At least 80% of the Russian population stands solidly behind Vladimir Putin. He has brought them universal education, health care and fixed infrastructure that was decaying after the fall of the Soviet Union. The range of answers at Vladimir Putin’s annual meeting with the media varied from purely practical to practically poetic and even personal.
Western nations want to chain ‘the Russian bear’ – Putin
RT Russia December 18, 2014
Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during his annual press conference in Moscow on December 18, 2014. Photo: Alexander Nemenov/AFP. Visit this page for its audio links.
Western nations want to chain “the Russian bear,” pull out its teeth and ultimately have it stuffed, Russian President Vladimir Putin warned. He said anti-Russian sanctions are the cost of being an independent nation.
Putin used the vivid metaphor of a “chained bear” during his annual Q&A session with the media in Moscow in response to a question about whether he believed that the troubles of the Russian economy were payback for the reunification with Crimea.
“It’s not payback for Crimea. It’s the cost of our natural desire to preserve Russia as a nation, a civilization and a state,” Putin said.
The president said that even if “the Russian bear” started “sitting tight… and eating berries and honey,” this would not stop pressure being applied against the country.
“They won’t leave us alone. They will always seek to chain us. And once we are chain, they’ll rip out our teeth and claws. Our nuclear deterrence, speaking in present-day terms,” Putin said.
“As soon as this [chaining the bear] happens, nobody will need it anymore. They’ll stuff it. And start to put their hands on his Taiga [Siberian forest belt] after it. We’ve heard statements from Western officials that Russia’s owning Siberia was not fair,” he exclaimed.
“Stealing Texas from Mexico – was that fair? And us having control over our own land is not fair. We should hand it out!”
The West had an anti-Russian stance long before the current crisis started, Putin said. The evidence is there, he said, ranging from“direct support of terrorism in the North Caucasus,” to the expansion of NATO and the creation of its anti-ballistic missile system in Eastern Europe, and the way the western media covered the Olympic Games in Sochi, Putin said.
Related: Below: Cutting out the Western Axis middle men?
Russia’s Alrosa to sell more diamonds direct to India
The Economic Times India December 10, 2014
NEW DELHI/MUMBAI: Russia’s state-controlled diamond monopoly Alrosa will sign a dozen deals with Indian buyers on Thursday to increase direct deliveries to Asia’s third-largest economy, as financial capital Mumbai aspires to expand as a trading hub.
Alrosa earns half of its revenue, or around $2.5 billion, from Indian-funded clients. Most of its sales go via trading centres like Antwerp, Dubai or Tel Aviv, with $700 million coming from direct sales of rough diamonds to India-based companies.
The direct deals, to be signed during a visit to India by President Vladimir Putin, would reduce the cut taken by middlemen in the secretive precious gems trade.
“A lot of our Indian customers buy rough diamonds through Antwerp or Dubai. For them it will be more comfortable to deal directly,” Alrosa Vice President Andrey Polyakov told Reuters in New Delhi.
Putin and his host, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, are expected to preside over the signing of the contracts at a diamond industry conference during the Kremlin chief’s one-day visit to New Delhi.
India does not produce any of its own rough diamonds but cuts and polishes around 80 per cent of the world’s output, its Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) estimates.
“Only a few big diamond players are purchasing directly, otherwise most of the stones come through middlemen,” said Sabyasachi Ray, executive director at the GJEPC. “That increases the transaction costs and adds (to) the burden on the industry.”
While a direct sales route to India might reduce risks linked to Western sanctions imposed over Russia’s annexation of Crimea and support for an uprising in eastern Ukraine, India will also need to streamline its tax and import rules if direct trade is to take off.
“India will have to simplify procedures and relax taxation for direct diamond trade,” said Ray. His industry group has proposed allowing diamond imports by consignment and assessing taxes based on the presumed value of shipments.
Alrosa is the world’s leading diamond miner, accounting for 27 per cent of global production by carats. Output totalled 36.9 million carats last year, the company says.
Below: Peter Koenig is an economist and geopolitical analyst. He is also a former World Bank staffer and worked extensively around the world in the fields of environment and water resources. He writes regularly for a number of publications. Peter Koenig travels widely giving seminars on money and is the author of 30 Lies About Money. He is also the author of Implosion – An Economic Thriller about War, Environmental Destruction and Corporate Greed – fiction based on facts and on 30 years of World Bank experience around the globe.
Free fall of the Ruble – A brilliant ploy of Russian economic Wizards? Who’s chess game?
Peter Koenig Vineyard of the Saker International December 18, 2014
The world is still hell-bent for hydrocarbon-based energy. Russia is the world’s largest producer of energy. Russia has recently announced that in the future she will no longer trade energy in US dollars, but in rubles and currencies of the trading partners. In fact, this rule will apply to all trading. Russia and China are detaching their economies from that of the West. To confirm this decision, in July 2014 Russia’s Gazprom concluded a 400 billion gas deal with China, and in November this year they signed an additional slightly smaller contract – all to be nominated in rubles and yuan.
