The relationship between Washington and Moscow is already near the breaking point, and early this morning, risked spinning entirely out of control, when a pair of Russian jets first harassed and thenMore
On May 29 Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan and Armenia mark the anniversary of the establishment of the EAEU. Despite it was formed 9 years ago, in Sri Lanka people still know little about this organization.
What is EAEU?
In 1994, the first President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev at his lecture at Moscow State University formulated an idea of the Eurasian economic union. After the tragedy of the collapse of the USSR, all 15 republics of the former Union faced numerous problems, connected with the devastating economic crisis, which resulted in the crash of the economy, industry and a sharp decline in living standards. In some parts of the former biggest nation of the world civil conflicts were unleashed. Many Western enterprises entered the hot area, using imperfections of the new laws to grow rich and take out the unique technologies from the heart of the former second industrial power. In this pot of instability, the western robbers and our domestic collaborators had fished in troubled waters to improve their positions. They designed to use any means to become richer in the people’s tragedy, developing criminal businesses and killing innocent people.
The governments of the newly independent countries faced an enormous amount of challenges. The industrial cooperation between parts of the previously united country was broken, but there were no units that could act independently. The united system of transport and banking crashed in a moment, as all around. So, in 1995 the governments came to the agreement that there is no way forward but to pass this path together. In 1995 the Agreement about the Customs Union was signed by Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan, which was widened in 1999 in the Treaty on Customs Union and Common Free Market Zone.
The formation of the Eurasian Economic Union was long and complicated. In some treats, it is very similar to the process of European integration, which started after the Second World War from the European Coal and Steel Community in 1951 and resulted in the European Union in 2004. Nevertheless, the former Soviet republics today are continuing discussions about free economic cooperation with no political part – and the current state and policy of the European bureaucrats is one of the main reasons for this kind of limit.
In any circumstances, we used a positive experience of European integration in our process. As Russian President Vladimir Putin mentioned in his article “A new integration project for Eurasia: The Future in the Making”, “it took Europe 40 years to move from the European Coal and Steel Community to the full European Union. The establishment of the Customs Union and the Common Economic Space is proceeding at a much faster pace because we could draw on the experience of the EU and other regional associations. And this is our obvious advantage since it means we are in a position to avoid mistakes and unnecessary bureaucratic superstructures”.
In 2000 the Treaty of Establishing Eurasian Economic Community was signed. In 2010 the new step of the economic integration of the space of the former Soviet Union was done – Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan created and finally launched with success the Customs Union. In 2011 the Eurasian Commission was established and the start of full-scale Eurasian economic integration was declared. In 2012 the Eurasian Economic space started its operation as a single market that provides for the free movement of persons, goods, services and capital.
Finally, on May 29, 2014, the Treaty of the Eurasian Economic Union was signed by Russian President Vladimir Putin, Belorussian President Lukashenko and Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev. The operation of this Union of more than 190 mln people, an area of more than 20 mln square kilometres and a GDP of 1.84 bln US dollars started in the new year of 2015.
The same year Armenia and Kyrgyzstan joined the EAEU. In 2018 the new, common Code of Customs was launched and the numerous programs to develop further integration within the Union were elaborated. All these achievements were warmly welcomed by the common people, who benefit from the renewed economic state. Prices for many products came down, as there were no more barriers. The common standards and courses of law simplified the operation of businesses.
Among those countries who wanted to join the Union were Ukraine and Moldova. But unlawful Nazi coup-d’etat in Kyiv, inspired by the Anglo-Saxons, crushed the longstanding approach of the Ukrainian people to live and labour together with their neighbours and brothers peacefully. After the change of power in Moldova this state has turned to the route of deep integration with Romania and the EU as well, with the majority of people looking forward to being with Russia and the EAEU.
What place EAEU has in International Relations?
Besides the full membership, first of all, there is the so-called “observer membership”. Cuba and Uzbekistan have the status of observers to the EAEU. Moldova since 2017 has also been the first state with such status, but in 2021, as it was mentioned above, that state became a victim of aggressive Western policy. Its president found that joining the EAEU was “out of the law procedures”, but the state is still considered to stand as an observer.
The EAEU has a net of the Free Trade Zone agreements, this kind of treaty is signed with Vietnam, Iran, China, Serbia and Singapore. At least 10 countries find cooperation with EAEU interesting in this format. Much more countries and international organizations have signed Memorandums of interaction with the EAEU.
What are the main objectives and goals of EAEU?
The main objectives of the Union are creating conditions for the stable development of the economies of the member states in order to improve the living standards of their population. It is highlighted in Article 4 of the basic Treaty. To obtain these objectives, the member states agree on mutual recognition of the qualifications, unification of the technical regulations and standards, coordinating the macroeconomic policy, establishing the common financial market and many other measures to ensure balanced economic development.
Due to the policy of Western unilateral sanctions and the consequences of the COVID pandemic, the current state of the Global Economy is very close to the new World Economy Crisis. There are numerous risks for the member-states now, from the limitations that last from the outbreak of COVID to instability in the fossil fuels markets, capital migrations to the “safe havens” and, of course, the policy of restrictions. There are some internal challenges as well, for example, the need for diversification, modernization, low speed of economic growth and investment activities say in innovations.
The priority of the Union’s development at the moment is to overcome the mentioned challenges that can cause problems for the economies of member states. So, in this path, we are aimed at attracting investment to the perspective directions of economic development. EAEU members are coming closer to boosting innovations, widening the industrial cooperation within the Union and achieving the goals of formatting the new techno-economic paradigm.
There are several criteria for the maintenance of the macroeconomic stability of the EAEU. The annual budget deficit should be less than 3% of GDP, state debt – less than 50%, and inflation – not more than 5% in addition to the lowest rate among the member states.
The goals and directions of the EAEU are largely in line with the goals and targets of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Regional economic cooperation contributes to the achievements of the UN SDGs and becomes an additional tool for ensuring high-quality and sustainable economic growth of member-states.
EAEU focuses attention on the green economy principles as well. There is a conception of harmonizing approaches of the member states in the context of the green transformation of the world economy and the problems of climate change. There are a number of areas that are affected by climate change within the borders of the Union, mostly by deforestation, desertification, air, soil and water pollution. The most prospective sphere of cooperation in green transition is transporting. More than 80% of arterial railways are using electrical traction. Eurasian Union is contributing much attention to the projects of electrical city common transport, for example, electro buses. Development of renewable, hydro- and atomic generation is among the priorities of the member states.
What is the vision of the future of EAEU?
There is a strategy for the development of the EAEU, passed as a declaration in 2018. It contains 11 main directions or 332 different amendments to the current procedures common for the EAEU:
- Full elimination of barriers
- Increasing effectiveness of the EAEUstructures
- Increasing the effectiveness of management and financing to create highly effective export-oriented sectors of the economy
- Improving customs regulations
- Guarantees of the quality of the products
- Development of the digital infrastructure and space
- Elaborating flexible mechanisms of targeted assistance
- Coordinating efforts of implementing innovations
- Maintaining full implementation of all agreements within the frames of the Eurasian integration
- Widening economic cooperation in healthcare, education, tourism and sport
- Formatting EAEU as a centre of development in the coming new multipolar world order
These measures will result in pushing forward the rate of interest of the small and medium enterprises that actually are the basis of any economy. Stipulating the scientific approaches in developing business and state management will also lead to the growth of innovations, and, as a result, in the growing living standards of our people.
