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Putin’s new image makeover – Emerging as World Leader in this pandemic era


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Russia’s expertise in cyber security is well known. Putin is sharing its knowledge and expertise world over with its trusted friends. NIC participated in ‘Kaspersky Academy Security Awareness Summit’, a virtual summit to discuss about the future of Cyber Security Governance.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned that the coronavirus pandemic could lead to a global economic collapse that would have a significant impact on the lives of millions of people across the world. Speaking at the virtual G20 summit of international leaders on 21st November, 2020, Saturday, Putin warned that, “despite some positive signals, the main risk is still the so – called stagnant mass unemployment with a subsequent increase in poverty and social disorder.”

“The coronavirus epidemic, the global lockdown and the freezing of economic activity launched a systemic economic crisis, which the modern world has not known since the Great Depression,” he added. Putin also lavished praise on the “massive contribution” of the US, which, along with other countries, has joined together to “create a stimulus package for the world economy to the tune of US$ 12 Trillion.” Mainly put forward by large economies, including Russia’s, the stimulus is thought to have played a role in buoying fragile world markets.

On Friday, the Russian leader used the Asia – Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit to warn that world GDP could shrink by as much as 4.4% during the current year. Although estimates suggest Russia will perform better than average, Putin warned of an alarming decline in the industrial production and rising number of people risking falling below the poverty line, not only in Europe but across the world. Spain has imposed emergency and curfew has been imposed in many cities across France.

The President also appeared to take aim at the sanctions and trade barriers being levied against countries, including Russia, at a time when economic conditions are as challenging as ever. “There is an escalation of economic contradictions among the leading players in the market,” Putin said. This was an indirect dig against USA.

On other hand Coronavirus skeptics and counter – protesters clashed with each other and police after a rally against the lockdown in the German city of Leipzig was called off by the organisers shortly after it was scheduled to begin. Leipzig has been one of the centres of the anti – lockdown movement in Germany in recent weeks.

On November 8th 2020, the ‘Lateral Thinking’ group, which insists that Covid-19 is a hoax, was able to gather thousands of people in the city centre. A large rally was also expected on Saturday after the Bundestag supported legislation mid-week giving the government more legal basis to impose coronavirus restrictions.

When the Covid-19 skeptics started gathering at the Kurt-Masur-Platz midday, the venue was already occupied by dozens of counter-protesters, who all wore face masks and tried their best to follow social distancing rules.

Germany went into a new partial lockdown in early November, ordering restaurants, bars, cinemas to close down and restricting gatherings to no more than 10 people. But Chancellor Angela Merkel insists that more curbs are needed to stem the second wave of the pandemic. Putin is right as the world fails to take precautions.

Earlier this week he used the BRICS summit to call for economic penalties to be lifted, particularly for poorer countries that had been hit hard by the pandemic.

Speaking at the BRICS summit by videoconference on Tuesday, Vladimir Putin said that Russia is calling on the global community to “remove all restrictions and sanctions on trade, at least in the context of the pandemic, for those countries… that are in dire need of supplies of food, medicine and medical equipment in the fight against this infection.” BRICS represents the five major emerging economies of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

As the extent of the economic disruption that coronavirus would cause started to become clear in April, the Russian government proposed a resolution at the United Nations that would cut restrictions and abandon trade disputes in order to free up exports of food and medicine. However, the US and European Union, as well as others, voiced opposition.

According to Johns Hopkins University, at least 55 million people across the globe have been infected with coronavirus, and 1.3 million have died. In September, analysts warned that the pandemic had laid bare the precarious nature of food supply chains, and scientists have also warned of the risk of global drug shortages resulting from the disruption.

At the time, Russia’s representatives to the international organisation in Washington blasted these interventions, saying the “unwillingness of a number of international players to say goodbye to their sanctions policies … puts ordinary people in the most vulnerable states on the brink of survival.”

Nord Stream 2, which is designed to deliver Russian gas to Germany, has become a barometer of relations between Russia and the EU. Its status also reflects the state of affairs within the Washington-led ‘Atlantic community’.

When it comes to major energy projects developed in cooperation between Russia and the rest of Europe, the business component of the venture is always overshadowed by geopolitical concerns. In 1981, the Reagan administration imposed sanctions on the Soviet Union to prevent it from constructing the Urengoy-Pomary-Uzhgorod main gas pipeline, designed to transport gas from the Soviet Union to Western Europe. Nearly 40 years later, history is repeating itself, as both Congress and the White House are committed to stopping Nord Stream 2 from being completed.

On opposite sides of the Atlantic, people held contradictory views about what it means to have economic relations with the Kremlin. Washington feared that its allies would get hooked on Soviet energy resources. Western European nations saw it differently: the more the USSR was dependent on the European market to sell its natural gas, the less it was interested in any ‘non-economic’ type of expansion.

After long and difficult talks, Reagan was finally persuaded to lift the ban on the project. US Congress is working the political angle: specifically, Russia can’t be allowed to make euros by selling energy resources to Western Europe, with the additional benefit of making it dependent on Russian gas.

