Remember all those economic sanctions that the USA demanded be imposed on Russia for its perfidy in the Ukraine for opposing Washington's installed puppet government in Kiev and for not allowing its Black Sea Fleet base at Sevastopol to fall into NATO's hands? At the time, I predicted that this was a short-sighted policy on Washington's part at best, since Europe's economic future lies in the expanded trade with the East, and with the integration into the Eurasian infrastructure projects that Russia and China have been championing. In particular, I pointed out that Europe's "locomotive," Germany, might politely mouth its obedience and perform the obligatory genuflexions to Washington, but the reality was - and is - that the economic and geopolitical future of the country, and therefore of Europe, lie eastward, not across the Atlantic ocean. What remained to be seen was whether Germany would lead in practice, while performing the perfunctory obeisance to Washington.This article, shared by Mr. V.T., says it all:
Germany to Invest 2Bln Euro in Russian Railways
The article concludes where our "high octane speculation" begins, by highlighting the ineffectiveness of economic sanctions in bringing Russia to accede to Westen demands in the Ukraine:
A recent poll conducted by the German-Russian Chamber of Commerce (ANK) has found that 80 percent of companies that have trade links with Russia believe that economic sanctions are not having their desired effect.
The proposed rail route, to which Germany wants to pledge some two billion euros in financing, would be a southern route railway from Moscow to Kazan and eventually on to Beijing, supplementing the Trans-Siberian route, which travels north of Mongolia and Manchuria. The strategic and economic value of such a route are self-evident, as is the geopolitcal consequence, for the route would clearly allow Russo-Chinese (and if participating, German) economic influence and dominance in the crucial Central Asian region that was so critical to former US National Security Advisor Zbgnw Brzznsk's (I'd like to purchase a vowel, please) "Grand Chessboard." Such a high speed rail system - Moscow to Beijing in two days, counting stops along the way - would allow massive amounts of freight to move between Asia and Europe overland, and to do so quickly. Andx for traditional "land powers" such as China and Russia (and for that matter, Germany), such a route offers obvious temptations and alternatives to sea trade and commerce, where each must contend with American sea dominance.
Of course, all this also means that rail lines are be interdicted from the air, and from...space. It is thus highly intriguing that Russia and China have recently concluded extensive cooperative deals on space matters. As I've detaield earlier this week, these deals, from the military and security point of view, are essential if these planned infrastructure developments are to be secured. The space platform secures the land-based on, and as I suggested earlier this week, vice versa: the land based infrastructure build-out over the next decades that is being planned by Russia and China also appear to be of a scale sufficient to support and sustain a large space-based economy.
The real question now, for Germany, is whether or not Russia and China will welcome German participation in the project, or not. And if so, then one may expect - in my high octane speculation of the day - that this will be blocked by Washington somehow, perhaps by ratcheting up tensions in the Ukraine once again, as this article suggests:
If one reads this in the context of the willingness to invest two billion euros in the Moscow-Beiking railroad project, then it is clear that some in Germany's corporate and finance world are looking askance at the whole sanctions policy.
And that means that sooner or later, either Frau Merkel's government, or its successor, is going to have to make that inevitable choice: orient eastward, or continue to be a lap poodle for Washington.It means also, like it or not, that Germany will have to take a more active role in any security measures in Central Asia, and perhaps a hint of this has already been served with the German decision to support President Hollande's intervention in Syria. But howsoever one parses that support role, the continued draw of eastern trade on Germany, and its foreign policy, will be a story to watch in 2016...
See you on the flip side...