Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
April 28, 2014

Ukraine: Useless Sanctions And Then What?

Today the U.S. sanctioned Clearia Toiletskaja, chief janitor of the Kremlin and other Russian personalities near to President Putin. Should Putin not react to this the U.S. will take more serious measures.

The professed purpose of these sanctions is to make Russia stop what it is allegedly doing in east Ukraine. But Russia is not doing anything in east Ukraine. The White House, in cooperation with the New York Times, attempted to fake evidence thereof but even that did not work. Russia is simply doing nothing.

Maybe that is the real problem the White House has and maybe that is the real reason for piling up sanctions. Russia must be made to do something. Could it not finally march into east Ukraine and thereby give the dearly desired justification to start a big war in Europe? Please Putin, do something. Otherwise the White House will have to put up more sanctions and then even more only to be laughed out of Europe where none of the big players is willing to follow down that path.

The project of capturing the Ukraine, to then kick Russia out of the Crimea port, to then be able to kill off Syria is failing. But the neocons are not known for giving up. What is Obama going to do next?

Posted by b on April 28, 2014 at 02:35 PM | Permalink

Comments

....and then what?

Why, of course, Business As Usual. Same as it ever was.

Posted by: Cold N. Holefield | Apr 28, 2014 2:47:16 PM | 1

If Russia does nothing, literally, then the superior arms and organisation of the junta will gradually wear down the resistance and take back the entire east of Ukraine, but certainly Crimea will survive, because Russia has an almost land bridge across the strait of Kerch. It's about 5 km between the two shore points where the almost bridge is consecrated. (I just decided to put it that way, because it is totally ambiguous and confusing, like 'lustrated' but the opposite, more or less). There's a splendid modern ferry terminal on the Russian side, but nothing to match on the Crimean side, to judge by the google maps photos. 5 km is quite a span, and also somehow shipping would have to get under the bridge, or through it, in and out of the Sea of Azov, which contains both Mariupol on the north side, and Rostov-on-Don on the east side, so the volume of shipping in and out of the Sea of Azov must be substantial. Considering all that, a real bridge would be a major feat. But they have decided they will do it.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kerch_Strait_Bridge

Fun fact: the idea of a Kerch bridge was first mooted, it says there, by Albert Speer in 1943.

:-)

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Apr 28, 2014 3:02:11 PM | 2

Re-Posting from other thread.

More "decisive" actions.
__________________________________________________

"Among those sanctioned were Igor Sechin, head of state energy firm Rosneft, and Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak. A Russian deputy foreign minister was quoted as expressing "disgust" at the White House announcement."

More Sanctions


"U.S. oil giant ExxonMobil and Russian state energy major Rosneft will continue to develop hydrocarbon reserves in the Arctic even as broader sanctions over the unrest in Ukraine may target the energy sector and its executives.

Rosneft approved the development of two oil fields jointly with ExxonMobil at a board meeting on Monday, the company said in a statement."


Exxon And Rosneft Continue Oil Exploration Despite Looming Sanctions

Posted by: Tea | Apr 28, 2014 3:05:48 PM | 3

Sanctions began to look like regime change. West are runned by idiots that dont know anything about the world. Meanwhile their nazi friends march in Ukraine
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xVWBeApyje0

Posted by: Anonymous | Apr 28, 2014 3:08:46 PM | 4

That Visa/MC idea worked out really well Obama.

Visa, MasterCard Required to Pay $3.8Bln Security Deposit to Work in Russia

"These companies will also soon face a state-supported domestic competitor. Russia's new payment system will be built under the aegis of the Central Bank, which will gain full ownership over a new company that will operate the system. The Cabinet said last week the new system should be up and running within 6 months.

Visa is already feeling the squeeze — the company warned last week that U.S. sanctions were damaging its transaction volumes, pulling its revenue growth rate down to four-year lows. "

Posted by: Tea | Apr 28, 2014 3:14:45 PM | 5

Observe RT's coverage of the Lviv/Lvov/Lemberg anniversary demo two days ago:- only one adjective is applied “neo-Nazi.”
Of course, the ardent nationalists were commemorating organised resistance to the Bolshevik beast. As I've said before, everyone welcomed the Germans when they drove the Goy-hating mass murderers out seventy odd years ago. Today their children in reality remain pro-Russia = anti-“Kiev.” They know that Ukraina was the very womb of “all the Russias.” The Ukraine is where Russia came from after AD988.

Posted by: Michaël | Apr 28, 2014 3:22:36 PM | 6

"What is Obama going to do next?"

Obama is a teleprompter reader.

What will the big money fascists running Obama do next?

They have 3 choices:

1) climb down. 2) maintain current state. 3) Ramp up the provocations.

Right now, it looks like #3 is the choice. The west has been consistent in choosing #3 from the beginning. Which means the west wants the Ukraine to remain in chaos.

Posted by: scalawag | Apr 28, 2014 3:23:56 PM | 7

Michael

Are you one of those confused western nationalists trying to defend nazism?

Posted by: Anonymous | Apr 28, 2014 3:29:19 PM | 8

Posted by: Anonymous | Apr 28, 2014 3:08:46 PM | 4

It will continue to keep people from participating in the polls.

Then the West will continue on with its fantasy plan:

Maintaining Neo-Nazi decisive violence up to the "elections" to surpress and intimidate and also continue to look super crazy as each day goes by. I predict soon we will see an emergence of the Party of Regions, maybe some prisoner release from Kiev too. They will have some 'mandate' that appears to give concessions to Russian demands, and is Pro-West also (so Russia will help pay the bill and get rescued from "crippling" sanctions.) Pro-West government put into place, the East is then asked to help subdue (dispose of) the crazy extremist far right and make Ukraine safe and whole again. From there, the drive for a United Ukraine emerges because people are tired of the violence, hardships, and the reconciliation government does not look so bad. Then, everyone can back to the good old days of raping the Ukranian wealth and ineffective politics of the last 20 years or so, and Russia writes some checks.

