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                                         12 May, 13:53                                                                                                  4



                                         Russia's new assertiveness as member of
                                         BRICS




                                         Photo: RIA Novosti


                                         Russia is back on the diplomatic scene, basking in the spotlight.
                                         The Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Minister of Foreign
                                         Affairs Sergey Lavrov dominate the headlines of international
                                         media, much to the discontent of western politicians who are
                                         getting angrier by the day, spouting nasty comments like envious
                                         schoolboys. Western politicians are not used to sitting on the
                                         fence, watching the big players doing their thing. Cool and
                                         unruffled, the Russians are setting the pace, showing self-
                                         confidence and assertiveness to the world.

                                         In the French monthly Le Monde Diplomatique(May 2014, page 6) Jean Radvanyi comments
                                         on "Russia’s return on the diplomatic scene" and states the Kremlin's "disdain of the European
                                         Union". He dislikes the Russians turning towards Asia instead of Europe. But is it really
                                         disdain? If Europeans took an unprejudiced look at the world map they might notice how small
                                         their continent is, when compared to the Russian Federation or the People’s Republic of China.
                                         Europe almost looks like an appendix to the vast Asian landmass. Europeans have been
                                         thinking for more than a thousand years that their tiny continent deserved to remain the centre
                                         of global attention forever. This might have been true for the first, but certainly not for the
                                         second millenium which has just begun.

                                         In 2013, Russia's Minister of Foreign Affairs



http://voiceofrussia.com/2014_05_12/Russias-new-assertiveness-as-member-of-BRICS-1563/[5/13/2014 8:21:17 PM]
Russia's new assertiveness as member of BRICS - News - Politics - The Voice of Russia: News, Breaking news, Politics, Economics, Business, Russia, International current events, Expert opinion, podcasts, V...


                                         explained in an interview with                      BRICS creating parallel Monetary Fund
                                         foreignpolicy.com that "a great Russia can          disillusioned with IMF and World Bank
                                         once again afford to have an assertive              - expert
                                         foreign policy". The reasons are based on
                                         Russian domestic strength. "We have
                                         become stronger economically; we have been successfully resolving social problems, raising
                                         the level of living. We feel the change. Russia feels more assertive – not aggressive, but
                                         assertive. Of course we can now pay more attention to looking after our legitimate interests in
                                         the areas where we were absent for quite some time after the demise of the Soviet Union,"
                                         Sergei Lavrov emphasized. The areas of interest he mentioned were Asia, Africa and Latin
                                         America. "In other words, pretty much of the entire rest of the world," the interviewing journalist
                                         mused in dismay, interpreting the Russian Minister's message as "clear if chilling". A chilling
                                         message for whom? Certainly not for Russia’s worldwide partners in BRICS.

                                         BRICS on the rise

                                         Brazil, Russia, India and China founded the association at the first BRICS Summit in the
                                         Russian city of Yekaterinburg, on the 16th of June 2009. South Africa joined them in 2010.
                                         Today BRICS spans the globe with three billion people and a combined GDP of nearly 17
                                         billion dollars. The German journalists Daniel Eckert and Holger Zschäpitz analyze in the daily
                                         Die Welt(06.05.2014, page 13) the strength of the world’s top ten economies according to the
                                         newest data issued by the World Bank. It comes as no surprise that four of the five BRICS
                                         states rank among the global top ten. China takes the second place with a GDP of 10.580
                                         billion dollars. Brazil, India and Russia form a solid block as numbers eight, nine and ten. Their
                                         respective GDP amounts to 2.143, 2.096 and 2.018 dollars. "China rises like a rocket", the
                                         German analysts know. "No other country of the world produces so many new millionaires
                                         each year."

                                         Russia and China

                                         It is quite natural that Russia prefers dealing with China rather than the ailing, failing EU. The
                                         European economy remains in the grip of a chronic, self-made crisis with no end in sight.
                                         "Business alwas develops in the environment of stability and mutual interest," says Dmitry
                                         Abzalov, Head of the Russian Centre of Strategic Communications. "Russia’s cooperation with
                                         China is based on the raw material sector, engineering and military technology," he told The
                                         Voice of Russia (04.05.2014). When President Vladimir Putin visits China at the end of May,
                                         new agreements on natural gas will be signed. China already imports Russian ESPO oil
                                         through the East Siberia-Pacific Ocean pipeline. In 2013, total Russian ESPO sales amounted
                                         to 30 million tons. ESPO is Russia’s best blend, light and low in salt chloride content. It is
                                         highly valued in Asia. With China’s consumption constantly rising, chances are that Russia and
                                         China will soon switch to mutual payments in their national currencies, the rouble and yuan.

