Russia is meticulously advancing Eurasian chessboard moves that should be observed in conjunction, as Moscow proposes to the Global South an approach diametrically opposed to Western sanctions, threats and economic war. Here are three recent examples.

Ten days ago, via a document officially approved by the United Nations, the Russian Foreign Ministry advanced a new concept of collective security for the Persian Gulf.

Moscow stresses that “practical work on launching the process of creating a security system in the Persian Gulf” should start with “bilateral and multilateral consultations between interested parties, including countries both within the region and outside of it,” as well as organizations such as the UN Security Council, League of Arab States, Organization of Islamic Cooperation and Gulf Cooperation Council.

The next step should be an international conference on security and cooperation in the Persian Gulf, followed by the establishment of a dedicated organization – certainly not something resembling the incompetent Arab League.

The Russian initiative should be interpreted as a sort of counterpart of, and mostly a complement to, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, which is finally blossoming as a security, economic and political body. The inevitable conclusion is that major SCO stakeholders – Russia, China, India, Pakistan and, in the near future, Iran and Turkey – will be major influencers on regional stability.

The Pentagon will not be amused.

Drill, baby, drill

When the commander of the Iranian Navy, Hossein Khanzadi, recently visited St Petersburg for the celebration of Russia’s Navy Day, the General Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces and the Russian Defense Ministry signed an unprecedented memorandum of understanding.

Khanzadi was keen to stress the memorandum “may be considered a turning point in relations of Tehran and Moscow along the defense trajectory.”

Iranian soldiers take part in National Persian Gulf Day in the Strait of Hormuz on April 30, 2019. Photo: AFP / Atta Kenare

A direct upshot is that Moscow and Tehran, before March 2020, will enact a joint naval exercise in – of all places – the Strait of Hormuz. As Khanzadi told the IRNA news agency: “The exercise may be held in the northern part of the Indian Ocean, which flows into the Gulf of Oman, the Strait of Hormuz and also the Persian Gulf.”

The US Navy, which plans an “international coalition” to ensure “freedom of navigation” in the Strait of Hormuz – something Iran has always historically guaranteed – won’t be amused. Neither will Britain, which is pushing for a European-led coalition even as Brexit looms.

Khanzadi also noted that Tehran and Moscow are deeply involved in how to strengthen defense cooperation in the Caspian Sea. Joint drills already took place in the Caspian in the past, but never in the Persian Gulf.

Exercise together

Russia’s Eastern Military District will be part of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations’ (ASEAN) anti-terrorist exercise in Thailand and China early next month. According to the Eastern Military District, the training is part of “preparations for a practical phase of an ASEAN anti-terrorist exercise in China.” This means, among other things, that Russian troops will be using Chinese military hardware.

Exercises include joint tactical groups attempting to free hostages from inside official buildings; search for and disposal of explosives; and indoor and outdoor radiation, chemical and biological reconnaissance.

This should be interpreted as a direct interaction between SCO practices and ASEAN, complementing the deepening trade interaction between the Eurasia Economic Union and ASEAN.

These three developments illustrate how Russia is involved in a large spectrum from the Caspian Sea and the Persian Gulf to Southeast Asia.

But the key element remains the Russia-Iran alliance, which must be interpreted as a key node of the massive, 21st century Eurasia integration project.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (2nd R), Secretary of the Security Council of the Russian Federation Nikolai Patrushev (R), Israel’s National Security Adviser Meir Ben-Shabbat (L) and US National Security Adviser John Bolton (2nd L), attend the US-Russia-Israel summit in Jerusalem, June 25, 2019. Photo: AFP / Kobi Gideon / GPO / Anadolu

What Russian National Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev said at the recent, historic trilateral alongside White House national security adviser John Bolton and Israeli National Security Council Adviser Meir Ben-Shabbat in Jerusalem should be unmistakable:

“Iran has always been and remains our ally and partner, with which we are consistently developing relations both on a bilateral basis and within multilateral formats.”

This lays to rest endless, baseless speculation that Moscow is “betraying” Tehran on multiple fronts, from the all-out economic war unleashed by the Donald Trump administration to the resolution of the Syrian tragedy.

To Nur-Sultan

And that leads to the continuation of the Astana process on Syria. Moscow, Tehran and Ankara will hold a new trilateral in Nur-Sultan, the Kazakh capital, possibly on the hugely significant date of September 11, according to diplomatic sources.

What’s really important about this new phase of the Astana process, though, is the establishment of the Syrian Constitutional Committee. This had been agreed way back in January 2018 in Sochi: a committee – including representatives of the government, opposition and civil society – capable of working out Syria’s new constitution, with each group holding one-third of the seats.

The only possible viable solution to the tragedy that is Syria’s nasty, rolling proxy war will be found by Russia, Iran and Turkey. That includes the Russia-Iran alliance. And it includes and expands Russia’s vision of Persian Gulf security, while hinting at an expanded SCO in Southwest Asia, acting as a pan-Asian peacemaking mechanism and serious counterpart to NATO.

Published by Pepe Escobar

Pepe Escobar is a Brazilian journalist who has written for Asia Times for many years, covering events throughout Asia and the Middle East. He has also been an analyst for RT and Sputnik News, and previously worked for Al Jazeera.