Again, emphasis on "fantasy".

I am waiting for Party of Regions to get its air time now, after the "hostages" taken by the East and the take over of a Televison station by Pro-Federalists...

Posted by: Tea | Apr 28, 2014 3:37:29 PM | 9

But the neocons are not known for giving up. What is Obama going to do next?

That is why I consciously attempt to call the murderous American war criminals exactly what they are every single time I post. These people are murderous fucking war criminals no matter how much gloss their MSM minions try and slap on them. Until they are treated like the murderous fucking war criminals that they truly are by world citizens nothing will change.

Just because TPTB are following plans/strategies - e.g., The Grand Chessboard, PNAC, the Yinon Plan, A Clean Break, etc etc - that allow the serfs to debate their moves/motives shouldn't detract from the realization that what we are witnessing ONCE AGAIN are the actions of murderous war criminals who are a detriment to human civilization.

Sure, let's use our heads to anticipate their next crimes and to defuse the incessant salvos of propaganda horseshit but people should never lose sight of the fact that they are murderous fucking war criminals with the blood of MILLIONS already on their hands. That debate is over.

Posted by: JSorrentine | Apr 28, 2014 3:38:12 PM | 10

I caught a brief snippet of something Obama was saying publicly in some place on his Asian/SE Pacific Grand Tour (excepting China, of course). I don't recall what he said because I was caught up in trying to figure out if he was jet lagged and thus so slow and halting in his speaking...or was trying to signal to us that he's actually a prisoner of some...group...power center...who know?...and by speaking to oddly he was letting us know he needed to be rescued.

Or something.

It was really weird. It reminded me of when he first began the Democratic debates in early 2008, and, since I'd been told over and over that he was an excellent speaker, I couldn't believe my ears as he spoke so very badly and disorganizedly.

He just didn't have his script down yet, I now figure.

Posted by: jawbone | Apr 28, 2014 3:45:36 PM | 11

[deleted - b]

Posted by: Michaël | Apr 28, 2014 3:51:55 PM | 12

@5 - tea. yes, i was watching that too. it makes me think of how the usa is so motivated by money and sanctions on the flow of money. they are essentially saying 'this is all about money!' 'we want to control everything on a monetary basis'.. the usa as puppet for financial interests is what i take away from these financial sanctions.. sure it is trying to apply pressure too, but it is also putting on display who is running the usa as well - financial powers and by the look of it - not visa or mc directly!

@10 jsorre - that is true. no matter what another country or entity might do, they have to fall into the world order according to these silent dictators on the direction of world affairs.. russia will be sanctioned, assange will be left to rot in an embassy and etc. etc. info or alternative views will not be tolerated if they run contrary to the designs of these same forces. RT is be badmouthed by kerry, and etc. etc.

Posted by: james | Apr 28, 2014 3:52:51 PM | 13

"What is Obama going to do next?"
I don't know, but, sincerely, one thing he could do is to call Vic Nuland and go f*ck themselves!
The world will appreciate a lot.

Posted by: Scan | Apr 28, 2014 3:58:52 PM | 14

Jawbone, these puppets need a session with a real lizard every few days, when they're working hard in public and using up a lot of juice, to repattern their false selves. No lizard, and the pattern begins to disintegrate. All that's left is an empty shell, a zombie without a master. I wish that would happen to Sam Power. Deep down inside, she's a good kid, and also kinda good-looking. I'd like to be the one to catch her as she falls back into this funny old human world. Ha ha.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Apr 28, 2014 4:00:37 PM | 15

I agree. Even through the fog of western propaganda, it is clear that NATO continues baiting the Russian Bear. The crisis would be immediately be over if everyone agreed to a Finlandize Ukraine and form a loose Federation. This is very frightening. There are only two types of people who would continue poking at a bear; the insane or those desperately fighting for their lives.

There never has been a hot war between two nuclear armed states for one reason: Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD). The neo-conservatives (Victoria Nuland) are insane since they believe the USA will win a nuclear war with Russia. The 0.01% who control the West are not all insane. The neo-liberals want another dose of Shock Capitalism for Russia. Military Contractors need endless wars. But, I am becoming convinced as we approach the End Days that the computer whizzes have told Wall Street/City of London/Frankfort Banks that if the BRICs (Brazil, Russia, India and China) set up a second world monetary system, the 0.01% will end up bankrupt, their wealth vanished, by the Crash of 2014. President Barrack Obama is following their orders orders to destabilize Russia to prevent this from happening.

Posted by: VietnamVet | Apr 28, 2014 4:31:21 PM | 16

@15 Not to get to far afield but:

I had never really thought about it before but are the lizard shape-shifter conspiracy theories put out there by TPTB themselves to blunt people from rightfully recognizing the elite simply as a mundane collection of murderous war criminal human beings? What, they're NOT reptilian shape-shifters that have to suck the blood from newborn babies during elaborate sacrificial rituals?!!They're just regular human beings responsible for the needless murder/torture/maiming of thousands upon thousands of innocent people? BORRRRING!!!!Oh well, back to watching Throne Games!!

With the addition of the fake left phenomenon of reminding everyone that simply CALLING someone - even a murderous war criminal - a "monster" is akin to being a Auschwitz oven-tender (which, btw, are obviously the only human "monsters" that everyone is allowed to hate a la the Hitler/Nazis du jour campaigns etc), TPTB seem to have successfully blunted any "sub-human" criticism that they might have to face from the pissants in regards to their crimes.

Half the young 'uns are too afraid to call the current crop of war criminals "monsters" and the other half believe they actually ARE honest-to-goodness Sleestacks. Bravo!

Posted by: JSorrentine | Apr 28, 2014 4:33:22 PM | 17

@Michael-with-an-umlaut, Glad to see you here lightening the mood.

