US Threatens Russia Over Petrodollar-Busting Deal
by Tyler Durden – 4 April, 2014 – Zero Hedge
On the heels of Russia’s potential “holy grail” gas deal with China, the news of a Russia-Iran oil “barter” deal, it appears the US is starting to get very concerned about its almighty Petrodollar
– *U.S. HAS WARNED RUSSIA, IRAN AGAINST POSSIBLE OIL BARTER DEAL
– *U.S. SAYS ANY SUCH DEAL WOULD TRIGGER SANCTIONS
– *U.S. HAS CONVEYED CONCERNS TO IRANIAN GOVT THROUGH ALL CHANNELS
We suspect these sanctions would have more teeth than some travel bans, but, as we noted previously, it is just as likely to be another epic geopolitical debacle resulting from what was originally intended to be a demonstration of strength and instead is rapidly turning out into a terminal confirmation of weakness.
As we explained earlier in the week,
Russia seems perfectly happy to telegraph that it is just as willing to use barter (and “heaven forbid” gold) and shortly other “regional” currencies, as it is to use the US Dollar, hardly the intended outcome of the western blocakde, which appears to have just backfired and further impacted the untouchable status of the Petrodollar.
“If Washington can’t stop this deal, it could serve as a signal to other countries that the United States won’t risk major diplomatic disputes at the expense of the sanctions regime,”
And here is Voice of Russia, “Russia prepares to attack the Petrodollar”:
The US dollar’s position as the base currency for global energy trading gives the US a number of unfair advantages. It seems that Moscow is ready to take those advantages away.
The existence of “petrodollars” is one of the pillars of America’s economic might because it creates a significant external demand for American currency, allowing the US to accumulate enormous debts without defaulting. If a Japanese buyer want to buy a barrel of Saudi oil, he has to pay in dollars even if no American oil company ever touches the said barrel. Dollar has held a dominant position in global trading for such a long time that even Gazprom’s natural gas contracts for Europe are priced and paid for in US dollars. Until recently, a significant part of EU-China trade had been priced in dollars.
Lately, China has led the BRICS efforts to dislodge the dollar from its position as the main global currency, but the “sanctions war” between Washington and Moscow gave an impetus to the long-awaited scheme to launch the petroruble and switch all Russian energy exports away from the US currency .
The main supporters of this plan are Sergey Glaziev, the economic aide of the Russian President and Igor Sechin, the CEO of Rosneft, the biggest Russian oil company and a close ally of Vladimir Putin. Both have been very vocal in their quest to replace the dollar with the Russian ruble. Now, several top Russian officials are pushing the plan forward.
West has no play against Russia over Kiev gas subsidy: Editor
6 April, 2014 – Interview with Jim W. Dean
Press TV has conducted an interview with Jim W. Dean, the Managing Editor of Veteran’s Today from Atlanta, about Ukraine’s gas debt owed to Russia and Russia now hiking up the price of gas exported to Ukraine.
The following is an approximate transcript of the interview.
Press TV: Is this a policy of economic aggression now that Russia has hiked the prices or is it their right to do that with Kiev?
Dean: Well, it certainly is. There were ways they were supporting Ukraine – which has 8-10 million Russians in it – get through their economic problems and this was to subsidize the gas prices.
This is something that Russia has an awful lot of so that was the least expensive way for them to try to support the Ukraine getting through its economic problems.
But then again, un-said in that, Ukraine would not become a bastion for Western military power or NATO or be seduced by them into putting missiles or NATO bases right on the Russian border and they made a very good deal with them.
The EU tried to get a deal by just moving Ukraine’s debt around, but never really wanted to give them any cash because they didn’t really have a lot to give. So, Russia countered that by continuing the gas discounts – which really is ‘cash’.
And that’s why [Viktor] Yanukovych [, former President of Ukraine], he basically went the other way (siding with Russia) and now we saw the West decided that we have to make a move now and we all know that they were totally behind the coup.
