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Thursday, March 22, 2018

Reconciliation with Russia, Poland will push the Chinese “silk road”

The establishment of relations of Russia and Poland may come from an unexpected quarter. Kazakhstan is trying to convince Warsaw to establish the transit through Russia. But in fact, the transport corridor is part of a much bigger global vision, in which China is directly interested. And Beijing will be the poles for their arguments.

The President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev invited his Polish counterpart Andrzej Duda to conclude a trilateral agreement with Russia on the issue of the transport corridor. “Economic cooperation between Poland and Kazakhstan) rests on one critical issue is transport. How to go from Kazakhstan to Poland and back. Traditional message: through Russia”, – said Nazarbayev, speaking at the Polish-Kazakh economic forum.

“In any country, which became part of China in the EU, there will be literally a Golden rain and pragmatic poles understand it”

“Let’s play the initiative will turn to Russia, we will begin to work out a tripartite agreement at least on transport”, – said Nazarbayev to the Polish counterpart.

Of course, the interest of Kazakhstan and Poland is not to trade more with each other (although Kazakhstan has something to offer a partner, in contrast to Poland). The main thing here is for both sides to seize the opportunity to become part of a global transit route from Asia to Europe, which wants to implement China.

We are talking about economic belt “silk road”, which in China is called the “Belt and road”. His idea was put forward by Chinese President XI Jinping in 2013, during a speech in the Nazarbayev University” in Astana. Link the PRC and Kazakhstan is very strong, so there is no doubt that Kazakhstan prepared for the role of transit hub for goods from China and Asia.

At the heart of “silk road” is the construction of three rail and road corridors – North, Central and South. The Northern route passes through Russia. His route: from Western China to Europe via Kazakhstan and the Russian Federation to the Baltic sea, and from it the Western branch passes through Belarus and Poland to Germany and Holland.

Russia, Kazakhstan and China are already taking steps to implement the Chinese project. In 2016 they simplified transit road freight between China and Russia through the territory of Kazakhstan, signed a corresponding agreement. If earlier the road to Russia was trucks a week, now journey time reduced to two days.

The essence of the Northern route that he was fully ground that it was not necessary to transship the cargo transported by railway and sea. “In this way is impossible without Russia, which is a large part of it,” says the CEO of “Russian-European investment consortium” Paul Gennel.

Poland in the path variable, the alternative it may be, for example, Ukraine. However, there are many arguments in favor of the fact that Moscow is better to negotiate with the poles.

First, it wants the China. Not accidentally, the President of China in June of this year, visited Poland. Second, through Kazakhstan and Poland is the shortest land route from Asia to Europe. Third, road infrastructure allows Russia to turn to Central Europe.

“Of course, there are numerous options for the route China – Europe: in Poland, through Belarus, through Ukraine. However, the optimal route to Central Europe, particularly in the industrial center of the EU – Germany, in the framework of the already initiated project of transcontinental is China – Kazakhstan – Russia – Belarus – Poland”, – confirms the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Engineering company “2K” Ivan Andrievsky.

Therefore, to become part of the global infrastructure project and to get a large transit flows, Russia and Kazakhstan it is better to negotiate with the obstinate Poland. Suffice it to recall the transit war against Russia, which earlier this year staged in Warsaw (later joined by Ukraine), when road transport between the two countries stopped for a few months. Moscow, of course, ultimately emerged victorious, but it cost a lot of nerves and loss.

However, the Chinese project “Great silk road” could become a bridge for which to forget old grudges. And, of course, such major joint economic project impact on the possible political reconciliation between Russia and Poland. However, there is nothing surprising in the fact that “to reconcile” Poland and Russia (at least in the transport question) decided by the hands of Nazarbayev. “In this case Nazarbayev monetizing your authority peacekeeper, resulting from the reconciliation of Russia and Turkey,” recalls Paul, Gennel.

Although the Director of the Institute for risk assessment Dosym Satpayev believes that Nazarbayev’s attempts on the Polish front may not succeed. “Poland is among all the Eastern European States, takes a tough anti-Russian stance. And, unlike the Czech Republic or Serbia, Poland does not change its rhetoric… So the calls for Nazarbayev to go a bit into the void,” – said Satpayev.

The analyst did not rule out that Nazarbayev could discuss with the Russian President some moments of his visit to Poland, so he was able to voice some suggestions from the Russian side.

But in fact, the success of the project is interested not only Russia, but Kazakhstan itself. “Success in the talks might give Kazakhstan as a transit state on the new “Silk road”, the new flows of transit may become the new “oil” for its economy” – indicates, Gennel. That is, participation in this project means not only additional income, but also reducing dependence on oil exports. And, of course, we cannot forget the strong influence of China on Kazakhstan. Therefore, Nazarbayev is not only Russia’s interests and for their own benefit, but in the interests of China.

China has leverage over Poland. First, Beijing has to offer Warsaw a serious investment in the implementation of the “silk road”. Second, China traditionally considers the many alternative transport routes for the implementation of its “silk road”. Beijing, for example, gave an opportunity for Ukraine to test your rail route silk road, bypassing Russia completely by accident. Although it would seem to calculate that this route is no economic future for Beijing was easy. But China gave the nod to the obviously empty project only to participants competing routes were compliant.

What answer will Poland give to Nazarbayev’s proposal on tripartite agreement with Russia, depends on what will prevail: economic pragmatism or geopolitical factor, indicates Satpayev. “If in Russia, some efforts will take, and China, at least it will be a definite trend: Poland for two players propose to consider the economic interests,” he said.

The benefit to Warsaw from participation in this major transport route is not in doubt. Poland is an opportunity to save the role of land gateway to Europe and increase transit flows, which means that revenue and profit growth. “In any country, which became part of China in the EU, there will be literally a Golden rain, and pragmatic poles understand it,” says Genel.

China promises to seriously fork out for the project “silk road”, and attract investors for such a project will be easy. Importantly, the participants of agreed normal rates and shipping conditions. It is known that China is ready to allocate nearly $ 40 billion on the establishment of the Fund “silk road”, which will focus on financial support for the construction of appropriate infrastructure.


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