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CORNERED BY THE WEST OVER UKRAINE, PUTIN COURTS ALLIES ELSEWHERE
Novosti ^ | 2004-12-07

Posted on 12/15/2004 12:09:58 PM PST by jb6

PARIS (by columnist Angela Charlton for RIA Novosti) - Just as President Vladimir Putin risked becoming an international outcast, he launched two diplomatic sorties that stroked Russia's ego and offered him respite from a Ukraine-obsessed season.

Over the weekend, Putin bolstered Russia's alliance with democratic, dynamic India, the number one buyer of Russian arms. Then Putin forayed into Turkey, rigorously trying to persuade Russia's longtime foe that cooperation would make both countries richer and safer.

Last month he was in Brazil; in October he toured China. Putin is scoring points with the next generation's global heavyweights.

Yet his revived rhetoric of a multipolar world rings hollow. All five members of this potential counterweight to U.S. domination - Russia, China, India, Turkey, Brazil - need America and its consumers more than they need each other. Putin knows this. His latest shuttling doesn't appear to reflect a grand new Russian imperialist strategy. It reflects a new realism about Russia's relations with the second-term George W. Bush and the expanded, remodeled European Union.

Putin's trips this autumn were planned ages ago, but they took on greater significance after Ukraine's questionable election pit him against erstwhile U.S. and European allies. The Cold War-style discord has left Putin in largely isolated opposition to Western leaders who urged - and won - a repeat vote.

Putin's hosts in India and Turkey gave him little trouble over Ukraine, or his political reforms that have so angered his western counterparts. India greeted him as an honored leader and key trade partner; Turkey greeted him as a powerful neighbor and respected rival. This was just the reception Putin needed after weeks of ridicule by western, and even Russian, media over his missteps and powerlessness in Ukraine. The voyage appears to have revived Putin's confidence and tempered his emotions.

The agreements reached this week show that Russia is adept at promoting its interests beyond the post-Soviet space - perhaps better than in its own backyard. Putin saved face among foreign investors by inviting Indian companies to bid for Yukos' main production unit. Russia will design a supersonic missile and new planes with India. NATO-member Turkey is even considering buying Russian weapons. Russia won the arrest of suspected Chechen militants in Turkey despite continued disagreement over the Chechnya war.

Russia has more to gain from building gas pipelines around the world and promoting its IT industry abroad than from installing friendly regimes along its borders.

When Putin first rose to power five years ago, he was pilloried by western commentators as a sinister KGB spy with no democratic credentials. His response was a vigorous anti-unilateralism, aimed at the United States. One of his early trips as president was to outcast North Korea, and he reinvigorated ties with hefty, non-western allies China and India.

Then he met Bush, and established a strange and crucial rapport that strengthened as terrorism topped the global agenda. Putin formed bonds with Germany's Gerhard Schroeder and Italy's Silvio Berlusconi. As Putin's experience and confidence as a world leader solidified, his passion for rogue nations receded.

Now Putin's romance with the West is fading. Differences over Chechnya, election reform and visa rules have plunged Russia's relations with the EU to new lows. The tension over Ukraine is alienating even buddy Bush.

So Putin is back to anti-unilateralism. "We see attempts to remodel the God-given diversity of modern civilization according to the barrack-like principles of a unipolar world as highly dangerous," he said in India.

But Russia can't be anti-American when it asks India for advice on wooing U.S. outsourcers. Russia can't trash Washington in talks with Brazil and Chile when their entire continent looks to the United States for aid and investment. Russia can't plumb Europe's anti-Americanism when the continent's anti-Russianism runs deeper. Russia can't be anti-European in talks with Turkey, on its way to EU membership.

This requires a more studied strategy than the lurching of Putin's early presidency. His travels should help Russia ride out its tensions with the West instead of fomenting them.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Foreign Affairs; Government
KEYWORDS: alliances; brazil; china; coldwar2; diplomacy; geopolitics; india; multipolar; politics; putin; russia; southasia; turkey; ukraine

1 posted on 12/15/2004 12:09:59 PM PST by jb6
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Comment #2 Removed by Moderator

To: jb6

I think he was surprised by the international reaction to his attempted coup in the Ukraine. He considers the Ukraine to be part of Russia so he looks at it almost as an internal matter.