In essence, the goal of the United States – just as it was decades ago – is to prevent Russia from establishing stronger ties with other European nations interested in Russian exports.

Originally, the Nord Stream pipeline was designed with German interests in mind, rather than the interests of the European Union as a whole. This approach met some opposition from a number of EU member-states. But in the mid-2000s, when the initial agreements were signed, European mechanisms for reconciliation were more effective, and relations with US were far less antagonistic, compared to today. It appears to me this project will get completed sooner than later and crude and gas will flow smoothly in Europe. This will be a great victory of Putin and its economy will pick up.

Next 5 years will see the rise of Covid – 19 politics the world over. The global citizens will have to take 2 doses in a time span of 28 days and dose will be controlled by the vaccine producer nations. Russia has created a breakthrough with #SputnikV vaccine and first batch of Covid -19 vaccine landed in Mumbai.

Nations are now creating both goodwill and money by building new relations with Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and supply them with Covid – 19 vaccine. Many countries have refused the vaccine, which is getting developed in China and Brazil and Bangladesh have recused themselves not to administer China made vaccine.

Russia is playing it cards very well, with using its influence to mediate between Armenia and Azerbaijan and mediating peace in the region. Turkey and Pakistan fought from the side of Azerbaijan and nobody helped Christian Armenia. Turkey gave its drones, which it had procured from Canada and drones created havoc in the war. It will have serious implications for India.

Russia, entrenched in Africa during the Cold War’s violent East – West rivalry, largely retreated from the continent after the collapse of the Soviet Union. But in the past two years, Moscow has rekindled relations with Soviet-era clients like Mozambique and Angola, and forged new ties with other countries. President Vladimir Putin of Russia will host a summit between Moscow and African countries this year.

Russia’s expertise in cyber security is well known. Putin is sharing its knowledge and expertise world over with its trusted friends. NIC participated in ‘Kaspersky Academy Security Awareness Summit’, a virtual summit to discuss about the future of Cyber Security Governance.

Russia, Iran and India signed the agreement for the International North South Transport Corridor (INSTC) project on 16th of May 2002. All three countries were the founding member states of the project. Other countries joined later. INSTC is a 7,200 – km – long multi – mode network of ship, rail, and road route for moving freight between India, Iran, Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Russia, Central Asia and Europe.

The INSTC route through Azerbaijan allows India – Iran – Azerbaijan – Russia – Kazakhstan transport connectivity. Iran started construction work to complete the missing link of the Qazvin – Rasht – Astara road and railway (205 km) including the Rasht – Astara section (164 km). It involves construction of 369 km of bridges and railway line to link the southern sections to the northern ones. Once completed, 22 new tunnels and 15 bridges will have been added to the route. This was the idea of Putin to sell its gas and oil in the Asian region.

Expanding Moscow’s military sway on the continent reflects Putin’s broader vision of returning Russia to its former glory. But it also illustrates Russia’s opportunistic strategy to carve out logistical and political gains in Africa wherever and whenever it can.

All this augers well for Putin as a global leader with more influence, more foreign exchange and clout and respect in the high table of global leadership.

India Russia Bhai Bhai.

Rajiv Saxena
Rajiv Saxena
Rajiv Prakash Saxena is a graduate of UBC, Vancouver, Canada. He is an authority on eCommerce, eProcurement, eSign, DSCs and Internet Security. He has been a Technology Bureaucrat and Thought leader in the Government. He has 8 books and few UN assignments. He wrote IT Policies of Colombia and has implemented projects in Jordan, Rwanda, Nepal and Mauritius. Rajiv writes, speaks, mentors on technology issues in Express Computers, ET, National frontier and TV debates. He worked and guided the following divisions: Computer Aided Design (CAD), UP: MP: Maharashtra and Haryana State Coordinator to setup NICNET in their respective Districts of the State, TradeNIC, wherein a CD containing list of 1,00,000 exporters was cut with a search engine and distributed to all Indian Embassies and High Commissions way back in the year 1997 (It was an initiative between NIC and MEA Trade Division headed by Ms. Sujatha Singh, IFS, India’s Ex Foreign Secretary), Law Commission, Ministry of Law & Justice, Department of Legal Affairs, Department of Justice, Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD), Ministry of Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation (MoHUPA), National Jail Project, National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), National Commission for Minorities (NCM), National Data Centres (NDC), NIC National Infrastructure, Certifying Authority (CA) to issue Digital Signature Certificates (DSCs), eProcurement, Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs (MPA), Lok Sabha and its Secretariat (LSS) and Rajya Sabha and its Secretariat (RSS) along with their subordinate and attached offices like Directorate of Estate (DoE), Land & Development Office (L&DO), National Building Construction Corporation (NBCC), Central Public Works Department (CPWD), National Capital Regional Planning Board (NCRPB), Housing & Urban Development Corporation (HUDO), National Building Organisation (NBO), Delhi Development Authority (DDA), BMPTC and many others.


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