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Russia: The Future Grows Dark, Dark and Darker.

Discussion in 'Europe & Russia' started by Averageamerican, Mar 29, 2014.

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  1. Averageamerican

    Averageamerican Colonel ELITE MEMBER

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    December 1, 2013: China has been enthusiastically pushing the activities of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). This is a regional security forum founded in Shanghai in 2001 by Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Russia, and China. The main purpose of the SCO was originally fighting Islamic terrorism. Russia, however, hoped to build the SCO into a counterbalance against NATO. SCO members conduct joint military exercises, mostly for show. They also share intel on terrorists, which is often useful. Iran, India, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Mongolia, and Turkey also want to join the SCO. These nations are allowed to send observers to meetings. China has put more emphasis on economic cooperation because greater Chinese economic power means that China is replacing Russia as the principal investor and trading partner throughout the region. Russia does not like to dwell on this, because it means China is expanding its economic and political power. On paper China is now the dominant military power in Eurasia, a fact that Russia likes to downplay. Many Russians fear that the aggression China is demonstrating with India and everyone bordering the South China Sea will eventually be turned towards Russia.
    Government economists are lowering growth prospects (from 4 percent between now and 2030 to 2.5 percent and similar reductions for near-term growth). That is largely the result of world oil and gas prices declining because of the American fraking revolution. This has eliminated the fear of declining oil and gas supplies. Since oil and gas are the principal Russian exports and source of foreign currency, that is very bad for Russia. Corruption and lack of a reliable legal system has scared off foreign investment and made it difficult for Russian entrepreneurs to create new businesses and expand existing ones. More painful is the comparison with Western Europe, which lacks much oil but has a much better business climate. Britain, for example, has half the population of Russia but a GDP that is 25 percent larger than Russia’s.

    Growth estimates are lower since Russia invaded the Ukraine.

    Meanwhile, Russia still has some fundamental economic problems that resist every fix that is thrown at them. For example, Russia recently revealed that, although the Russian Air Force has 16 Tu-160 heavy bombers, few were flyable because spare parts were running out. That was the result of many of the Soviet era factories that produced key components going out of business in the 1990s and new sources for these parts have not yet been found. There is also a lack of special manufacturing equipment and people capable of doing the work. Thus the firm that was given a contract to refurbish 26 of the NK32 engines used by the Tu-160 has only been able to finish the work on four of those engines in two years. But that’s just the engines. Plans to refurbish all 16 Tu-160s depends on hundreds of suppliers being able to deliver and the list of those suppliers who are not able to do the work keeps increasing. Russia has been putting off this problem for over a decade because there were large stocks of spare parts for fewer major weapons systems. But now those parts are running out, and without the replacement suppliers the Cold War era systems will not be able to continue.

    The U.S. has cancelled a billion dollar order to buy 63 Mi-17 helicopters from Russia for Afghanistan. This was the result of American politicians seeking to punish Russian support for the Assad dictatorship in the current Syrian civil war. It is unclear how the U.S. Department of Defense will obtain the helicopters the Afghan security forces need. It is possible to obtain used Mi-17s on the world aviation market and refurbish them. Either way, Russia will still get something out of it.
     
  2. thesolar65

    thesolar65 2nd Lieutant FULL MEMBER

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    OK, just think if you were in Russian shoes then what would you do?.......................


    May be Russia is also thinking in the same line!!
     
  3. Averageamerican

    Averageamerican Colonel ELITE MEMBER

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    To be honest I would not have let the Crimea go either because its Russia's only warm water port.
     
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