First ever East Russia International Economic Forum (Vostochny Economichesky Forum), aka, Eastern Economic Forum, is taking place in Vladivostok, Russia. Vladivostok is Russia’s port and international hub in the Far East, located very close to Japan.
During Soviet days Vladivostok was a closed city, where foreigners were not allowed. After the breakup of the USSR it became a hub for trade with Japan, sometimes illegal.
However, as Russia continues its historic pivot to the East (as I predicted since the beginning of 2014) more and more interest in free and legal country-to-country trade is developing. What a turn around from the Soviet days!
During the East Russia Economic Forum Putin announced that Vladivostok would become first Free Trade Port in the Far East, a development eagerly awaited by Japanese, Korean and Chinese business and investors. Putin also announced that following Vladivostok, other Russian Far Eastern ports will become Free Trade zones. He didn’t specify which ones, but I believe we are talking primarily Khabarovsk and Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, but also probably Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, Komsomolsk-na-Amure and a few others.
Why is this announcement being made now:
This proposal had been on the table for the Japanese investors for some years. Russians promoted it as a way to make peace with old Japanese claims for Kuril Islands and Sakhalin (the latter has been withdrawn, as far as I know). However, Japanese, due to the internal politics and American pressure were unwilling to move the issue along. The elegant solution of the free trade zones, while Russia keeps the political, administrative and military control over its strategically important islands is a very wise solution of the old dispute.
The free trade ports issue stalled until China and Russia were literally pushed towards a very close alliance after the blatant intervention of the US and West in Ukraine and after the anti-Russian sanctions. The multi-faceted Russia-China alliance is making new leaps forward, the latest being Putin’s trip to Beijing for the Chinese parade (I’ll have a separate post about that).
As the trade between Russia and China is making these giant leaps, Korean and Japanese investors have to scramble to catch on while they can. The alternative is losing the lucrative Russian market, which is now opening up. But this rare opportunity will only last until the market is taken.
Japanese interest in the East Russia Forum is overwhelming, same as Chinese, S. Korean, Singaporean, etc. The organizers said that they planned for 1000 participants, while they got over 5000 participation requests. The interest from Europeans is just as huge.
The systematic Russian pivot to the East is continuing. It is helped by the short-sighted and silly policies of the West (recall my many predictions!).
Japan, usually identified as part of the West, is seeing the writing on the wall and is trying to shift towards the East as well. Japanese businessmen declared during the forum their desire to keep politics and business separate.
Video: Vladimir Putin proposes to create free trade zones in Vladivostok and other Far East ports.
Владимир Путин предложил распространить режим свободного порта на гавани Дальнего Востока
Video: Putin guarantees complete support for investors in the Far East:
Putin: Rosneft will invest 1.3 trln rubles in the Far East projects:
Putin: The Far East is welcoming to anyone who is ready to cooperate:
Synchronicity in action:
As I was getting ready to publish this post, I received three tweets from my Japanese friend Akaida. Here they are:
@LadaTweets Even Japan going #BRICS? Sanctions could lead to Russia-Japan currency swaps https://www.rt.com/business/314193-japan-russia-swap-sanctions … hmm! 🙂
These are all positive signs, at least on the economic front. I spoke in my article Pro-US and Anti-Russian Japan: Eyewitness Overview and Predictions about Japanese business interests diverging from Japanese politics. Dependence on the US and habitual political confrontationism with the neighbors will continue putting the brake on Japan’s integration into the new model of development. I think US will keep its influence over Japan for another 5 or more years.
But cracks are showing, and they are showing on the business side. Japan, still being 2nd largest Asian economy and 3rd-4th largest global economy, plus possessing advanced technologies, is a very valuable business partner. Meanwhile, the ongoing weakening and collapse of the West is causing Japan to reconsider its tight economic alliance with the West. Japanese business has no choice but diversify in order to survive.
Japanese business is eager to set politics aside and set up alliances with the growing world and Asian powers, where the future development is, but old Japanese political allegiances are holding this process back.
This is my summary analysis of the most important features of the slow, ongoing shift of Japan’s position on global arena.
- It has to be remembered that while Japan has no global political power, serving basically the US Trojan Horse in the region, it is an economic powerhouse, which at one point was the engine of the global economy. Also, Japan’s regional political and military ambitions are on the rise. All this together means that when Japan switches allegiances, it will be a huge blow to the US empire.
- We should expect Japanese switch in conjunction with the EU switch, of which I briefly wrote in the above-linked article. This will be a slow and tedious process, to be sure.
- Because Japan has built walls of confrontation and animosity against so many countries in Asia, it is difficult for them to reintegrate. Many in Asia distrust Japan utterly, based on history and present policies.