Even though the Western countries unleashed a total war against our Motherland, progress in economic development is inevitable, and we are witnessing the first points of it right now. We realize perfectly that this progress is harmful to our enemies that are dreaming of how to turn our countries into distraction and depravation, to split the forming unity, to break all those that were done with great efforts. Our enemies like a cancer tumour are sucking the blood of the entire world, as they have done for ages maintaining their hypocritical colonial policy. But their time is coming to an end with no possibility to enlarge it.
Long live the Eurasian Economic Union and its leaders! Long live the people of the EAEU! Down with the Western hegemony and hypocrisy!
Press Secretary Office of the Russian Embassy in Colombo
The G7 Leaders’ 2700-word statement on Ukraine, issued in Hiroshima after their summit meeting glossed over the burning question today — the so-called counter-offensive against the Russian forces.
It is a deafening silence, since rumours are swirling about the disappearance of the commander-in-chief of Ukraine’s armed forces. Significantly, President Vladimir Zelensky himself is making himself scarce from Kiev touring world capitals — Helsinki, Hague, Rome, Vatican, Berlin, Paris, London and Jeddah and Hiroshima. It does seem that something is rotten in the state of Denmark.
As the G7 summit ended, the head of the Wagner PMC, Yevgeny Prigozhin announced on Saturday that the Russian operation to capture the strategic communication hub of Bakhmut in Donbass region of eastern Ukraine lasting 224 days, has been brought to a successful completion, overcoming the resistance by more than 80,000 Ukrainian troops.
It is a painful moment for Zelensky, who had boasted before US lawmakers in Capitol Hill last December that “just like the Battle of Saratoga (in 1777 during the American Revolutionary War), the fight for Bakhmut will change the trajectory of our war for independence and for freedom.”
Meanwhile, to distract attention, there is talk now about a subtle shift in the US policy regarding supply of F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine in an indeterminate future. In reality, though, no one can tell what the Ukrainian rump state will look like when the jets arrive. Unsurprisingly, the Biden Administration still seems to be in two minds. F-16 is a hot item for export; what happens if the Russians were to blow it out of the sky with their hi-tech weapons and rubbish its fame ?
The Russians seem to have concluded that nothing short of a total victory will make the Americans and the British understand that Moscow means business on the three objectives behind the special military operations that are non-negotiable: security and safety of the ethnic Russian community and their right to live in peace and dignity in the new territories; demilitarisation and de-Nazification of Ukraine; and a neutral, sovereign, independent Ukraine freed from the US clutches and no longer a hostile neighbour.
To be sure, the unprecedented levels of US hostility towards Russia only hardened Moscow’s resolve. If the Anglo-Saxon alliance keeps climbing the escalation ladder, the Russian campaign may well expand the operation to the entire region east of the Dnieper River. The Russians are in this war for the long haul and the ball is in the American court.
What comes to mind is a speech last July by President Vladimir Putin while addressing the Duma. He had said, “Today we hear that they want to defeat us on the battlefield. Well, what can I say? Let them try. We have already heard a lot about the West wanting to fight us ‘to the last Ukrainian.’ This is a tragedy for the Ukrainian people, but that seems to be where it is going. But everyone should know that, by and large, we have not started anything in earnest yet.”
Well, the Russian operation has finally started “in earnest.” The thinking behind the delay is unmistakeable. Putin underscored in his speech that the West should know that the longer Russia’s special military operation goes on, “the harder it will be for them to negotiate with us.”
Therefore, the big question is about the Ukrainian counteroffensive. The Russian forces enjoy overwhelming superiority in every sense militarily. Even if the hard core of the Ukrainian forces who were trained in the West, numbering some 30-35000 soldiers, manage to achieve some “breakthrough” in the 950-kilometre long frontline, what happens thereafter?
Make no mistake, a massive Russian counterattack will follow and the Ukrainian soldiers may only end up in a fire trap and suffer huge losses in their tens of thousands. What would the Anglo-Saxon axis have achieved?
Besides, the Ukrainian military will have so thoroughly exhausted itself that there will be nothing stopping the Russian forces from advancing toward Kharkov and Odessa. Herein lies the paradox. For, from that point, Russians will have no one to talk to.
If past American behaviour — be it Vietnam, Afghanistan or Iraq and Syria — is anything to go by, Washington will do nothing. The well-known American strategic thinker Col. (Retd.) David MacGreggor couldn’t have put things better when he said earlier this week:
“I can tell you that Washington is going to do nothing. And I’ve always warned… we (United States) are not a continental power, not a land power anywhere but in our own Hemisphere. We are primarily an aerospace and maritime power, much like Great Britain. And what does that mean? When things go badly for us, we sail away, we fly away, we go home… That’s what we always do. Eventually, we just leave. And I think, that’s on the agenda now.”
The stony silence of the G7 statement on the Ukrainian counteroffensive is understandable. The G7 statement needs to be juxtaposed with a report appearing in Politico on the eve of the summit in Hiroshima which, quoting senior US officials elaborated on an audacious plan to transform Ukraine war into a “frozen conflict” on the analogy of the Korean Peninsula or Kashmir.
A Pentagon official told the daily that recent military aid packages to Ukraine reflect the Biden administration’s “shift to a longer-term strategy.” Reportedly, US officials are already talking to Kiev about the nature of their relationship in the future.
Principally, if Ukraine’s NATO membership bid stalls, western guarantees could range from a NATO-style Article 5 mutual defence deal to Israel-style arms deals with Ukraine so that “the conflict will wind up somewhere in between an active war and a chilled standoff.”
Indeed, the G7 statement began conceptualising the “Europeanisation” of Ukraine with reforms, market economy driven by private sector and western financial institutions, and boosting Kiev’s deterrent capability vis-a-vis Russia militarily.
It is quite amazing. Hardly has one flawed narrative — espousing Russia’s military defeat in Ukraine and the overthrow of Putin — unravelled, another narrative is being hoisted, predicated on the simplistic notion that Russia will simply roll over and passively watch the US integrating Ukraine into the western alliance system to create an open wound festering on Russia’s western borders that will drain resources for decades to come and complicating ties with neighbours.
However, Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov’s reaction to the G7 Summit confirms that Moscow will not fall into the trap of a “frozen conflict.” Lavrov said, “Could you take a look at those decisions which are being debated and adopted at the G7 summit in Hiroshima and which are aimed at dual containment of Russia and the People’s Republic of China?
“The objective was announced loudly and frankly, which is to defeat Russia on the battlefield, and without stopping at this, to eliminate it later as a geopolitical rival, so to speak, along with any other country that claims an independent place in the world, they will be suppressed as opponents.”
Lavrov also pointed out that the Western countries’ expert community is overtly discussing the order to work out scenarios aimed at Russia’s breakup, and “they do not conceal that the existence of Russia as an independent centre is incompatible with the goal of the West’s global domination.” The Minister said, “We have to give a firm and consistent response to the war declared upon us.”
