Category Archives: Sanctions

Rouble vs. Dollar Games – From a Perspective of a Russian Businessman

Source:Fort Russ

Zems – Live Journal

Only the lazy are not writing about this subject today. But everyone for some reason is looking in the wrong direction. Let me explain:

– Our country has a stock of dollars

– The currency of our country – roubles – is held by other countries

– We – Russia – are planning to sell oil for roubles in the future

– Everyone who buys oil from us in the future will have to look for these roubles to buy oil

The harder it is to look for them, the more expensive they will be

Naturally, the task is simple – we need to drop the rouble to the bottom, and then buy all the roubles that we can, giving away the dollars that are no longer needed and not guaranteed by anything. This will help concentrate all of the roubles inside the country and to assign their price independently, while holding and releasing more money to the market.

Meanwhile there will be a short-term increase in prices and a reduction in living standards, but it’s like an incision by a surgeon – a little painful at first, but then you will be healthy and strong for the rest of your life.

I am sincerely surprised by the hysteria and resentment against the government regarding the devaluation of the rouble. Is it so hard to look more than a month into the future? Everything is done correctly and wisely, so everything will be all right, guys  =)

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of Oceania Saker.

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Sergei Glaziev: stupidity is worse than theft

Dear friends,

Today is my my privilege to submit to you the full text of the recent article by Sergei Glaziev “Stupidity Is Worse Then Theft” originally published on the World Crisis website:

http://worldcrisis.ru/crisis/1716266.

I want to thank all those who participated in this difficult and long translation: Alice, S, Gideon, Marina (translation) and D.M. Pennington, Michael, Peter, Heather, Bernie, Patricia, Tom, Kristin  (editing).  This is a crucial text which is made available to the English-speaking world only thanks to the fantastic job of these volunteers.  Thank you guys!

Also, a reader of the French Saker Blog named “DePassage” (merci!) has called our community’s attention to a most interesting analysis made by  Jon Hellevig the Awara Group entitled “Putin 2000 – 2014, Midterm Interim Results: Diversfication, Modernization and the Role of the State in Russia’s economy” which you can find on this page http://www.awarablogs.com/putin-midterm-interim-results/ and which I strongly urge you to read.  It might give you a better sense of where the Russian economy is, along with a few surprises.

Clearly, until the combat operations resume (which the most probably will), the “economic front” is the most important one in the war against Russia and I will try to continue to bring to you alternative top-quality information and analyses to try to debunk the imperial media’s narrative.

Cheers and kind regards,

The Saker
——-

Sergei Glaziev: stupidity is worse than theft

Translation: Alice, S, Gideon, Marina
Editing: D.M. Pennington, Michael, Peter, Heather, Bernie, Patricia, Tom, Kristin

STUPIDITY IS WORSE THAN THEFT

http://worldcrisis.ru/crisis/1716266


Why did the Central Bank raise the interest rate and let the ruble flow? Author: Sergei Glazyev, academic RAS (Russian Academy of Sciences)

Another increase in key interest rates on loans issued by the Bank of Russia, for the purpose of refinancing commercial banks, made loans completely inaccessible for the majority of enterprises of the real sector of the economy. When the average profitability of the manufacturing industry is 7.5-8%, credit issued at rates of 10% or higher cannot be used by most businesses, either for investment or for replenishing working capital. Such decisions cut off the real economy, with the exception of some sectors of the oil, gas, and chemical-metallurgical sector, from credit issued by the State.

[Please click below to continue reading]
Continue reading Sergei Glaziev: stupidity is worse than theft

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The new European ‘arc of instability’, by Pepe Escobar

The European Council on Foreign Relations and Berlin think-tank Friedrich Ebert Stiftung have just reached more or less the same conclusion.

If the dangerous stand-off between the EU and Russia over Ukraine is not solved, the EU could face, up to 2030, a military build-up in eastern Europe; a new arms race with NATO as a protagonist; and a semi-permanent “zone of instability” from the Baltic to the Balkans and the Black Sea.

