The Soviet Eurasia Golden Ring Is Taking Shape

John Bernstein
Feb 23 · 10 min read

Kahanist and Aleksandr Dugin associate Avigdor Eskin was interviewed for a recent Kremlin-funded Sputnik International article published February 19, 2019 (emphasis added):

Israel, one of Washington’s key allies in the Middle East, refused to impose anti-Russian sanctions and is seeking to sign a free trade agreement with the Russia-led Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), Israeli publicist Avigdor Eskin told Sputnik, explaining how Iran’s plans to ink a similar pact with the bloc may affect Tel Aviv.

Israel’s free-trade agreement (FTA) with the Russia-led Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) is likely to become a focal point of the upcoming talks between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, scheduled for 21 February in Moscow, says Avigdor Eskin, an Israeli publicist and political analyst.

Israel is one of the world leaders in the areas of high-tech, intelligence, military, agriculture and medicine. We can offer our partners in the Eurasian Economic Union best products,” Eskin stressed.

In April 2018 Tel Aviv resumed negotiations with Russia on free trade with the EAEU which initially started in October 2015, nine months after the bloc’s official establishment on 1 January 2015. According to the Israeli publicist, this development “is very natural”.

“There are around million and a half Russian speaking Israelis today,” Eskin pointed out. “Many of them are very successful in the areas of high-tech, science, arts. And they are very successful also in politics. For example, the current Knesset speaker, Yuli Edelstein, won the first place in the primaries of the Likud list for the next elections. He is a former resident of Moscow, former prisoner of Zion and his father is a Russian Orthodox priest until this very day in Kostroma area”.

The political commentator highlighted that today ties between Russia and Israel are very strong.

“Check, how many daily flights are between Moscow and Tel-Aviv,” Eskin remarked. “Therefore this is only natural to strengthen and develop these ties. I also want to mention a great job on this matter of Russian ambassador to Israel Anatoly Viktorov”.

When asked whether the US had signaled displeasure over Tel Aviv’s negotiations with the Russia-led bloc, the commentator stressed that “there has been no sign of any dissatisfaction from Washington so far”.

“We do not go to the agreement with any intention to undermine our relations with the friendliest [sic] Trump administration,” Eskin noted. “However, unlike other US allies, we refused to join sanctions against Russia. Today Israel is much stronger and more independent state that our partners in Western Europe. We have our deep interests to further improve the relations with Russia”.

Unlikely Bedfellows: Iran is Also Seeking to Ink Free Trade Deal With EAEU

On 12 February The Times of Israel drew attention to the fact that Iran is “incidentally” due to ink a free trade agreement with the bloc in the near future. On 17 May 2018 Tehran struck an interim deal enabling the formation of a free trade area between the EAEU and the Islamic Republic. It is expected that Tehran will strike a full-fledged free trade agreement with the union within next three years.

Here is the rub, according to the media outlet, as Tel Aviv is advocating the increase in pressure on the Islamic Republic — Israel’s longstanding geopolitical rival in the region. “The State of Israel supports increasing the economic pressure on Iran so that it will change its behaviour,” an unnamed Israeli official told the newspaper.

Two questions then arise: First, whether Iran’s participation in the EAEU endeavor could reduce the negative effect of sanctions imposed on Iran by Donald Trump’s following Washington’s pull-out from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA); second, whether all these could affect Tel Aviv’s determination to sign the FTA with the bloc.

“Israel is working on the framework which will put us in the position where some conflicts of interests may appear. This is being discussed,” Eskin responded commenting on the matter.

According to the Israeli publicist, Washington’s unilateral sanctions “work perfectly”. He noted that many European businesses had already fled Iran because of Trump’s sanctions, despite the fact that the EU continues to adhere to the JCPOA.

“There will be no substance to any deal with Iran now”, he opined. “Hopefully, the picture will change soon and Iran will become a friend and a partner of Israel again”.

In the beginning of February 2019, the UK, Germany, France announced the creation of the INSTEX (Instrument for Supporting Trade Exchanges), a special purpose vehicle (SPV) to allow trade with Iran amid the US sanctions.

However, as Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif remarked on 17 February, the EU’s current efforts are insufficient to maintain the JCPOA. “INSTEX falls short of commitments by the E3 [France, Germany, and Britain] to save the nuclear deal,” Zarif stated at the Munich Security Conference.

Meanwhile, international players are signalling their willingness to bolster ties with the EAEU. Vietnam signed a free trade agreement with the bloc in 2015. China inked a trade and economic cooperation agreement with the EAEU on 17 May 2018, while Iran, Egypt, Singapore, Israel and India are considering joining the union’s economic initiatives in foreseeable future.

