Military Review

Summit "Central Asia - Germany". US pushes EU to invest in GXNUMX countries

Summit "Central Asia - Germany". US pushes EU to invest in GXNUMX countries

On September 29, the Germany-Central Asia summit begins in Berlin. The C5+1 format, which has already become familiar over the past year, moved from the fields of the UN General Assembly, where the Central Asian “Group of Five” met with George Biden, to Germany ten days later.

Meeting before the summit of the President of Kazakhstan K.-Zh. Tokayev and German President F.-W. Steinmeier was noted by all observers for the Kazakh leader’s firm intention to strictly comply with the sanctions regime.

From an emotional point of view, the speech is not the most positive for Russia, if you do not take into account the real flow of goods and the fact that this is not the first agreement on sanctions from the Kazakh leader. The first time it caused a strong reaction among the domestic public was at SPIEF 2022.

In addition to the external declared, raw materials and energy focus of the negotiations at the summit, as well as passages regarding sanctions, let’s try to look at this event from a slightly different perspective. Namely, in light of the results of negotiations at the UN General Assembly with the United States and the last Central Asia-EU summit, held in June.

Oddly enough, it turns out that a significant part of the material will be devoted not so much to Central Asia, but to relations between the US and the EU against the backdrop of the region.

If the June summit was, in fact, dedicated to finding opportunities for the EU to respond to truly grandiose proposals to the region from China within the framework of the summit in Xi'an, that is, it had, if not results, then a work agenda, then the summit with the United States turned out to be frankly disappointing. They expected some kind of strong answer from him, but in the end everything was limited to general words. Washington came to this event surprisingly poorly prepared.

The summit with Germany was intended to level out this vagueness and from F.-V. Steinmeier and O. Scholz, the leaders of Central Asia are already waiting for more definite steps in terms of investment. This year, Germany is, perhaps, the leader in terms of activity in the region, and one can understand the Germans - they need to look for sites that partially compensate for the falling assets in Russia, they need to look for alternatives for raw materials.

But alternatives are alternatives, and such activity in Central Asia in Europe is no longer just an investment, but a big policy that the United States usually does not let go of.

Here we see that the States are not only retouching the gaps in the preparation of the event at the UN General Assembly, but are also giving the EU (and not for the first time) a free hand. And even pushing Europe to take active action. We do not see this in other regions; even the EU’s activity on the Ukrainian issue is coordinated and in many ways directly moderated by the United States.

Here we are faced with one of the very stable and popular narratives that the United States stands almost for the economic strangulation and collapse of Europe. They say that production from the EU is “fleeing” to the USA. What makes these theses more convincing is that they come directly from Europe itself.

But if you start to understand, the situation appears more complex and deeper, since the problem of the EU (with all the industrial and financial power of this essentially confederal state entity) is that both China and the United States, in different ways, seek to manage its economic growth themselves.

From some point of view, this is a paradoxical situation, but it is determined by the clash between the industrial elites of the EU, who are in favor of a Chinese link, and the political elites, who are in favor of a link with the United States. In the Chinese model, the EU is assumed to be an investor and supplier to China and a buyer of Chinese goods; in the American model, accordingly, China is replaced by the United States. But in both the first and second cases we are talking about the single EU market, including the financial market.

The EU cannot directly ban trade with China and US investments, but they have quite succeeded in doing something else - creating an outflow of investment capital. COVID-19 has slowed down both China and the European Union. The energy and inflation shock of the second half of 2022, together with the consequences of COVID-19 and US programs to “contain inflation”, created a good basis for pumping free financial resources of the Eurozone to American sites.

Production has not gone away, but investment in China has gotten worse, and China also has difficulties with growth rates. One thing clings to another, no one grows, but the added value has begun to move. In general, it is customary for us to criticize the team of J. Biden, and to praise D. Trump - this situation is part of the very Trumpist program through which he wanted to change the trade balance between the US and the EU.

In the EU, industrial elites periodically raise a wave of information about the transfer of production, trying to force their political wing, which lies almost entirely under the United States, to unblock investments, but the EU still keeps a very high rate for it (+3,75%), justifying it with “inflation.” " However, in addition to the failure of the investment cycle, consumer activity in the EU is also artificially decreasing.

It is clear that the topic of inflation in the EU is being pushed from above. The shock of the autumn of 2022, when the EU saw the “depths of its depths” in the form of industrial inflation of 37% and consumer inflation of 16%, when the EU’s foreign trade balance began to sag before our eyes, in theory could not be offset by an increase in the key rate. It showed that its rise was more an external political decision than due to the inflationary struggle.

Of course, industrialists raised their voices against European officials, threatening to “transfer production overseas,” but over the course of several months, the EU energy market (not without our help, by the way) gradually returned to normal, but the key stake in the fight for inflation remained.