Posted by: ruralito | Apr 28, 2014 4:33:55 PM | 18

Posted by: james | Apr 28, 2014 3:52:51 PM | 13

Yes!

Russia right now simply does not have a money problem, the price of oil is stable, and it does not need to sell debt.
They are fine for the year, the West knows it, and this "crisis" most likely is not expected to continue for that long.

These sanctions are controlling nothing.

Posted by: Tea | Apr 28, 2014 4:39:38 PM | 19

Russia as Creditor


At this point, anyone familiar with the world of sovereign debt restructurings will likely ask two questions.

(1) So what if Russia has a contractual right to accelerate? Russia is not an ordinary commercial creditor. It is a member of the Paris Club; the exclusive club of rich creditor countries that gets together periodically in Paris to renegotiate debts that its members have with distressed debtor nations. Surely, as a member of the Paris Club, the rules that will govern Russia’s debt renegotiation with Ukraine will be those of the Paris Club rather than those of the contract (including acceleration provisions).

(2) In any event, doesn’t Ukraine have a defence that these are Odious Debts and, therefore, void under international law? After all, this is a case of a lender (Russia) who surely knew (or should have known) that the regime it was lending to could have been systematically looting the funds coming in from the borrowing.

Both are good questions. And the answer to both may well be yes. But this is where Mr Putin’s clever structuring of the December 2013 lending as a tradable and liquid Eurobond, as opposed to the typical illiquid country-to-country Paris Club lending, comes into play.

If Mr Putin senses that the Ukraine is planning to skip out on payments to him, all he needs to do is to quietly sell his bonds to some private enterprise that can then plead complete innocence regarding any kleptomaniacal tendencies of the prior Ukrainian regime. Indeed, he may not even need to sell the bonds; warehousing them with a Russian bank will probably be enough. The success that holdout creditors have had with English law governed bonds (the same law of the Ukrainian December 2013 issue) in the 2012 Greek restructuring might produce a large set of willing and eager secondary market purchasers for these bonds.


A win win.

Posted by: Tea | Apr 28, 2014 4:49:00 PM | 20

We're approaching the end of the line here for the "magical thinking" of the Obama White House. A steady stream of articles in any business page of the prestige press will lead one to the conclusion that Europe is not going to cut off its investments in Russia. BP is all in with Rosneft and Gazprom. Siemens is locked and loaded with Moscow. Just keep on going. Italy, Austria, France -- all these countries have enormous corporate investments in and lucrative relationships with Russian business. Growth for Europe, as Pepe Escobar lucidly reminds on a regular basis, has a eastward trajectory. Eurasia is the future. The North Atlantic Alliance is not.

Posted by: Mike Maloney | Apr 28, 2014 4:49:42 PM | 21

Visa is already feeling the squeeze — the company warned last week that U.S. sanctions were damaging its transaction volumes, pulling its revenue growth rate down to four-year lows. "

Posted by: Tea | Apr 28, 2014 3:14:45 PM | 5


Well isn't that good news and I'm sure the lost revenue can be made up by raising the rates to Amerikan citizens.

Posted by: jo6pac | Apr 28, 2014 4:58:03 PM | 22

I just saw Putin yawning while he was wiping he @$$ with the latest round of sanctions.
Al Assad WILL be running for the office of the executive in Syria.
Guess he is going to "go", go back to work that is.
Maduro is obviously throttling the life out the imperial lackeys trying overthrow him.
Brasil is chipping away ever larger bits of control of the Internet from the USA.
Plus Eva Golinger is presenting a refreshing look into a day in the life of Evo Morales, president of the plurinational state of Bolivia.
Ok chicos, have a good day.
That is everybody except Cold and hold'em.
He can go straight to hell & his sweetheart nobody can join him if he pops up.
Adios :)

Posted by: Fernando | Apr 28, 2014 5:02:21 PM | 23

Restrictions on debt sales is where to inflict wound in the longer term perhaps, it seems.

It will be interesting to see if England passes this law any time soon.

Link

Posted by: Tea | Apr 28, 2014 5:02:38 PM | 24

So let me get this straight...

Here's the lowdown of trade between the parties involved in this mistaken conflict.

USA/Russia trade: apprx $28 Billion
EU/Russia trade: apprx $420 Billion

So, with these facts in mind, WFT is the US trying to do to the EU? Are there no sane people in the EU to tell Nuland and her crew to go f*ck themselves?

This game is getting exciting by the minute. Enjoy :)

Posted by: Zico | Apr 28, 2014 5:35:02 PM | 25

@Rowan: "Sam Power...kinda good-looking" Now I know we occasionally do satire here at MoA, but this is too much. She is hideous, Rowan. And that's just the outside.

Posted by: guest77 | Apr 28, 2014 7:09:13 PM | 26

It looks like the street-fighting has begun in earnest: http://rt.com/news/155424-donetsk-clashes-ukraine-protesters/

Posted by: guest77 | Apr 28, 2014 7:11:21 PM | 27

Lviving the werk of Lyook Gardenh at the Huardyen...

Posted by: Cortes | Apr 28, 2014 7:29:12 PM | 28

Not to forget the ridiculous S&P sanctions of downgrading RF to BBB-
RF holds the third biggest currency reserves (500 bln $)
It works on an almost balanced budget and
its national debt is 10% of GDP and only 20% of this debt is foreign.
S&P - what a Clown-Show!

Posted by: slirs | Apr 28, 2014 7:32:23 PM | 29

Ratings agencies belong to World Hate Establishment and it is this entire committee directed Establishment that is out of anyone’s control. This explains the awesome stupidity all around. No one can orient Anglo-American policy even to save one’s own bacon.

Posted by: Michaël | Apr 28, 2014 8:24:29 PM | 30

Mike Whitney's latest article today is worth a look:
Why is Putin in Washington’s Crosshairs?