- My prediction is that Japan will be able to re-integrate into Asia economically through the unifying factor of Russia. Generally, Russia will serve as the bridge and peacemaker for re-creating understanding and cooperation not only in Asia, but also in all of Eurasia, including Europe. The Middle East will take longer, but that will also happen eventually (not for a while, the wounds are too deep). Eventually, Russia’s role will be to re-establish the principles of cooperation and friendship on our entire planet.
- Fro the time being, we should have no illusions about Japan politically and militarily. The confrontational approach will persist for as long as Japan’s best buddy is USA. The new Japanese military doctrine for the first time since WWII allows Japanese troops to be deployed oversees. This, understandably, makes everyone in Asia jittery, as people still remember the destructiveness of the Japanese militarism in the past.
- There is a clear bifurcation (and rift?) forming between Japanese economic interests and its political direction. This will have to be resolved eventually. I give it 5-7 years. As USA empire weakens, Japan will gradually shift away from the West and closer to the East and Russia. Eventually, economic interests will prevail over politics. Japanese business must now scramble to catch up to China. Incidentally this applies to S. Korea and Singapore as well. If they don’t, in the shifting global economic landscape Japanese companies will start losing out to competitors, weakening the country’s economy.
- On some level, Japanese government understands this gloomy scenario. This is why they quietly allow their business to disregard politics. Make no mistake, there is clearly a secret understanding between Japanese big business and the ruling elites (some might say they are one and the same). This is why publicly there is support of the US-Japan alliance, and behind the scenes, economic integration with Russia and the BRICS.
- Incidentally, the same is happening with S. Korea, Singapore and other countries. In the next post I will have a telling story about the pressure applied by the US on S. Korea to prevent it escaping US clutches. Same kind of situation is applicable to Europe as well. Everyone sees the writing on the wall. But for the time being, US is still strong enough keep its ‘allies’ in its clutches.
Quantum Calibrations — Earth & Personal Shift — Earth Shift Predictions — Feng Shui
Breaking news: US president Obama announced that he was lifting some of the 50-year-old sanctions against Cuba, using his executive powers – only Congress can lift embargo completely. An exchange of prisoners has taken place, certain business and travel restrictions to Cuba are expected to be lifted. Obama announced that it’s time to normalize relations between the two countries. The Miami anti-Cuban lobby is up in arms.
Various analysts have been speculating why this is happening now. Some think it’s a sign of the USA’s weakness, others believe it is to tear Cuba away from Venezuela’s influence, and to impede Cuba’s relationship development with Russia and China.
As you know, I have been to Cuba years ago, when embargo was in full swing. You can find 2 interviews on the INTERVIEWS page, where I talk about some of my Cuban experiences. I also wrote about Cuba in: New Predictions! Putin Goes to Latin America: US Creates Wars – Russia Extends a Hand of Cooperation.
The US government must have read this last article of mine and felt ashamed of its behavior. No, not really…
But in all seriousness, here is why a sudden warming towards Cuba. In my view, it’s both weakness and cunning at the same time.
Why it is weakness: US is conducting an unprecedented and unheard off previously in scale attack on Russia (economic, monetary, political and proxy-military via third parties). More on that in Paul Craig Roberts interview.
Meanwhile, US also has to juggle other countries such as China, Turkey and India, which are slowly distancing themselves from the US. Venezuela is next on the list of US sanctions. Latin America is very anti-American and leaning more and more left, including even Mexico, the long-term US vassal. Russia recently had a very productive set of agreements signed with Turkey (Russian gas, building new pipeline, building a number of nuclear power stations). Putin just returned from India, also with nearly $100bln worth of trade agreements. I wrote many times this past year about massive agreements with China. More and more large economies are transitioning to bilateral trade outside of the dollar.
Power is slipping away from the US.
In this situation, Cuba is one front too many on which to fight. If US makes up with Cuba, they are hoping they can pull Cuba into their sphere of influence, or at least neutralize Cuba by seducing those poor people with flashy nothings. This is where the cunning part comes in.
Why it’s cunning: Russia, which is being surrounded by NATO/US military bases that are encroaching on Russia’s borders, is considering establishing a navy base in Cuba. China also signed a number of trade and economic agreements with this ‘imprisoned island’ as Kennedy would say (my only question is: imprisoned by whom?). Anti-US Venezuela presently is the biggest supporter and donor of the Cuban economy. The situation is dicey for the US. Cuba is located too close to US shores for comfort.
Russia and Turkey have agreed on a large number of economic and political agreements, which are bound to get them closer to each other (in perspective, SCO membership for Turkey, which also gets them closer to China). Turkey, having been slighted by the EU’s long-term refusal to admit it into the union, has been looking more and more East. Turkey has also been a reluctant participant in NATO. US has been putting enormous pressure on Turkey and president Erdogan to act in the interests of the US and NATO in the region.