Join the Conversation

2679 Comments

  1. I’m not that much of a internet reader to be honest but your sites really nice,
    keep it up! I’ll go ahead and bookmark your site to come back later on. Cheers

  2. I know this if off topic but I’m looking into starting my own blog and was wondering what all is
    required to get setup? I’m assuming having a blog like yours would cost a
    pretty penny? I’m not very internet smart so I’m not 100% sure.
    Any tips or advice would be greatly appreciated.
    Appreciate it

  3. Attractive section of content. I simply stumbled upon your
    website and in accession capital to say that I acquire actually enjoyed account your blog posts.
    Any way I’ll be subscribing on your augment or even I achievement you get
    right of entry to consistently quickly.

  4. Excellent items from you, man. I’ve have in mind your stuff prior to and you are simply too
    magnificent. I actually like what you’ve received
    here, certainly like what you are stating and the best way in which you say it.

    You make it enjoyable and you continue to take care of to keep it wise.
    I can’t wait to read far more from you.
    This is really a great web site.

  5. My brother recommended I would possibly like this website.
    He was entirely right. This post truly made my day. You can not consider simply how
    a lot time I had spent for this information! Thank
    you!

  6. It’s perfect time to make a few plans for the future and it’s time to be
    happy. I’ve read this put up and if I could I wish to counsel you some attention-grabbing
    things or advice. Perhaps you can write subsequent articles referring to this
    article. I desire to read even more issues approximately
    it!

  7. It is perfect time to make some plans for the future and it’s time to be happy.
    I have read this post and if I could I want to suggest you few
    interesting things or suggestions. Maybe you can write next articles referring to this article.
    I want to read even more things about it!

  8. I will immediately grab your rss as I can’t find your email subscription hyperlink or e-newsletter service.

    Do you’ve any? Kindly allow me know so that I could subscribe.
    Thanks.

  9. I do accept as true with all of the ideas you have introduced on your post.
    They are really convincing and will certainly work.
    Nonetheless, the posts are too quick for novices. May just you please extend them a bit from
    next time? Thanks for the post.

  10. Woah! I’m really digging the template/theme of this blog.
    It’s simple, yet effective. A lot of times it’s hard to get that “perfect balance”
    between usability and visual appeal. I must say you’ve done a excellent job with this.

    In addition, the blog loads extremely fast for me on Internet explorer.

    Outstanding Blog!

  11. Hey there would you mind stating which blog platform you’re
    working with? I’m looking to start my own blog in the near future but I’m having a tough time selecting between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal.
    The reason I ask is because your layout seems different then most blogs and I’m looking for something
    completely unique. P.S Sorry for getting off-topic but I had to ask!

  12. Hey! I just wanted to ask if you ever have any issues with
    hackers? My last blog (wordpress) was hacked and I ended up losing several weeks of hard work due to no data backup.
    Do you have any methods to prevent hackers?

  13. Do you mind if I quote a couple of your articles as long as I provide credit and
    sources back to your site? My blog site is in the exact
    same area of interest as yours and my visitors would truly benefit from a lot of the information you provide
    here. Please let me know if this alright with you.
    Regards!

  14. Hi, I do believe this is a great site. I stumbledupon it 😉 I may return yet again since i
    have book marked it. Money and freedom is the best
    way to change, may you be rich and continue to help others.

  15. It is the best time to make a few plans for the long run and
    it is time to be happy. I have read this put up and if I could I desire
    to suggest you some fascinating issues or suggestions.
    Maybe you can write next articles regarding
    this article. I want to read even more things about it!

  16. I’ve been browsing online more than 3 hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours.
    It’s pretty worth enough for me. Personally, if all web owners and bloggers made good content as you did, the
    web will be much more useful than ever before.

  17. I’ve been browsing online more than 3 hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours.
    It is pretty worth enough for me. Personally, if all site
    owners and bloggers made good content as you did, the net will be a lot more useful
    than ever before.

  18. Hello there! This article couldn’t be written much better!
    Looking through this article reminds me of my previous roommate!
    He always kept talking about this. I most certainly will forward this information to him.

    Pretty sure he’ll have a very good read. Many thanks for sharing!

  19. I have been surfing on-line greater than 3 hours lately,
    but I never discovered any attention-grabbing article like yours.
    It’s pretty worth enough for me. In my opinion, if all website
    owners and bloggers made excellent content as you probably did, the web will be much more helpful than ever before.

  20. Hi, I do believe this is an excellent web site. I stumbledupon it ;
    ) I am going to return once again since I bookmarked it.
    Money and freedom is the best way to change, may you be rich and continue to guide others.

  21. I have been surfing online greater than three hours today,
    yet I never found any fascinating article like yours. It is lovely
    worth enough for me. Personally, if all web owners and
    bloggers made good content material as you probably did, the web will probably be much more useful than ever
    before.

  22. I haven?В¦t checked in here for a while as I thought it was getting boring, but the last few posts are great quality so I guess I will add you back to my everyday bloglist. You deserve it my friend ?? flagyl.