What these two think-tanks don’t – and won’t – ever acknowledge is that a new European “arc of instability” – from the Baltic to the Black Sea, as myself and other independent analysts have stressed – is exactly what the Empire of Chaos and its weaponized arm – NATO – are working on to prevent closer Eurasia integration.

By the way, the Pentagon excels in fabricating “arcs of instability.” The previous one was – and remains – massive, stretching from the Maghreb to Xinjiang in western China across the Middle East and Central Asia.

Moscow has totally identified the plot; Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, once again, has made it crystal clear, in detail.

[Please click below to continue reading] Continue reading The new European ‘arc of instability’, by Pepe Escobar

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Iran, Russia planning to establish joint bank, Press Tv

Iran and Russia plan to establish a joint bank as an effort to multiply bilateral trade and bypass sanctions on the Islamic Republic’s banking sector.

Head of the Iran-Russia Joint Chamber of Commerce Asadollah Asgaroladi said that Tehran and Moscow are studying the possibilities of opening a new chapter in trade relations that could break the domination of Western currencies over bilateral exchanges.

“Since Russian banks fear the implications of working with Iran due to sanctions, we want to establish the joint Iran-Russia bank with the help of our central banks and private sectors,” Asgaroladi said.

“Such a bank would be able to exchange money between the two sides using rials and rubles and put aside dollars, euros and pounds,” he added.

Unilateral sanctions imposed on Iran’s banking sector by the US and the European Union over Tehran’s nuclear energy program and the recent Western bans against Russia over Ukraine have prompted the two countries’ trade officials to boost economic cooperation.

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin have held four meetings on different occasions after the Iranian president took office in 2013.

“We are responsible for our nation’s prosperity. Before the sanctions, we had 150 billion euros of deposits in the banks of West and Europe. When they sanctioned us, we transferred the money to other countries exactly where they don’t want to be,” Asgaroladi said.

Iran’s Minister of Economy Ali Tayyeb-Nia said the Islamic Republic has already traded with some of its partners through the exchange of national currencies and will welcome the plan to establish the joint bank with Russia.

“I’m glad that our country is less dependent on several currencies and this process will continue in the future,” Tayyeb-Nia said.

In September, Iran and Russia agreed to use national currencies in bilateral trade.

SF/NN/HRB

source:http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2014/10/11/381813/iran-russia-to-run-joint-bank/

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of Oceania Saker.

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Operation Rescue Russia and a big “FU” to Eurangloland, by Jeff J. Brown

This is a well researched and humorous article written with a very exciting flow. A real treat to read such comprehensive work and witt at play.

There has been a lot of political maneuvering these past few days. Will there be a united Ukraine with a federal government or a divided Ukraine. While we believe that the ship for federal state  has sailed it is important to know the economic factors both in Russia and Ukraine.

The work below explores economics on the Russian side with its brilliant food ban.

Originally published on : 44 Days Blog

AE


 

More and more of the world’s 85% are happy to give Eurangloland a big, public raspberry – and loving it (image by busyminds.ae)
More and more of the world’s 85% are happy to give Eurangloland a big, public raspberry – and loving it (image by busyminds.ae)

A funny thing happened on the way to 500 years of Western Empire and colonialism. Russia just boycotted Eurangoland’s (The EU, US, Canada, Australia, less New Zealand, which was spared) food and agricultural products, which in itself is very telling about ongoing trends. But there’s more. The oppressed are biting back. Until recently, the ongoing reaction of the world’s non-Eurangloland governments to Russia’s stand (those which represent the 85% of our planet’s people), would have been unimaginable. So, sit back and enjoy the show.

