Russia in bed with Iran and Syria - 2007

Russia wants to resurrect influence in Muslim world: Moscow woos Muslim world with guns, diplomatic roses as US loses ground


The huge arms deal with Algeria that Moscow announced on Friday demonstrates Russia's determination to resurrect influence in the Muslim world through weapons exports and challenges to Western-dominated diplomacy, analysts said. Flush with oil and gas revenues and buoyed by its presidency of the Group of Eight, Russia is becoming a significant player -- and competitor with the United States -- in the Middle East for the first time since the Soviet crash of 1991. The latest sign of President Vladimir Putin's drive to reestablish Russian clout was the announcement during his flying visit to Algeria on Friday of weapons sales worth 7.5 billion dollars (6.3 billion euros). Russia also agreed to cancel Algeria's Soviet-era debt. Weapons are one of Russia's few internationally competitive products. In 2005 the export agency Rosoboronexport announced its best sales for years at 6.1 billion dollars, mostly to China, India and former Soviet client states in the Muslim world and Asia.

But Moscow's simultaneous writing off of 4.7 billion dollars of debt reveals the political nature of the arms trade, analysts said. "There has never been a deal like that in the history of Russian military-industrial partnerships," the Kommersant business daily said on Saturday. It suggested that the real value of contracts might not have been more than 5.5 billion dollars. "This visit was part of Russia's general policy in the Middle East," said Alexei Malashenko, an analyst at the Carnegie Centre in Moscow. "Russia is coming back. The geopolitical strategy has changed. The rapprochment with the West is over and Russia is taking its own route." That new strategy -- kick-started in April 2005 when Putin became the first Kremlin leader to visit Israel and the Palestinian territories -- coincides with a distinct cooling of relations between Moscow and Washington. But Russia presents itself less as a competitor than an East-West middleman. As builder of Iran's sole civilian nuclear power plant, Moscow says it can help resolve Tehran's standoff with the international community over a suspected secret weapons programme. In the only compromise plan on the table, Russia would assume responsibility for Iran's uranium enrichment.

Russia also ignored Israeli and Western suspicion at the start of March to hold talks with Hamas, arguing that the militant group, which is now the ruling party in the Palestinian territories, should be engaged, not made a pariah. Another Western bugbear -- Syria -- will be allowed into Russia's diplomatic limelight this week when Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and his Syrian counterpart Walid Muallem meet in Moscow. Russia has been at odds with European powers and the United States over how to ensure Syria's cooperation with a UN probe into suspicions of Syrian links to the murder of Lebanese ex-premier Rafiq Hariri. Russia wants Syrian cooperation, Lavrov said ahead of the Moscow talks, but not for the issue to be used for "political means". All these initiatives add up to a bold but risky policy that could leave Russia isolated, Malashenko warned. "It's important these initiatives bring results, because otherwise they will boomerang on Russia," he said.


Russia in bed with Iran and Syria

Gholamreza Aghazadeh left head of Iran Atomic Energy Organization and head of Russia Federal Atomic Energy Agency Alexander Rumyantsev as they sign agreement documents

Regarding the recent Wall Street Journal story titled "Oil and gas empire," by Barry Kasparov: Once again, Kasparov has provided readers with a valuable insight into present-day Russia and Vladimir Putin's transformation of Russia back into a one-party dictatorship. It is not really surprising that a Western world that is rapidly becoming a progressive secular-socialist entity doesn't seem to see the forest (democracy and freedom) for the trees. After all, isn't that what Putin and the KGB apparatchiks are succeeding in accomplishing before our eyes? Kasparov says, "Many here would like to believe Mr. Putin is ushering in a return to our Soviet superpower glory -- an illusion supported by images of our president taunting President Bush about Iraqi democracy and mocking Vice President Cheney about his hunting accident." Kasparov's assessment of Putin's relationships with Hugo Chavez, North Korea, Iran, Hezbollah and Hamas makes the facts seem patently obvious. Yet, we in the West are apparantly oblivious to this unfriendly dance with our enemies. But the most recent telling and damning evidence noted by Mr. Kasparov was Putin's purposely omitting Hezbollah and Hamas from Russia's list of national and international terrorists. This clearly puts Russia in bed with Iran and Syria and 100 percent in support of Hezbollah and Hamas, their civilian-killing proxies. Aside from a comment by Fred Barnes of the Weekly Standard on Fox News the other day, and a Fox News crawler the same day, I've seen no reference to this latest astounding development anywhere else, especially in the leftist media. Frankly, I don't see a great difference between Mr. Putin's objectives and those seemingly espoused by our own progressive secular-socialist -- oops -- Democratic Party. The real danger here is that Iran, Syria and their supporters may already be on a path of miscalulation.