Although, it would seem, why fight it if it is possible, relying on rising consumer prices, to increase production volumes, and even in the context of a struggle with Moscow? However, the EU limits consumption, essentially blocking trade with China, because the focus here is primarily on consumption, and only then on production.

The EU market remains, even cemented, politically and economically, but consumption parameters are kept in check, since free resources actually flow overseas, because the investment attractiveness of China has decreased.

This is not the first year that the United States has been “pumping out liquidity.” The problem is that they need to specifically support the corporate sector today. It would be nice for Arab funds to invest in the EU economy, but in such conditions it is simply not profitable. Not everyone can stimulate capital outflow using the Russia-US method; there are more subtle designs.

But the problem with the United States itself is that even having somehow improved its corporate sector, getting it to work within the United States is a completely non-trivial task under current conditions.

If the Trumpists are knocking their heels, demanding to invest these funds in domestic production, then the current administration, within the framework of the liberal agenda, having received the required figures for the stock markets and the banking sector, redirects them to investment outside, uses them to reduce the cost of imports, as well as for tax revenues. This is banker logic, which, apparently, is ineradicable in the current administration of the United States.

On the other hand, the United States is still having great difficulty, but is avoiding problems with attracting and redirecting money in terms of government. borrowings.

In this position, not only should the United States not think about the collapse of the EU, it should protect and strengthen European unity like the apple of its eye, erect concrete fences and roadblocks around it. In fact, they are cementing, linking the Turkish economy to the Eurozone, and in such a way that even the seemingly main beneficiary of this process, R. Erdogan, did not really like it.

It is clear where this narrative comes from - from the suffering industrial European elites, with whom Moscow has traditionally been in sync. Who would like it when your industrial growth and added value are so controlled. The most interesting thing here is that the US does not replace consumption in the EU with its own goods, which, apparently, infuriates the European industrial elite no less than the “investment dues”.

A certain difficulty lies in the fact that the accumulation of G-7 resources in terms of creating alternatives to the Silk Road - the PGII program is poorly supported by Arabian money, and the receipt of specific benefits is extended over time. Indeed, today from 45% to 55% of Southeast Asia’s foreign trade is tied in various ways to China. China acts as an assembly shop, packer, logistics and commercial representative of the region to the EU.

Nobody in Southeast Asia likes this, but it is very difficult to remake this model - it was formed jointly on European technologies and American investments, and other countries acted as producers of necessary, important, but still largely “spare parts” for the final product. Geopolitical interests have changed, but the model cannot be changed so easily, and not everyone in the United States itself is ready to revise it.

And in such a situation, giving the EU the opportunity (hypothetical or real) to enter the markets of Central Asia, where China will now be forced to launch not only production, but also provide part of the financial resources for consumption, is a rather interesting solution for the United States, even if not as systemic as the PGII or I2U2+ projects.

In addition to the fact that the Eurozone can gain expanded access to purely raw materials, including such significant ones as uranium (however, the United States itself is counting on this product), they are trying to identify an alternative to the Russian production site, where Europeans have worked for a long time, and Now we are forced to fold. And the fact that in this case the EU will either cooperate or compete with China - well, these are modern realities.

For the United States, the position here is generally quite convenient, since they only need to open the political (de facto investment) valve and demand that the leaders of Central Asia and the European Union formally comply with the sanctions regime.

We just observed the next round of such a public “oath of sanctioned allegiance” at the meeting of F.-V. Steinmeier and K.-J. Tokaeva. But this was not the first time and will not be the last time.

It is possible that the United States will turn a blind eye to the “holes” in sanctions under the EAEU in such combinations as the EU vs China - Central Asia, in the hope of gaining the loyalty of both the EU and Central Asia in the medium term, and not right here and now.

The peculiarity of the process here is not the pre-planned, but rather the situational nature of the policy. This option was clearly found “by touch”, since it was obvious that the US-Central Asia summit did not bring results. Instead of C5, the US preferred to work individually. The region expected the summit to have an effect no less than the Xi'an Declaration, but in the end it turned out something not very clear and not very concrete.

The US position on individual agreements with Uzbekistan, outside the framework of the Group of Five, did not work. But it was also interesting how quickly, literally in a week, the United States got its bearings and redirected the Central Asian five into the framework of the summit with Germany, bringing Kazakhstan a little ahead in media, partly correcting the shortcoming.

It’s hardly worth blaming the countries of Central Asia for some kind of anti-Russian vector here, since over twenty years, if they invested in them, it was in the raw materials sector, but here in a calendar year there are offers from the south, and from the north, and from the east, and from west. It’s just that the most developed program so far is Chinese.

