NATO and Russia held ‘frank and serious’ talks despite ‘profound disagreements’ as their ambassadors met on Wednesday for the first time since 2014, alliance chief Jens Stoltenberg said.
He added: ‘There were profound disagreements related to the crisis with Ukraine.’
Relations have worsened over Russia’s air campaign in Syria and tensions have flared in the past week after two incidents involving the US military and Russian planes in the Baltic Sea.
Russia condemns NATO for increasing the risk of conflict by building up its troops in eastern European countries, many of which have been lobbying for more Western support. Russian President Vladimir Putin insists that Crimea will never be given up and NATO equally insists it will never recognise its ‘annexation’.
The ‘profound disagreements’, i.e. conflict between the imperialist NATO alliance and the Russian degenerated workers’ state, has its roots in the deepening crisis of world capitalism.
Far from the worldwide economic crisis abating, it is worsening to the point where the US Goldman Sachs Bank has just experienced a 56% income collapse down to $1.2bn, or $2.68 a share. The US bank reasons that with ‘bond yields in real terms close to zero, and policy rates at historical lows, this extraordinary combination of events has raised concerns about the sustainability of the financial returns on a forward-looking basis, particularly if deflationary forces continue to develop.’ They are going bust yet again!
The US bank adds that the financial disaster, which started nine years ago with the collapse in US real estate and investment banking is not over. In fact, it has entered its ‘third phase’, characterised by rock-bottom commodity prices, stalling growth in China and other developing countries, and low global inflation.
This deepening of the crisis has led in the USA to an eruption of massive working class anger at the way that wages and full-time jobs have been slashed, leading to a mass vote for Bernie Sanders, a social democrat, for the presidency, which in itself is a semblance of the revolution to come.
In the UK, despite a decade of austerity, the government borrowed £74bn in the year to March, £1.8bn more than Chancellor Osborne’s borrowing target. Public sector net debt, excluding ‘public sector banks’ that were rescued from the crisis, jumped £47.5bn to £1,594bn for the year to the end of March – equivalent to 83.5% of gross domestic product. The crisis is deepening, not lessening!
It has already led to massive divisions threatening the very existence of the ruling class party, the Tories, and also to the historic struggle of the junior doctors with its defence of the NHS having clear revolutionary implications. Meanwhile, the developing crisis is wiping out what is left of the UK industrial base, as the death agony of the steel industry shows.
Meanwhile, in France there are daily battles between workers supported by youth and the riot police over the socialist government’s new trade union ‘reforms’. At the same time, Greece is in general strike uproar and a fleet of gunboats is being prepared to take to the Med and to return and sink refugee boats. The EU truly deserves to perish!
The crisis is already exploding the Middle East – but a lot more is to come.
The unimaginable is happening – Saudi Arabia is seeking a bank loan of $6 to $8 billion to shore up its public finances. The Saudi King, Britain’s best friend in the Middle East, has also asked for the option to increase the loan from this initial limit, as it looks to plug a record budget deficit of £100 billion in 2015 alone.
The Saudi monarchy, which deepened the crisis by opening the oil floodgates to crash oil prices and ruin its rivals, is itself being ruined and is plotting a war with Iran to revive its fortunes. Meanwhile, the US-UK axis gazes at the Russian Far East and Arctic with all of its oil and mineral wealth, considering that it is unreasonable for one country to have such wealth, and prepares for war and a compulsory share-out.
The crisis of capitalism drives the ruling classes to war against the working class at home and against Russia and China abroad – the only remedy is the victory of the world socialist revolution.