I've been a little iffy with Whitney since he turned from straight economics to the geopolitics of Ukraine, but I think he's now completely up to speed with this one. In his penultimate paragraph he slips out the option that I haven't seen anyone say out loud yet, which is that if Russia enters Ukraine it presumably won't play to the US script and fight in the east, but simply go to Kiev, overthrow the putschists, call in international peacekeepers and withdraw back across the border (managing also to put the fascists on trial for war crimes one hopes).

Posted by: Grieved | Apr 28, 2014 9:03:43 PM | 31

@28 Slirs

After the last financial crisis, no thanks to S&Ps AAA stamps of approval (which it collected fees on) on toxic assets, I can't believe anyone listens to them.

If Russia needed to sell its government debt it would.

Posted by: Tea | Apr 28, 2014 9:15:32 PM | 32

What is Obama going to do? What he's told.

Lie.
Agitate.
Escalate.
American Exceptionalate.
Lie some more.
Lie about the lies when the lies are revealed as such.
Murder some people on a Tuesday.
Go to a fundraiser.
Rinse and repeat.

Posted by: Colinjames | Apr 28, 2014 10:43:35 PM | 33

Anonymous at #4: Great find! This is what fascism looks like. Clean washed faces, girls wearing flowers, adoration of the folk roots... all to mobilize for brutality and murder in the name of ethnic cleansing, if not genocide. And this is what America has come to in its mad rush for world domination! Are we so far away from WWII now that the "greatest generation" can't bring their feeble lips to utter a word in protest?

Good historical article at Journal of Slavic Studies: "‘They Defended Ukraine’: The 14. Waffen-Grenadier-Division der SS (Galizische Nr. 1) Revisited" [the very unit the fascists commemorate in the YouTube march, carrying copies of the SS division's shield. See https://www.academia.edu/1908894/_They_Defended_Ukraine_The_14._Waffen-Grenadier-Division_der_SS_Galizische_Nr._1_Revisited_The_Journal_of_Slavic_Military_Studies_25_3_2012_329-368

Posted by: Jeff Kaye | Apr 28, 2014 10:45:59 PM | 34

In one sense Obama imposes sanctions because it what the US does now when it is demonising a country. As I believe Robert Parry noted, it is part of the routine like charging Putin with having accumulated enormous sums of money and salted them away abroad.

But underlying these dull routines there is a logic. In this case sanctions are a reminder to all concerned that Wall St and the City dominate the international finance system. Which means that they can steal your funds at will- as Iran and Libya could both testify- and will do so without hesitation, if given the green light.

The US is warning the oligarchs that those Park Lane mansions and French chateaux, those mountains of brazenly stolen cash deposited in the Caymans or the Channel Islands, are very vulnerable, because, in the final analysis, and with the bankers consent, they control the banks.

The Ukrainian oligarchs are, unless I am misinformed, all criminals with violent records. They have tended to export their ill gotten gains because they are just sharp enough to realise that one day, sooner rather than later, the people they stole it from are going to ask for it to be returned. That will be the day that all those empty mansions acquire occupants or are put up for sale.

As a Russian socialist recently noted, for the Russian people nothing could be better than sanctions, which would, at the very least, be an incentive to the capitalists to invest in Russia, rather than simply to bleed away the natural resources and gamble the profits on western stock exchanges and commodity casinos.
It would also drive Russia closer to other 'sanctioned' regimes such as Iran and Cuba. It would encourage the re-foundation of, import substituting, manufacturing and light industries. And it would encourage Russian investment in countries not ruled from Washington.

As to Tea's idea that the City of London would support the repudiation of Ukraine's debt, even after making the necessary allowance for the incredible hypocrisy of the City and Wall St it is hard to believe that they would want to set any precedents in this area. Both live off the idea that debts must be paid in full, it is their religion.

Then there is the intriguing possibility that sanctions against Russia might lead to higher oil and gas prices, something of great interest to such sinister groups as the Tar Sands plunderers in Canada and the vast shale deposits in the US of which, I believe, the saintly Koch Bros have a large share.

As to what Obama does next-that very much depends on the success the Kiev Gladio franchise has in provoking fights in the east. And that depends upon the extent to which the eastern movements are rooted in a determined population with clear demands. If the easterners are, as they seem to be, a united popular movement nothing Kiev or its allies can do will defeat it. To the contrary: it will spread westwards into a country desperate for decent government in the interests of the poor, ready to employ the vast resources of the Ukraine in the national interest, after years of watching successive layers of exploiters drain them away and waste them.

Posted by: bevin | Apr 28, 2014 11:04:05 PM | 35

@33
Yes, and we're already seeing discontent in the west of Ukraine. The ideal would be for all of Ukraine to throw the bums out of Kiev and then solve their own problems themselves as a state, as Russia has said openly all along should be.

Surely this must be the true battle plan of Russia. Personally I believe this battle is being waged silently right now, with Russia performing tactical acts of patience - with interventions of varying shades as (or if) necessary - while its enemy's plan crumbles.

Posted by: Grieved | Apr 28, 2014 11:27:10 PM | 36

@Grieved #30
...simply go to Kiev, overthrow the putschists, call in international peacekeepers and withdraw back across the border.

This is exactly what I have been expecting "Putin" i.e. the Russian Federation to do, and have almost spelled it out. If Russia was to "annex" Donbass or even Novorossiya, it cannot send troops there, as any accession would be seen by the "international community" as occupation and illegal annexation.

What is needed in Ukraine – at least form the Rus' point-of-view – is roadblocks to prevent the movement of armed gangs and thugs, or any military force interfering in politics, between the different regions. This can be achieved by Russia, neutral international peacekeepers or even the Ukrainian army. As soon as this happens, the regions will "non-violently" i.e. without the use of too much lethal violence chose their own path or exit strategy. (I would really love to see Galicia leave first!)