For China, with all its desire to cooperate with the EU, such a position is still more of a challenge and competition, fragmentation of influence on the continent, where, on the contrary, it is necessary to strengthen this influence as much as possible today. Analysts generally reasonably note that such activity is a priori aimed at eroding the EAEU, although, for example, for China, the weakening of the EAEU at the moment is already a weakening of its own logistics.

In general, it was not in vain that Beijing took a strategic pause to prepare for the October “One Belt, One Road” forum, which is billed as one of the largest events of the year. The combinations here are complex, and the players depend on each other. But this is precisely why China may well try, together with part of the European industrial elite, to beat Washington’s situational option, since, unlike the latter, Beijing prepared much more carefully for the development of Central Asia.

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  1. Luminman
    Luminman 1 October 2023 05: 36
    I wonder where the countries of Central Asia are heading, or as they are called now - Central Asia? On one side is Russia, on the other is China. Moreover, Afghanistan is nearby. Germany is far away, and the USA is even further... wink
    1. nikolaevskiy78
      1 October 2023 07: 14
      They only felt a “taste for life”. Everyone wants them now. The C5 format, established in its current form last July, has fully justified itself. For them, of course.
  2. The comment was deleted.
  3. rotmistr60
    rotmistr60 1 October 2023 06: 26
    Tokayev and German President F.-W. Steinmeier was noted by all observers for the firm intention of the Kazakh leader to strictly comply with the sanctions regime
    After which, referring to the problem with gasoline and diesel, he expressed hope that Russia would provide assistance at a “reasonable” price. What a “wise and cunning” leader of Kazakhstan. American emissaries often visited Central and Central Asia with only one goal - to try to completely break the ties of these republics with Russia. At the same time, “mountains of gold” are promised in the form of investments, assistance, and other goodies. In parallel, China is actively working in this region in pursuit of its goals.
  4. parusnik
    parusnik 1 October 2023 06: 45
    And Russia, what measures is it taking? What is going on there in the CIS? In AzEEC?
    1. nikolaevskiy78
      1 October 2023 07: 12
      I am not sure that it is necessary to take any “measures” separately from Iran and China. At the current level of elaboration of issues, this is fraught. It's best to wait to see what response China gives this month. There will be a big forum “One Belt - One Road”, and this is where we need to dance from. We still don’t have our own concept, so it’s better to go in line with the Troika. Sometimes it’s better to do nothing than to dig with one foot and bury with the other like a bull in a china shop.
      1. parusnik
        parusnik 1 October 2023 07: 44
        Somehow that’s not what I meant. What’s going on there in the CIS? In AzEEC? What is Russia doing to strengthen these alliances? If nothing else, it’s as if it won’t end up in the tail of the “two”. Although they are not the first in the ranks of the “troika”.
  5. Kusja
    Kusja 1 October 2023 08: 24
    In addition to financial investments, you also provide gay investments in Asian republics. Let them take this for granted too.
    KVU-NSVD 1 October 2023 09: 32
    It seems to me that the article is missing a central line. Everything seemed interesting, but when I started reading it twice, by the middle I lost the thread. Either the skis aren't working or I'm... lost. Forbid I criticize the author, I’m probably stupid
    1. nikolaevskiy78
      1 October 2023 13: 29
      Good criticism is always useful.
      The model of US-EU interaction is probably described a little too long. On the other hand, how can it be simpler? Display by formula winked , it’s still the same way to describe it.
      The bottom line is that the United States is giving the EU an opportunity in Central Asia, if not to make money, then at least to feel the income. At the same time, blocking the usual work with China. Well, this is very, very brief hi
  7. tralflot1832
    tralflot1832 1 October 2023 18: 31
    For us, Kazakhstan is an unplowed field, 8,7 c/ha is like - they still grow wheat in primitive communities. But what about virgin soil, tractors, combines, fertilizers? lol We need to bring the Tkachev clan to them.
    1. Doccor18
      Doccor18 1 October 2023 19: 03
      Quote: tralflot1832
      plowed, 8,7 c/ha, it’s like - they still grow wheat in a primitive community system.

      Well, this is a zone of risky farming...
      Although in 2022 everything was very good
      In 2022, 22,8 million tons of grain in bunker weight were threshed in Kazakhstan with an average yield of 14,2 c/ha. This is 26% more than last year.

