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    Russian President Vladimir Putin (left) and Chinese President Xi Jinping seen before the beginning of Russian-Chinese talks at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, September 3, 2015

    'Go East': Why EU Should Stop Building NATO Bases and Turn to Russia, China

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    The nations of Europe would benefit immensely if they opened themselves to vast new markets in Eurasia, including Russia and China, instead of opening new US Missile Defense bases in the EU, strategic consultant F. William Engdahl notes.

    By imposing financial sanctions on Russia and threatening China's sea lanes, as well as encircling the two Eurasian giants with numerous NATO bases, Washington is only accelerating Sino-Russian rapprochement and cementing their partnership.

    "The result is that both Russia and China are forging deep long-term economic ties across Eurasia that ultimately will become the focal point for world economic growth as the China New Silk Road-the One Belt, One Road project- links Russia, China, Iran and the vast regions across Eurasia with a new network of high-speed rail and port links, energy links, pipelines, electricity infrastructure," American author, researcher and strategic risk consultant F. William Engdahl writes in his article for New Eastern Outlook.

    The researcher recalls that since May, 2014 Moscow and Beijing have concluded a series of very important and mutually beneficial energy deals. For instance, the so-called Russian East Route pipeline will send 38 billion cubic meters of gas annually from Russia to China starting in 2018. In addition, in November 2014 the countries agreed to build the so-called West Route gas pipeline, which will connect gas fields in western Siberia with northwest China.

    "They [China and Russia] also agreed on provisions for possible second and third sections to be added later that would bring capacity to an impressive 100 billion cubic meters a year," Engdahl remarks, stressing that the deals will make China "less vulnerable to any NATO or Mideast supply blackmail, and Russia to any Ukraine or EU energy blackmail."

    Eventually, China may become Russia's largest gas export market, eclipsing the EU. 

    On the other hand, it is reported that China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) is considering participation in Russia's partial privatization of Rosneft. It is expected that Moscow may sell up to 19.5 percent of its shares in the oil giant in 2016.

    "The two countries, Russia and China, already have strong ties in the energy field, which is a point for Russia," Irina Slav of the US-based consulting firm Divergente LLC wrote for Oilprice.com in early May, commenting on the potential deal.

    "The next step in solidifying this strategic relationship is Chinese involvement in Rosneft. It won't be the last step, and this is where all geopolitical eyes should be focused right now," she stressed.

    Meanwhile, Iran has awarded Russia a $1 billion-project for the construction of five offshore drilling rigs in the Persian Gulf, Oilprice.com reported May 25.

    But that is not all, Engdahl notes.

    "Now on May 3, the Director General of the Yamal LNG Export Terminal project in northwest Siberia made an announcement that clearly did not please the Washington sanctions warriors. The Russian LNG project consortium signed a loan agreement with China Exim Bank and the China Development Bank who will extend a 15-year loan to the project of 9.3 billion euros, some 75% of the estimated total funds that Yamal needs to get into production," the researcher continues.

    Engdahl underscores that in light of the Western-imposed sanctions, the Yamal project looked highly unlikely. However, after Beijing stepped in, there are no visible obstacles left in the way of the ambitious project.

    "Also significant in terms of the process of de-dollarization taking place in Russia, China, Iran and other Eurasian countries, the Chinese loans will be denominated in Euros and not in US dollars," the researcher emphasizes.

    Instead of imposing sanctions on Russia and opening new US Missile Defense bases in Europe, the EU should jump at the opportunity to develop lucrative new markets in Eurasia, he notes. It would help revive the EU's stagnating economy more than the growing burden of NATO military spending.

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    Tags:
    Middle East, Oil, de-dollarization, liquified gas, privatization, gas, NATO, China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), Rosneft, Yamal LNG, China Development Bank, Iran, China, Europe, United States, Russia, Yamal
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