In all fairness to this proud, global majority, you must add the peoples of Japan and South Korea to Eurangloland’s empire. They are militarily occupied, supine satraps to the Princes of Power in Washington. Groveling like dogs, they actually take their barking orders from the West seriously. Throw in a few more countries that cower at the feet of Western Empire and we can say that about 20% of the world’s people rule the remaining 80%, not much differently than the pharaohs did over their subjects and slaves in Ancient Egypt. The Pareto principle applies here too. This secondary list of client states waxes and wanes, depending on how recently the CIA/MI6/DGSE deep state has installed a whore government in their puppet, local halls of power, or as in the Philippines recently, which prostrated itself to America’s Worldwide Wehrmacht. Ukraine is the most recent prom slut for Western servitude and so far, Venezuela is holding out admirably against the West’s internal efforts at regime change.

Kudos to Russia for its genius to pick ag products as a punch in the solar plexus of power. As Deena Stryker recently pointed out in a recent article,

[Please click below to read further.]

Continue reading Operation Rescue Russia and a big “FU” to Eurangloland, by Jeff J. Brown

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The sanction saga

What is at stake

Putin on the Ukrainian-Russian relationship:

“Our countries’ companies have developed close ties in all the basic industries: in the fuel and energy sector, which includes nuclear power, in chemical production, in aviation and machine building, space, metallurgy and metals processing, in construction and agriculture. We have developed unique production chains and created technological alliances. Russian capital represents about 32 percent of the Ukrainian banking system.”[1]

The Russian government has been slowly revealing its posture to the world. It is saying “No” to an unfair assault on the people. Instead business is on the cards, everywhere. To have a good understanding of the bigger picture check out the “Energy ballet” that Pepe Escobar has been so eloquently writing about.

The back and forth tossing around of the likes of Master Card and Visa is a good case in point of Russia’s stronger position now[2]. This is not the 90s and the Russians are keen to assert themselves. Upset at being blocked out of his money, the President’s close friend and billionaire is now banking with Union Pay[3].

“We, Russia, cannot talk about any ceasefire conditions whatsoever, or possible agreements between Kiev, Donetsk and Lugansk,” Putin stated recently in Minsk[4].

This is the real foreign policy difference that has now emerged from the Russian camp.

We recently saw a press conference of the resistance setting the stage for a wider struggle and now we have a green light from Russia. This is the real story of the week.

International Response

The illusion that the world stands with the aggressor is slowly being replaced as the showdown gains momentum. This is a quick snapshot of some leading headlines.

Brazil
Brazil has not received a request from the EU to halt increasing exports to Russia, but if it does, Brasilia wouldn’t care, Ambassador Antonio Jose Vallim Guerreiro told a news conference in Moscow Thursday.”[5]

Ecuador
On sanctions, President Correa said “I want to immediately say that we don’t need to get anybody’s permission to sell products to friendly countries: as far as we know Latin America isn’t a part of the European Union,” [6]

Spain 
The Spanish have been long protesting Russian sanctions and the crisis is only growing worse.  The EU’s measly allocation of €125 million in emergency support is absurd when you consider the actual cost of Russian sanctions. The trade embargo could cost the EU €6.7 billion ($9 billion) and cost up to 130,000 jobs.[7]

Greece
The civil disobedience movement is gaining ground with strong criticism of the EU sanctions.  The veteran leftist Manolis Glezos has even penned an emotional letter to President Putin urging him to exempt Athens from sanctions[8]. The situation is dire.

Serbia
The Serbs have suffered a lot from Nato and the wounds are still fresh. Their solidarity with Russia, despite being hung out to dry during Clinton’s “democracy initiatives”, is commendable[9].

Germany
The German chancellor, Angela Merkel, has been sending mixed signals through out this conflict. While at one hand she seems to be extending the olive branch, on the other she entices the Ukrainian oligarchy with rebuilding the east (post cleansing).

Germany also played an active part in the coup and what followed. It is an active participant in this conflict, it cannot simply be absolved of all blame. Now, as the plan foils and the Nazi regime falters, we have a sudden realization of goals. All of a sudden there is talk of negotiation and federalisation[10].