      At the same time, more than 80% of the collected grain is of high quality, noted the Ministry of Agriculture

      But in 2023 there is a problem with the weather
      As for the harvest, the three-week downtime led, according to preliminary estimates by farmers, to the loss of half of the already meager volume. That is, if farms in the Akmola region before the arrival of bad weather threshed 9 c/ha, now it is 4-5 c/ha. Thus, the expected food wheat harvest in Kazakhstan in 2023 is at the level of 6-7 million tons (against the previously predicted 14 million tons). Together with 3 million tons of carry-over residues, the country will have 9-10 million tons of wheat of classes 2,3, 4 and 9,5 for the season. For comparison, last season Kazakhstan exported 4 million tons of wheat and flour in grain equivalent alone. Another XNUMX million tons is the country’s own need for flour and seeds,”
      1. tralflot1832
        tralflot1832 1 October 2023 19: 50
        I am aware that as of September 30, 7,6 million tons of wheat were threshed in Kazakhstan and that it is 50/50 feed. And I am aware of the “leaky” bans on grain exports from Russia. Those who are richer in Kazakhstan can do so. The transit of our grains through Kazakhstan is allowed and that's not bad.
  8. StopTheUSA
    StopTheUSA 2 October 2023 03: 44
    Well, this is not the first time in the CIS that Americans are promoting their interests on the shoulders of Europeans.
    And then the moment comes when the ES members are sent to hell...
    And those, at best, are left with nothing.
    It's at its best.
    1. nikolaevskiy78
      2 October 2023 03: 47
      The EU will definitely not be sent to Central Asia now, simply because China in principle will not be opposed to cooperating there. But to what extent EU producers will be able to engage in amateur activities there is an open question. But they won’t send it - why?
      1. StopTheUSA
        StopTheUSA 2 October 2023 04: 04
        I may not have expressed my thought quite correctly.
        I remembered Nuland’s words about the EU’s opinion.
        It was meant that the Europeans would not be allowed to establish any serious political influence there.
        But they will promote their own through them.
        1. nikolaevskiy78
          2 October 2023 04: 09
          Oh, that's of course. There will be no influence. They are given the opportunity not even to receive, but to experience the very possibility of receiving additional income from working in Central Asia. We are talking specifically about production, and not about raw materials. “Surplus” is being confiscated from production, so the EU will take advantage of this outlet, while the US will focus on other areas, getting involved as the situation dictates.
          1. tralflot1832
            tralflot1832 2 October 2023 08: 28
            Kazakhstan signed an agreement on investments in the amount of 1,4 billion in the field of rare earth metals, isn’t it Western raw materials producers who will do business,
            1. nikolaevskiy78
              2 October 2023 09: 59
              We are talking specifically about what changes are associated with the C5 format, and the agreements you are writing about, although related to them, are not a consequence of the negotiation format. As well as negotiations on Turkmen gas. They were led and are being led this way. It's just a convenient way to communicate scale all at once.
              Central Asia is waiting for industrial jobs from the EU.
              This is the same thing that we have been discussing “gas in the EU” for years, taking out from reviews that 6,6 thousand joint ventures were made with Germany alone. There is more one-time output in the media, plus you can immediately “into geopolitics.” So winked
              1. tralflot1832
                tralflot1832 2 October 2023 10: 29
                Central Asia is located between the PRC and us - logistics have been established for decades. Let's see what goodies the PRC will offer. Turkmenistan is not getting richer from gas contracts with China. Something they have done there before.
                1. nikolaevskiy78
                  2 October 2023 10: 37
                  So, in fact, it was China that wanted to strengthen and deepen this logistics to the EU through Central Asia. China made proposals in the spring in Xi'an and so far they are unrivaled in scale.
                  And Turkmenistan - well, they just simply ate everything, they took more in advance.
                  1. tralflot1832
                    tralflot1832 2 October 2023 10: 42
                    Are you aware that the Baim copper deposit should be developed by the Kazakh-British and they had to pay for the construction of two nuclear icebreakers, the sixth and seventh? And Rosatom is tied to this deposit - with floating nuclear power plants, such as Mikhail Lomonosov.
                    1. nikolaevskiy78
                      2 October 2023 15: 42
                      Yes, there are one heck of a lot of trouble with this long-term construction. But it’s not entirely clear what you meant by citing it. Because this has an indirect relation to the program that Central Asia and Berlin agree on. No, if desired, it would be possible to develop a model in which even Baim would get stuck. It's possible, but I'm not sure if it's right winked
  9. Comrade Kim
    Comrade Kim 3 October 2023 11: 47
    Quote: Luminman
    Where are the countries of Middle Asia, or as they are called now - Central Asia, heading?

    The countries of Turkestan (Turkestan Military District - that’s what they once said) are not going anywhere.
    Their resources already belong almost 100% to the West and China.

    And the population is moving (with the light hand of our bureaucratic ghouls) to us, to Russia.

    Therefore, we are raising the retirement age in order to pay pensions to migrants, which is why we have total migrant crime in all corners of the country.

    The Turkestan bais already turned their backs on Putin, and now they openly despise him, demanding that Russia accept even more migrants, respect their traditions, culture, etc.