PUTIN: RUSSIA TO SEND ITALY AID

PUTIN: RUSSIA TO SEND ITALY AID

March 24, 2020 By Joseph P. Farrell

In an interview with Catherine Austin Fitts last week (posted in the members' area on this site), one thing we both tentatively concluded was that the corona virus plandemic was that one of the principal goals or objectives was to target China and isolate it, doing a crippling blow to its silk road project. As a result, one geopolitical corollary to this would be to isolate Russia from its Chinese ally, and force it to "choose" between Europe and China.

While anyone's guess in this situation is as good as ours, there has been an interesting development according to this article on Reuters, shared by M.G.:

Russian army to send coronavirus help to Italy after Putin phone call

What's notable here is that this aid is not a mere drop in the bucket:

Putin spoke to Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte on Saturday, the Kremlin said, adding that the Russian leader had offered his support and help in the form of mobile disinfection vehicles and specialists to aid the worst hit Italian regions.

Italy recorded a jump in deaths from the coronavirus of almost 800 on Saturday, taking the toll in the world’s hardest-hit country to almost 5,000.

The Russian Defense Ministry said that military transport planes would deliver eight mobile brigades of military medics, special disinfection vehicles and other medical equipment to Italy from Sunday. (Emphasis added)

Yes, you read that correctly, eight brigades, or roughly four divisions, of medical specialists. The article goes on to mention that there are outbreaks of the virus in Russia, and one reported death.

What's intriguing to contemplate here are the geopolitical implications. First, on the Italian side of the equation, one wonders exactly why Italy did not appeal to its European neighbors, or to the USA, nor, for that matter, did it appeal to China, which one might have expected given that government's previous agreement with China to participate in the Silk Road project, granting China special access to large Italian ports. Perhaps the bloom is off the rose, and I suspect that might be part of the picture. Perhaps, looking at the response - and obfuscation (to pick a kind word) - of Xi's government caused a bit of reassessment at high levels in Rome. Italy wants new trading partners, and Asia is the answer.

But if, as I suspect, the corona virus will set China's plans back several years, then where else does one turn for that long-term commitment to Asian trade?

To Russia. After all, Mr. Putin has announced his own intentions to build out the infrastructure of Siberia, including upgrading the Trans-Siberian railway, and building out trunk line rail networks to aid the expansion of Russian agriculture in the region. Several weeks ago, the Japanese were invited to run tests over parts of the line. Translation: if we're going to convert the Trans-Siberian into high speed rail, there's two countries that know how to do it and have the experience, China, and of course, Japan. In other words, with or without China, Russia is engaged in its own version of the Silk Road project.

Enter the not-unsubstantial Russian aid to Italy: one obvious consequence of this is the creation of geopolitical good will between the two countries. In the long term, after this story is a bad memory, look for some very interesting bi-lateral talks to occur between Rome and Moscow, two of the largest economies in Europe, and caught between them, will be the Balkans...

See you on the flip side...