This is quite a 180 degree U-turn. This could be a ploy as experienced previously, following resistance momentum and territory gains.

Poodle of the week

Canada has won this weeks “Impress the Emperor” contest. It is eager to show the world that it is standing up to big bad Russia[11].

Internal breakdown of the state:

The Ukrainian state is in total disrepair, it was already crumbling under US sponsored “democracy” initiatives that brought about the rabidly russophobic and fascist government in power.

The zombies that form the popular support base of the Ukrainian regime, are not just paying for their “EU dream” in mere street protests. They are now actively brainwashed, recruited and sent to die in a war[12].

The Russian president has already given in his analysis with a whopping 165 billion needed to revive Ukraine[13]. Right now Ukraine is on the operating table, hopelessly unaware, and soon to be woken up when there is no money for morphine.

It will be a painful awakening for a lawless, corrupt puppet state with a federalised oligarchy. The Minister of Economy has resigned[14] and the choco-king is busy cashing out[15]. It is a free for all right now in Ukraine, anything goes.

Protesters are now demanding that the Defence Minister resign and aid to Ilovaysk be sent[16]. Notice how the population is so much under the influence of state propaganda that it is not questioning any logic here. Why are they fighting the residents in the east? Why can they not be left in peace? A war should always be questioned.

Meanwhile, on planet earth, the Novurussiyan Armed Forces (NAF) have been gaining ground with the capture of Novoazovsk[17] and are now reported to be marching further ahead as far as Berdyans’k[18].

Prior to the ingenious decision to hand over “Nuclear Material” security to fascists[19] the government had also struck a deal with Fasington for Nuclear fuel. Nuclear fuel that is not just incompatible in comparison to the Russian made fuel (used previously and made for purpose) but will most likely cause a meltdown[20].

It is inhuman, beyond measure, when someone is willing to risk a nuclear disaster for an agenda.

AE


[1] Speech at the meeting of the Customs Union Heads of State with President of Ukraine and European Union representatives (kremlin.ru, english, 26-08-2014)

[2] Mastercard extension: http://rt.com/business/183124-russia-deadline-visa-mastercard/

[3] http://carnegie.ru/2014/08/24/as-us-eu-close-doors-china-russia-open-new-ones/hm81

[4] Minsk conference: http://rt.com/news/182976-putin-poroshenko-ukraine-talks/

[5] Brazil’s response: http://rt.com/business/181876-brazil-russia-eu-sanctions/

[6] Ecuador’s response: http://rt.com/business/179972-ecuador-russia-agriculture-ban/

[7] Spain sanction protest: http://rt.com/news/181992-spanish-farmers-russia-sanctions/

[8] Letter to Putin: http://greece.greekreporter.com/2014/08/10/wwii-hero-greek-eurodeputy-letter-putin-embargo-greece/

[9] Serbia on food deliveries: http://rt.com/business/182076-serbia-food-deliveries-russia/

[10] Germany’s U-turn: http://euobserver.com/foreign/125331

[11] Canada in the Arctic: http://rt.com/news/182992-canada-sovereignty-arctic-russia/

[12] Civilian conscription: http://www.kyivpost.com/multimedia/photo/presentation-civil-defence-training-programm-361080.html

[13] Cost to join EU Association Agreement: http://rt.com/business/182868-russia-ukraine-europe-trade/

[14] Minister of Economy resigns
http://www.voanews.com/content/ukraine-economy-minister-resigns-cites-frustrations/2423091.html

[15] Ukrainian PM selling assets: http://en.itar-tass.com/economy/746201

[16] Demand for Defese Minister to resign: http://rt.com/news/183396-kiev-poroshenko-military-protest/

[17] Capture of Novoazovsk
http://rt.com/news/183368-ukraine-novoazovsk-kiev-troops/

[18] Unconfirmed reports of marching on Berdyans’k
http://vineyardsaker.blogspot.co.nz/2014/08/not-confirmed-but-maybe-open-thread.html

[19] Ukraine’s deterioting situation: http://www.vineyardsaker.co.nz/2014/08/20/ukraines-descent-into-chaos-and-the-sanction-recoil/

[20] Nuclear deal with the US: http://rt.com/news/183248-nuclear-ukraine-threat-osce/

 

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Ukraine’s descent into chaos and the sanction recoil

Ukraine is, slowly but surely, descending into chaos. Chaos that it might not recover from. The east is already lost. It matters not if the resistance has a tactical victory or loss on any given day. What matters is that they will not rest until they are in Kiev.