The EAEU is comprised of Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Armenia and is designed to encourage regional economic integration and ensure the free movement of goods, services, and capital between member states.” (Blinova, 2019)

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is currently pushing for a free trade agreement with China this year. And soon, Iran will be pushed out of Syria east of the Euphrates. Soviet Israel’s long time ally Russia will assist.

On November 19, 2018, Deutsche Welle reports (emphasis added):

“TurkStream is a 910-kilometer-long (570 mile) gas pipeline running under the Black Sea, linking Russia and Turkey. …

The first section will supply the Turkish market; the second will provide southern Europe with Russian gas.

When it opens at the end of 2019, the pipeline will allow Russian energy giant Gazprom to service Turkey, its second biggest client nation after Germany.

Turkey relies heavily on imported gas from Russia, Azerbaijan and Iran, as its domestic production meets just 2 percent of its needs. At present, the Blue Stream pipeline carries most of Turkey’s gas from Russia, and another aging pipeline brings the remainder through Ukraine and Eastern Europe. …

TurkStream will also help Turkey achieve its objective of becoming a major gas ‘bridge’ between East and West. Already a key regional energy hub, Turkey will be able to offer to supply gas to the rest of southeastern Europe, earning billions of euros in the process.

Why is TurkStream so controversial?

European Union countries remain heavily dependent on Russian gas, most of which until recently ran along pipelines through Ukraine. In the 2000s, Russia cut off winter gas supplies to Ukraine, and therefore most of the rest of Europe, in a row over unpaid debts. Russia’s annexation of the Ukrainian region of Crimea, and Moscow’s backing for separatists in eastern Ukraine, also brought relations between the two neighbors to a new low.

TurkStream, along with Nord Stream, another Russian pipeline that runs under the Baltic Sea to Germany, will allow Russia to route more of its gas to Europe without running through Ukraine. [Which means the ousting of the Yanukovych government in the 2014 Ukrainian “revolution” was more than likely a Russia/Soviet Israel operation.] The Kiev government is expected to lose billions of euros in transit fees as a result.

Despite EU attempts to scupper it, Russia is also building a second pipeline, Nord Stream 2.

Other Eastern European countries have also accused Moscow of trying to exert political influence by by-passing them.” (Martin, 2018)

Turkey is also purchasing the S-400 surface to air missile systems from Russia and both countries are close to reaching a deal on a Russian built nuclear power plant. This all after what seems to have been a successful 2015 Erdogan “coup” operation between Turkey and Russia to further pull Turkey out of the NATO/Atlanticist orbit. Possible Soviet Israel/Eurasia asset and U.S. President Donald Trump just signed legislation blocking the F-35 fighter jets sale to Turkey.

Duginist Sputnik International analyst Andrew Korybko reports the following on September 5, 2018 (emphasis added):

“Russia represents an irreplaceable “pressure valve” for Iran through their new free trade agreement which will provide unparalleled relief during these challenging times, but on the other, any forthcoming “New Détente” between the US and Russia could see Moscow “managing” Tehran as the “good cop” of this “duo” (like during the mid-2000s pre-New Cold War era) and “encouraging” various “compromises”.

The Islamic Republic Will Reorient Its Strategic Focus Eastward:

Faced with increasing pressure along its western flank (possibly due in part to Russia “convincing” Syria to seek the “phased withdrawal” of the IRGC and Hezbollah as part of Moscow’s “balancing” strategy), Iran will have no choice but to reconceptualize its role in Eurasia by pivoting eastward towards Pakistan and Central Asia as it seeks to reorient its grand strategy.

The Golden Ring Might Finally Be Created:

The five multipolar Great Powers of Eurasia — Russia, China, Iran, Pakistan, and Turkey — could deepen their comprehensive integrational connectivity as a result of Tehran’s eastern pivot and Beijing’s New Silk Roads in order to “circle the wagons” out of collective self-interest and thus lay the tangible foundation for building the fabled “Golden Ring” of supercontinental stability.” (Korybko, 2018)

Also, “India has signed a memorandum of understanding with Russia for fast-tracking International North South Transport Corridor (INSTC) that will enable a smoother connectivity to the region via Iran, according to the Economic Times of India.” (2019)

On February 19, 2019, Korybko writes (emphasis added):

