Putin, trump and opportunities for Italy

The risks to Italy and what benefit she can get from a dialogue between Vladimir Putin and Donald trump?

To try to answer this question, consider the major developments in the field geoenergetiki. They support the hypothesis of “oil truce”, the perfect symbol of which is the appointment of Rex Tillerson (Rex Tillerson), the former Plenipotentiary representative of ExxonMobile, to the post of Secretary of state of the United States.

First, the agreement reached by OPEC on 30 November last year in Vienna the agreement on the limitation of oil production (along with the producers, not included in this Union, including Russia) is the consequence of the development of the war in Syria and the return of Aleppo by the Syrian army, under Assad is receiving military support from Russia, Iran and Lebanese Hezbollah.

Secondly, Rosneft oil company, half of which is controlled by the state, lost 19.5% of its share capital the group consisting of the Swiss company Glencore and the investment Fund of Qatar (Qif) with approximately 10.5 billion euros. This operation included predostavlenie guarantee number of banks (and Russian including), led by Italian Bank Intesa Sanpaolo.

Thirdly, Rosneft reached agreements with ENI on the acquisition of 30% stake in the project to develop a gas block Shorouk, part of which is a huge field Zor. It is located off the coast of Egypt and contains 850 billion cubic meters of natural gas. The field was discovered by the Italian gas company in 2015. The total cost of operations amount of 1.57 billion dollars, the parties also agreed on the acquisition by Rosneft an additional five-percent stake in the project.


After military successes in Syria, the Russian Federation operates in the political field with oil and gas. On the other hand, the foreign policy of all the superpowers have always been the energy industry. United States similarly acted against China, preventing the acquisition of state company Cnooc Unocal amerikanski. The same thing happened and the pressure on Italy in the case of Knight Vinke. It only slightly hurt the interests of ENI.

Qif entry into the capital of Rosneft became possible because Qatar after failing to overthrow the Assad regime ceased to provide political and financial support to the so-called rebel groups. Thus, the Doha of the enemy in the Syrian war became an economic partner of Moscow, which led to the emergence of economic Union of the two main exporters of natural gas in the world

Thanks to the operation with Eni Rosneft had the opportunity to enter the market of “blue gold”, not harming the interests of the Russian energy colossus Gazprom. At the same time, she made the first move in the Mediterranean.

When these outstanding results will go into the coffers, Putin must be especially careful to continue not to confuse tactics with strategy. The impression that the Kremlin is in excessive euphoria in connection with the election trump and the appointment of Tillerson.

With the arrival of trump and Tillerson a new cold war with the United States may undergo drastic changes. In comparison with the policies of the Obama administration’s new policy against Moscow seem to be certainly different and aimed at finding mutually beneficial solutions. However, its outcome is unclear: it cannot be excluded that in the near future, the collision may become even tougher due to the ongoing in Russia, the severe economic crisis.

In these conditions it is possible to appreciate the words of the Prime Minister of Italy. Paolo Gentiloni (Paolo Gentiloni) stated that “under our presidency of the G7 we will try to guide relations with Russia in the right direction, while maintaining our principles, while remaining faithful to our allies and abandoning the use of the logic of the cold war”.


Italy is currently the only country in EU that has the ability to play the role of mediator, not risking to get a reputation as the “weak link” used by Moscow as it was during the time of the project “South stream”.

This role may not assume neither the UK (given its decision to withdraw from the single European market (hard Brexit)), neither Germany nor France, whose economic and foreign policy interests are contrary to the vision of the new head of the White house.

There are at least two dangers facing Italy.
The first is that Berlin and Brussels, given the new geopolitical conditions will use the existing structure of the EU as a tool to exert pressure to continue to lower our manufacturing and banking system.

In fact, Germany is afraid that from-for attempts of mediation by Henry Kissinger between the US and Russia on the Ukrainian, Baltic, Syrian and Libyan issue (and, hence, on the issue of sanctions) it may be out of the game. For this reason, as explained by former Minister of foreign Affairs of Germany Joschka Fischer (Joschka Fischer), Berlin needs in the era of trump’s attempt to “protect” Europe, while acting in a way that did not deprive NATO of his patronage and trying to increase the contribution of all member States of the EU, consisting in Severoatlanticheskogo the Alliance, collective security.

The second danger associated with the work undertaken by NATO in Europe. In early January, a few days after the farewell speech of Barack Obama, we have witnessed the massive deployment of U.S. ground forces in Eastern Europe since the end of the cold war. This strategic decision, of course, not aimed at de-escalating tensions with Moscow and goes against the objective interests of Rome.

According to the economist Guido Salerno Aletta’s (Guido Salerno Aletta), “America’s changing economic strategy… because it can not continue to play the role of world locomotive, when its foreign debt continues to grow. During the presidency of Barack Obama, the recourse to borrowed capital in the United States increased significantly, reaching instead of 2 trillion $ 627 billion in 2009 7 trillion 281 billion in 2015… the point of a new start — and not only for America — may be the recovery of industrial production base, impoverished since the beginning of 70-ies”.

For the United States, the revision of international trade relations is irreversible, from policy toward China, whose profits compared with Washington has reached 335 billion dollars in 2015 alone, and in the period from 2003 to 2015 amounted to 3 trillion 234 billion dollars.

If you take into consideration the words of sun Divina, a spokesman for the Chinese trade Minister in Davos, Beijing maintains goodwill and is not confronted with the need to solve this problem.

Trump needs to realize that he will be able to come to a favorable compromise, but only if he initially reaches agreement with Putin on some key issues such as Syria, Ukraine and sanctions, and refusing the idea that this can only happen if the end of the strategic cooperation between Russia and China.

On 16 January, the outgoing CIA Director John Brennan (John Brennan) has warned Donald trump of the danger of niedoceniane Moscow. “I don’t think he was fully aware of the capabilities, intentions and actions of Russia, said Brennan on Fox. — I think that trump needs to understand that the removal of restrictions from Russia — a path that can be tread only with extreme caution”.

What are the hidden threats? Of course, the internal opposition in exploration (ongoing for much longer than the presidential campaign) and the struggle between the White house and one of the American intelligence services — one of the most interesting phenomena that we observed in early 2017.