There was a chance to remain united and perhaps fulfil that Ukrainian imported myth of “territorial integrity” even (minus Crimea) until even a few months ago. But that ship has sailed.

Mayor Klitschko to the rescue

I find it especially amusing when the privileged dish out advice to the ones who suffer from their decisions. This is a hallmark of neoliberalism; Where the tormentor is given the role of the saviour. Only pure idiocy can emerge as advice, and so it was when the government issued guidelines on how to survive the winter in Ukraine.

The central heating will be down during this period of “glorious resistance” in an artificial war created by oligarchs to get richer at the expense of the population. Glory indeed. And so it goes, Klitschko advises[1]:

-The first recommendation is to insulate windows and doors
– Stock up on warm clothing made of natural fabrics, boots and hats
– Paint the central heating in a red or brown color to enhance their heat. (No, this is not a joke)
– Use the winter balcony instead of the refrigerator

Dissent in Western Ukraine

With tens of thousands of troops deployed in the east and fierce battles raging, the growing dissent in other regions is not getting the attention it will probably command in the near future.

As the state disintegrates so does the fabric that holds together a country like Ukraine, the fabric of fear. Fear is how Ukraine is ruled today and not everyone is afraid.

The Zakarpattia Oblast is a region that has changed hands several times in its history during the 20th century. The contiguous cross-border area of Poland, Slovakia and Hungary in western Ukraine has been campaigning for federal status and had asked Russia, US and EU to recognize this.

Of course, the only solution in town is force. Kiev has dispatched 1500 soldiers to Mukachevko  and suspected “separatists” have been arrested in Zhitomir.[2]

This is of course not all, there is a lot more going on in western Ukraine. From public protests at the mounting death toll to the conscription for the Nazi-Choco-Army.

Lets make this more fun

Since things are going so well for the Junta, they have decided to take more proactive measures bordering on the clinically insane variety.

The National Guard (read: Nazis) will now be given control of “Nuclear Material” such as nuclear fuel and radioactive waste. [3]

The sanction recoil

As time pases, the voices grow louder. Everyday there is a new report and statement from disgruntled states forced to bite the bullet because of Europe’s total subservience to the Empire.

Serbia

Serbia is being rewarded and could see a doubling of exports to Russia. In fact, Serbia is so excited of this prospect that it has been working overtime to stop sanction dodgers.[4]

EU Sanction Dodging

Constant attempts to bypass sanctions are becoming more common place now with Belarus being used as a re-exporter. Of course, these pathetic attempts are being blocked and a warning has already been issued to Belarus[5].

The Poles have approached Brussels along with other EU countries asking for compensation[6]. This would be fine if the pretend world the EU lives in (at least on the mainstream media) was real. In the real world, the EU has set aside a meagre €125 million when the compensation bills will be in the billions[7].

Here is a snapshot of the situation:

Top suppliers from the import ban list.
Top suppliers from the import ban list.

With Spain losing €337 , Italy €1bn and Poland €1.5bn as just a subset example, things will begin to heat up. The Poles are already pushing for an escalation to the WTO. Something that no one wants, an escalation could be even more costly.

Switzerland has decided to do what it does best, profit from the quarrels of those idiots in the EU. It has rejected appeals of being a  conduit to allow the EU to dodge sanctions[8].  Actually, when is the last time you read about the EU dodging sanctions? A twist of fate.

