September 7, 2007

Putin pounces on Asia-Pacific region

Whilst the aforementioned actions are noteworthy what disturbs me more, are some largely unreported measures taken to boost patriotism and point Russia on a menacing path.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has arrived in Australia for the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting, the first serving Russian political leader to visit the nation. Landing in Sydney via Jakarta, after signing off $6 billion in military and energy deals with Indonesian counterpart Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, in what is seen as a key step by Russia to reassert influence across the Asia-Pacific.

Other deals signed yesterday, include plans to invest $1.2 billion in Indonesia's state oil and gas and over $3.5 billion in bauxite exploration.

Russia is attempting to counter the supremacy of the US across the region and, in what is further evidence that the ‘bear’ is stirring.

In early July, RAF jets were scrambled to intercept two Russian Tu95 bombers heading close to Scottish airspace. Also in July, Putin tested a deadly missile, launched from a sub in the White Sea. It entered the stratosphere before hitting its target precisely nearly 3,800 miles away in the Russian Far East. This coming on top of two other significant events including the resuming the Soviet-era practice of sending strategic bombers on long-range flights and a Russian Sub planting a titanium flag at the bottom of the Arctic Ocean to symbolically claim the resource-rich region.

This is a Russia re-visiting its confrontational past. Whilst the aforementioned actions are noteworthy what disturbs me more, are some largely unreported measures taken to boost patriotism and point Russia on a menacing path.

I refer to the creation of a patriotic youth group named "Nashi", which translates to “ours”, whose purpose is to inculcate nationalistic virtues in tune with Putin’s vision of a greater Russia. Also disturbing are reports that Mr. Putin has complimented the authors of a new manual for high school history teachers that encourages renewed pride in their country's past and instills a renewed sense of camaraderie.

Mr. Putin has a coherent plan to rebuild Russian pride and strength across all sectors and with their defense budget rising from fewer than 150 billion roubles in 2001 to 850 billion now, one may wonder if a new Cold War will return. We can speculate endlessly, but with Putin pointing Russia on an increasingly nationalist course coupled with significant military spending we can only be suspicious, more than ever since Sergei Ivanov, the architect of the new Russian military being set to replace Putin early next year.

Click here, here and here for previous posts on Russia.

Comments always appreciated...

5 comments:

Donald Douglas said...

Thanks for stopping by my page, Ottavio!

Debbie said...

That's interesting information:

"Sergei Ivanov, the architect of the new Russian military being set to replace Putin early next year."

I've thought all along that Putin would like to continue in office, and wondered if he was working to make it so somehow. Another cold war is something the US or the world certainly does not need now.

Thanks for your comments at Right Truth. I always appreciate your thoughtful views.

Donald Douglas said...

Ottavio: You might like this post, which is a review of "the American empire debate":

http://burkeanreflections.blogspot.com/2007/09/zionism-lives-reflections-of-american.html

Have a great day (or night)!

Donald Douglas said...

Oops, that's the wrong link!

Here we go:

http://burkeanreflections.blogspot.com/2007/09/whats-at-stake-in-american-empire.html

Take care, Ottavio!

American Interests said...

Debbie: That's a swell blog you have there, thanks for visting.

http://righttruth.typepad.com/

Donald: Thanks, very kind of you, I'll check out the links