The remaining BRICS – Brazil, India and South Africa – plus the members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) – China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kirgizstan, Uzbekistan and considered for membership since September 2014 are also India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran and Mongolia, with Turkey also waiting in the wings – will also trade in their local currencies, detached from the dollar-based western casino scheme. A host of other nations increasingly weary of the decay of the western financial system which they are locked into are just waiting for a new monetary scheme to emerge. So far their governments may have been afraid of the emperor’s wrath – but gradually they are seeing the light. They are sensing the sham and weakness behind Obama’s boisterous noise. They don’t want to be sucked into the black hole, when the casino goes down the drain.
To punish Russia for Ukraine, Obama is about to sign into law major new sanctions against Russia, following Congress’s unanimous passing of a recent motion to this effect. – That is what the MSM would like you to believe. It is amazing that ten months after the Washington instigated Maidan slaughter and coup where a Washington selected Nazi Government was put in place, the MSM still lies high about the origins of this government and the massacres it is committing in the eastern Ukraine Donbass area.
Congress’s unanimity – what Congress and what unanimity? – Out of 425 lawmakers, only 3 were present for the vote http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article40489.htm. The others may have already taken off for their year-end recess, or simply were ‘ashamed’ or rather afraid to object to the bill. As a matter of fact, of the three who were present to vote, two at first objected. Only after a bit of arm-twisting and what not, they were willing to say yes. This is how the ‘unanimous’ vote came to be, as trumpeted by the MSM – unanimous by three votes! The public at large is duped again into believing what is not.
What new sanctions does this repeatedly propagated bill entail? – It addresses mostly Russian energy companies and defense industry with regard to sales to Syria, as well more anti-Russia propaganda and ‘democratization’ programs in Ukraine – and Russia; all countries with the objective for regime change.
How do these sanctions affect Russia, especially since all Russian energy sales are no longer dollar denominated? – Sheer propaganda. The naked emperor once more is calling an unsubstantiated bluff. To show his western stooges who is in power. It’s an ever weaker showoff.
Now – as a consequence of declining oil prices and of western ‘sanctions’ – of course, what else? – Russia’s economy is suffering and the ruble is in free fall. Since the beginning of the year it lost about 60%; last week alone 20%. As a result and after serious consideration, says MSM, the Russian Central Bank decided a few days ago to increase the interest of reference from 10.5% to 17% to make the ruble more attractive for foreign investors. It worked only for a few hours. Raising the interbank interest was Putin’s reply to Obama’s bluff – feeding at the same time western illusion about Russia’s decline.
The propaganda drums tell you Russia is helpless because the world has lost the last bit of confidence in President Putin – of course. Regime change is on the agenda. Mr. Putin must be blamed as the culprit, hoping to discredit him with his people. He is leading Russia into a deep recession; the worst since the collapse of the Soviet Union. The mainstream media show you interviews with average mainstreet Russians saying they have lost all their savings, their salaries and pensions are worth nothing anymore and they don’t know how to survive this coming calamity.
In reality, at least 80% of the Russian population stands solidly behind Vladimir Putin. He has brought them universal education, health care and fixed infrastructure that was decaying after the fall of the Soviet Union. President Putin is literally revered as a hero by the vast majority of Russians – including the country’s oligarchy.
In fact, nobody in the western economic system these days is dealing in rubles. In short-sighted connivance with Washington, the treasuries of the western vassals are releasing their ruble reserves – which Russia does not buy, thereby flooding the market. Russia not only has large dollar reserves, plus the ruble is backed by gold, a fact consistently omitted in the MSM. For now, Russia prefers to let the ruble plummet.
Under another ‘arrangement’ by bully Obama, Middle Eastern oil producing puppets like Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States are overproducing and flooding the market with petrol and gas, thereby driving the price down to the ostensible detriment of Russia and Venezuela, both countries where Washington vies for regime change. A double whammy thinks Washington, buying kudos with the stooges. The sheiks that control their energy output apparently have been promised enough goodies from Washington to bite the bullet and take their own losses.
Russia needs rubles. That’s her currency. That is the currency Russia needs for future trading – detached from the western monetary system.
When Russia deems that her currency has reached rock-bottom, she will buy back cheap rubles in the market with massive amounts of dollars. Russia may then flood the western market – with dollars, and by now we know what that does to a currency – and simultaneously buy back rubles from the West. A brilliant move to reestablish Russia’s currency in a new emerging monetary system – which Europe would be welcome to join, but willingly, no by Washington style arm-twisting.
Is this another precursor to war? A nuclear confrontation or Cold War II? – Precursor to a false flag attempting Moscow to fall into the trap? – Not necessarily. Russia is playing a clever chess game, diplomacy at its best. Instead of sabre rattling – Russia is coin rattling. It might lead to a western financial fiasco early in 2015 for the dollar and euro denominated economies. And the winner is…?