3 posted on 12/15/2004 12:13:03 PM PST by mainepatsfan
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To: jb6

Umm,one error in the article.The largest buyer of Russian arms is China,India is at 2nd place.


4 posted on 12/16/2004 5:54:42 AM PST by sukhoi-30mki
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To: jb6; William Creel; mainepatsfan; sukhoi-30mki; GOP_1900AD; DarkWaters; familyop; AdmSmith; ...
Then Putin forayed into Turkey, rigorously trying to persuade Russia's longtime foe that cooperation would make both countries richer and safer.

...in Turkey, he accused the West of trying to force its vision of democracy on the former Soviet Union. He added that he was concerned that those who resist "will be punished with a truncheon made of bombs and missiles, as it was in Belgrade" - AP


Blue Stream, a pipeline through the Black Sea, carried 1.3 billion cubic meters (bcm) of Russian natural gas to Turkey in 2003. Exports this year will likely reach 2 bcm. Gazprom's CEO Aleksei Miller is especially interested in Turkish distribution networks. Prior to Putin's visit, Miller met with Mehmed Gueler, Turkey's Energy Minister, to discuss investment opportunities.

For years, Russian investors have placed bids on Turkish electricity plants, oil refineries and LNG projects. But privatization in the 1990's was trumped by political instability in Ankara. As a bargaining tool, the Turkish side never tires of bringing up tanker traffic volume in the Bosphorus. Developing safer pipeline infrastructure is now in both parties' interest.

Russia, like Iran, cannot hide its distaste for the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) pipeline project. It bypasses both countries on its way from Caspian oilfields to the Mediterranean. BTC also places Anatolia, Turkey's sleepy inland, at the heart of world energy supply.

The Nabucco project, another pipeline route for natural gas deliveries, crosses Turkish territory on its way to Austria. If Nabucco gets the official go-ahead, a final feasibility report will be submitted by the end of this month and shipping contracts will be signed in early 2005.

Military weaponry, and not only Kalashnikovs, is an important aspect of Russian-Turkish trade. The Turkish air force has issued a $2.5 billion tender to acquire 145 attack helicopters. According to Moscow's business daily Kommersant, finalists included the "Ka-50-2 Erdogan," a Russian model produced specifically for the occasion. But Turkish authorities rejected it arguing it was partially manufactured in Israel.

In the meantime, another option surfaced as favorite: the "Pah-2 Tiger" proposed by EADS, a European consortium. Moscow has now made a counteroffer with the "Mi-28NE," or night hunter, a model produced in the industrial city of Rostov na Donu. Sales of amphibian planes for use in fire extinction were also part of the Agreement on Military-Technical Cooperation. - LINK


Relations between Russia and the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) grew noticeably stronger in 2004, which was to a large extent facilitated by Russian President Putin's visit to Ankara, the first in 30 years, and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov's participation in the conference of the foreign ministers of Muslim countries in Istanbul. This was said by Russian ambassador-at-large Veniamin Popov in an interview with ITAR-TASS.

The Russian diplomat, who is responsible for relations with the OIC, said that dialogue with the community of 57 countries (an "Islamic mini-UN" of a kind) had become "more vigorous" recently and was "progressing on various levels". "It is very important that Russia has acquired the status of a guest in the OIC," he said, adding that Turkey will chair the Islamic community from January 2005. ITAR-TASS


According to Mr. Putin, "today we support UN Secretary General Kofi Annan's plans for Cyprus."

Speaking about possible ways to remove anxiety in Russia's relations with Cyprus, Mr. Putin said that apart from actively developing relations between Moscow and Ankara, "there is, above all, one way which to remove all types of anxiety: it is to develop our relations with Greece as actively. Then, all anxiety will disappear."

According to the president, "we have very good relations with Greece, but our economic cooperation needs to be brought to the level of our political contacts.

"We should not decrease our economic cooperation with Turkey, but we must expand our economic contacts with Greece."

Speaking about Russian tourists in Greece, Mr. Putin cited Turkey as an example. "Two million Russian tourists" visited that country this year, he said. "That means that we hold second place after Germany in terms of visiting that country.