So, sure, Russia now is not going to support the Kiev government by continuing to subsidize a government that they say is an illegal coup. …more
Imposters in Kiev and Criminal Oligarchs: Alliance against People of Ukraine
30 March 2014 – Strategic Culture Foundation
The Kiev regime is bouncing back after the first shock of the events in Crimea. It starts to quash the unrest in the south-eastern part of the country where people resist the coup. Its leaders have been widely rejected recognition. There is a reason to believe that the regime will use the most repressive and outright coercive methods to deal with the population and resistance leaders.
“Taming” the south-east is the main goal for those who grabbed power in the country as a result of the coup. The people are to put up with unlawfulness; their voices should be excluded from the decision making process in Kiev because their mindset and values don’t fit with the would-be state goals including the pro-Euro Atlantic foreign policy.
The Ukraine’s security service is to pursue the leaders of separatist movement. First, there is a substitution of notions here. The right for self-determination is called separatism. It’s absurd, the leaders in the south-east want local referendums to define the will of people, and no pulling out of Ukraine is envisioned. Second, there is no legal government in Kiev at present which could assess the causes of south-eastern unrest. Nobody in the capital asks why this part of the country stood up in resistance after the February 22 coup, the very coup that gave rise to the protests. It’s only natural for the people to say no to recognizing the imposters.
The situation is aggravated by the activities of Bandera movement Neo-Nazi groups who openly say (their statements are made public and everyone can see for himself what they profess) that they intend to launch terror campaign against political opponents and all Russians. Anyone who dares to speak Russian and defend his right to do so in public is a potential victim.
In Donetsk the Ukraine’s security service has launched a criminal case against the commander of Donbass Peoples Militia Pavel Gubarev on the charges of, as they put it, “encroachment on Ukraine’s territorial integrity”. The local branch of security service said it has 11 cases to investigate. There have been formal admonitions sent to seven public activists of Lugansk, Smolensk, Kharkov regions and the Autonomous Republic of Crimea warning that their activities violate article 110 of the Criminal Code (the encroachment of Ukraine’s territorial integrity and inviolability of borders).
The criminal leaders (oligarchs related to criminal activities) have joined the efforts to quell the south-east. Two of them – Kolomoisky and Taruta – have been appointed heads of Dnepropetrovsk and Donetsk city governments. Kolomoisky controls the industrial group Privat which comprises a number of banks, metallurgical and ferroalloy factories as well as ore and oil processing enterprises. Taruta, the new head of Donetsk, is a shareholder of Alchevsk metallurgical, Alchevsk chemical-recovery, Dneprovsk-located metallurgical Dzerzhinsky enterprises as well as Dneprovsk pipe construction facility. In 2011 Taruta was the 9th richest Ukrainian with the wealth of 2, 126 billion. …more
Ukrainians, Russians and Europeans against Putin’s war
2 March, 2014 – libcom.org
Ukrainians, Russians and Europeans were on the streets today protesting against the Putin regime’s attack on Ukraine.
The anti-war demonstrations today are the only shaft of light I can see in a dark sky overshadowed by the danger of war, with 6000 Russian troops reportedly on Ukrainian territory in Crimea, some of them surrounding Ukrainian bases.
In Moscow, anti-war demonstrators were detained in large numbers. Each time protesters assembled on Manezhnaya square in the city centre, more were arrested. Novaya Gazeta, the liberal opposition paper, reported 265 arrests and counting just after 16.00 Moscow time.
Voices on the Russian radical left were unequivocal. “It is necessary to call a spade a spade: what’s happening in Crimea these days is a classic act of imperialist intervention on the part of the Russian state”, said the Open Left group in a statement published in English here.
“Maidan has opened the sluices of activity of the far-right thugs – and at the same time has spurred to political life great masses of people, who perhaps for the first time perceive that they themselves are capable of determining their fate. This range of possibilities has the potential to resolve itself both into progressive social changes, and into the victory of extreme reaction. But the final decision must, without doubt, be left to the people of Ukraine themselves”, Open Left wrote.
