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Πώς ο Τραμπ ανοίγει τον δρόμο στην Κίνα και τη Ρωσία

Μέρος 5ο - Εντωμεταξύ στη Μέση Ανατολή…

Η Ρωσία, ένα πετρελαϊκό κράτος με οικονομία μεγέθους Ιταλίας, δεν είναι πλέον η «η αυτοκρατορία του κακού» της σοβιετικής περιόδου. Ωστόσο, ο Ρώσος πρόεδρος Βλαντιμίρ Πούτιν έχει τρία δυνατά χαρτιά: Διαθέτει μία ενισχυμένη, διευρυμένη στρατιωτική μηχανή που υποστηρίζεται από μια εξίσου ισχυρή βιομηχανία. Είναι η δεύτερη χώρα με τη μεγαλύτερη παραγωγή πετρελαίου στον κόσμο, σε μια εποχή που οι τιμές του πετρελαίου ανεβαίνουν. Τέλος, έχει την παντοδύναμη Rosatom State Atomic Energy Corporation, η οποία διαθέτει όλη τη γκάμα των προϊόντων και υπηρεσιών της πυρηνικής βιομηχανίας και «τρέχει» και τις 360 πολιτικές και στρατιωτικές πυρηνικές εγκαταστάσεις της Ρωσίας. Αυτά τα «περιουσιακά στοιχεία» συνδέονται με τα 18 χρόνια της απόλυτης κυριαρχίας του Πούτιν στην προεδρία, χρόνια που του έδωσαν τη δυνατότητα να δει τα αποτελέσματα της πολιτικής του με τρόπο που κανένας Αμερικανός πρόεδρος δεν θα μπορούσε.

Ο Πούτιν ενέπλεξε τη Ρωσία στον εμφύλιο της Συρίας τον Σεπτέμβριο του 2015, υποστηρίζοντας τον πρόεδρο Μπασάρ αλ-Ασαντ. Η συμμαχία αφορούσε τρία ζητήματα: Τους ιστορικούς δεσμούς της Συρίας με τη Σοβιετική Ένωση από την εποχή του Ψυχρού Πολέμου, την επιθυμία του Κρεμλίνου για μία έξοδο στη Μεσόγειο μετά την απώλεια της Λιβύης, που ακολούθησε την πτώση του Μουαμάρ Καντάφι το 2011, και το δόγμα του που λέει ότι κάθε ομάδα που ξεκινά ένοπλο αγώνα εναντίον μιας διεθνώς αναγνωρισμένης κυβέρνησης είναι τρομοκρατική οργάνωση.

Αφού εξασφάλισε βασικό ρόλο στον εμφύλιο της Συρίας, ο Πούτιν συνεργάστηκε με το Ιράν, παραδοσιακό σύμμαχο της Συρίας, αλλά επίσης και με την Τουρκία, κράτος - μέλος του ΝΑΤΟ που είχε αρχικά αντιταχθεί στο καθεστώς Άσαντ. Όταν ο Πούτιν έδινε συγχαρητήρια στον Τούρκο πρόεδρο Ρετζέπ Ταγίπ Ερντογάν για την αποτροπή της απόπειρας πραξικοπήματος του Ιουλίου του 2016, ο Ερντογάν συμφώνησε να συμμετάσχει στην προσπάθειά για μια ειρηνευτική συμφωνία στη Συρία.

Σήμερα, όσο η ανάμειξη των ΗΠΑ στη συριακή κρίση γίνεται όλη και λιγότερο «ορατή», τόσο η επιρροή του Κρεμλίνου μεγαλώνει. Η Ουάσιγκτον, η οποία χρησιμοποίησε την αεροπορική της δύναμη και 2.000 στρατιώτες στο έδαφος για να στηρίξει τους Κούρδους της Συρίας, οι οποίοι μάχονται και ενάντια στους τζιχαντιστές, είναι σε μεγάλη κόντρα με την Άγκυρα. Κι ενώ ο εθνικιστής Ερντογάν εξαπολύει επιθέσεις στην Αφρίν, η Ουάσιγκτον αφήνει το Κρεμλίνο να «κάνει παιχνίδι» στην περιοχή.