                                         According to the Russian media Kommersant (05.05.2014), China wants to participate in
                                         building a transport corridor from Russia's Krasnodar Krai to the Crimean Peninsula across the
                                         Kerch Strait. The Russian news agency ITAR TASS (05.05.2014) published information that
                                         the China International Fund (CIF) is expected to fund the project and the China Railway
                                         Constructions Corporation (CRCC) will build it. The state-owned CRCC, one of the largest
                                         construction companies worldwide, is specialized on building bridges, highways, railways and
                                         tunnels. Its net profit reached 1.6 billion dollars in 2013. Bejing is furthermore interested in a
                                         joint project with Russia to develop alternative energies on the Crimean Peninsula, mainly solar
                                         energy. China also wants to take part in the construction of a deepwater port near the Crimean
                                         town of Yevpatoria (Die Stimme Russlands,25.04.2014).

                                         "Post-Crimea World Order"

                                         Under this title the Indian journalist Debidatta Aurobinda Mahapatra wrote an article inThe
                                         Russia & India Report(14.04.2014) about the balance of power shifting towards Moscow,
                                         Bejing and New Delhi. "Vladimir Putin expressed thanks to Indian and Chinese leaderships for




http://voiceofrussia.com/2014_05_12/Russias-new-assertiveness-as-member-of-BRICS-1563/[5/13/2014 8:21:17 PM]
Russia's new assertiveness as member of BRICS - News - Politics - The Voice of Russia: News, Breaking news, Politics, Economics, Business, Russia, International current events, Expert opinion, podcasts, V...

                                         their positions on Crimea. The BRICS as a collective body and also its members including
                                         India, China and Brazil separately have deliberately refrained to go against Russia regarding
                                         the Ukrainian crisis," the Indian analyst pointed out.

                                         Another Indian journalist wants to help Russia save its money from western asset freezes.
                                         Rakesh Krishnan Simha is giving good advice in The Russia & India Report (02.05.2014),
                                         "How Russia and others can protect assets from the West." From his experience as citizen of a
                                         former British colony in Asia, he knows that "it is of course entirely natural for the West to grab
                                         wealth belonging to other nations. After four centuries of colonialism, the philosophy of loot-
                                         and-scoot seems to be ingrained in western thinking." He believes that non-aligned countries
                                         might be better off keeping their national assets in BRICS banks: "Banks in the BRICS
                                         countries are safer, more stable and a whole lot less greedy than western banks." Finally
                                         Rakesh Krishnan Simha suggests: "With the BRICS Development Bank on the drawing board,
                                         its planners should offer long- and short-term bonds where smaller countries can park their
                                         funds."

                                         BRICS perspectives until 2050

                                         The same Indian author writes in The Russia & India Report(28.04.2014) "No longer emerging,
                                         BRICS have arrived." Quoting a recent study by Price Waterhouse Coopers (PwC), Rakesh
                                         Krishnan Simha sees the BRICS economies steadily growing: "The BRICS are expanding
                                         rapidly, lifting people out of poverty and driving the global economy." PwC says that Russia
                                         could overtake Germany to become the largest European economy by 2020. China will be the
                                         largest global economy by 2027. India is on the way to turn into the third global economic giant
                                         by 2050, ahead of Brazil, which is expected to move up to fourth place. All in all, PcW predicts
                                         a rosy future for the BRICS member states. Reason enough for the sulking western
                                         schoolboys to grind their teeth, while sitting on the fence?



                                              Olivia Kroth

                                              Russia, BRICS, politics, Politics


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                                                  michael walsh 12 May, 14:06                                                                                               #
                                           This analysis is spot on. I have been saying similar for years. This will be the Russian Century. One hopes
                                           the collapse of American hegemony will be as peaceful and stabilizing as was the disintegration of the
                                           Soviet Union's Bolshevism.



                                                  Shiva Iyer 12 May, 17:54                                                                                                  #
                                           BRICS with its rapid propulsion like an intercontential ballastic missile, with the pace of their challenge, will
                                           move the EU old horses rock, stock and barrel out of the scene and majority of developing nations will
                                           slowly join the bandwagon.



                                                  Acodechoi Young-jin 12 May, 20:20                                                                                         #
                                           Michael Walsh, the collapse of American hegemony is already on the way. It is not as peaceful as we
                                           expect. Notice that the only option for the western decadence is to create all-out global conflict. Now that it
                                           has seen that Europe is no longer the future, it has turned towards Africa with a vengeance. That continent
                                           will suffer the wrath of these decadent powers which do not want to die without one last fight.




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Russia's new assertiveness as member of BRICS - News - Politics - The Voice of Russia: News, Breaking news, Politics, Economics, Business, Russia, International current events, Expert opinion, podcasts, V...




                                                  Eileen Kuch 13 May 2014, 01:14                                                                                #
                                           I'm right with you, Michael. I hope the collapse of USA hegemony will be as peaceful and stabilizing as was
                                           the disintegration of the USSR's Bolshevism, but I have my doubts; the Jewish forces controlling the USG
                                           won't simply give up so easily; they're hell-bent on either retaining hegemony; and, if that fails, take the
                                           entire world with them when they fall.




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