to begin to transform the region such that the Shia axis can effectively counteract the destabilizing chaos unleashed by the trio of the US, Saudi Arabia and Israel.

One of the gaps to be filled in the Shia axis lies in Lebanon, which has long experienced an internal conflict between the many religious and political currents in the country. The decision by Washington to recognize the Golan Heights as part of Israel pushed the Lebanese president, Michel Aoun, to make an important symbolic visit to Moscow to meet with President Putin.

Once again, the destabilizing efforts of the Saudis, Israelis and Americans are having the unintended effect of strengthening the Shia axis. It seems that this trio fails to understood how such acts as murdering Khashoggi, using civilian planes to hide behind in order to conduct bombing runs in Syria, recognizing the occupied territories like the Golan Heights – how these produce the opposite effects to the ones desired.

The supply of S-300 systems to Syria after the downing of the Russian reconnaissance plane took place as a result of Tel Aviv failing to think ahead and anticipate how Russia may respond.

What is surprising in Moscow’s actions is the versatility of its diplomacy, from the deployment of the S-300s in Syria, or the bombers in Iran, to the prompt meetings with Netanyahu in Moscow and Mohammad bin Salman at the G20. The ability of the Russian Federation to mediate and be present in almost every conflict on the globe restores to the country the international stature that is indispensable in counterbalancing the belligerence of the United States.

The main feature of Moscow’s approach is to find areas of common interest with its interlocutor and to favor the creation of trade or knowledge exchange. Another military and economic example can be found in a third axis; not the Shia or Saudi-Israeli-US one but the Turkish-Qatari one. In Syria, Erdogan started from positions that were exactly opposite to those of Putin and Assad. But with decisive military action and skilled diplomacy, the creation of the Astana format between Iran, Turkey and Russia made Turkey and Qatar publicly take the defense of Islamist takfiris and criminals in Idlib. Qatar for its part has a two-way connection with Turkey, but it is also in open conflict with the Saudi-Israeli axis, with the prospect of abandoning OPEC within a few weeks. This situation has allowed Moscow to open a series of negotiations with Doha on the topic of LNG, with these two players controlling most of the LNG on the planet. It is evident that also the Turkish-Qatari axis is strongly conditioned by Moscow and by the potential military agreements between Turkey and Russia (sale of S-400) and economic and energy agreements between Moscow and Doha.

See Also

America’s actions in the region risks combining the Qatari-Turkish front with the Shia axis, again thanks to Moscow’s skilful diplomatic work. The recent sale of nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia, together with the withdrawal from the JCPOA (the Iranian nuclear agreement), has created concern and bewilderment in the region and among Washington’s allies. The act of recognizing the occupied Golan Heights as belonging to Israel has brought together the Arab world as few events have done in recent times. Added to this, Trump’s open complaints about OPEC’s high pricing of oil has forced Riyadh to start wondering out aloud whether to start selling oil in a currency other than the dollar. This rumination was quickly denied, but it had already been aired. Such a decision would have grave implications for the petrodollar and most of the financial and economic power of the United States.

If the Shia axis, with Russian protection, is strengthened throughout the Middle East, the Saudi-Israel-American triad loses momentum and falls apart, as seen in Libya, with Haftar now one step closer in unifying the country thanks to the support of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, France and Russia, with Fayez al-Sarraj now abandoned by the Italians and Americans awaiting his final defeat.

While the globe continues its multipolar transformation, the delicate balancing role played by Russia in the Middle East and North Africa is emphasized. The Venezuelan foreign minister’s recent visit to Syria shows how the front opposed to US imperialist bullying is not confined to the Middle East, with countries in direct or indirect conflict with Washington gathering together under the same protective Sino-Russian umbrella.

Trump’s “America First” policy, coupled with the conviction of American exceptionalism, is driving international relations towards two poles rather than multipolar ones, pushing China, Russia and all other countries opposed to the US to unite in order to collectively resist US diktats.

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Olivia KrothManintheMoonVethBrigitte Meier Recent comment authors
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Olivia Kroth
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The Russian strategy is less bloody than wars, it is more user-friendly and brings long-term results.

Veth
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Veth

Russia invaded Ukraine, killed 20.000 Ukrainians in Donbass. You are proud!
Russia downed MH17….you smiled. Russia occupies illegally Crimea and Donbass, arrest innocent people, close Ukrainian schools.

