Assad has won 4th term, what’s next?

People walk by an image of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Damascus on 10 May 2021 (AFP)

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was re-elected for the 4th term in office with 95.1% of the votes. According to Assad’s government, the election results proved Syria is functioning normally.

This will extend his rule over a country despite harsh criticism from the United States, Germany, Italy, France and Turkey as well as Assad’s opponents in the country said the vote was illegitimate.

Despite their condemnation of his brutal and authoritative regime during the decade-long Syrian civil war, imposing economic sanctions and militarily backing his opponents, the Syrian leader was able to remain in power and save the country from the territorial divide. Like a true captain of the wrecked ship, Bashar Al-Assad did not leave the war-torn country and, what’s important, did not let it collapse despite West’s multiple efforts to intervene.

With Russia’s support, Assad arranged constant humanitarian help flows to the country and save the sovereignty of secular state despite endless clashes and civil war in the country. Moreover, Assad assured his supporters get access to education and healthcare while his government provided jobs to workers.

Prior to the elections, the White House have warned Syrian President that it would not recognize the result of upcoming presidential election unless the voting is free, fair, and supervised by the United Nations while Biden administration said it had no plans to restart the dialogue “any time soon” claiming the Assad government failed to restore legitimacy in the country. With no doubts such open statements mean the West will continue its pressure to the Assad’s regime and will try to remove him from his post demonstrating a double standard “legitimacy” at its best.

Could the SPIEF boost the TurkStream flows?

Putin and Erdogan open TurkStream gas pipeline

The Saint Petersburg Economic Forum to be held in Russia on June 2-5 is the first post pandemic global event that is focused to gather international delegations from the U.S., Germany, Italy, China, South Asia and the Middle East.

With the Forum’s main focus on energy and sustainable development, Russia aims to boost international trade ties and attract investments to its economy. And Turkey could be among most prospective partners for Russia following the SPIEF ambitions. Today Ankara’s major interest is to provide permanent gas flows through the Turkish Stream. On the other side, Turkey, a NATO’s member, has been manipulated by the United States for years following Washington’ efforts to sign a deal with Ankara on U.S. natural compress gas (GNC).

However, the recent tensions between Biden and Erdogan on Ankara’s recognition of the atrocities committed against the Armenian people in 1915 as genocide as well as the recent criticism of Erdogan towards the U.S. on the Gaza-Israeli conflict have been a sore spot between the countries placing their further economic and political cooperation in question.

This explains why Turkey has been seeking a closer cooperation with Russia, Iran, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan to support the Turkish Stream supplies. The pipeline, which transits the Black Sea, took five years to complete and is one of two major new natural-gas export routes totaling nearly $20 billion. Russia on its parts also expects to go on line this year and the SPIEF is likely to become a platform for developing further economic cooperation and trade ties between Turkey and Russia.

Taliban confirms it received no fundings from Russia

FILE – In this Nov. 30, 2017 file photo, American soldiers wait on the tarmac in Logar province, Afghanistan. The U.S. is pausing movement of troops into Afghanistan and quarantining 1,500 new arrivals to country due to virus. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul, File)

As the Western media continues to blame Russia’s policy in Afghanistan, a never-ending information war seems to take a new round aggravating the peace process in the country.

The leading U.S. media outlets claimed Russia was funding Taliban referring to the movement’s commanders. However, both the New York Times and Insider refused to name not only their sources but also American official spokesmen who reportedly said they had found out links between Taliban’s and Russia’s banking accounts. The outlets also claimed Russia’s financial support to Taliban was aimed at killing U.S. troops in Afghanistan, but no evidence and details have ever been provided.

The claims of the Western media seem even more baseless after the interview with Qatar-based Taliban’s official spokesperson Mohammad Sohail Shahin had been released.

Speaking to journalists covering the Russian policy in the Middle East, Shahin denied any funding from Russia. “This statement is proofless and has nothing to do with the truth. We believe such claims appear in the context of the internal political struggle in the United States and are organized by opponents of the Afghan peace process”, Mohammad Shahin said. “The main goal of these campaigns is to undermine the Afghan peace process”, he added.

In February, 2020, Washington signed a peace deal with Taliban confirming to withdraw American troops from Afghanistan. However, a year on, the agreement’s major clauses have not come to effect. Much due to internal confrontations between the U.S. establishment and the U.S. Conservative Party. With Biden Administration taking the power and its policy focused on international intervention, the process is likely to be delayed. Yet, procrastination of the peace process in Afghanistan may lead to irreversible and tragic consequences in an already war-torn country and cause a total halt of economic and industrial development.

Moreover, in a current situation of limited on-spot-covering due to the closed borders, independent and non-affiliated media are not able to provide an objective view of the peace process development in Afghanistan. And this is often turned into advantage by the Western mainstream media.

Terrorist attack on Russian diplomats in Afghanistan may lead to further tensions between Moscow and Kabul

Afganistan, Kabul. Photo: Daily Sabah

On December 1, the car of the Russian Embassy with several employees inside was hit by an improvised explosive device in Kabul. Russian diplomats received a slight concussion.

According to preliminary estimates, the terrorist attack most likely targeted a pickup truck of the Afghan national security forces with servicemen on board moving ahead of the diplomatic vehicle, however, the attack against Russian citizens cannot be excluded, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said.

“On December 1, while a Russian diplomatic mission’s car was driving along the road near the Russian embassy in Kabul, an improvised explosive device was detonated. The employees of the Russian diplomatic mission in the vehicle received a slight concussion”, Zakharova said.

The recent attack that affected the employees of the Russian diplomatic mission in Afghanistan might be aimed at setting contradictions in Russia’s cooperation with the inter-Afghan peace settlement countries, as well as excluding Moscow and it partners from it including the Moscow negotiation platform.

“We demand that the Afghan side conduct a thorough investigation of the incident and take comprehensive measures to ensure the security of personnel of Russian foreign missions in Afghanistan. The Russian Embassy in Kabul is implementing additional measures aimed at increasing the security of personnel and facilities of the diplomatic mission”,-Zakharova  added.

As the rate of violence in Afghanistan continues to increase the authority of the Islamic republic in the international diplomatic community is undermining which may also affect the further position of the contributing countries. Only in recent weeks Kabul was hit by a number of terrorist attacks, with more than 50 people killed in two assaults on educational centres and a rocket attack.

Eastern Economic Forum 2019 to boost Russia’s role as a global leader

The importance of global events in today’s world is hard to be overestimated for economic, political and cultural growth of a host country. One of such events has become the 5h Eastern Economic Forum held in Russia’s Vladivostok on September 4-6, 2019.

Due to the geographic location of Vladivostok in the Russia’s Far East, Russia plays a key role in collaboration and integration with the ASEAN countries. The Forum has become a unique platform for developing business dialogues such as Russia-ASEAN, Russia-Europe, Russia-China, Russia-Japan and Russia-South Korea. It also has allowed to define pathways for the future world’s sustainable development and to woo foreign investments in the Russia’s Far East.

According to the Russian Foreign Ministry, over 4,000 representatives of official and business circles from more than 30 countries are taking part in the forum, with the biggest delegations from Asia, Europe and the US.

One of the EEF 2019 highlights was the meeting between Russia’s President Vladimir Putin and Indian PM Narendra Modi. The two leaders have agreed to strengthen the ties between their countries to boost economic collaboration.

“This is a historic opportunity to give a new impetus to cooperation between our countries,” said Modi.

According to experts, Russia’s aspiration to host such events speaks about Russia’s openness and transparency. The forum can be used by international community as an expert platform like the St.Petersburg Economic Forum and INNOPROM, held in Yekaterinburg annually.