Yet, it is not as if Americans are incapable of seeing the war through Russia’s eyes. Read here a letter pleading for some sanity in Washington penned by a group of distinguished former American diplomats and military officials associated with the Eisenhower Media Network. By the way, they paid to get it in the New York Times, but the rest of the establishment media chose to ignore it.
A top Iranian security official said on Sunday that reducing the U.S. dollar’s influence on regional and international trade will minimize the West’s domination over the global economy.
Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Ali Shamkhani made the remarks in a meeting with the Russian president’s aide Igor Levitin in Iranian capital Tehran, according to SNSC-affiliated Nour News.
During the meeting, Shamkhani said the process to reduce the dollar’s clout on regional and international transactions has already started, noting that many countries are joining the path.
He described the initiatives finalized between Iran and Russia in the area of monetary and banking transactions as an “effective” method for “dooming the illegal Western sanctions to failure.”
Shamkhani expressed satisfaction with the improved level of economic cooperation between Iran and Russia over the past months, highlighting the need to accelerate the joint economic projects’ implementation.
He said completing the International North-South Transport Corridor and expansion of the transportation sector cooperation between the two countries constitute an important part of the joint projects.
For his part, Levitin said Moscow is ready to make investments in different Iranian economic sectors, including those pertaining to the steel, oil and petrochemical industries.
Commenting on the numerous bilateral visits by the two countries’ economic and banking officials over the past months, he said favorable ground has been prepared for signing multilateral economic deals and attracting other countries to participate in the lucrative economic projects.
Levitin arrived in Tehran on Friday night for talks with senior Iranian officials, including Iran’s First Vice President Mohammad Mokhber and Minister of Roads and Urban Development Mehrdad Bazrpash.
Iran and Russia, both under sanctions imposed by the United States, have been expanding their political and economic relations to counter the U.S. moves.
The Manhattan grand jury voted to indict Donald J. Trump today, in connection with his payment of hush money to adult film actress Stormy Daniels, in a truly historic move against a former American president who is again seeking reelection. Trump is expected to be booked and arraigned sometime next week in downtown Manhattan, although the exact timing and charges remain unknown right now, because the indictment remains sealed.
It’s hard to overstate the gravity of this development, which apparently came as something of a surprise to Trump’s team at Mar-a-Lago, despite nearly constant swirling rumors that charges would be brought.
For his part, Trump already released a lengthy grievance-soaked statement decrying what he called “Political Persecution and Election Interference,” offering a false narrative of his own victimhood, and attacking Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg as a tool of “Radical Left Democrats.”
This is likely only to be the first shot fired in Trump’s verbal offensive, with far more to come as he embarks on the rhetorical war path.
A political earthquake
This is the first time a current or former American president has ever been charged with a crime, and it can be expected to shake American politics and jurisprudence to its very core. Certainly, the implications of this case will reverberate deep into Republican politics, and scramble America’s upcoming presidential election in 2024, with entirely unpredictable fallout.
Trump’s legal team has indicated that he will voluntarily surrender to authorities in New York, where he will presumably be arrested, booked, and asked to plead guilty or not guilty before a judge in Manhattan district court. He’s certain to try to turn this event into a media circus, and he will work hard to inflame his supporters to come out and defend him, perhaps with additional calls for violence.
Indeed, he’s already demanded that his supporters “PROTEST! PROTEST! PROTEST!” in numerous fiery Truth Social posts predicting this indictment. He held a somewhat sparsely attended rally at Waco, Texas, which was the site of the infamous siege against the Branch Davidian sect, an important symbol of violent far-right rebellion against the federal government. The symbolism was lost on no one.
Lately, Trump’s been explicitly promising “retribution.” He predicted “death and destruction,” were he to be indicted, and now that he has been, aftermath is all but assured.
For some time, Donald Trump has spoken flippantly about this moment, claiming that an indictment would actually benefit him politically with his bitterly aggrieved voters. However, the real question now seems to be how this prosecution might alter the larger political landscape within the Republican Party, and whether or not and to what degree the GOP coalesces around the former president.
And yet some quarters of the Republican Party are certain to remain in his corner, particularly in the GOP’s radicalized congressional caucus. Indeed, Kevin McCarthy’s House Republicans have already been lacerating Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg, and subpoenaing his documents, on behalf of the former president, in what appears to be a blatant effort to obstruct this very prosecution.
Congressional Republicans like Jim Jordan and Elise Stefanik have already been vociferously denouncing what they’ve called a “sham prosecution” and “outrageous,” without even seeing the indictment, in a sign of how little the underlying facts and evidence matter to them. But other Republicans may be harder to pin down, particularly those who might wish to defeat Trump in the upcoming primaries.
Will prominent presidential aspirants like Mike Pence, Ron DeSantis, Nikki Haley, Mike Pompeo finally turn on Donald Trump, or will they continue to be his reliably sycophantic supporters, terrified of incurring his wrath? Will these leading Republicans adopt Trump’s own poisonous rhetoric describing this indictment as a “political witch hunt,” and could this prosecution galvanize his support in the GOP ahead of 2024?
We simply don’t know how this will ultimately play out, politically or legally.
However, in the near term, Trump can expect a boost in support, as elected Republicans rally around their former boss. The long term consequences of an indictment are much harder to predict, as a combative former American president defends himself against felony charges in a criminal trial.
A cascade of charges
Of course, there are other simmering criminal investigations that are felt to be far more serious than this hush money affair, particularly Fulton County DA Fani Willis’s inquiry in Georgia, currently examining Trump’s efforts to fraudulently flip votes. There’s also the federal inquiry at the Department of Justice, led by special counsel Jack Smith, into Trump’s hoarding of classified documents, for which a federal search warrant was executed at Mar-a-Lago.
The question then, is whether or not these Manhattan charges might crack open the doorway to other far more consequential prosecutions, and what kind of compounding effect multiple simultaneous prosecutions would have on Trump’s support in the Republican Party.
Again, it’s all unknown.
Right now, what is known, is that a single prosecutor is finally attempting to hold an utterly lawless former leader of the free world to account for one small part of his long record of wrongdoing, with no guarantee of success. With that said, there’s every reason to pursue Trump in court, should evidence of crimes exist.
Without the rule of law, our democracy will fail. Period.
Donald Trump has evaded justice for decades, for racist housing policies at his residential buildings in Queens, for obstructing the Mueller investigation into Russian election interference, for blackmailing the president of Ukraine into providing dirt on Joe Biden, for trying to overturn a valid American election with lies, and ultimately inciting a lethal insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.
He was acquitted after two righteous impeachments during and after his presidency because of the cowardice of elected Republicans, and he has thus far escaped state and federal charges for his well-documented efforts to incite a coup d’etat, and his hoarding of mounds of classified documents at his home at Mar-a-Lago.
Donald Trump is a cancer on the American body politic, fueled by his own sense of impunity. That impunity is finished.
Perhaps finally, justice will prevail over this destructive and narcissistic criminal, who’s brought this country so low. Perhaps finally, American democracy will be safeguarded from a would-be dictator who would like nothing better than to obliterate our freedom, and replace the rule of law with the rule of the strong, connected, and wealthy.