Bulgaria is the only remaining weak link in the Russian South Stream project, which has once again been halted[9]. No doubt under US advice, always ready to help out their minions shoot themselves in the foot. A trademark US speciality: Making your “friends” screw themselves.

In the words of Boris Johnson “the great supine invertebrate protoplasmic jellies” are vibrating under pressure.

Russian diplomacy 

Russia readjusting the sanctions to allow speciality food products is an excellent move to once again let the idiots in Europe know that the pain can go away, just like that. If they play ball.[10]

Trade deals are being struck everywhere on the map, and Russia & China are experiencing an unexpected romance. Long delayed opportunities are being picked up and progress being made. Take Mongolia for example, have you heard much about it? Exactly. It has for decades been unsuccessfully trying to court western capital but is now turning to Russia and China. The region has an excellent opportunity at hand and its neighbors are coming bearing gifts. The Chinese and Russian presidents are both due to visit soon[11].

And just if you forgot, the overall picture is looking even more favorable in the court of public opinion. The resistance is viewed favorably the world over, except in the “International Community” of the decaying old world order[12].

Green areas represent favorable media coverage.
Green areas represent favorable media coverage of Novorossiya .

AE


[1] http://www.rg.ru/2014/08/18/ukraina-site-anons.html

[2]http://nedelya-ua.com/articles/1500-ukrainskih-voennyh-pribyli-v-podkarpatskuyu-rus-video

[3] http://www.vesti.ru/doc.html?id=1904436&tid=105474

[4] http://en.ria.ru/business/20140820/192174652/Serbia-Fighting-Against-Re-Export-of-Banned-Produce-to-Russia.html

[5] http://rt.com/business/181252-rosselhoznadzor-reexport-products-russia/

[6] http://rt.com/business/181468-poland-wto-complaint-official-russia/

[7] http://rt.com/business/181036-europe-food-russia-sanctions/

[8] http://rt.com/business/181540-switzerland-rejects-russia-embargo/

[9] http://rt.com/business/181136-bulgaria-halts-south-stream/

[10] http://rt.com/business/181636-russia-food-ban-amendments/

[11] http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-08-20/mongolia-seeks-economic-lifeline-with-pivot-to-china-russia.html

[12] http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=8d4_1408438170

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The Irrational Player

There has been a lot of speculation about the course of the resistance in Ukraine. There were rumours of Strelkov being wounded, removed and even being dead. Then there were other permutations in the hierarchy which might still continue. Who knows?

Is Putin firmly in control? I doubt it. Are the self-interested oligarchs in control?I doubt it. Does anyone have the sovereign interest of the Russian people at heart? Maybe Putin. Are the rebels winning or are they in the process of being sold out? I do not know.

The resistance as a whole, despite the brave men down in the trenches, is fragmented.The aggressor is not.

The United States is determined, persistent and brutal in its pursuit of total domination. Anyone and anything is expandable. What we see in Ukraine are just the opening moves of the war being unleashed. The US is wounded, it is tired,it is exhausted and it can see its demise. It is weak. That is exactly why it is going bezerk on the global stage.

Sometimes the cold hard truth puts things in perspective. Here is former Assistant Secretary of Treasury Paul Craig Roberts on the nuclear war situation:

Does that sound like a rational player? I am afraid the nightmare scenario The Saker pondered might actually be a statistical double digit probability.

Now, consider the measured and limited Russian sectoral sanctions in response to aggressive US/EU sanctions against her. The western sanctions are based on absolutely nothing.  And despite that, Russia, a capable nuclear armed world power, is still trying hard to de escalate the situation. It is desperately trying to send a signal, a warning or hell even a bloody plea for some sanity to prevail.

The Russian Sanctions are very carefully designed, as Paul Craig Roberts puts it: “The only way Washington can hurt Russia is by hurting Europe”.

If things could not get worse, here is a Ukrainian MP fostering those cherished European values:

This is far from over. It has merely begun.

AE

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