I mean this, current, mundi, whatever comes after it is another matter. But here are some news of import.
Russia and Iran will transfer payments using an alternative system to the internationally recognized SWIFT money transfer network, the governor of the Iranian central bank, Abdolnaser Hemmati, announced. Instead of SWIFT, a system that facilitates cross-border payments between 11,000 financial institutions in more than 200 countries worldwide, the two countries will use their own domestically developed financial messaging systems – Iran’s SEPAM and Russia’s SPFS.“Using this system for trade and business exchanges between EAEU [Eurasian Economic Union] member states can help develop and expand trade exchanges between the member states as well,” Abdolnaser Hemmati said, as cited by Mehr News Agency on Tuesday. Tehran is set to officially join the Russia-led free-trade zone, the EAEU, next month. The document on Iran’s participation was ratified in June by the nation’s parliament (Majlis) and President Hassan Rouhani has already ordered that the free trade zone agreement be implemented.
And this development was unexpected exactly to who? Of course this is just another step in actualization of Eurasian economic space. And then, of course, this:
Go figure what that means--possibly SU-35 components among many other things. Samuel Huntington is spinning in his grave now. Especially when one gets such news as this:
Taliban representatives have held discussions with Russian officials in Moscow, just days after US President Donald Trump declared months-long peace talks between Washington and the group "dead". Taliban's Qatar-based spokesman Suhail Shaheen confirmed the meeting in the Russian capital on Friday, saying the group's delegation held consultations with Zamir Kabulov, Russia's special envoy for Afghanistan. At the meeting, Russia stressed the necessity of the resumption of talks between the US and the Taliban, while the group's delegation reiterated their readiness to renewing dialogue with Washington, an unidentified Russian foreign ministry spokesman was quoted as saying by the TASS news agency.
Mind you, Russia DIDN'T want to be an arbiter in this whole mess stretching from Afghanistan to ME. Not at all. Recall this, read attentively:
A “successful end” to the operation in Afghanistan will not come simply with the death of Osama bin Laden. The minimum that we require from NATO is consolidating a stable political regime in the country and preventing Talibanization of the entire region. That is the Russian position. We are ready to help NATO implement its U.N. Security Council mandate in Afghanistan. We are utterly dissatisfied with the mood of capitulation at NATO headquarters, be it under the cover of “humanistic pacifism” or pragmatism.
This was 9 years ago. What did Obama Administration do? They unleashed Cold War 2.0 with Russia, who did all she could, short of direct massive military intervention, to help the United States to settle Afghanistan. All in vain. And here we are in 2019 with the whole Eurasian subcontinent aflame and with the US losing its actual and perceived control over the situation with mind-boggling acceleration. Right now, this very minute, Russia, China, India, Pakistan, Kazakhstan and others hold massive maneuvers Center-2019. The legend of this exercises is clearly influenced by the situation in Afghanistan and by the possibility of Russia and her allies doing what she, then as USSR, was prevented from doing.
This troubles Russia far less than the consequences for the region itself. The Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan in 1989 was not a shameful escape accompanied by the hooting of the mujahadeen. The Soviet Army entered the country, accomplished its tasks — unlike the Americans in Vietnam — and returned to its motherland. In fact, we were the first to defend Western civilization against the attacks of Muslim fanatics. No one thanked us. On the contrary, everyone was impeding our actions: The United States, NATO, Iran, Pakistan, even China. After the withdrawal of the Soviet Army, the Najibullah government that we left behind in Kabul remained in power for another three years.
What a historic irony in Russia being thrust back into this position and not by own volition--it is the region itself which called on Russia to interfere. Even Saudi Prince called Kremlin today to discuss this whole "attack" business (in Russian). Russia is not going to invade Afghanistan, but the big game of containing jihad threat is on. I guess this explains why Russia simply cannot exist as a neutral, self-absorbed, power (that would be so great)--she will always be forced to be in the shape of military-economic superpower precisely for the reasons of others not doing their due diligence when unleashing forces they can not tame or control. No matter what she does, she will end up being asked to do one thing or another. That's destiny and nothing could be done about it. And thus passes the glory of the world we live (or, rather lived) in. Pax Americana is over.