Το 2016, η Σαουδική Αραβία πίεσε τα υπόλοιπα μέλη του OPEC να μειώσουν τη συνολική παραγωγή. Ωστόσο, για να έχει αποτελεσματική μια τέτοια στρατηγική, έπρεπε να συνεργαστούν και οι παραγωγοί πετρελαίου εκτός ΟΠΕΚ. Ο μεγαλύτερος εξ αυτών, η Ρωσία, ήταν ο βασικός παίκτης και ο Πούτιν, πρόθυμος όσο και οι Σαουδάραβες που ήθελαν να δουν την τιμή να ανεβαίνει, συμφώνησε. Ένα χρόνο αργότερα, όταν έληξαν οι περιορισμοί για μείωση της παραγωγής, το Ριάντ υποστήριξε την παράτασή τους μέχρι τον Δεκέμβριο του 2018. Και πάλι ο Πούτιν στήριξε την κίνηση.

Δεν ήταν έκπληξη το γεγονός ότι ο βασιλιάς Σαλμάν έγινε ο πρώτος Σαουδάραβας μονάρχης που επισκέφθηκε τη Μόσχα τον περασμένο Οκτώβριο. Υπέγραψε 15 συμφωνίες συνεργασίας που αφορούν το πετρέλαιο, τον στρατό (συμπεριλαμβανομένης μιας συμφωνίας όπλων ύψους 3 δισ. δολαρίων που περιλαμβάνει, μεταξύ άλλων, την αγορά ρωσικών αντιαεροπορικών πυραύλων S-400), μέχρι και την εξερεύνηση του Διαστήματος. Με αυτόν τον τρόπο, ο βασιλιάς της Σαουδικής Αραβίας έσπασε το μονοπώλιο των ΗΠΑ (και άλλων δυτικών χωρών) όσον αφορά τις προμήθειες όπλων τελευταίας τεχνολογίας στη Σαουδική Αραβία. Επανέλαβε ότι οποιαδήποτε ειρηνική διευθέτηση στη Συρία θα πρέπει να διασφαλίζει την εδαφική ακεραιότητα της χώρας, δεν επανέλαβε ωστόσο, την έκκληση της κυβέρνησής του για παραίτηση του Άσαντ.

Πριν από τη «σύσφιξη σχέσεων» με τον Σαλμάν, ο Πούτιν κατάφερε να προσελκύσει το ενδιαφέρον της Αιγύπτου, ενός επίσης, παραδοσιακού συμμάχου της Ουάσινγκτον και αποδέκτη στρατιωτικής βοήθειας των ΗΠΑ που ξεπερνά το 1 δισ. δολάρια ετησίως από το 1987. Τον Οκτώβριο του 2016, περισσότεροι από 500 Ρώσοι και Αιγύπτιοι αλεξιπτωτιστές συμμετείχαν σε κοινές στρατιωτικές ασκήσεις στην έρημο κοντά στην Αλεξάνδρεια. Το φλερτ των δύο χωρών, το οποίο ξεκίνησε το 2014, όταν ο στρατηγός τότε, Φατάχα αλ Σίσι επισκέφθηκε το Κρεμλίνο, κέρδισε έδαφος με το δεύτερο ταξίδι του Σίσι στη Μόσχα έξι μήνες αργότερα, αφότου εξελέγη πρόεδρος. Το 2017, η Rosatom συμφώνησε να κατασκευάσει τον πρώτο πυρηνικό σταθμό της Αιγύπτου στο El Dabaa, 80 μίλια βορειοδυτικά του Καΐρου, το κόστος του οποίου αγγίζει τα 21 δισ. δολάρια.

Ο αμερικανικός απομονωτισμός -όρος μέχρι πρότινος ξεπερασμένος- αποκτά νέο νόημα. Τη στιγμή που οι ΗΠΑ μοιάζουν να χάνονται σε αδιέξοδους πολέμους, να παγιδεύονται σε σχέδια για την ενίσχυση της εθνικής ασφάλειας και σε τείχη κάθε είδους για να κλείσουν μέσα τους τόσους πολλούς ανθρώπους, το State Department οδηγείται σε διάλυση. Όπως γράφει η Monde Diplomatique ενώ ο Τραμπ συνεχίζει το μάντρα America First, ο δρόμος για τον «κινεζικό δράκο» ανοίγει, με τη «ρωσική αρκούδα» να ακολουθεί από κοντά...

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