Of course, whether or not this prosecution is successful will have the gravest possible national implications for the country. Trump and his minions will do everything in their power to tear America apart, and obstruct the successful pursuit of justice.
That much is assured.
In view of the recent geopolitical upheavals, and particularly the war in Ukraine, it does not make sense (and does not promise much success) to build a new global security architecture based on the logic of a bipolar confrontation for several reasons…
Firstly, a principal prerequisite for success of a confrontational “conflict strategy”—a far-reaching identity of interests with politically aligned conceptions—is not given in the Western, democratic camp.
As long as the USA is deeply divided, it is difficult for the European partners to fully rely on it. And despite the rapid joint reactions to the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russian war of aggression, the cohesion of the EU is by no means assured.
Differing levels of concern and different opinions as to what action to take with regard to economic consequences of the war—as well as the large-scale energy crisis in Europe illustrate the potential for conflict rather than agreement within Europe.
Secondly, a lasting “conflict strategy” is inherently dangerous because of its potential for military escalation. Even the use of nuclear weapons has become a real risk as a result of Putin’s threats and increasing American involvement in the conflict.
And finally, coping with climate change (which will pose an existential threat to many people) and significantly reducing global poverty (which will increase in the coming years as a result of climate change and war) are much more difficult problems to solve in a confrontational bipolar environment.
Cornerstones of a Modern Policy of Détente
Instead of global confrontation (now often said to be underway between the world’s democracies and authoritarian regimes), it is important to develop an alternative international policy that, on the one hand, counters the new military threats, and on the other hand, enables a new quality of global cooperation to combat climate change, global poverty and the expected large-scale famines.
The détente policy of Willy Brandt and Egon Bahr is by no means outdated in this context. On the contrary, it offers important lessons learned for the new policy of global cooperation that needs to be developed.
The policy of détente which overcame a system of confrontation was never based on a naïve belief—such as those embedded in Democratic Peace Theory—that mutual benefits of economic cooperation would create interdependencies that would make it pointless for the states involved to wage wars against one another.
The policy of detente was not based on a belief in the peaceful nature of the Soviet Union. Rather, détente required a realistic picture of the interests of the states involved.
At the same time, it was anchored in an age of nuclear weapons, and the assessment, because of that, that a war between the Communist and Democratic systems could have no winner and must be prevented at all costs.
This was linked to efforts to enshrine the maintenance of the territorial integrity of all states in international law. The strength of the law would replace the ancient view that, as Thucydides wrote, “The strong do what they can and the weak suffer what they must.”
International organizations such as the UN or the OSCE were given central importance. Militarily, the policy of détente was based on sufficient deterrence capabilities and the need for mutual arms control and disarmament agreement to be binding.
This was based on the realization that security can only be guaranteed in the long term if we work with rather than against each-other, as Bahr noted in the Palme Report 1982: ‘Doctrine of Common Security.’
Economic cooperation between the two blocs, which intensified over time, served to strengthen the mutual benefits of working together. The policy of détente did not develop its effectiveness overnight, but was able to assert itself in a lengthy diplomatic process.
Incidentally, the starting point was the Cuban Missile Crisis, which was the result of a previous phase of confrontational politics between the USA and the Soviet Union, and which led the world to the nuclear abyss. These elements were joined in the 1980s by the concept of comprehensive security. This was based on the simple realization that lasting peace can only be achieved if important causes of conflict such as environmental damage and hunger are fought at the same time.
Certainly, in today’s multipolar world, it will be more difficult to conceive a modern policy of detente in detail. In addition, there are no undisputed hegemonic powers in their respective camps today; on the contrary, there is a dispute over global hegemony between the USA and China.
But solving these conflicts requires taking into account the changes of the international community in the last few decades, even if these are not yet underpinned by adequate political implementation strategies.
With the adoption of the Paris climate agreement, the international community recognized that climate change can only be stopped if all states give climate protection a top priority. And the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN, which are repeatedly emphasized, also show that development must benefit everyone.
Current Fields of Action
In relation to the current situation, this results in the following fields of action from my point of view:
Certainly, military, political and economic support for Ukraine will have to continue. However, it must be ensured that neither the EU states nor NATO become a war party.
That sets limits on arms deliveries.
It is also important that parallel diplomatic initiatives are repeatedly taken in order to avoid devastating escalations of the war, to make humanitarian aid possible and to achieve a ceasefire as a starting point for peace negotiations. The negotiations on grain exports and the efforts to ensure the safety of the nuclear power plant in Zaporizhia show that diplomacy can be successful.
And at the last UN General Assembly in December, important countries in the world community such as China and India spoke out in favor of diplomatic initiatives to end the war.
The decision to significantly improve the defense capabilities of the European nations is another step in the right direction.
However, this must not be the beginning of a permanent spiral of military rearmament. Abstract stipulations that the defense budget of the NATO countries should permanently be two percent of GDP are nonsense, especially since the European NATO countries already spend three times as much money on armaments as Russia.
Attempts that the European states should also engage militarily in the Indo-Pacific region should also be rejected.
And efforts must be stepped up today to reach international agreements on disarmament and arms control both in Europe and globally.
All steps in this context should be taken in close consultation within the EU.
It is self-evident that Germany, as the largest and economically strongest EU member state, is of particular importance. Above all, however, this means that Germany must take the initiative.
However, this should not be confused with a German leadership role that some people are calling for. In the EU, for the foreseeable future there cannot and will not be leading countries on the one hand and being-led countries on the other.
The EU must not limit its engagement to the European continent. As a major civil and economic power, the EU is destined to play a prominent role in creating a multilateral order of justice that should focus on combating climate change and combating poverty and famine worldwide.
In light of the serious destabilization caused by the Russian war of aggression, such a modern policy of detente cannot in the short term lead to a new, stable peace order, neither in Europe nor globally.
Detente requires a systematic step-by-step, while possible setbacks will have to be coped with by efforts to de-escalate and solve the conflict even if there are no blueprints for steps to be taken. However, these steps should apply the lessons learned from détente rather than pursuing a policy of confrontation that may look simpler but would ultimately be devastating.
This article is distributed by Globetrotter in partnership with the American Committee for U.S.-Russia Accord (ACURA).
I am glad to seize this opportunity to address the friendly Chinese people in one of the largest and most authoritative world media in advance of the state visit of President of the People’s Republic of China Xi Jinping to Russia. This landmark event reaffirms the special nature of the Russia-China partnership, which has always been built on mutual trust, respect for each other’s sovereignty and interests.
We have high expectations for the upcoming talks. We have no doubt that they will give a new powerful impetus to our bilateral cooperation in its entirety. This is also a great opportunity for me to meet with my good old friend with whom we enjoy the warmest relationship.
I made acquaintance with Comrade Xi Jinping in March 2010 when he visited Moscow as head of a high-level Chinese delegation. Our first meeting was held in a very business-like and at the same time sincere and friendly atmosphere. I really like this style of communication. I know that people in China attach great importance to friendship and personal relationships. It is no coincidence that Confucius the Sage said: ”Is it not a joy to have friends coming from afar!“ In Russia we share this value and hold real friends for brothers. Our two peoples have very much in common here.
