Putin Warns Energy-Dependent Russia of New Arms Race - February, 2008

The continuing brilliance of Vladimir Putin. It's obvious this man knows intimately well the West's plans for Eurasia (Russia in particular) and the fundamental weaknesses that led to the collapse of the Soviet Union. With its massive nuclear arsenal, abundance of natural resources, capable diplomatic corps, growing economy and a newly found Russo-centric political direction, Russia today is strategically situated to control the most vital landmass on earth, Eurasia. A little glimpse into the minds of Western policy makers: It is said that some years ago former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright made a comment suggesting that Russia controlled too much natural resources for a single country; to which Putin recently replied, "I know that some politicians play with such ideas in their heads," adding that such talk was "political erotica." Nonetheless, with its anti-missile defense agenda, NATO's eastward expansion, the undermining of pro-Russian nations worldwide, and covert western support for anti-government forces in the Russian Federation, attempts by the West to isolate, contain and/or undermine Russian sovereignty has been the West's primary goal in Eurasia since the collapse of the Soviet Union. Without doubt, the next few years will be very interesting with regards to Russo-West relations and the Cold War-II. As it has been said before, the Russian Federation may yet prove to be a more formidable opponent for the West than was the Soviet Union.

Arevordi

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Putin Warns Energy-Dependent Russia of New Arms Race


Putin delivers final address to State Council as President: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XsWaQ...&oe=UTF-8&hl=e

February, 2008

President Vladimir Putin warned that excessive economic dependence on energy could threaten Russia's existence, and said the country can't afford to get dragged into a new arms race. If Russia continues to rely on its natural resources to drive economic growth, it "won't be able to provide for the country's security or normal development,'' Putin said in a televised speech in Moscow today. "We will threaten the very existence of the country.'' "A new phase of the arms race is unfolding'' in the world, Putin said, and Russia musn't allow itself to get dragged into a "spending confrontation'' on arms that would be "destructive'' for the economy and "detrimental to Russia's internal development.'' Putin, who took office in 2000, was addressing a meeting of Russia's State Council on his strategy for the development of the country until 2020. He leaves office in May after a March 2 presidential election in which he can't run, as the constitution bars him from serving more than two consecutive terms. Dmitry Medvedev, the man Putin says should succeed him, was in the audience, and television cameras frequently focused on him. Putin has regularly criticized the expansion of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization into Eastern Europe and the former Soviet republics, and in particular U.S. plans to deploy elements of a missile-defense system in the Czech Republic and Poland.

Base Closures

"We close down our bases in Cuba and Vietnam, and what do we get in return?'' he said. "New American bases in Romania and Bulgaria and a new missile-defense system in Poland and the Czech Republic.'' Putin has been invited to a meeting of NATO leaders in Bucharest in April. He hasn't said if he'll go. Russia must develop a new military strategy by 2020, Putin said. "We need an innovative army'' that is professional, technically advanced and will take the armed forces "to a completely new level.'' In one of his last major speeches as president, he highlighted the country's successes during his tenure, saying Russia's gross domestic product may double by the end of next year from when he took office in 2000. Oil and gas accounted for nearly 70 percent of Russia's exports to countries outside the Commonwealth of Independent States last year, according to the Federal Customs Service. Russia must diversify away from energy and invest in education, medicine and "human capital'' during the next 12 years, Putin said. "Large-scale investment in human capital'' is an "absolute national priority,'' he said.

Innovative Growth

"The pace of innovative growth must be far greater than we've had to date,'' he said, adding that Russia needs investment in aviation and space, shipbuilding, roads, railways, ports, airports and housing. Putin started his address by reminding his audience of regional governors, lawmakers and billionaires including OAO Lukoil Chief Executive Officer Vagit Alekperov and steelmaker OAO Severstal's Alexei Mordashov that "eight years ago, the situation in the country was extremely serious,'' noting that "terrorists were carrying out civil war on a large scale'' in the southern regions of Chechnya and Dagestan. When he came to power in 1998, the country was reeling from the effect of a default, the army was demoralized and agriculture was in ruins, he said. While life has improved in many areas, corruption remains a big problem, he said. "To this day it can take months to get anything done,'' Putin said. "You have to go into every office with a bribe -- the fire department, hospital orderlies, gynecologists, anyone you have to deal with. It's just a nightmare.''