Below: Jim comment: Offered for consideration only. This often ‘tin-hatty’ site is highly suspect. It appears to be a stage for extreme American-style libertarian propaganda. Its About section begins, “European Union Times is an international newspaper based in Europe with operational branches in America and Canada. Our online edition of The European Union Times (also known as The EU Times) is constantly updated to bring you the top news stories from around the world. It is produced by a dedicated staff from the European Union and by contributors from all around the world.” I haven’t been able to verify any of that. For what its worth, WHOIS results indicate the site is registered in Panama. In the following item, the source is said to be WhatDoesItMean.com, (see Sorcha Faal). Most of its imbedded links are to Cato Institute essays. The Cato Institute is an American libertarian think tank headquartered in Washington, D.C. founded as the Charles Koch Foundation in 1974 by Ed Crane, Murray Rothbard, and Charles Koch, chairman of the board and chief executive officer of the conglomerate Koch Industries. In July 1976, the name was changed to the Cato Institute. Cato was established to have a focus on public advocacy, media exposure and societal influence. The Institute’s website states, “The mission of the Cato Institute is to originate, disseminate, and increase understanding of public policies based on the principles of individual liberty, limited government, free markets, and peace.” You have been warned. I’m posting it here because it contains enough verifiable information to be of relevant interest.
Putin orders feared “Samson Defense” to collapse US-EU economies
EU Times ? December 17, 2014
Visit this page for its embedded links.
A chilling report published today by the Ministry of Economic Development (MED) is warning of potentially “catastrophic unknown consequences” relating to President Putin’s issuance to the Central Bank of Russia (CBR) of orders to initiate what is commonly known within the Kremlin as the “Samson Defense” designed to crash the Russian ruble, while at the same time insuring the economic collapse of both the United States and European Union.
The CBR’s “Samson Defense” is a Russian monetary strategy designed to economically mirror Israel’s feared “Samson Option” deterrence strategy of massive retaliation with nuclear weapons as a “last resort” if military attacks threaten its existence.
In Putin’s action against the US-EU, this report says, the CBR’s stunning move earlier today in raising the interest rate to 17% from 10.5% has had its desired consequence as the ruble plunged more than 20% and to date and has now lost about 57% of its value versus the US dollar since the start of the year, which exceeds the 36% plunge related to the 2008 global economic crisis.
Most importantly to note about this currency plunge, however, this report notes, are that Russia’s fiscal domestic accounts are denominated in depreciating rubles and its oil exports are invoiced in an appreciating US dollar, meaning that the fiscal blow from lower oil prices will be cushioned by a weak ruble, and was a strategy that Putin warned about earlier when he stated that the Federation was braced for a “catastrophic” slump in oil prices.
Equally as important to note, MED analysts in this report say, the CBR agreed to lend money this week against 625 billion rubles (over $10 billion) of bonds freshly printed by oil giant Rosneft allowing it to hoard its export dollars and meet a $10 billion loan repayment later this month, and another $4 billion in February.
As to how catastrophically low oil prices can fall, this report continues, it notes that OPEC has already stated that they are willing to push prices as low as $40 a barrel in their bid to take on Russia and US shale, a stance which began this past September when the Obama regime reached a secret deal with Saudi Arabia in order to flood the world with oil to collapse the Russian economy, but which has now backfired on them as the Saudis seek to bankrupt US shale producers too.
With 15% of US shale gas producers are already losing money because of the Obama regimes secret deal with Saudi Arabia, this report warns, up to half of all of Americas shale operations will face financial ruin if oil prices slip below $55 a barrel leaving millions without jobs in an already collapsing economy.
To the ability of the Federation withstanding a “Samson Defense” economic war against the US and EU, this report says, it should be noted that the current debt of the US stands at a staggering $18 trillion [an amount so large it is now mathematically impossible to ever pay back] while the EU is, likewise, at a equally staggering amount of €12 trillion ($15 trillion).
Compared to the combined US-EU debt of $30 trillion, this report notes, Russia has only $678 billion in foreign debt, has very little outstanding debt and its public debt to gross domestic product ratio is 10% – an excellent figure compared to the EU’s dismal average ratio of 90.9 and the US’s 71.8%.
Likewise to note, MED analysts in this report say, is that while Russia’s debt to GDP is roughly 14%, the EU currently stands at 90.9%, the US at 80.2%, and Japan’s at 227%, meaning, simply, that the Federation can withstand any economic hardship the Western alliance puts against it.
Also, and as independent analysts confirm, Moscow‘s coffers are well-filled, giving Russia the durability to weather a double external shock – tanking oil prices and Western sanctions.
The Finance Ministry controls two sovereign wealth funds, which contained some $172 billion as of December. The money, held in foreign currency, has been accumulated during the past 15 years of high oil and gas revenues and has been earmarked as a piggy bank, primarily for the pension system.
Additionally, the CBR’s overall foreign currency reserves stood at a healthy $416.2 billion dollars in early December.
And most critical to note about the “Samson Defense”, this report concludes, is that Russia will not cut its oil production against the headwinds of collapsing prices, and may, indeed, increase its amount as the plunging ruble, combined with a rising US dollar, actually makes Federation oil the most affordable in the world.