The Alt-Media Community has a tendency to take “super patriotic” positions that are “more Russian than the Russians’” in order to virtue signal its opposition to the US, but time and time again, Moscow ends up disappointing these dogmatic ideologues while wowing its mature supporters who value the deeper nuances of the country’s masterful international statecraft.
One of the common slogans that’s regularly shared around the Alt-Media Community is that Russia should stop selling space rockets to the US as part of its asymmetrical response to America’s Hybrid War aggression and sanctions, and on the surface, this proposal seems to make sense. The US relies on Russian technology in order to send its astronauts into space, and with Trump presiding over the provocative creation of his country’s “Space Force”, it’s understandable why Russia’s supporters would want to see it hamstring its adversary well in advance of these plans ever threatening Moscow’s multipolar interests on “terra firma”. Some of Russia’s “super patriotic” supporters, however, occasionally express frustration that this “obvious solution” hasn’t already been implemented, proverbially tearing out their hair in rage as they shout at their computer screens and curse the “fifth and sixth columns” that are supposedly responsible for why President Putin hasn’t yet done this. Interestingly, these people usually aren’t ethnic Russians themselves or even citizens of the country that they’re so over-enthusiastically “cheerleading” for.
It’s usually not a coincidence that many of the same people who want Russia to stop selling space rockets to the US also loudly agitate online for it to commence a full-scale invasion of Ukraine, nuke “Israel”, crush the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and “make turkey” out of Turkey. Not only do they feel compelled to virtue signal their opposition to the US in the loudest and most dramatic way possible, but they simultaneously do the same in presenting Russia as the only force capable of “saving the world”, even though it constantly disappoints them by failing to meet their radical expectations. Simply put, these people are fond of taking the most militantly extreme position on any issue, especially those that conform with anything even remotely perceived to be against the US’ interests, and they almost always accuse Russia of “selling out” in one way or another for not satisfying these political fantasies and even defying them through its grand strategy of “balancing” between the various and sometimes even opposing forces of Afro-Eurasia.
As could be anticipated, these ultra-dogmatic members of the Alt-Media Community are probably furious at what the Director General of Roskosmos and former Deputy Prime Minister of Russia in charge of the Defense industry Dmitry Rogozin recently said in response to the question of whether his country will refuse to sell space rockets to the US. He was asked about this by a journalist from the prominent Russian-language daily Kommersant, and the summary of his answer as reported upon by TASS deserves to be republished in full below in order for the reader to properly grasp the full essence of what he said:
“Kommersant: Russia inks deal to supply US with more rocket engines
Russia’s NPO Energomash signed a contract with US aerospace manufacturer Orbital ATK to supply four additional RD-181 rocket engines for US Antares-type launch vehicles, two top managers in the aerospace industry told Kommersant. Roscosmos chief Dmitry Rogozin, responding to a question from Kommersant, said that despite political disagreements, Russia does not intend to sever “mutually beneficial cooperation” with the United States.
According to the newspaper’s sources, the negotiations took place against the backdrop of a rocky relationship between Russia and the US, but “they could not end another way”. “The mutual advantage of this agreement is obvious to everyone,” the sources said. The contract was signed last summer (the amount has not been disclosed), and it is to be fulfilled by 2021. Energomash did not provide the newspaper with official comments.
Rogozin told Kommersant that Russia would continue to ship missile engines to the United States, if its American partners want it. “Despite the massive pressure customers of these engines are coming under in the US from the ruling American class and the Congress, so far there is no alternative,” he said, referring to it as “mutual dependence.” “This is profitable for us, because it brings money that we invest into re-equipping and creating new enterprises,” he added.
According to a Kommersant source close to Roscosmos’ management, so far dependence on US purchases of rocket engines is critical for Energomash. No other country is simply ready to start purchasing multiple (more than 10 units) engine batches. Single supplies, in turn, do not exactly meet the interests of Russia.”
A few notable remarks stand out like “mutually beneficial cooperation”, “[the negotiations] could not end another way”, “so far there is no alternative”, “mutual dependence”, and “this is profitable for us because it brings money that we invest into re-equipping and creating new enterprises”. These official government pronouncements on such an important topic clearly won’t please the “super patriots” who will probably frame them as a “humiliating capitulation” to the US, but the reality is that they’re actually evidence of Russia’s masterful international statecraft that’s appreciated by its mature supporters who understand the deeper nuances that they suggest.
To explain, one needs to clear their mind of all preconceived notions related to Russia and accept the fact that it’s neither a “struggling gas station with nukes” nor an “oil-rich multipolar paradise” but a promising economy that’s been damaged in some respects by the US’ sectoral sanctions. Although Russia is working towards “de-dollarization”, this is a long-term goal that probably won’t be accomplished anytime soon. Given this sobering state of affairs, it’s reasonable that Russia would continue selling rockets to the US as a de-facto form of “sanctions relief” that injects a flush of hard currency into its coffers, much, it must be said, to the chagrin of its adversary’s “super patriots” who don’t understand that “so far there is no alternative” for their country because of the “mutual dependence” between it and Russia in this regard. Put another way, both parties need each other, and the arrangement is indeed an example of “mutually beneficial cooperation” because it provides an element of stability to the New Cold War.
If the US had other reliable suppliers of rockets than Russia, then it wouldn’t ever provide de-facto “sanctions relief” to Moscow; likewise, if Russia had other reliable buyers of its rockets, it wouldn’t ever facilitate Trump’s “Space Force”. In both instances and under the present international conditions of unprecedented tensions between these two nuclear-armed Great Powers, whichever of the two parties that would be “left out in the cold” by their counterpart diversifying either their suppliers or buyers could be pushed into a position to take radical measures such as those routinely advocated for by their “super patriots”, which could seriously push the world towards war. However, because of the “mutual dependence” between them, that hasn’t yet happened, though it needs to be recognized that this relationship will probably change with time. Nevertheless, for at least the next couple of years, it’s a brilliant example of how Russia is able to leverage its monopoly on providing space rockets to the US in order to have Washington undermine its own sanctions policy to Moscow’s benefit.
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