Source: http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?p...A&refer=europe

Putin lashes out at West's "new arms race"


President Vladimir Putin said on Friday a new global arms race was starting and Russia was "forced to retaliate" with new, high-tech weapons. In a tough speech outlining his vision for Russia to 2020, Putin accused the West of ignoring Moscow's concerns on security by expanding the NATO military alliance to its borders and deploying a missile defence system in Central Europe. "It is already clear that a new arms race is unfolding in the world. It's not our fault, we didn't start it," Putin told government, business and military leaders at the Kremlin, three months before his presidency is due to end. "In effect, we are forced to retaliate...Russia has and always will have a response to these new challenges," he added. Apparently referring to plans for new nuclear-capable missiles, Putin said "over the next few years Russia will start production of new types of weapons which...are in no way inferior to what other states have and in some cases are superior". Putin also said there was a "fierce fight" for natural resources around the globe and many conflicts and foreign policy actions "smell of oil and gas". Moscow needed to be on its guard against attempts to get access to its resources, he added.

"Under the disguise of turgid declarations about freedom and open society, sometimes the sovereignty of certain states and whole regions is being destroyed," Putin said, in an apparent reference to U.S. policy in the Middle East and in particular the war in Iraq. Speaking ahead of presidential elections next month which are widely expected to be won by his chosen successor Dmitry Medvedev, Putin attacked foreign countries for "immoral and illegal" attempts to interfere in Russia's domestic affairs. The West's main election watchdog, the ODIHR, said on Thursday it was scrapping plans to monitor Russia's presidential election because of restrictions by Moscow on the number of observers and the amount of time they could work. Western countries have criticised democracy in Russia, saying the Kremlin's dominance over the airwaves and its liberal use of government resources to help official candidates make it impossible for the opposition to compete fairly. Putin said democracy was a "cornerstone" of Russian society. Although Putin's speech was billed in Russian media as a blueprint for Medvedev to follow, the president did not mention his successor by name in his 50 minutes of remarks or refer to the next government. There were few specific policy details. Putin has said he intends to stay active in politics and will become prime minister under Medvedev. But many analysts find improbable the scenario of an all-powerful, popular leader such as Putin voluntarily handing over the reins to a loyal subordinate and taking a lesser position himself.

Medvedev, sitting among cabinet members in the front row of seats in the Kremlin's St. George Hall, listened attentively as Putin hailed Russia's economic growth and stability during his eight years in power and called for fresh efforts to wean the economy off its dependence on exports of raw materials. He hailed the new-found strength of the Russian economy, pointing to a boom in investment, state coffers which are now full and gross domestic product growth of over 8 percent a year. But Putin also conceded that the economy was "still very ineffective" and criticised the lack of progress in turning Moscow's large scientific research programme into concrete technological advances. Around 80 percent of Russia's exports are raw materials and imports are rising rapidly, threatening to tip the country's trade balance into the red within three years. "Russia should become a world leader in technology," Putin said. "...the pace of development in innovation must be dramatically higher than it is today". He proposed tax breaks for companies investing in employees' training and healthcare and said the government should help promote scientific research and innovation. Russia faces a major demographic crisis, with its population falling because of low birthrates and limited life expectancy. Putin said this had to change. "Today, every other man in Russia does not have the chance to live to be 60 years old. That is shameful...we must do everything to cut the mortality level in Russia", he said.

Source: http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp...c=Worldupdates

Putin’s Plank


Russia is to become the most fascinating and attractive country by 2020 Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke in the Kremlin on Friday, addressing the country’s top officials and numerous journalists (in person), and Russian TV audience (in live broadcast). Kommersant’s special correspondent Andrei Kolesnikov believes Putin in fact disclosed what he had allegedly had for a long time, but what no one had ever seen, -- the Putin plan. After the president’s address to the Federal Assembly in spring 2007, the Kremlin found itself in an awkward situation: Vladimir Putin said it was his last address. It turned out, however, he wanted to add something else. Eventually, the event was defined as an extended session of the State Council. I noticed that the Council was extended mainly by means of journalists. The Kremlin’s St. Andrew Hall hosted 87 mass media representatives (including editors-in-chief of some newspapers, who had so far demonstratively ignored such events, primarily because no one invited them). The Kremlin’s Malachite Parlor hosted 10 times more journalists – writing and electronic press who did the coverage.

