Ports, oil, and Taman: How Russia will return Ukraine to Eurasia Part 2

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May 20 2016 – 

Yurasumy, PolitRussia – 

Translated by J. Arnoldski 

Continued from Part 1 

Calculations show that the transition to the offensive on the foreign policy front means that the disruption of Russian gas transit through Ukraine is possible. Coupled with the expected growth of exports in the southern direction, all of this has led the Russian Federation’s leadership to decide to build a new, powerful port in the area of the city of Taman.

This decision was actually already taken back in 1999, but then it was a project for building a small port subsidiarily to the Togliatti enterprise.

The port was opened in 2009, but began to produce a more or less significant volume only in 2013.

The main “bonus” of the port will be its situation as a site through which chemical products will be shipped. According to the plan, in 2017 this should already be running, which will allow the handling of ammonia from Togliatti to the tune of 2 million tons. This would completely untie the hands of Russian exports and will once and for all destroy Kiev’s monopoly on this matter. By 2020, the second stage of building a chemical terminal for handling up to 3 million tons of carbide will begin. There will be more than a dozen such terminals at the port (including powerful liquid components for oil and petroleum-based products). 

According to the enterprise’s development program, by 2025 its turnover will reach 93 million tons, i.e., nearly the same as that of the commercial port of Novorossiysk and  nearly the equivalent of all of Ukraine’s ports’ turnovers combined in 2015. This will allow the port of Taman to become one of the top three ports of Russia…

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The modernization of existing ports on the Black Sea coast and the creation of the Taman port are part of the ambitious program to last nearly two decades which will not only allow economic issues of the country’s development to be solved, but also bring the struggle for Ukraine to a new phase, an offensive one. 

The author of these lines was able to see the scope of the work last fall. The whole region resembles a disturbed beehive or worksite. The construction of highways and interchanges is in full swing and the project of the Crimean route fits well into all of it. Many of the interchanges and access roads of the port of Taman will provide logical connection to Kerch. 

In fact, the groundwork developing the southern region, which began long before the “Crimean spring,” has quickly allowed the energy problem of the peninsula to be decided and guarantee critical cargo flows to the peninsula. 

In general, the strategy of returning Ukraine to the Russian government’s sphere of influence is already making itself felt quite clearly. This will create conditions in which Washington’s interests in Kiev will decline so much that the composition of this territory will itself become too burdensome for the State Department. To this end, the Kremlin is trying to neutralize the US’ advantages in controlling Ukraine and maximize the number of minuses. The Kremlin is reducing its dependence on Kiev (thereby reducing the economic advantages of Russophobic policies) and creating a point of tension which would require constant cash infusions from Western sponsors. 

Let’s make sure this is understood. Russia’s economic sanctions against Ukrainian businesses have a dual function. On the one hand, they create problems for Kiev and drive it to ask its puppeteers for more money. On the other hand, they are teaching the Russian economy to live without Ukraine. 

Already today Washington can’t afford to invest a couple billions of dollars a year to support Kiev’s pro-Western regime. The debt restructuring undertaken by Yatsenyuk’s government only delayed the problem. But that’s not the point. 

It is already clear the Ukraine is incapable of eliminating its debts, and sooner or later they will have to write them off. In fact, delaying these losses led them in the short term to avoid needing major investments in the Ukrainian economy. But, the calculations show that by the end of the year Kiev will have to beg for money to stay afloat and not “fall into the hands of Moscow.” And then the sum of debts will only skyrocket. 

Sooner or later (as long as new port facilities and bypass pipelines are commissioned and Ukraine’s economy is destroyed), Washington will decide to abandon its Kiev puppets and turn the territory of Ukraine into a zone of controlled chaos, as it has repeatedly done (Egypt, Turkey, Iraq, etc.). Once that happens, one only needs to count down the months or perhaps years, until Ukraine will once again, and for a long time, be returned to Moscow’s sphere of influence. At the same time, the later this happens, the less degree of independence Kiev will have in the new Eurasian integration project. 

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