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Apr 28, 2014 11:33:04 PM | 37

If RF closes off the northern route out of Afghanistan, no doubt Obama will just withdraw all that kit through Pakistan...

Posted by: Cortes | Apr 29, 2014 12:42:27 AM | 38

As a Russian socialist recently noted, for the Russian people nothing could be better than sanctions, which would, at the very least, be an incentive to the capitalists to invest in Russia, rather than simply to bleed away the natural resources and gamble the profits on western stock exchanges and commodity casinos.
It would also drive Russia closer to other 'sanctioned' regimes such as Iran and Cuba. It would encourage the re-foundation of, import substituting, manufacturing and light industries. And it would encourage Russian investment in countries not ruled from Washington.

Posted by: bevin | Apr 28, 2014 11:04:05 PM | 33

Look how the RF benefited from the 2008 financial crisis. Oligarchs were hit hard from borrowing from the West. They had to restructure their debt, and through which the Russian government gained.

Posted by: Tea | Apr 29, 2014 12:58:14 AM | 39

The NYT today has an article on the debate in the Obama admin on sanctions. It said there were two sides and Obama went with the dovish position. The other side argued that we should ignore the EU's input and just apply total economic sanctions against Russia. This side argues that EU would have no choice but to follow US leadership but they would never agree beforehand.

What I found appalling about this story is that there doesn't seem to be anyone in the inner circles who is arguing for a realistic diplomatic settlement that has been suggested in recent months by Stephen Cohen, Mearsheimer and Kissinger in the pages of WaPo and NYT. There seems to be professionals in the 'realism' school of FP thinking. This is a recent development. Through the 20th century, at least up to the Clinton admin, there were always advisers from that school of thought. Their advice may not have been followed (i.e. the Vietnam debacle) but they were a voice in the room. Today only silence.

If Russia is not willing to surrender on some fundamental principles, this could lead to a shooting war between Russia and the US.

Posted by: ToivoS | Apr 29, 2014 1:01:12 AM | 40

Russian Market @russian_market · 34m
Sanctions, what sanctions? Gerhard Schröder celebrates his birthday with Vladimir Putin in St. Petersburg.
pic.twitter.com/Ipeq2QKZgV

Posted by: brian | Apr 29, 2014 1:56:49 AM | 41

'If Mr Putin senses that the Ukraine is planning to skip out on payments to him, all he needs to do is to quietly sell his bonds to some private enterprise that can then plead complete innocence regarding any kleptomaniacal tendencies of the prior Ukrainian regime. Indeed, he may not even need to sell the bonds; warehousing them with a Russian bank will probably be enough. The success that holdout creditors have had with English law governed bonds (the same law of the Ukrainian December 2013 issue) in the 2012 Greek restructuring might produce a large set of willing and eager secondary market purchasers for these bonds.


A win win.'

Posted by: Tea | Apr 28, 2014 4:49:00 PM | 20

.....
payments to ...whom? this is media speak which makes it seem Putin is some sort of dictator controlling the countrys wealth and enriching himself

Posted by: brian | Apr 29, 2014 2:06:12 AM | 42

bevin @33
(and Grieved @34 plus Petri Krohn @35 for agreeing)
brilliant and, I dare hope, probable.
Now Bevin, please replace those grotty (confusing) little toy en dashes with — = “& m "dash" semi-colon.” Your excellent thinking/articulation would look better. So there.

Posted by: Michaël | Apr 29, 2014 3:43:20 AM | 43

Anyone have twitter should send some support to https://twitter.com/GrahamWP_UK/status/461035049069346816
that are attacked by haters on his tweets.

Posted by: Anonymous | Apr 29, 2014 4:01:03 AM | 44

fairleft Obscene propaganda becomes self-parody when the Guardian describes one side as "pro-Ukrainian" and the other as "pro-Russian."

The Guardian is communicating a Big Lie to its readers, that the eastern Ukrainians want to unite with Russia. The fact is that all of the leadership in eastern Ukraine wants to be part of Ukrainian federation in which the regions have strong powers. Understandable, since they don't trust the U.S.-selected coup leadership and their far-right enforcement gangs.

"Pro-federation" versus "pro-government" is an adult way to describe the two sides. With equal accuracy but a sense of humor, "pro-democracy" versus "pro-coup."

Posted here: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/apr/29/ukraine-eu-imposes-new-sanctions-on-russia-live-updates#comment-34958058

Posted by: fairleft | Apr 29, 2014 6:49:34 AM | 45

Neoconservative George Friedman's book "The Next 100 years" seems to be the blueprint. Friedman claim that Russia will try to dominate Ukraine and Belarus, US should support a coalition of eastern European states led by Poland to counter Russia, this cold war 2.0 will result in Russia's collapse by year 2020.

Posted by: rubberman | Apr 29, 2014 7:06:44 AM | 46

Posted by: Grieved | Apr 28, 2014 9:03:43 PM | 31

That sounds so Putin-like.

Posted by: Colinjames | Apr 28, 2014 10:43:35 PM | 33

Brilliant, short and to the point.

Posted by: Jeff Kaye | Apr 28, 2014 10:45:59 PM | 34

Excellent link.

Posted by: bevin | Apr 28, 2014 11:04:05 PM | 35

Great stuff! Just your standard demonization process, and in that case substance is not required. The West first demonstrated with Milosevic that it could demonize with absolutely no grounds. Already imagining a 'heroic human rights lawyer' (I'm thinking of the one engaged to George Clooney) standing against Putin Diablo in court.

Posted by: fairleft | Apr 29, 2014 8:06:16 AM | 47

fairleft 45

Good job!
Keep doing what you are doing.

Posted by: Anonymous | Apr 29, 2014 8:23:46 AM | 48

"Clearia Toiletskaja, chief janitor of the Kremlin" - OK, you've got a Janitor who's name reads like Clear Toilet - hahahahahah. Perhaps the Obama admin is going after non-existant people?

