For a country whose economy is left "in tatters" and is supposed to be really backward because it doesn't recognize 30 genders, Russia, nowadays, is constantly in the news. Very strange for this backwater of a country with economy the size of Malta's and which produces nothing (wink, wink). As Politco discovered:
Germany is urging the European Commission to launch a joint purchase of Russia's Sputnik V vaccine for the EU, a German official said Wednesday. “We have asked the Commission” to launch a procurement procedure for Sputnik, the official told reporters at a briefing in Berlin, adding that “we are seeing now that the Commission is in the process of launching this procedure.” The official said the Commission must first test the waters among EU capitals to see which countries are interested in buying the Russian shot before launching contract negotiations over the number of doses. After that contract is settled, EU countries could potentially buy Sputnik doses via the EU contract, the German official said.
Not really a surprising turn of events to anyone who followed REAL news from Russia for decades and saw the actual developments of Russia's R&D in various fields ranging from bio-technologies to nuclear power, to space. Speak of the devil. Now Reuters:
MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia is developing a reusable spaceplane, a subsidiary of the Kalashnikov conglomerate said on Wednesday, in Russia's first such project since the late Soviet Union's ill-fated Buran space shuttle. A full-size model of the plane was presented at a closed pavilion during a Russian military forum last year and the project is now under development, said the general director of the Molniya research-to-production facility. "The goal has now been set and the development of a multi-use civilian complex with an orbital plane is in full swing," Olga Sokolova was quoted as saying in comments posted on Molniya's website. The Molniya facility designed the long-mothballed Buran space shuttle in the 1980s in response the launch of the U.S. space shuttle programme during the Cold War era.
Ah, so they DO follow real news from Russia, not just from their "sources", which are primarily Russia's liberda of Navalny-type, or "lefties" who love to sell their bile to the West as a reality. As TASS reports (in Russian) NPO Molniya is in a hiring mode for specialists to develop this space-plane. As Pepe Escobar notes, this March is a very remarkable month for the world. Especially with de facto alliance between China and Russia having the cover being pulled from it in earnest after Lavrov's visit few days ago.
Basically, Russia has finished in general her reorientation towards Asia. To put some thing into perspective here: the population of EU is about 470 million people, population of Asia is around 4.7 billion. Make your bets, ladies and gentlemen, on where the pivot of global economy is moving to and where it will reside the next many years. In related news, Admiral Gorshkov went to Barentz Sea for combat drills program involving, and you may have guessed it already, strikes on land and surface targets by 3M22 Zircon (in Russian). The new configuration of the world which emerged this year (so far) is rather simple:
1. The Big Three is now 2+1, in which 2 dwarfs 1 both economically and militarily;
2. Russia and China are now, obviously, in the "coercion to peace" mode relative to the United States, which is a euphemism for control of the implosion process of the United States and mitigation of all risks associated with that, unleashing a global war in desperation by the US being the most important one;
3. EU and Europe are irrelevant here. Enough to take a look at the "locomotive" of the EU, Germany, whose overall economy continues to shrink for more than two years in row now, and whose industrial production is in even worse shape.
What is needed to be said is this: there will be no return to this pre-Covid "normal". As many warned, whatever one may think about Covid-19 pandemic, and it is impossible to ignore the fact of a gross overreaction to it in the West, the trends which started way before Covid-19 hit the newsreels were already in place and saw a systemic departure of the combined West from the position it enjoyed for so long. Its nominal leader, the United States, is in appalling shape with systemic dysfunctions manifesting themselves on a daily bases. American political process, always tawdry, has degenerated into a full blown freak show and the world took notice. So, what will be the arrangements or, should we say, conditions of the surrender? I don't know--there is nobody to discuss this with and that complicates matters greatly. In the same time, if, for some reason, the United States decides to cooperate, no doubt its claim to global greatness as an important state will be accommodated--as one of few, not as some self-proclaimed hegemon. For any attentive observer there is a definite sense of change in the air--almost imperceptible for laymen, but understood by many among those who tried to resist it. Something changed in the Matrix.