Before the session, its participants were full of great expectations. The announced program of Russia’s development till 2020 excited their imagination. Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov said if everything mentioned by the president is fulfilled, it “will allow us to take the most independent stand in the world”. Meanwhile, no one really knew what the president’s speech was going to be about. Yet, the fever of anticipation of new victories, which require no action except listening to Putin’s speech, has already covered the audience in the Big Kremlin Palace. “Coming to the end of my second presidential term, I consider it necessary to say what has been done in the recent years,” said Putin, coming out to speak at 1 p.m. sharp [not because he wanted to point out his report’s unprecedented importance, but because the speech was broadcasted live by federal channels.—A.K.].

Putin mentioned his second term so briefly, as if his third one will begin even without our and his noticing it. Indeed, as I listened to him for 45 minutes, I clearly saw it was a speech by someone who was just going to start fulfilling his duties as the president of Russia. Putin analyzed not only his two presidential terms, but also the two terms of his predecessor. By the way, the analysis of Boris Yeltsin’s actions was getting more and more merciless. “The country suffered a financial crisis, citizens’ savings became depreciated. Terrorists unleashed a large-scale civil war, blatantly invaded Dagestan, and blew up houses in Russian towns… Rich Russia turned into a country of poor people…” said Putin. However, the Russian people “had neither despair, nor fear; on the contrary, the nation responded by rallying and standing together”. In the next eight years, the nation guided by its president did something not every nation can do. Russia stood up from its knees. Although, it hasn’t yet straightened its back, as far as I figured out from the president’s report.

“Last year, we reached the largest GDP growth in the last seven years, -- 8.1 percent. By the results of 2007, Russia is now ahead of such G8 countries as Italy and France. By its GDP size, Russia is now among the seven strongest economies of the world.” Putin said, however, it is about the GDP estimated according to parity purchase power. I’m sure, however, analysts would manage the task of estimating the GDP according to any index which would make Russia enter the top three, for instance, already by the session on Friday, if required to do so. Undoubtedly, Russia also has high chances to become the leader in, say, the corruption level per capita.

Anyway, no one noticed the GDP reservation. We were witnessing so stunning achievements and so large-scale prospects, that any reservations were forgiven without reserve. “Our children will not have to pay our old debts,” went on Putin, and I thought that some people in the audience sighed with great relief. The president, though, meant that Russia’s “state foreign debt reduced down to 3 percent of GDP, which is one of the lowest debts in the world”. “The population’s real incomes grew by 2.5 times in eight years. Pensions also increased by almost 2.5 times,” said Putin and raised his eyes off the speech text. “I’m well aware of the inflation… Price growth, etc. [indeed, what else can be said about the current price growth, except “etc”.—A.K.]… Yet, let me say it again, the real incomes grew by 2.5 times.”

Five minutes later, I almost believed we live in the country described by the Russian president in his report. I couldn’t even think of having to exit the Kremlin and go out there afterwards. Yet, here it turned out that whatever has been done is not enough, and that if everything keeps going the same way, the country will eventually find itself there where anyone concerned about Russia hopes never to see it again. As it turned out, we failed to escape the “inertial energy-resource scenario of development” and “the only realistic alternative to that scenario is a strategy for the country’s innovative development”. “However, I would like to point out,” went on the president in ultimatum tone, “and I would like everyone to understand it: innovative development rate should be radically higher than what we have now…”

From this moment on, the speech looked more and more like the report by Communist Party First Secretary Nikita Khrushchev, with its chief idea that the next generation of Soviet people would live already in communism. “Russia should become the most attractive country for living. I firmly believe we can achieve it without sacrificing the present for the so-called bright future [so, he too was aware of the Soviet analogies.—A.K.]. On the contrary, we can be improving the nation’s well-being day by day,” said the president. So, Putin’s ambitions are even higher than Khrushchev’s. In a while, everything became completely clear. By 2020, a Russian citizen is to have the best of what the mankind produces by that time. And the best of what the mankind makes is to be produced in Russia. Moreover, a Russian is to become the mankind’s best product. Apparently, that is the much-spoken-of Putin Plan. I do not know whether the report raised Russia’s investment attractiveness. At least, it raised my mood. “Nowadays, every second man in the country has no chances to live till the age of 60,” said the president. “What a shame! Moreover, there are less and less Russian citizens with each year! I think we should do our best to reduce death rate in Russia by over 1.5 times, and to increase average life expectancy in Russia up to 75 years by 2020.”