This is so good it just has to be fattening.

Posted by: duffolonious | Apr 29, 2014 10:12:36 AM | 49

fairleft@45

What struck me about your comment-and congratulations on the iron stomach needed to visit cif these days- was the utter predictability of the responses.
This one for example,
"....Don't blame all of the Left for the nuts who seem to think that supporting Putin is somehow a progressive cause. Some of us are rather consistent in our opposition to imperialism, even if it isn't always by the US...."
raised the image in my mind of a Victorian "Leftist" applauding the British takeover of the Gold Coast on the basis that it struck a deadly blow at the Ashante empire.

Such arguments, which stink of the "Neither Washington nor Moscow" cowardice that Tony Cliff made a career out of, are designed to allow poseurs to affect to be anti-imperialists in a world so full of competing empires (Syrian Imperialism, Venezuelan imperialism, Persian imperialism...) that they are free to carry on being bourgeois and getting fat in the epicentre of the one real Empire. Take Louis Proyect, for example so bemused by the seething mass of imperialism's competing for his punishing attention that he writes third rate film reviews for a circle of friends.

Posted by: bevin | Apr 29, 2014 10:18:00 AM | 50

" imperialism's" Sorry about that apostrophe. It should read "imperialisms".

Posted by: bevin | Apr 29, 2014 10:19:31 AM | 51

Here's a terrific Crosstalk, featuring Cohen and Mearsheimer.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=S9674pRBm6g

Posted by: okie farmer | Apr 29, 2014 10:59:25 AM | 52

never mind the bollocks, here's
Oligarchical topography of Ukraine
Andrei Fursov, Poznavatelnoe.tv

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GXLUJpqaQpY
~
Many domestic and foreign interests coincided to create the Banderite coup d'état in Ukraine. Andrei Fursov, historian and sociologist, explains who needed what out of Ukraine and how the events of 2014 had been in the making for years. Also how Russia has been the target of the Western elite for 200 years, the disastrous Gorbachev & Yeltsin period, when Russia's assets were given away, and the Rubicon that has been crossed by Russia's defense of Syria and Crimea, which begins a new era of adversarial relations between the West and Russia. With English subtitles.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Apr 29, 2014 12:14:40 PM | 53

Synopsis of Fursov. New Insight, who I believe are the publishers if this material, say on Saker blog:

This is a long (70 mins) talk. There is a LOT of information in this talk. Make what you will of it. Major topics:
04:30 Overview of the major oligarch clans in Ukraine : Akhmetov (mining & steel), Yanukovych (administration), Kolomoisky (banking), Firtash (energy). Akhmetov backed Yanukovych, while Kolomoisky backed Yuschenko and Tymoshenko. Firtash works for the Rothschilds. Several more powerful domestic and foreign players in Ukraine. Kolomoisky is said to be the motor behind current events.
12:00 Foreign oligarchs have moved in to control large sectors of Ukraine. At the same time all the big western intelligence agencies have had a free hand since the late 90s (CIA, FBI, MI6, BND, Mossad), including preparing the Banderite underground for the recent take-over.
24:45 The under-recognized significance of the Lebanese diaspora and Hezbollah in South America and Africa, and how they have gotten in the way of the global hegemon.
28:45 The Banderization of Ukraine is an instrument to conquer Russia and weaken China, lest they become strong enough to challenge the Atlanticist hegemony.
37:30 While the West has been effective for years in steering developments in Ukraine, their Russian counterparts by comparison have been a pathetic failure and need to learn from the West.
43:30 In the last 200-300 years Russia has endured numerous aggressions from the West, while Russia conversely has done virtually nothing against the West. Western expansion is “aggressive” while Russian expansion is “defensive” (buffer).
49:00 The EU intends to bury nuclear waste on the site of Chernobyl, which in a few years will cause massive depopulation of Ukraine (or neighboring Belarus and Russia). The waste train is waiting at the Polish-Ukrainian border. It is speculated that Muzychko was assassinated for knowing too much about this.
53:35 NATO's genocide of pro-Russian Serbs by dropping uranium and infertility agents. Cancer now widespread.
58:45 A Rubicon has been crossed with the events of Feb-Mar 2014. Relations between the West and Russia have passed the point of no return. The gloves are off. Russia's “era of defeats” is over. The return of Crimea demonstrated that Russia will not only stand up to aggression but unexpectedly take the initiative.
1:00:30 Next steps for Russia: eliminate the fifth column, reconfigure the economic and social framework, leave anti-Russian international structures, take the initiative against the Western aggressor, and, finally, prepare the domestic population to be ready.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Apr 29, 2014 1:03:26 PM | 54

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Apr 29, 2014 1:03:26 PM | 54

53:35 NATO's genocide of pro-Russian Serbs by dropping uranium and infertility agents. Cancer now widespread.

There's very solid research on Serbia and cancer, and it's much higher than it should be, but not close to the highest in Europe. So 'genocide' is inaccurate, but maybe that's not exactly what Fursov said.

Here's the full cancer report: http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2407/13/18

And especially check out these charts: http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2407/13/18/figure/F3

As for infertility, Serbia is about average for Europe. See this report, especially the chart on page 10: http://www.euro.who.int/__data/assets/pdf_file/0010/73954/EN63.pdf

Posted by: fairleft | Apr 29, 2014 2:11:26 PM | 55

Another naive piece on the Ukraine crisis in Counterpunch:

Losing Russia: The West's Hypocrisy in Ukraine

Apparently, the author has never heard of Zbig and his chessboard.

Posted by: Demian | Apr 29, 2014 2:48:46 PM | 56

Demian @56
"Another naive piece on the Ukraine crisis in Counterpunch:..."

One man's meat is another man's poison. There isn't a lot in the article that MoA people are not aware of but in its way it is an informative piece and the more people who read such articles the better the world will be.