"Incidentally, it is rather difficult to enter Greece, and not through our own fault," Mr. Putin stressed. - December 23 (RIA Novosti)

Putin calls for more U.N. veto power

5 posted on 01/09/2005 6:06:41 PM PST by Tailgunner Joe
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To: Tailgunner Joe

Putin is playing on borrowed time.


6 posted on 01/09/2005 6:09:05 PM PST by Happy2BMe ("Islam fears democracy worse than anything- If the imams can't control it - they will kill it.)
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To: Tailgunner Joe
Putin, "Can't get no respect"!

Putin is beginning to remind me of bjclinton, a world traveler. The only difference is that bj zipped around the world apologizing for the US but Putin runs around trying to build alliances.
7 posted on 01/09/2005 6:33:00 PM PST by Just mythoughts
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To: Tailgunner Joe

Military weaponry, and not only Kalashnikovs, is an important aspect of Russian-Turkish trade. The Turkish air force has issued a $2.5 billion tender to acquire 145 attack helicopters. According to Moscow's business daily Kommersant, finalists included the "Ka-50-2 Erdogan," a Russian model produced specifically for the occasion.

Ka-50-2 Erdogan
http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/russia/ka-50-2.htm
Beginning in 1997 Kamov company, in partnership with IAI, began competing in the tender for a $4 billion contract for the supply of 145 combat helicopters to the Turkish Army. In compliance with the tender requirements, KAMOV/IAI group submitted the required documentation on the Ka-50-2 Erdogan tandem twin-sitter in November 1999. On 06 March 2000, Bulent Ecevit, the Prime Minister of Turkey, announced that Boeing and Eurocopter, French/German company, would be excluded from the list of the Bidders for the combat helicopters supply contract. Among the remaining competitors for the contract award are KAMOV/IAI (Israel Aircraft Industries Ltd.) group with its Ka-50-2 Erdogan, Agusta company from Italy with its A129 Mongoose and Belltextron company from the USA with its AH-1Z King Cobra.

IAI and Kamov teamed together to offer the tandem-seater Ka-50-2, the world's most powerful attack helicopter, in reponse to the Turkish Land Forces (TLF) requirement for 145 attack helicopters. IAI and Kamov complied with the Turkish requirement for a tandem cockpit by reconfiguring the existing side-by-side configuration to a tandem one. The Turkish version of the Ka-50-2 is called ERDOGAN. Another Turkish requirement, which was achieved by IAI and Kamov is the integration of a turret gun instead the original fixed gun. The new ERDOGAN uses a folding turret gun, as an integral part of its armament system.

The Ka-50-2 is the product of a joint effort by Israel Aircraft Industries' Lahav Division, a world leader in avionics modernization and the Kamov Company, the developer of advanced coaxial rotor technology. Kamov is responsible for the helicopter airframe, with its various subsystems, while IAI is responsible for the avionics and weapons delivery system. The integration of a state-of-the-art Western avionics suite with a robust Eastern platform offers best value, in terms of both performance and price.

The Ka-50-2, with its combat proven avionics and advanced anti-tank guided missiles, offers a high level of combat effectiveness. Moreover, the helicopter features superior flight performance, safe and easy piloting and high combat survivability due to its unique coaxial rotor technology and sound aeronautical engineering.

The Ka-50-2 is equipped with IAI's flexible modular avionics suite, which can be readily tailored to meet the TLF's operational requirements and provides extensive growth potential.

IAI and Kamov conducted successful demonstration flights of the Russian helicopter with IAI's Core Avionics. These demonstration flights demonstrated the helicopter's "Glass Cockpit" with multifunctional displays and Control & Display Unit (CDU) driven by centralized Mission and Display computers, flight navigation and the operation of the Helicopter Multi-Mission Optronic Stabilized Payload (HMOSP) targeting system. The demonstration flights included night mission capability demonstrations, utilizing Night Vision Goggles (NVG) and the day/night targeting system.

After eliminating Italy's Agusta (A129-I), it was announced in March 2000 that the US company Bell Helicopter-Textron with its AH-IZ King Cobra had come in first and the Russian-Israeli Kamov/IAI consortium with its KA-50/52-Erdogan had come in second. Disappointed with Turkey's elimination of the French-German Eurocopter consortium from its $4 billion attack helicopter co-production project, French President Jacques Chirac reportedly decided to suspend his state visit to Turkey.


