By Haider Abbas
In opening remarks before a video conference, on December 30, 2022, between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping, Putin said he was expecting Xi to make a state visit to Russia in the spring. Courtesy: CNBC.Com
On the onset of the new year 2023, which is now barely two months before Russia-Ukraine war will be an year old, there have been predictions, which at best, may be termed as ‘hypothetical’ right now, but assumes importance as they have come from Russia’s former President Dmitry Medvedev, who is also the Deputy Chairman of the Security Council of Russian Federation. On December 27, he has gone on record to make 10 predictions:
1-Oil price will rise to $150 a barrel, and gas price will top $5.000 per 1.000 cubic meters, 2-The UK will rejoin the EU, 3-The EU will collapse after the UK’s return; Euro will drop out of use as the former EU currency. 4-Poland and Hungary will occupy western regions of the formerly existing Ukraine. 5-The Fourth Reich will be created, encompassing the territory of Germany and its satellites, i.e., Poland, the Baltic states, Czechia, Slovakia, the Kiev Republic, and other outcasts. 6-War will break out between France and the Fourth Reich. Europe will be divided, Poland repartitioned in the process . 7-Northern Ireland will separate from the UK and join the Republic of Ireland. 8- Civil war will break out in the US, California and Texas becoming independent states as a result. Texas and Mexico will form an allied state. Elon Musk’ll win the presidential election in a number of states which, after the new Civil War’s end, will have been given to the GOP. 9-All the largest stock markets and financial activity will leave the US and Europe and move to Asia. 10-
The Bretton Woods system of monetary management will collapse, leading to the IMF and World Bank crash. Euro and Dollar will stop circulating as the global reserve currencies. Digital fiat currencies will be actively used instead. Season greetings to you all, Anglo-Saxon friends, and their happily oinking piglets!’ The critical part is that Medvedev has aired it all from Russia Government Official twitter handle and expressed his personal scorn by calling US and West as piglets.
The world analysts have dismissed these ‘predictions at large’, as figments of imagination and day-dreaming of Russia, so as to make an equalizer to US which played an instrumental role in the breakage of the erstwhile Soviet Union. But, what however, assumes more importance, is that immediately after Medvedev disclosures, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, made an effusive eight minute introductory statement on Russia’s state television, in which he sought, ‘Dear Mr. Chairman (China’s President Xi Jinping) , dear friend, we are expecting you next spring on a state visit to Moscow,” reported Reuters . There are no qualms that after the imposition of economic sanctions from West and UK on Russia, it led to embrace China, and before Russia and Ukraine war started, both the nations had decided to right each-others wars! Both had agreed upon no-limits strategic partnership. China is yet to confirm Xi visit.
The hornet’s nest has been stirred as what Medvedev has predicted, is to happen in 2023 or in the immediate future. He can be given the credence about what he has forecasted, based on the outcome of the consensus of intelligence organisations of both Russia and China, or else why would Medvedev make-him-such-a-laughing-stock? The sketch however is primarily focused on US, its dismemberment and thereafter the beginning of a new world order. What however might be too early to claim, is the Arab nations, to have come closer to Russia at the cost of US? This is a pretty hard pie to gulp. As the oil producing nations in fact are quite wary of Russia.
The first step which made Russia to ‘become more closer’ to China, is that after the barrage of sanctions, Russia became the highest exporter of its oil to China and replaced Kingdom of Saudi Arabia from the number-one pedestal. To add insult to injury, Russia and China started to transact in Rouble and Yuan, which sent shockwaves to US economy as both Russia-China proved to the world that the alternative to finally de-dollarise the word economy is getting into shape. Notwithstanding to say that the Euro monopoly also had a death knell. But, will it all lead to US and Europe breaking into pieces? The idea seems too far-fetched.
If these predictions are heeded then the oil would sell at 150 USD/barrel, which would be enough to bring the entire world economy towards a grinding halt.
However, after almost one year of imposition of sanctions on Russia, instead of Russian economy in shambles , it has strode ahead, all due to the courtesies of China, whereas, economic crisis are looming large over whole of Europe. Europe is already in grouse against US for selling-gas at inflated prices, after Russia has almost snapped its gas-supply lines to Europe.The resultant may lead to increase in gas-prices too, which might force England to be back into European Union, after blowing-off its Brexit agenda. This might lead to a revolt against England and European Union would break! All this is a catastrophe ‘in-waiting’ for Euro currency. Will then Euro currency able to survive the global onslaught? Is the worst-ever European economic crisis now almost knocking on the door? As per Medvedev a war in whole of Europe is just waiting to happen.
US overlooks at the world as the sole superpower, but with dwindling USD power, there are to be signs of a civil-unrest in US too, on the lines when US President Donald Trump was ousted in 2020, and new states might emerge-out from US? This is what may be the immediate future for the world, as the reign of US as a superpower will collapse. Who will then be the next superpower? This is what Medvedev has not elaborated. It may of course be China or even Israel, which is raring to be the next superpower, as Israel, out of the supreme support of US, might now even outdo US, and therefore, will be locked into for the superpower status with China.
Since, Russia will no more be able to fill into the superpower status, hence, China would try to step-into, and this is where the next duel between China and Israel will take place. The speculations over Israel-Iran are also too much rife. Russian support of course lies with Iran and US is with Israel. India, by every chance will support Israel, which is India’s second largest arms supplier after Russia, but Russia will help China deter Israel, as Israel has openly supported Ukraine against Russia.
Considering one of the world’s mightiest army of Russia, and the war having stretched-too far, with Ukraine, it can easily make the skeptics conclude that Russia took to the ‘war-step’ against Ukraine, to thwart Europe reaching its doorsteps, but now Russia, after Medvedev sensational revelations, has proven that it had more grandiose plans. How and what unfolds is now to be seen. Is the third-world-war now very close on the anvil? Closer back home, China and India are also entwined in a conflict in the Himalayas. Will Russia remain neutral in case there is a China-India war is still to be seen? But Russian support to China is ‘very-much-in-place’ over Taiwan where US supports Taiwan. What would be the next stage for the world cannot be comprehended at the moment.
The writer is a former UP State Information Commissioner and writes on international issues.