The audience responded by long-awaited applause. The applause was truly sincere. Hardly any of those present would not like to achieve these results in his/her own life. Putin also said what he thinks of the government’s work. As expected, nothing good. It was worth listening when the president went into details. Thus, hardly anything will remain of the government in its present state, both its structure and its management scheme: “Ministries should de facto control the resources entrusted to them, and independently issue the necessary legal enactments.” The president also spoke about the political system’s development, human rights, and civil freedoms. Anyway, Putin made so many reservations that it was hard to ignore them this time:

“No matter how tough the political debates are, how insoluble the inter-party contradictions are, they are never worth putting the country on the verge of chaos… Irresponsible demagogy, attempts at splitting the society and using foreign aid and interference during the inner political competition are not only immoral, but also illegal. They humiliate our nation’s dignity and weaken our democratic state… After all, Russia’s political system is to correspond to the national political culture and to develop together with it. Then it will be flexible and stable at the same time,” said Putin. The president went on to small business: “It is terrible what central federal agencies do in Russia’s regions and territories, with the support of territorial and local governing bodies. So far, it has been impossible to start one’s own business for months! One has to visit each agency to pay a bribe – to fireguards, to public health watchdogs… To gynecologists! A bribe for everyone! It’s terrible!” exclaimed the president.

In this report, small business was lucky to get so much attention: “A private company motivated to achieve success is often capable to manage better than an official who does not always have an idea of what is truly effective management, and what is an achievement.” Putin said it is necessary to reduce VAT and to make it one and the same. Deputy PM Alexei Kudrin later reminded it is 18 percent and 10 percent now. President’s Expert Department Director Arkady Dvorkovich said there are intensive consultations on the issue going on now, and that VAT single rate is going to be 12 or 13 percent. According to Putin’s report, we still have too many enemies in international politics. As far as I understood, there will be no less of them. There flashed an idea about a new round of arms race (as if copied from the Soviet speeches as well).

“They are assuring us that all those actions are not aimed against Russia. Yet, our partners are using it, unfortunately, just as… And I have to acknowledge it with pain in my heart…” Putin looked into the audience, and there was in his eyes the pain living in his heart, “… just as information-diplomatic cover for implementing their own plans… Russia has and will always have an adequate response to these new challenges…” Certainly, the response lies in producing new weapons. The president suggested discussing the concept with the society, in a very Soviet-style manner again, when Soviet leaders’ reports were followed by broad discussions. “Russia has not a single reason which would prevent us from achieving our goals. Not a single one!” summed up the president. Putin left the session hall quickly. He walked so rapidly as if in a hurry to implement the goals by 2020. Participants of the session went away at a slower speed. They had to walk through a crowd of journalists who were lucky that day: everyone there was obliged to talk to everyone.

“When they tell me that people should live till 75, I realize it is necessary that no one dies in our country,” Communist leader Gennady Zyuganov shared his thoughts following the report. “Wouldn’t you like to live forever? Or at least till 75?” I asked. “I want to, very much!” Zyuganov was honest. “Do you think it is possible with the current regime?” “With the current regime, it is impossible, even till 75,” declared the irreplaceable Communist leader. However, I have a slight suspicion he would be the leader eternally, if it were his regime. Another presidential candidate, Vladimir Zhirinovsky, was dissatisfied with Putin’s speech as well. “How long can we be uttering threats?! ‘Wait till we create new weapons, new missiles, adequate response…’ We need to make it clear for them! But how? Yastrzhembsky used to say: ‘From here we can strike a blow at Afghanistan. So, why doesn’t he strike! Enough of promises!”

Moreover, Zhirinovsky believes no one will be building the bright future on their own initiative, and thus it is necessary to force the state officials to do so: “It is necessary to arrest 10,000 officials and to restore death penalty.” Compared to these ideas, the value of Putin’s speech increased by many times. Meanwhile, the speech is unique because it can be regarded as political testament or as inauguration speech – and not Putin’s.

Source: http://www.kommersant.com/p851047/Pu...to_the_nation/

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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 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 for me because I had no assistance from anywhere. The time I put into this blog therefore came at the expense of work and family. But a powerful feeling inside urged me to keep going; and I did. When Armenia joined the EEU and integrated into Russia's military structures a couple of years ago I finally felt a deep sense of relaxation, as if a very heavy burden was lifted off my back. And when Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan reemerged in Armenian politics, 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 internal 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 anything 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 moderate the blog's comments section on a regular basis; ultimately because I'm interested in what readers of this blog 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. If you are here to engage in conversation, make an observation, express an idea or just attack me, I ask you to at least use a moniker to identify yourself.

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, going back ten-plus years, are in varying degrees relevant to this day and will remain so for a long time to come. Posts 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 Globalism and Westernization.

Thank you for reading.