For example, I have no doubt that recent color revolution attempt in Turkey (timed right before 2014 presidential elections) was US organized in order to attempt unseating, or at least to scare Erdogan. The result was the opposite – the moment Erdogan was re-elected, he started the process of getting closer to Russia. Looks like Erdogan also had no doubt who was behind the almost color revolution. It appears Turkey is looking for ways to weaken its dependence, and eventually to leave NATO. As I said on different occasions in similar situations – such exodus will only be possible when US weakens sufficiently.
The reason I talk about Turkey when I should be talking about Cuba is geopolitics, plain and simple. Look at the map. In terms of geopolitical position and value, Turkey is to Russia what Cuba is to the US.
Many of my readers know that I grew up in Odessa, USSR. Odessa is located right across from Turkey, on the Black Sea coast. Since I was a child I heard about captured NATO spies attempting to cross into Russia underwater from the Turkish side. The beautiful beaches in Odessa were dotted with border patrol watch towers. It was always expected that some kind of US/NATO threat would come from the other side of the Black Sea, which was full of NATO bases.
As some readers may remember (this was a little before my time, but I heard enough stories), in 1962 the US/NATO placed nuclear missiles in Turkey, targeting USSR, and specifically the city I was to grow up in – Odessa. Khrushchev and USSR responded by saying they were placing missiles in Cuba, which is known as the Cuban Missile Crisis. Of course, the US history books and MSM lie by twisting the events in such a way as to make it seem it was Khrushchev who initiated the missile crisis. However, every serious historian, in the US as well, will know it was the other way around.
Of course, the Cuban Missile Crisis was extinguished as soon as US removed its nuclear missiles from Turkey. Consequently, USSR cancelled the quid pro quo deployment of its missiles to Cuba. American MSM and history books will make you believe it was a great victory of the US government and an achievement due to Kennedy’s/USA’s tough stance on Russia. From that twisted propaganda point of view, the contemporary US politicians make an equally twisted conclusion that US must continue being tough on Russia. As an example, see the new anti-Russian US Congress resolution allowing Obama to tighten sanctions against Russia.
Just look at this brilliant logic! While Obama admits that sanctions didn’t work on Cuba, doing more harm than good – at the same time, miraculously, these same sanctions will somehow work on Russia!
I have a better solution for the US: 1. stop bullying the entire world; 2. lose your superiority complex, which in fact is severe inferiority complex – and conflicts you create globally will start dissipating all by themselves.
Now you know why I was talking about Turkey. Cuba and Turkey are interconnected geopolitically. In 2014, as US/NATO/EU were concentrating on the destruction of Ukraine, Putin/Russia were shoring up allies in Latin America, China, Central Asia and Turkey. Another hidden victory of Putin is Azerbaijan. Putin brokered a new truce between Armenia and Azerbaijan, averting bloodshed in the disputed Nagorny Karabakh and potential color revolution in Armenia. Azerbaijan is a big factor for Turkey’s swing towards Russia. Basically, very quietly, US just lost influence over Azerbaijani oil and gas, and at least began losing Turkey.
Now that Turkey is leaning towards Russia and China, US is attempting to rebalance the situation by tempting Cuba to join the US sphere of influence. Wouldn’t that be ironic? I personally don’t think it will go anywhere. I know Cubans; I also know Russians, Venezuelans and Chinese. I know Americans too – perhaps even better.
That said, we are entering an era of very complex, multi-move geopolitical chess matches. The small, poor and in-between countries, the ‘swing vote’ so to speak, is where a lot of geopolitical games will be concentrating. Every player will try to get them on their side. Such countries can benefit tremendously in the global repositioning of power – if they are smart.
This kind of global geopolitical situation is a sure sign of the collapse of the old US-dominated uni-polar world. US empire is weakening, albeit slowly.
My assessment: I think US started using smarter advisors compared to those they used for the Kiev coup and Ukraine. But not smart enough.
It will be great if embargo is lifted and Cuba can start breathing easier! That said, Cubans, I hope you don’t forget who you are and I hope you remember you aren’t for sale!
On multiple prior occasions I have predicted that any sanctions against Russia by the West will only backfire, expediting Russia’s re-orientation to the East and the unavoidable re-molding of the Western financial/economic model.
Russia’s re-orientation and subsequent creation of the independent financial system is what the banksters of Wall Street and London City fear most. This will eventually result in a catastrophe for the US/UK and EU, except for those European countries that succeed in re-orienting their economies to the East. Meanwhile, Russia, China and other countries in the Eurasian space, will benefit tremendously. Read: Ukraine Part 7: Russia’s Geopolitics, USA’s Bluff and EU’s Big Mistake.
The US and EU can be proud: as a result of their aggressively provocative behavior and the double standards galore, they managed to expedite the process by at least ten years. Read the rest of this entry