Three years later, about the same days in March, we met again in the capital of Russia. It was Xi Jinping’s first state visit to our country after his election as President of the People’s Republic of China. The summit set the tone and dynamics of Russia-China relations for many years to come, became clear evidence of the special nature of relations between Russia and China, and outlined the trajectory for their accelerated and sustainable development.
Since then, a decade has passed, which is but a fleeting moment in the history of our countries sharing a centuries-old tradition of good neighbourliness and cooperation. During this time, the world has seen many changes, often not for the better. Yet the main thing has remained unchanged: I am talking of the firm friendship between Russia and China, which is consistently growing stronger for the benefit and in the interest of our countries and peoples. The progress made in the development of bilateral ties is impressive. The Russia-China relations have reached the highest level in their history and are gaining even more strength; they surpass Cold War-time military-political alliances in their quality, with no one to constantly order and no one to constantly obey, without limitations or taboos. We have reached an unprecedented level of trust in our political dialogue, our strategic cooperation has become truly comprehensive in nature and is standing on the brink of a new era. President Xi Jinping and I have met about 40 times and have always found time and opportunity to talk in a variety of official formats as well as at no‑tie events.
Our priorities include trade and economic partnership. In 2022, our bilateral trade, which had already been considerable by the time, doubled to reach USD 185 billion. This is a new record. What is more, we have every reason to believe that the USD 200 billion target, which was set by President Xi Jinping and myself, will be exceeded as early as this year instead of 2024. It is noteworthy that the share of settlements in national currencies in our mutual trade is growing, further strengthening the sovereignty of our relations.
Long-term joint plans and programs are being successfully implemented. It will be no exaggeration to say that the Power of Siberia Russian-Chinese gas pipeline has become the ”deal of the century“ for its scale. The supplies of Russian oil and coal have increased significantly. Our specialists are involved in building new nuclear power units in China, while Chinese companies actively engage in LNG projects; our industrial and agricultural cooperation is growing stronger. Together we explore outer space and develop new technologies.
Russia and China are powers with ancient and unique traditions and an enormous cultural heritage. Now that all pandemic-related restrictions on mutual contacts have been lifted, it is important that we increase humanitarian and tourist exchanges as soon as possible, thereby strengthening the social basis of the Russian-Chinese partnership. Interstate thematic years have a special role to play in this context. For example, the 2022/2023 biennium is dedicated to cooperation in the field of physical culture and sports, which is very popular among our citizens.
Unlike some countries claiming hegemony and bringing discord to the global harmony, Russia and China are literally and figuratively building bridges. Last year our border regions were connected by two new bridge crossings over the Amur river, which has been a ”river of friendship“ since time immemorial. Amidst the ”waves and winds“ that sweep the planet, we closely cooperate in international affairs and effectively coordinate our foreign policy positions, counter common threats, and respond to current challenges, standing shoulder to shoulder as a ”rock amid a fast flowing stream.“ We actively promote democratic multilateral structures such as the SCO and BRICS, which become more and more authoritative and influential and attract new partners and friends. The work aimed at coordinating the development of the Eurasian Economic Union with the One Belt, One Road Initiative also goes in this vein.
Our countries, together with like-minded actors, have consistently advocated the shaping of a more just multipolar world order based on international law rather than certain ”rules“ serving the needs of the ”golden billion.“ Russia and China have consistently worked to create an equitable, open and inclusive regional and global security system that is not directed against third countries. In this regard, we note the constructive role of China’s Global Security Initiative, which is in line with the Russian approaches in this area.
We can feel the geopolitical landscape in the outside world change dramatically. Sticking more stubbornly than ever to its obsolete dogmata and vanishing dominance, the ”Collective West“ is gambling on the fates of entire states and peoples. The US’s policy of simultaneously deterring Russia and China, as well as all those who do not bend to the American dictation, is getting ever more fierce and aggressive. The international security and cooperation architecture is being dismantled. Russia has been labelled an ”immediate threat“ and China a ”strategic competitor.“
We appreciate the well-balanced stance on the events in Ukraine adopted by the PRC, as well as its understanding of their historical background and root causes. We welcome China’s readiness to make a meaningful contribution to the settlement of the crisis. Like our friends in China, we advocate for the strict compliance with the UN Charter, respect for the norms of international law, including humanitarian law. We are committed to the principle of the indivisibility of security, which is being grossly violated by the NATO bloc. We are deeply concerned over the irresponsible and outright dangerous actions that jeopardize nuclear security. We reject illegitimate unilateral sanctions, which must be lifted.
Russia is open to the political and diplomatic resolution of the Ukraine crisis. It was not Russia who broke off the peace talks back in April 2022. The future of the peace process depends solely on the will to engage in a meaningful discussion taking into account current geopolitical realities. Unfortunately, the ultimatum nature of requirements placed on Russia shows that their authors are detached from these realities and lack interest in finding a solution to the situation.
The crisis in Ukraine, which was provoked and is being diligently fuelled by the West, is the most striking, yet not the only, manifestation of its desire to retain its international dominance and preserve the unipolar world order. It is crystal clear that NATO is striving for a global reach of activities and seeking to penetrate the Asia-Pacific. It obvious that there are forces persistently working to split the common Eurasian space into a network of ”exclusive clubs“ and military blocs that would serve to contain our countries’ development and harm their interests. This won’t work.
In fact, today, the Russia-China relations serve as the cornerstone of regional and global stability, driving the economic growth and securing the positive agenda in international affairs. They provide an example of harmonious and constructive cooperation between major powers.
I am convinced that our friendship and partnership based on the strategic choice of the peoples of the two countries will further grow and gain strength for the well-being and prosperity of Russia and China. This visit of the President of the PRC to Russia will undoubtedly contribute to that.
Chinese President Xi Jinping and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, on Tuesday agreed to strengthen bilateral ties based on principles of good-neighborliness, friendship and win-win cooperation, as well as to deepen the China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination for a new era.
Describing Xi’s state visit to Russia as “a journey of friendship, cooperation and peace,” experts have said that strengthening China-Russia relations will promote regional peace and stability while contributing to balancing the global strategic landscape.
On Tuesday afternoon local time, Xi held talks with Putin at the Kremlin in Moscow. They had sincere, friendly and fruitful talks on the bilateral ties and major regional and international issues of mutual interest, and reached new, important common understandings in many fields.
Noting that China and Russia are each other’s biggest neighbor, Xi said that consolidating and developing long-term good-neighborly relations with Russia is consistent with historical logic and a strategic choice of China, which will not be changed by any turn of events.
Since his first state visit to Russia 10 years ago, Xi said, China and Russia have enjoyed mutual respect, mutual trust and mutual benefit. Relations between the two countries have grown from strength to strength, showing the features of being more comprehensive, more practical, and more strategic, he added.
No matter how the international landscape may change, China will stay committed to advancing China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination for the new era, Xi said.
In the eyes of Amadou Diop, a Senegalese expert on China, Xi’s state visit to Russia is “of great importance,” which will inject strong positive energy into the complex international situation.
“China and Russia are working more closely with developing countries to promote multilateralism and common prosperity, and to respect and protect the interests of developing countries,” said Diop.