Large numbers joined demonstrations against the war not only in Kyiv but in all the large Russian-speaking cities in the east. Ukrainska Pravda reported a demonstration of 5-10,000 people against Putin’s aggression in Nikolaev, a predominantly Russian-speaking city in southern Ukraine. The report said that agricultural and public sector workers, students and the intelligentsia were all at the march.
In Dnipropetrovsk, a predominantly Russian-speaking industrial city, and Odessa, the predominantly Russian-speaking port city in southern Ukraine, several thousand people joined similar marches. There were demos in Kharkiv, Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporozhye – smaller than pro-Russian marches … but shamefully downplayed by western media reports.
In Kyiv, the radical left called for working-class solidarity against Putin’s militarism. “There’s no point in waiting for ‘rescue’ from Nato”, said a statement by the Autonomous Workers Union, published in English here. “The war can be averted only if proletarians of all countries, first and foremost Ukrainian and Russian, together make a stand against the criminal regime of Putin.” …more
UKRAINE: Statement about the situation in Ukraine from AWU (Autonomous Workers Union)
by tahriricn – 19 February, 2014
Civil war began in Ukraine yesterday. A less than peaceful demonstration clashed with state defense forces and divisions formed by the adherents of the current government near the Vekhovna Rada (Parliament). On February 18, police, together with the paramilitaries, arranged a bloodbath in the governmental quarters during which numerous demonstrators were killed. Butchers from the special divisions finished off arrestees. Deputies of the ruling Party of Regions and their bourgeois lackeys from the “Communist” Party of Ukraine fled from the Parliament through an underground tunnel. The vote for constitutional amendments, intended to limit presidential power, did not take place after all. After their defeat in the governmental quarters, demonstrators retreated to the Maidan. At 6 P.M., the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Internal Security Bureau (SBU) declared an ultimatum to the protesters, demanding their dispersal. At 8:00 P.M., special police forces and paramilitaries, equipped with water cannons and armored vehicles, began their raid on the barricades. Police, the special divisions of SBU, as well as pro-governmental troopers made use of their firearms. However, the protesters managed to burn down one of the armored police vehicles, and it turned out that governmental forces were not the only ones in possession of guns. According to the data released by the police (on February, 19, 4 p.m.), 24 people were killed: 14 protesters and 10 policemen. Thirty-one policemen received gunshot wounds. Even if their estimate of losses on the side of the police is accurate, the number of victims among the protesters was definitely diminished. Maidan’s medics cite at least 30 killed.
One gets an impression that President Yanukovich was certain that by morning the resistance would be crushed, and so arranged for the Opposition leaders to meet with him at 11 A.M. on February, 19. As the negotiations did not take place, we can conclude that the government’s plan had failed. During the unsuccessful operation to clear off the Maidan, the citizens of several western regions occupied administrative buildings and chased away the police. At the moment the police, as an institution, do not exist in L’viv. According to the SBU, protesters have captured 1500 firearms. In less than 24 hours, the central government lost control over a section of the country. Right now, the only solution may be the stepping down of the President, however, that would mean that he, his family, and their multiple acolytes and dependents, which form a rather large group in the ruling government, would lose their source of profit. It is likely that they will not accept this.
In the event of Yanukovich’s victory, he will become a ruler for life, and the rest will be doomed to a life in which they face poverty, corruption, and the abolition of their rights and freedoms. Rebellious regions are now experiencing massive restorations of “the constitutional order.” It is not improbable that the suppression of such “terroristic groups” in Galicia will have the character of ethnic cleansing. Mad Orthodox radicals from the Party of Regions have, for a long time, seen the conservative Greco-Catholics as the aids of “Eurosodom.” Such an “antiterrorist” operation would be carried out with the assistance of the army, as the Minister of Defense, Lebedev, has already announced. …more