Commonwealth of Independent States

Banak – Container ship on route to Norfolk, US from Rotterdam Maasvlakte

The container ship Banak on route to Norfolk, United States from Rotterdam Maasvlakte. Banak departed on Saturday 26 December 2020 and is expected to arrive on 6 January 2021. It sails under a flag of convenience based in the Marshall Islands. This collection of coral atolls in the Pacific Ocean is an associate state of the USA. It has a population of around 53,000 (about the same as Folkestone). The Port of Norfolk is the seventh largest port in the United States.

Myrto, bulk carrier on route to Port Said Egypt from Gdynia Poland

The bulk carrier Myrto on route to Port Said from Gdynia. The ship left Poland on the 22 December 2020 and is expected to arrive in Egypt on 8 January 2021. It sails under a flag of convenience of the Marshall Islands.

Pluto, oil/chemical vessel on route to Milford Haven from Ventspils, Latvia

The oil/ chemical ship Pluto on route to Milford Haven from Ventspils, Latvia. It departed from Latvia on 22 December 2020 and is expected to arrive in Wales on 28 December 2020. Pluto sails under the flag of the Marshall Islands. The port of Ventspils describes itself as:

‘…a transport, transit and manufacture centre of international importance, located in Latvia, in the Baltic Sea region. Advantages provided by an ice-free deep-water port, favourable transport connections and varied logistics opportunities make us conveniently reachable towards the direction of the EU, CIS and Central Asia region’.

CIS – the Commonwealth of Independent States was formed in 1991 and is currently made up of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

A different perspective is provided by the IndustriALL Global Union. Its work includes organising workers within the CIS.

There were was little road traffic around today although I wasn’t able to tell whether the backlog caused by the port closure had been cleared. A Turkish driver had pulled out what looked like a mobile kitchen from the side of his truck. We exchanged a few words and I asked if I could photograph him while he cooked his food. He declined with a smile and a wave of his hand.

These two trucks were noticable. The first from Serbia and the second from Ukraine. Serbia has applied to join the European Union rather than the Commonwealth of Independent States and negotiations are currently ongoing. There is a major disagreement over Kosovo but if this can be resolved then Serbia could be an EU member by 2026.

But surely a great prize for the capitalist interests of either the EU or CIS is Ukraine. It’s a large country which is rich in agricultural products and raw materials and is slowly industrializing into the style of twenty first century capitalism.

Ralu Logistika – Serbian logistics company – Ukrainian logistics company

Note the German written on the truck, ‘Strassen Transporte und Spedition’ (road transport and forwarding).

The organic composition of capital and the international division of labour continue to change. This will lead to an intensification of competition in the world economy.

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