Xi’s visit once again testifies to the importance of Russia-China relations and reaffirms that Russia and China will continue to practice true multilateralism, promote the construction of a multipolar world, enhance global governance, and contribute to world development, said Sergei Lukonin, head of the Department of Chinese Politics and Economics at the Institute of World Economy and International Relations of the Russian Academy of Sciences.
During the talks with Putin, Xi pointed out that as permanent members of the UN Security Council and major countries in the world, China and Russia have natural responsibilities to make joint efforts to steer and promote global governance in a direction that meets the expectations of the international community and promote the building of a community with a shared future for mankind.
He called on both sides to enhance communication and coordination on international affairs, especially in the United Nations, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, BRICS and other multilateral frameworks, practice true multilateralism, oppose hegemonism and power politics, contribute to global post-COVID economic recovery, advance the trend toward a multi-polar world, and promote the reform and improvement of the global governance system.
For his part, Putin congratulated China on helping to successfully bring about historic outcomes from the talks between Saudi Arabia and Iran in Beijing, adding that it has fully demonstrated China’s important status and positive influence as a major country in the world.
Russia appreciates China for consistently upholding an objective and impartial position on international affairs, supports the Global Security Initiative, the Global Development Initiative, and the Global Civilization Initiative China has put forward and stands ready to further enhance international coordination with China, Putin said.
For the developing world, said Abdoul Karim Drame, a Malian political columnist and expert on geopolitics, the strengthening of China-Russia relations is expected to promote the developing of a multipolar world, which will allow African countries to better assert their sovereignty by benefiting from more balanced international relations that respect each nation’s political and economic choices.
“I believe Xi’s visit to Russia will inject strong positive energy into international relations and make new contributions to building a community with a shared future for mankind,” he said.
Palestinian political analyst Omar Helmy Al-Ghoul believes that a reasonable international order should uphold multilateralism and treat every country and nation in an equal manner, rather than be dominated by some small circle of countries.
Meanwhile, Xi and Putin stressed on Tuesday that the Ukraine crisis should be solved through dialogues.
In the Joint Statement of the People’s Republic of China and the Russian Federation on Deepening the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership of Coordination for the New Era, the two sides oppose the practice by any country or group of countries to seek advantages in the military, political and other areas to the detriment of the legitimate security interests of other countries.
The Russian side reaffirms its commitment to the resumption of peace talks as soon as possible, which China appreciates. The Russian side welcomes China’s willingness to play a positive role for the political and diplomatic settlement of the Ukraine crisis and welcomes the constructive proposals set forth in China’s Position on the Political Settlement of the Ukraine Crisis.
The two sides point out that to settle the Ukraine crisis, the security concerns of all countries must be respected, bloc confrontation should be prevented and fanning the flames avoided.
The two sides also stress that responsible dialogue is the best way for appropriate solutions. To this end, the international community should provide support to the relevant constructive efforts.
China and Russia call for stopping all moves that lead to tensions and the protraction of fighting to prevent the crisis from getting worse or even out of control. They oppose any unilateral sanctions unauthorized by the UN Security Council.
China has launched a “very important initiative” to find a political solution to the Ukraine crisis, and international society should recognize China for its role as a country working for global peace and stability, said Mohammad Reza Manafi, editor-in-chief for the Asia-Pacific news desk of Iran’s official news agency IRNA.
“China has convinced the rest of the world that it believes that world peace and friendship will benefit all people everywhere, and that war and hostility will never serve humanity,” Manafi said.
In the span of only about a week, Vladimir Putin was issued an arrest warrant by the International Criminal Court for ongoing war crimes, while Donald Trump looks set to be indicted on felony charges in a Manhattan courtroom. These twin developments seem to signal the beginning of the end of impunity for the world’s two most destructive, authoritarian leaders in a generation, the Hitler and Mussolini of our day, as the democratic world responds to this new breed of violent fascism.
Their crimes are numerous, and extensively documented, and perhaps finally the law will confront these two autocrats with a fondness for unleashing political violence, and terror.
Indeed, Putin launched a brutal war of aggression in the heart of Europe, starting the largest and bloodiest conflict since the Second World War. Trump attempted to defy America’s voters, and keep himself in office with lies, pressure, political violence, and ultimately a siege of the U.S. Capitol, unsuccessfully attacking American democracy from within.
For years, they’ve been intimate partners, bound together in their mutual loathing for Western democratic values, and their violent lust for absolute power. Putin played Trump’s political benefactor, interfering in the 2016 election on his behalf, and enabling his rise to power. In office, Trump returned the favor by weakening America on the global stage, and groveling before Putin in public, siding with him over his own intelligence agencies. He nearly destroyed NATO, and savaged America’s traditional alliances, even as he offered rhetorical and political support to his patron in the Kremlin.
These two men represent humanity’s darkest impulses, toward violent domination, autocracy, political extremism, war crimes, hatred, and genocide. Their poisonous partnership is the nexus of modern global fascism, and right-wing radicalism, on both sides of the Atlantic.
Now, the two aging tyrants are finally facing at least the prospect of justice for their crimes, as one prosecutes a cataclysmic failed war in Ukraine, while the other attempts to finish off the ailing democracy he once led, with a third run at the presidency. It’s a moment of hope, and peril.
An element of genocide
“What the nations can offer in the way of good blood of our type, we will take, if necessary by kidnapping their children and raising them here with us.”
That’s SS Reichsführer Heinrich Himmler speaking at an infamous secret address in Posen in October, 1943, where he discusses the Third Reich’s policies of ethnic annihilation. The abduction of children en masse is a classic feature of genocide, as articulated by the 20th century’s great genocidaire innovator, Himmler, in a Nazi policy now being widely replicated by Putin in Ukraine.
Indeed, Putin was issued an arrest warrant last week for his role in the abduction of tens of thousands of Ukraine’s children, treated as spoils of war by his regime, and forcibly resettled in Russia at gunpoint. However, this is merely one element of the Kremlin’s larger policy of national and cultural extermination, amid the raining bombs and bullets, as Putin attempts to erase Ukraine from the map.
The Russian dictator has declared the “historical unity” of Russia and Ukraine, arguing that Ukraine as such does not exist, as he goes about trying to annihilate Ukrainians physically, politically, culturally, linguistically, and nationally. He’s razed their cities, slaughtered their civilians, stolen their children, and annexed their territory, using his nuclear weapons to guarantee freedom of action, in what amounts to the gravest threat to global peace and stability since Adolf Hitler’s Wehrmacht began to devour Europe.
But the Russian military has been utterly unable to stanch fierce resistance, consolidate territorial gains, nor defeat Ukraine’s forces on the battlefield, leading to a protracted bloodbath, as the Western world arms Ukraine to fight back. As the Biden administration leads a coalition of countries to defy Russian aggression, by arming Ukraine to the teeth, Putin’s campaign is in serious jeopardy.
He has failed to subdue or absorb Ukraine, instead embroiling Russia in a strategic nightmare, producing a catastrophic waste of human life, losing hundreds of thousands of his soldiers to casualties, while inflicting mass terror on Ukraine’s towns and cities. After a long delay, the West is now speeding main battle tanks, air defense systems, and long range missile systems into Ukraine, as the war reaches a critical turning point, amid expected Ukrainian counteroffensives.