As to Zbig and his chessboard I imagine that the author heard about them long ago, when they were news.

Posted by: bevin | Apr 29, 2014 3:02:29 PM | 57

@bevin #57:

You miss my point. The Counterpunch author writes, "Losing Russia through mismanagement of a crisis is not a very clever thing to do." But the objective isn't to have good relations with Russia so that the US and Russia can solve international problems together. The US is not concerned about "losing Russia" because the plan is to dismember Russia. And that is Zbig's plan.

As Pepe reiterates in his latest piece:

The historical record clearly shows Washington does not respect the national interests of anybody; the only thing that matters is that they should always be subordinated to Washington's interests.

Washington is still determined to get Russia to submit to its will. The Counterpunch author clearly doesn't understand that.

Posted by: Demian | Apr 29, 2014 3:30:03 PM | 58

News: Olegh Tsarev is taking back his interest in being a contender in the election.

Posted by: Anonymous | Apr 29, 2014 3:33:36 PM | 59

Fairleft, I think you've earned your nickname there (#55). I agree absolutely that the idea of dropping 'infertility agents' is nonsensical. He really does use exactly that phrase; it isn't inaccuracy on the part of the synoptist. They might as well drop condoms. But on your other point, I don't need surveys of cancer (or birth defects, or infertility itself) to believe that scattering so-called 'depleted' uranium is a genocidal behaviour, so I reject whatever quantitative threshold for legitimate use of the term you may have in mind. Uranium-235 is the gift that keeps giving, effectively forever, so no finite period sums the damage. It has a half-life of 703.8 million years.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Apr 29, 2014 3:37:01 PM | 60

Good news from the Guardian, which is letting some truth slip through:
Kiev government powerless as east Ukraine slips out of its control

The unwillingness of security structures to defend public buildings from separatist occupation has been a theme in eastern Ukraine since early April. […]

But in recent days Kiev's tentative grip on local law enforcement in the east appears to have slipped completely. In Luhansk riot police stood passively in a courtyard, kettled in by separatists armed with bats and hammers. "The regional leadership does not control its police force," Stanislav Rechynsky, an aide to the interior minister in Kiev, told Reuters. "The local police did nothing."

It is obvious by now that the Kiev putchists and their American masters are not interested in preventing the Ukraine from breaking up. If they were, they would have started negotiating with the leaders of the southeastern resistance by now.

Posted by: Demian | Apr 29, 2014 4:19:30 PM | 61

Demian at 61:

I commented:

fairleft 29 April 2014 9:36pm

One thing the "pro-federalists" (the Guardian big lie labels them "pro-Russians") want is control of their regional police forces. Of course, looks like they already have that, except not officially.

Posted by: fairleft | Apr 29, 2014 4:37:49 PM | 62

@fairleft #62:

Nice.

The idiot who replied to you obviously didn't read the article very carefully.

Posted by: Demian | Apr 29, 2014 4:55:53 PM | 63

I can't believe that a commenter in that thread mentioned Austria as an example of an evil act of annexation. As if the Austrians didn't want to be unified with Nazi Germany. And as if Hitler wasn't Austrian.

Posted by: Demian | Apr 29, 2014 5:05:50 PM | 64

" Uranium-235 is the gift that keeps giving, effectively forever, so no finite period sums the damage. It has a half-life of 703.8 million years." Rowan

Delpeted Uranium is depleted in U235 and if it were a residual product of enrichment for reactor fuel would be somewhat less radioactive than natural uranium. There is however reason to suspect that US depleted uranium munitions contains in part recycled reactor fuel which will contain U236, fission products and transuranics. http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2001/unep81.doc.htm

Posted by: Paul Cockshott | Apr 29, 2014 5:09:33 PM | 65

@58
"Washington is still determined to get Russia to submit to its will. The Counterpunch author clearly doesn't understand that...."

I think that everyone understands that Washington wants every country to submit to it (and they are inclined to feel very sorry for poor Washington's relations who clearly have a very sick puppy on their hands.)
But maybe I'm wrong, no point i falling out over it, is there?

Posted by: bevin | Apr 29, 2014 5:25:00 PM | 66

Kerry's lying again:

John Kerry, the US secretary of state, revealed that American eavesdroppers have overheard intelligence operatives being directed by Moscow.

"We know exactly who's giving those orders, we know where they are coming from," he said, in remarks to a private meeting that were leaked on Tuesday.

"Intel is producing taped conversations of intelligence operatives taking their orders from Moscow and everybody can tell the difference in the accents, in the idioms, in the language."

If you have taped conversations, why not post some of them on YouTube? That's what counterintelligence agencies that know what they're doing do.

Oh wait… Didn't Kerry repeatedly say that "we know" that the Syrian government was responsible for the chemical attacks near Damascus?

Posted by: Demian | Apr 29, 2014 5:48:01 PM | 67

@ 67
"This is common sense, this is evidence, these are facts!"
The Ketchup King is losing it completely.
I give him less than half a year, since he dropped the A-word
on Israhell, maybe a quarter year.
He should then take Jen Psaki and open up a Freak-Show.
Title: "The Betterment of Mankind through Sanctions"
Subtitles: "Classified"

Posted by: slirs | Apr 29, 2014 8:06:00 PM | 68

Rumsfield knew exactly where Saddam had the WMDs too, and pointed them out in a pre-war speech of exhortation.
Ray McGovern challenged him on it publically in the later stages of the war and Rumsfeld even when quoted precisely denied that he had
said what he had said.
Kerry knows that even a GOP replacement for Obama will not punish his lies, even as Obama refused to arrange for investigations of his predecessors. So the lying proceeds until collapse.