The bipolar system of the Old Cold War defined the international order of the Mideast and the rest of the world before the Iranian Revolution, but that historic event truly presented a so-called “third way” of non-alignment by pioneering a religiously driven system of governance to compete alongside capitalism and communism. It’s true that other countries had somewhat similar systems in place at the time despite their pro-American geopolitical alignment, but those states’ models weren’t as easily “exportable” to receptive populations as Iran’s could theoretically be, nor were those countries functioning as independent poles of influence in their own right. Thus, the Iranian Revolution and the model of governance that followed literally revolutionized regional affairs by offering a third choice that forever changed the Mideast’s geopolitics.” (Korybko, 2018)

On December 17, 2018, Jon Swinn reports (emphasis added):

“The Iranian revolution that resulted in Ayatollah Khomeini seizing power created uncertainty for the Israelis who had relied on trading arms in exchange for oil with the Shah. “China, Israeli leaders hoped, could fill that vacuum.

Israel’s Mossad trained the Shah’s Savak police and these connections would later serve both sides through a covert weapons sales network that became part of the Iran-Contra scandal. A May 8, 2018 Haaretz article states that“[b]etween 1981 and 1983, [Israel] sold an estimated $500 million-worth of arms to Iran, most of them paid for in oil.” That means Khomeini turned to Israel during the Iran-Iraq war and in exchange for arms, Israel was supplied with much needed oil. The oil rich Arab countries at the time would not supply Israel.

The uncertainty brought about by the Iranian Revolution would turn out to be of great benefit to China. This outcome has had very little attention, as well as China’s historic geopolitical strategy in the Middle-East. During the Shah’s rule from 1953–1979, the Soviet bloc and Chinese sought to increase their influence in the Middle East.

The Shah, however, was viewed by the Chinese as an ideological opponent installed by the CIA and therefore a representation of US influence in the region. The Shah persecuted the Communist Party of Iran’s members and his main opposition, the Tudeh party, had become pro-Soviet by the mid-1960s according to the US ambassador to Iran, Armin Meyer.

The following excerpt from Armin Meyer written in October 22, 1966 details the situation:

“Savak is showing interest in long-term threat posed by the Chinese Communists. The latter have not been able to form any organization within Iran, but have been successful in their propaganda activities among Iranian students in Europe. An increasing number … have begun to show Communist Chinese sympathies and some of them apparently have even visited China. The Chinese have flooded Europe with publications which are having an effect on Iranian students some of whom can be expected to return to Iran and to attempt to conduct subversive activities. Savak believes that students returning … will have to be checked very carefully lest the Chinese Communists get a foothold in Iran.”

Although Savak believes that the pro-Soviet group now dominates the Tudeh party, it feels that the Chinese Communists, considering that they have been laboring under the double disadvantage of being newer in the field than the Soviets and of having no official representation in Iran, have done very well to date. … Savak will continue to observe closely the activities of Chinese Communist elements.”

It can be conjectured that, while being ideologically opposed to communism, the Tudeh party’s mullahs, many of whom were imprisoned under the Shah with members of the Communist Party of Iran, united against a common political enemy to seize power from the Shah. The fallout from the Iranian Revolution and subsequent events leading to Iran moving closer to China further justified the Shah’s suspicions of China’s growing influence among his political opposition.

After the revolution, China recognized the new Iranian regime within days. This highlights China’s support for the Tudeh party run by religious extremists for whom most would think communist China would ideologically oppose. This wasn’t the case for Iran and it isn’t the case for the religious extremist regime in Israel.

It is now known that China was using North Korea to traffic arms during the Iran-Iraq war to avoid antagonizing the West, but later China cut out the middle man. From 1984–1986, about $1–2 billion worth of arms sales occurred. Iran obtained Chinese-made anti-ship surface-to-surface missiles. Communist China had received a batch of Gabriel Mk 1 missiles for “evaluation” from Israel previously, leading to the development of the Taiwanese Hsiung Feng I missile.

To put it bluntly, Israel transferred missile technology to China, and then China sold missiles utilizing that technology to Iran. These new weapons enabled Iran to control the Straits of Hormuz and all naval trade to and from the Gulf countries.

Iranian control of the Straits of Hormuz was strategically important in securing the flow of oil from Iran into Chinese ports. As many other oil rich countries were allied with the US, finding suppliers independent of US influence was vital to the Chinese and another major reason why China wanted to see the back of the Shah.

This situation in the Persian Gulf also worked out to Israel’s benefit as they found a new common enemy with the Gulf States, Iran. A situation Israel has been able to take advantage of, to the point they share close unofficial ties with Saudi Arabia. Iran’s behavior has also played into Israel’s hands, pushing the Sunni countries closer to Israel.” (Swinn, 2018)

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