But Putin has several cards left to play. He was meeting today with his most important international partner, Chinese President Xi Jinping, during a warm three-day summit at the Kremlin in Moscow, where he was received with endless pomp and circumstance. Amid the touted diplomatic friendship, there’s still no sign the Chinese intend to deliver weapons or matériel to Moscow; instead, Xi’s providing crucial political and economic support, or what Secretary of State Antony Blinken called “diplomatic cover” for Putin’s war crimes.
However, Putin has other well-placed allies.
His ideological partners in the United States are beginning to reassert themselves in Washington, as Donald Trump and his lesser protege, Florida’s Governor Ron DeSantis, enter the presidential race by declaring they would end American assistance to Ukraine, effectively handing it over to Putin.
The Trump case
Thus, Donald Trump’s possible criminal indictment is reverberating from Washington to New York to Moscow to Kyiv. If the expected indictment does go through, it’s likely to carry inherently unpredictable effects into the budding presidential race, particularly within the Republican Party.
Presumably, it could either strengthen or weaken Trump’s chances in the upcoming primaries, and lead to far-reaching political consequences in the United States of America. Certainly, the Kremlin will be paying extraordinarily close attention, at a moment that could be pivotal for its war effort in Kyiv, and much else.
An indictment could potentially spell the beginning of the end of Trump’s long stranglehold over the Republican Party, offering an opening to DeSantis and others eager to move on from his poisonous leadership, or it could strengthen his grip. After all, he’s survived numerous crises that would’ve permanently ended the careers of most politicians several times over.
And yet, he’s never been arrested, or tried.
It’s something he’s been afraid of his entire life, apparently, leading him to burnish his links with prosecutors in New York. But he has no way to prevent the prosecutors now pursuing him.
This could be the beginning of a ferocious power struggle in the GOP, and see the morphing of Trumpism from a mainstream political movement into a violent right-wing insurgency, to the extent it already isn’t one.
It’s impossible to predict, especially with an uncertain future outcome in court. It could presage a further cascade of criminal charges, with at least four extremely serious criminal investigations currently pending, for hoarding classified documents and instigating a failed coup d’etat, among other inquiries, whereas a failure could doom efforts to hold Trump accountable.
In any case, Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin’s destinies remain intertwined, as ever, as both men face the first real consequences from their long and ruthless political careers. Suddenly, Putin faces limitations on his movements, and a barrier to travel in the 123 nations that have signed the Rome Statute (China, U.S., and Russia have not signed those accords).
Trump, for his part, faces the real prospect of being fingerprinted, possibly even handcuffed, and of course incarcerated, however unlikely that might be. Still, it’s something that is reportedly giving him great anxiety, although he apparently craves a “perp-walk” to enrage and galvanize his followers, telling associates it would be a fun experience, according to the New York Times.
Certainly, these legal developments are historic, carrying grave implications for American democracy, but also geopolitically. It’s a moment that’s fraught with tension, and truly unprecedented, as a former American president again seeking the presidency faces the prospect of arrest, and trial.
For a country that’s been traumatized, and battered, by Trump and his minions, it’s been a long time coming. It’s a moment of anxiety and high hope, that finally justice will hold this sociopathic criminal accountable for his wrongdoing, and protect American democracy from a would-be dictator.
But with House Republicans already trying to obstruct justice, and interfere with the prosecution that hasn’t even begun, there are also dark possibilities to contemplate. The United States would be deeply destabilized by a failed prosecution, leaving Trump more powerful, his radicalized party more united around him.
In other words, there are real risks to indicting the Republican frontrunner, and a former American president. However, the risks of not indicting Trump are clear: a lawless nation without recourse to justice, or the rule of law, and the death of our democracy. It’s the kind of country Trump wishes America to be, where the strong cull the weak, and powerful men get away with murder.
If we want to avoid living in Vladimir Putin’s Russia, this is the price. It’s the price of democracy, and freedom from tyranny. Of course, Trump is already wielding his supporters like a cudgel, and he will do everything in his power to obstruct justice, and destabilize the country.
It won’t be easy, but democracy never is.
Views expressed are the author’s own
The Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation has initiated criminal charges against Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court Karim Ahmad Khan, as well as judges of the International Criminal Court Tomoko Akane, Rosario Salvatore Aitala and Sergio Gerardo Ugalde Godinez, the Russian embassy in Sri Lanka said in a statement.
“On February 22, 2023, Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court Karim Ahmad Khan, acting as part of a criminal investigation, submitted applications to Pre-Trial Chamber II of the International Criminal Court for warrants of arrest in relation to citizens of the Russian Federation,” it added.
The statement reads further as follows;
“Based on this application, the above-named judges of the International Criminal Court issued illegal arrest warrants in relation to the President of the Russian Federation and the Presidential Commissioner for Children’s Rights. This criminal prosecution is illegal by definition because there are no grounds for bringing criminal charges.
“According to the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Crimes against Internationally Protected Persons of December 14, 1973, heads of state enjoy total immunity and cannot be subjected to the jurisdiction of a foreign state.
“Actions by the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court contain elements of offences as per Part 2, Article 299, Part 1, Article 30, and Part 2, Article 360 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, including knowingly ascribing criminal responsibility to an innocent person, combined with unlawfully accusing a person of committing a grave or especially grave crime, as well as preparing an assault against a representative of a foreign state benefitting from international protection with a view to complicating international relations.
“Actions by the judges of the International Criminal Court contain elements of offences as per Part 2, Article 301, Part 1, Article 30, and Part 2, Article 360 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, including knowingly illegal detention, as well as preparing an assault against a representative of a foreign state benefitting from international protection with a view to complicating international relations.”
A signed article by Chinese President Xi Jinping titled “Forging Ahead to Open a New Chapter of China-Russia Friendship, Cooperation and Common Development” was published Monday on Russia’s newspaper Russian Gazette and the website of RIA Novosti news agency ahead of his state visit to Russia.
Following is an English version of the full text of the article:
Forging Ahead to Open a New Chapter of China-Russia Friendship, Cooperation and Common Development
President of the People’s Republic of China
At the invitation of President Vladimir Putin, I will soon pay a state visit to the Russian Federation. Russia was the first country I visited after I was elected President 10 years ago. Over the past decade, I have made eight visits to Russia. I came each time with high expectations and returned with fruitful results, opening a new chapter for China-Russia relations together with President Putin.
China and Russia are each other’s biggest neighbor and comprehensive strategic partner of coordination. We are both major countries in the world and permanent members of the UN Security Council. Both countries uphold an independent foreign policy and see our relationship as a high priority in our diplomacy.
There is a clear historical logic and strong internal driving force for the growth of China-Russia relations. Over the past 10 years, we have come a long way in our wide-ranging cooperation and made significant strides into the new era.
— High-level interactions have played a key strategic role in leading China-Russia relations. We have established a whole set of mechanisms for high-level interactions and multi-faceted cooperation which provide important systemic and institutional safeguards for the growth of the bilateral ties. Over the years, I have maintained a close working relationship with President Putin. We have met 40 times on bilateral and international occasions. Together we have drawn the blueprint for the bilateral relations and cooperation in various fields, and have had timely communication on major international and regional issues of mutual interest, providing firm stewardship for the sustained, sound and stable growth of China-Russia relations.