8 posted on 01/09/2005 8:26:59 PM PST by Valin (Sometimes you're the bug, and sometimes you're the windshield)
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To: jb6
Russian Arms Exports to Yemen to Exceed $100M in 2004

Yemen Frees 113 Al Qaeda Members

9 posted on 01/09/2005 8:49:09 PM PST by FreeReign
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To: FreeReign
And we export M1A2s to Egypt whose people were dancing in the streets on 911 and we keep giving money to the PLO. Hell, Fox had it that we are giving another "gift" of $20 million cash to the PLO for their election present. How damn nice. We also support the Saudies who have WMD and the systems to deliver them, medium range ballistic missiles. While our so called ally Pakistan is giving Iran nuke technology and rockets. We need to seriously take a closer look at our "allies".
10 posted on 01/09/2005 9:36:06 PM PST by jb6 (Truth = Christ)
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To: jb6
And we export M1A2s to Egypt whose people were dancing in the streets on 911

You can't be serious. The government of Egypt doesn't support Al Qaeda. A few people danced in the streets in many countries.

and we keep giving money to the PLO. Hell, Fox had it that we are giving another "gift" of $20 million cash to the PLO for their election present. How damn nice.

I'm guessing that our goal is to control the PLO. If that doesn't work then after -- and only after -- Iran and Syria are controlled, the PLO will be squashed.

We also support the Saudies who have WMD and the systems to deliver them, medium range ballistic missiles.

BS, the Saudi's don't have WMD. The Saudi's have supported us and the WOT since the meetings between Bandar and Bush several years back in Crawford. Do you dare me to document that?

While our so called ally Pakistan is giving Iran nuke technology and rockets. We need to seriously take a closer look at our "allies".

BS again. Present day Pakistan doesn't export "nuke technology and rockets to Iran. That was many years ago.

GMAFB!

11 posted on 01/09/2005 10:56:16 PM PST by FreeReign
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To: FreeReign; A. Pole; Destro; broadsword
The government of Egypt doesn't support Al Qaeda. A few people danced in the streets in many countries.

You seriously need to read what is written in their GOVERNMENT controlled newspapers. And don't forget, Egypt gets $3 billion/yr no strings from us.

The PLO and Hamas and Hezbullah need to be squashed ASAP. Here in NC we have plenty of recruitment and fund raising cells. Go to Raleigh or Chapel Hill and you'll see tons of Palies around.

BS, the Saudi's don't have WMD. The Saudi's have supported us and the WOT since the meetings between Bandar and Bush several years back in Crawford. Do you dare me to document that?

The Saudies have 120+ medium ballistic missiles and chemical warheads, located in the western desert, closer to Israel, no surprise. Furthermore, the Saudies were one of two nations to recognize and fund the Taliban, the other was their creator, Pakistan. The Saudies funded Al Quida and some in the Royal Family still do. Furthermore, Saudi money goes into Bosnia, Kosovo-Yugoslavia, Chechnya-Russia, supports Aby Nu Saef, goes to the Indonesian jihadi armadas that go island hopping chopping up Christians, and many other organizations, including many here in DC.

Furthermore, the Saudies have not be cooperative and have blocked FBI probes at every level.

Their GOVERNMENT controlled media and mullahs still preach death to America and their border is porus on purpose, to allow the maximum out flow of fanatics into Iraq. Might I remind you that the suicider who killed 19 American soldiers was a Saudi medical student. So much for the Hypocretic Oath.

Present day Pakistan doesn't export "nuke technology and rockets to Iran. That was many years ago

Yup, last year, when the Paki chief nuclear scientist "confessed" to sending info out to whom ever had cash and was "punished" with amnesty.

12 posted on 01/10/2005 12:19:14 AM PST by jb6 (Truth = Christ)
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To: All
So Putin is back to anti-unilateralism. "We see attempts to remodel the God-given diversity of modern civilization according to the barrack-like principles of a unipolar world as highly dangerous," he said in India.

Bump.
13 posted on 01/10/2005 5:08:48 AM PST by A. Pole (Hash Bimbo: "Low wage is good for you!")
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