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Dear reader,

Arevordi will be taking a sabbatical to tend to personal matters. New blog commentaries will henceforth be posted on an irregular basis. The comments board however will continue to be moderated on a regular basis.

The last 20 years or so has also helped me see Russia as the last front against scourges of Westernization, Globalism, American expansionism, Zionism, Islamic extremism and pan-Turkism. I have also come to see Russia as the last hope humanity has for the preservation of classical western civilization, Apostolic Christianity and the traditional nation-state. This realization compelled me to create this blog in 2010. Immediately, this blog became one of the very few voices in the vastness of cyberia that dared to preach about the dangers of Globalism and the Anglo-American-Jewish alliance, and the only voice preaching the strategic importance of Armenia remaining within Russia's orbit. From about 2010 to 2015 I did monthly, at times weekly, commentaries about Russian-Armenian relations and Eurasian geopolitics in general. It was very difficult as I had no assistance in this endeavor. The time I put into this blog therefore came at the expense of work and family. But a powerful feeling inside me urged me to keep going; and I did.

When Armenia finally joined the EEU and integrated its armed forces into Russia's military structures a couple of years ago, I finally felt a deep sense of satisfaction and relaxation, as if a very heavy burden was lifted off my shoulders. I finally felt that my personal mission was accomplished. I therefore felt I could take a step back, as I really needed the rest. Simply put: I have lived to see the institutionalization of Russian-Armenian alliance. Also, I feel more confident now that Armenians are collectively recognizing the strategic importance of Armenia's ties with Russia. Moreover, I feel satisfied knowing that, at least on a subatomic level, I had a hand in the outcome. As a result, I feel a strong sense of mission accomplished. I therefore no longer have the urge to continue as in the past. In other words, the motivational force that had propelled me in previous years has been gradually dissipating because I feel that this blog has lived to see the realization of its stated goal. Going forward, I do not want to write merely for the sake of writing. Also, I do not want to say something if I have nothing important to say. I feel like I have said everything I needed to say. Henceforth, I will post seasonal commentaries about topics I find important. I will however continue moderating the blog's comments section on a regular basis; ultimately because I'm interested in what my readers have to say and also because it's through readers here that I am at times made aware of interesting developments.

To limit clutter in the comments section, I kindly ask all participants of this blog to please keep comments coherent and strictly relevant to the featured topic of discussion. Moreover, please realize that when there are several anonymous visitors posting comments simultaneously, it becomes very confusing (not to mention extremely annoying) trying to figure out who is who and who said what.Therefore, if you are here to engage in conversation, make an observation, express an idea or simply attack me, I ask you to at least use a moniker to identify yourself. Moreover, please appreciate the fact that I have put an enormous amount of information into this blog. In my opinion, most of my blog commentaries and articles, some going back ten-plus years, are in varying degrees relevant to this day and will remain so for a long time to come. Articles in this blog can therefore be revisited by longtime readers and new comers alike. I therefore ask the reader to treat this blog as a depository of important information relating to Eurasian geopolitics, Russian-Armenian relations and humanity's historic fight against the evils of Globalism and Westernization.

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