— Our two sides have cemented political mutual trust and fostered a new model of major-country relations. Guided by a vision of lasting friendship and win-win cooperation, China and Russia are committed to no-alliance, no-confrontation and not targeting any third party in developing our ties. We firmly support each other in following a development path suited to our respective national realities and support each other’s development and rejuvenation. The bilateral relationship has grown more mature and resilient. It is brimming with new dynamism and vitality, setting a fine example for developing a new model of major-country relations featuring mutual trust, peaceful coexistence and win-win cooperation.
— Our two sides have put in place an all-round and multi-tiered cooperation framework. Thanks to the joint efforts of both sides, China-Russia trade exceeded 190 billion U.S. dollars last year, up by 116 percent from ten years ago. China has been Russia’s largest trading partner for 13 years running. We have seen steady increase in our two-way investment. Our cooperation on major projects in such fields as energy, aviation, space and connectivity is moving forward steadily. Our collaboration in scientific and technological innovation, cross-border e-commerce and other emerging areas is showing a strong momentum. Our cooperation at the sub-national level is also booming. All this has brought tangible benefits to both the Chinese and the Russian peoples and provided unceasing driving force for our respective development and rejuvenation.
— Our two sides have acted on the vision of lasting friendship and steadily strengthened our traditional friendship. On the occasion of commemorating the 20th anniversary of the China-Russia Treaty of Good-Neighborliness and Friendly Cooperation, President Putin and I announced the extension of the Treaty and added new dimensions to it. Our two sides have held eight “theme years” at the national level and continued to write new chapters for China-Russia friendship and cooperation. Our two peoples have stood by and rooted for each other in the fight against COVID, which once again proves that “a friend in need is a friend indeed.”
— Our two sides have had close coordination on the international stage and fulfilled our responsibilities as major countries. China and Russia are firmly committed to safeguarding the UN-centered international system, the international order underpinned by international law, and the basic norms of international relations based on the purposes and principles of the UN Charter. We have stayed in close communication and coordination in the UN, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, BRICS, the G20 and other multilateral mechanisms, and worked together for a multi-polar world and greater democracy in international relations. We have been active in practicing true multilateralism, promoting the common values of humanity, and championing the building of a new type of international relations and a community with a shared future for mankind.
Looking back on the extraordinary journey of China-Russia relations over the past 70 years and more, we feel strongly that our relationship has not reached easily where it is today, and that our friendship is growing steadily and must be cherished by us all. China and Russia have found a right path of state-to-state interactions. This is essential for the relationship to stand the test of changing international circumstances, a lesson borne out by both history and reality.
My upcoming visit to Russia will be a journey of friendship, cooperation and peace. I look forward to working with President Putin to jointly adopt a new vision, a new blueprint and new measures for the growth of China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination in the years to come.
To this end, our two sides need to enhance coordination and planning. As we focus on our respective cause of development and rejuvenation, we should get creative in our thinking, create new opportunities and inject new impetus. It is important that we increase mutual trust and bring out the potential of bilateral cooperation to keep China-Russia relations at a high level.
Our two sides need to raise both the quality and quantity of investment and economic cooperation and step up policy coordination to create favorable conditions for the high-quality development of our investment cooperation. We need to boost two-way trade, foster more convergence of interests and areas of cooperation, and promote the complementary and synchronized development of traditional trade and emerging areas of cooperation. We need to make sustained efforts to synergize the Belt and Road Initiative and the Eurasian Economic Union, so as to provide more institutional support for bilateral and regional cooperation.
Our two sides need to step up people-to-people and cultural exchanges and ensure the success of China-Russia Years of Sports Exchange. We should make good use of the sub-national cooperation mechanisms to facilitate more interactions between sister provinces/states and cities. We should encourage personnel exchanges and push for the resumption of tourism cooperation. We should make available better summer camps, jointly-run schools and other programs to steadily enhance the mutual understanding and friendship between our peoples, especially between the youth.
The world today is going through profound changes unseen in a century. The historical trend of peace, development and win-win cooperation is unstoppable. The prevailing trends of world multi-polarity, economic globalization and greater democracy in international relations are irreversible. On the other hand, our world is confronted with complex and intertwined traditional and non-traditional security challenges, damaging acts of hegemony, domination and bullying, and long and tortuous global economic recovery. Countries around the world are deeply concerned and eager to find a cooperative way out of the crisis.
In March 2013, when speaking at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations, I observed that countries are linked with and dependent on one another at a level never seen before, and that mankind, living in the same global village, have increasingly emerged as a community with a shared future in which everyone’s interests are closely entwined. Since then, I have proposed the Belt and Road Initiative, the Global Development Initiative, the Global Security Initiative, and the Global Civilization Initiative on different occasions. All these have enriched our vision for a community with a shared future for mankind and provided practical pathways toward it. They are part of China’s response to the changes of the world, of our times, and of the historic trajectory.
Through these ten years, the common values of humanity — peace, development, equity, justice, democracy and freedom — have taken deeper roots in the heart of the people. An open, inclusive, clean and beautiful world with lasting peace, universal security and common prosperity has become the shared aspiration of more and more countries. The international community has recognized that no country is superior to others, no model of governance is universal, and no single country should dictate the international order. The common interest of all humankind is in a world that is united and peaceful, rather than divided and volatile.
Since last year, there has been an all-round escalation of the Ukraine crisis. China has all along upheld an objective and impartial position based on the merits of the issue, and actively promoted peace talks. I have put forth several proposals, i.e., observing the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, respect of the legitimate security concerns of all countries, supporting all efforts conducive to the peaceful settlement of the crisis, and ensuring the stability of global industrial and supply chains. They have become China’s fundamental principles for addressing the Ukraine crisis.
Not long ago, we released China’s Position on the Political Settlement of the Ukraine Crisis, which takes into account the legitimate concerns of all parties and reflects the broadest common understanding of the international community on the crisis. It has been constructive in mitigating the spillovers of the crisis and facilitating its political settlement. There is no simple solution to a complex issue. We believe that as long as all parties embrace the vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security, and pursue equal-footed, rational and results-oriented dialogue and consultation, they will find a reasonable way to resolve the crisis as well as a broad path toward a world of lasting peace and common security.
To run the world’s affairs well, one must first and foremost run its own affairs well. The Chinese people, under the leadership of the Communist Party of China, are striving in unity to advance the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation on all fronts through the Chinese path to modernization. Chinese modernization is characterized by the following features: it is the modernization of a huge population, the modernization of common prosperity for all, the modernization of material and cultural-ethical advancement, the modernization of harmony between humanity and nature, and the modernization of peaceful development. These distinctive Chinese features are the crystallization of our practices and explorations over the years, and reflect our profound understanding of international experience. Going forward, we will steadfastly advance the cause of Chinese modernization, strive to realize high-quality development, and expand high-standard opening up. I believe that this will bring new development opportunities to Russia and all countries in the world.
Just as every new year starts with spring, every success starts with actions. We have every reason to expect that China and Russia, as fellow travelers on the journey of development and rejuvenation, will make new and greater contributions to human advancement.