Posted by: amspirnational | Apr 29, 2014 8:33:29 PM | 69

Between Fascists and Neoliberals, Ukraine Seeks Stable Leadership

http://www.lobelog.com/between-fascists-and-neoliberals-ukraine-seeks-stable-leadership/

...
In other words, if it’s consistency you’re after, Ukrainian politics probably aren’t for you. Frequent shifts in personal loyalty and party ideology, the ongoing tug of war between pro-European and pro-Russian factions, and high turnover in government (no fewer than eight different cabinets have been formed since Yanukovych’s first stint as prime minister began in 2002), have kept Ukraine from enjoying any semblance of political stability.
....
Ukraine desperately needs competent, stable governance right now, but based on its recent political history and on the choices it now faces between destructive ultra-nationalism and failed neoliberalism, there’s little reason for optimism on this front.

Posted by: Virgile | Apr 29, 2014 9:18:15 PM | 70

@Virgile #70:

I think the problem is that Western Ukrainian politicians are nationalistic to the point of clear irrationality. Ukraine is an artificial country, like Czechoslovakia was. The Czechs and Slovaks, who are not even of different religions (both are Catholic I believe; correct me if I'm wrong) decided to split up, and Czechs don't hate Slovaks to anything near the same degree as some Ukrainians hate Russians. So if Czechoslovakia could not stay together, why expect that the Ukraine can? When you think about it that way, the solution is obvious.

The problem with Ukraine splitting up would be that the Western part would be an economically nonviable festering pool of hate. But maybe Poland would be willing to absorb it. There are anti-Russian Poles, but they are nowhere near as crazy as Ukrainian nationalists, because the Poles have a long authentic history and culture.

Meanwhile, the US State Department has come out with another set of hysterical lies on its official blog, trying to convince someone that RT presents nothing but a fantasy. Unsurprisingly, every claim that the author (a former editor of Time magazine) makes against something RT has reported is false. It's as if the people working in the State Department have no idea of what the world outside of the Beltway is like.

Posted by: Demian | Apr 29, 2014 9:44:32 PM | 71

The West should test and explore Russian proposals on Ukraine
April 30, 2014 12:13 AM
By Robert Skidelsky

Read more: http://www.dailystar.com.lb/Opinion/Commentary/2014/Apr-30/254871-the-west-should-test-and-explore-russian-proposals-on-ukraine.ashx#ixzz30KWPJbHx

....
This means talking and listening to the Russians. The Russians have presented their ideas for resolving the crisis. Broadly, they propose a “neutral” Ukraine on the model of Finland and a federal state on the model of Switzerland. The first would exclude NATO membership, but not admission to the European Union. The second would aim to secure semi-autonomous regions.

Such proposals may be cynical; they may also be unworkable. But the West should be urgently testing, exploring and seeking to refine them instead of recoiling in moralistic horror at Russia’s actions.

Suspended between paranoia and moralism, sensible diplomacy has a hard job. But it should not need the upcoming 100th anniversary of the second bloodiest war in history to remind our statesmen that low-level events may spin irretrievably out of control.

Robert Skidelsky, a member of the British House of Lords, is professor emeritus of political economy at Warwick University.

Posted by: Virgile | Apr 29, 2014 9:46:25 PM | 72

Virgile, Skidelsky wrote the standard biography of JM Keynes.

As to grounds for optimism in Ukraine, the existence and slow growth of what appears to be a genuine popular movement in the east, a spontaneous response to the threat posed by the Kiev junta and its fascist militias, seems to me to be a very positive development. During the post Soviet period Ukraine has been bandied about between criminal oligarchs, their foreign sponsors, financiers and emigre fascists. None of them has shown any interest in the people's welfare. If the people of the east have taken matters into their own hands and formed self defence militias the obvious next step is to form local governments and declare their autonomy. Why the people of neighbouring regions, including Kiev, would not copy them and dispense with both the foreigners and the fascists it is hard to see.
One striking aspect of the Ukrainian "nationalists" is that their nationalism is only directed at Russia and Russians: they seem very happy to be the puppets of Poland, the EU, the US, the banks in London, the oligarchs robbing them, the Germans financing their politicians and so on.
In that respect nothing has changed since the Lvov "nationalists" pledged themselves to throw the heads of all the city's Jews at Hitler's feet.

Posted by: bevin | Apr 29, 2014 11:51:32 PM | 73

Qu. But the neo-cons are not known for giving up. What will Obama do next?

Obama is a puppet, sure. But a puppet of forces that seem more and more varied, confused, and at odds with each other.

Obama will do as little as possible, and will try to maintain the US stranglehold on Europe. (1) That must be a number one priority, as Europe allying with Russia is a nightmare to be avoided at all costs. (The neo-cons and neo-libs don’t feel this way, see Nuland, whose two-word remark, even given the specific context, has broad scope.)

If the hawks scream for more sanctions as just recently this he can do - it is not terribly significant.

Meanwhile he trots off to eat Sushi with his 900 ppl team (I have read, is this true?) Absurd - it shows avoidance, a loss of power, and an unseemly display, simultaneously. Plus wasn’t a success, another story.

What Obama would prefer imho is exactly Putin’s proposal, some kind of Federalization thingie, Finlandisation, where the whole situation is quieted down, the Ukranians accept their new ‘fate’, experience some new ‘autonomy’ and then biz as usual, or close to it. (see rowan’s post..) Crimea > Russia is a *fait accompli*, everyone agrees about that though they don’t say so, but of course the NEOS (and others) are incredulous and in a blind fury.

What happens next depends on:

Will Putin succumb and take the bait? So far it appears not, he is holding strong.

What will happen on the ground in E. Ukr. in the next weeks. Imho, is very unpredictable. It depends thus also on the reaction or non-action (through calculated quiescence or lack of capability, stupidity, etc.) of the Kiev coup-Gvmt.

1. Part of the effort clearly has been to assure Europe it can cut energy ties with Russia at least in part and be ‘supported’ by LNG from the USA, which is total BS but EU leaders are too cowardly to call it.

Posted by: Noirette | Apr 30, 2014 10:44:20 AM | 74

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