ManintheMoon
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ManintheMoon

Could you give us the date of the supposed invasion? I thought not As for the MH17, there never was any. I suggest you troll elsewhere, you’re wasting your masters’ time on here. …

Olivia Kroth
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Please do not feed this troll, ManintheMoon. He comes off and on, like the moon waning and waxing. He is some sort of deranged guy, roaming around in the Internet. Best to ignore him. He will vanish again, as so often in the past.

Brigitte Meier
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Brigitte Meier

Very correct analysis. People in the world want to live better, not fight war for as elusive a cause as “US democracy and freedom”! The polarization between US allies and Sino- Russian allies will in time be mitigated by the EU block and India. These latter two blocks will be friendly with the Sino-Russian block but remain independent, all the while participating in the BRI scheme, though in the case of India, not openly just yet. But that will come. No nation outside the US can afford not to take advantage of the BRI. It is the structure of the… Read more »

Olivia Kroth
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Russia is a big winner in Turkey. Russia TODAY reports: Turkey embraces Russia’s national payment system credit card Mir Published time: 19 Apr, 2019 08:57 The largest banking chain in Turkey, along with the country’s 10,000 online retailers, have started accepting Russia’s Mir cards, according to the CEO of Russia’s national payment system (NSPK), Vladimir Komlev. The Russian national charge card will be accepted in more than 40,000 trade outlets all over Turkey. Komlev added that the operator of Mir is currently integrating the cards with one of Turkey’s oldest lenders, Ziraat Bank. Last month, the state-run firm launched its… Read more »

Veth
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Veth

Russians are loosers. 5400 Russian Army soldiers killed in Donbass hahaha

Olivia Kroth
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Russia is also a big winner in China. XINHUA reports: China-Russia trade volume up 9.8 pct in Q1 Source: Xinhua| 2019-04-19 19:41:16|Editor: ZX TIANJIN, April 19 (Xinhua) — Trade between China and Russia reached 164.8 billion yuan (24.2 billion U.S. dollars) in the first quarter of this year, up 9.8 percent compared with the same period last year, according to China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOC). It is expected that bilateral trade between the two countries will keep momentum in 2019, according to Luo Weidong, director of Eurasian Affairs Department of the MOC, at the China Tianjin International Fair for Investment… Read more »

Olivia Kroth
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XINHUA; E-commerce facilitates Sino-Russian trade Source: Xinhua| 2019-04-19 19:11:02|Editor: ZX GUANGZHOU, April 19 (Xinhua) — Yu Hang’s business Ruston Express delivered a record high of 338 million packages between China and Russia, 10 times more than in 2013 when he founded the company. The record delivery was also seen with the cross-border e-commerce trade between the two countries, which reached 3.7 billion U.S. dollars in the first three quarters last year, up 23 percent year on year. “The sound development of trade relations, especially the booming cross-border e-commerce, has directly boosted business for logistics companies like us,” Yu said during… Read more »

ManintheMoon
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ManintheMoon

A good article. I can’t think of any other major power in history that has proved so successful in undermining its own interests, uniting its rivals and making enemies of its allies. American impotence is becoming clearer by the day and it won’t be long before they are deserted even by their most subservient vassals – although my own idiotic leaders will no doubt try to stay long enough to go down with the sinking ship

Olivia Kroth
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Press TV reports: US dollar losing luster in Russia’s foreign trade despite sanctions: Intl. audit firm Mon Apr 29, 2019 05:35PM [Updated: Mon Apr 29, 2019 06:08PM ] An international audit firm says Russia has successfully managed to decrease the use of US dollar in its settlements with its foreign trade partners, significantly increasing the number of deals in Russian rubles and euro. “Tendency towards doing away with the US dollar on foreign trade is obvious. This is the way to a more stable economy and protection of it against sanctions,” said Elena Trubnikova, chairwoman of the board of FinExpertiza,… Read more »

Olivia Kroth
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Press TV reports: Turkey interested in Russian weaponry other than S-400: Russia’s arms exporter Mon Apr 29, 2019 05:28PM [Updated: Mon Apr 29, 2019 06:23PM ] The chief executive of Russia’s state-owned arms trade company Rosoboronexport says Turkey has expressed great interest in the acquisition of Russian military hardware other than advanced S-400 air defense missile systems. Aleksandr Mikheev said on Monday that Turkish officials have voiced eagerness to purchase other Russian-built air defense systems of various ranges, anti-tank munitions as well as remote controlled weapon stations. Mikheev further noted that Moscow and Ankara have already established several joint ventures… Read more »

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