A footnote

13 Sep 2022 16:32

Source: Al Mayadeen English

Bouthaina Shaaban 

Because they cannot stop igniting wars in one part of the globe or another, that is the most pending danger NATO countries constitute to the welfare of human beings everywhere. 

Professor John Mearsheimer said the war in Ukraine will be a footnote in the history books written about the world changes this war has triggered. This remark may provide the best explanation of the huge noise the NATO countries have made about providing Ukraine with more sophisticated armaments and with billions of dollars in order to prevent a Russian victory. It also explains the big media campaign led by the West about the so-called advance made by the Ukrainian army against the Russians in Kharkov area. The press conference by NATO Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg, and the US Secretary of State, Antony J. Blinken, has to be seen and understood in light of the dire economic crisis which is biting into Europe. 

Despite the iron fist laid on Western media, it is an open secret today that the sanctions imposed by the West against Russia have backfired on the West itself, and it has become clear that Western people are the ones suffering because of these sanctions, and not the Russian people as the western governments planned. In addition, the Eastern rapprochement between China and Russia is treading fast steps toward an alliance, and the Shanghai organization is attracting more member states, which in a short while, will become one of the most important world alliances that NATO countries do not want to see at all. Both China and Russia have announced that their future dealings and trade are going to be in Yuans and Rubles, which will start to weaken the dollar and shake its world status. 

During the week and contrary to the expectations of Western media, the Chinese President, Xi Jinping, announced that he is going to Kazakhstan for a Shanghai meeting with the aim of meeting with President Putin. Every time these two leaders meet, they add another brick to the fortified base of their alliance whose grand announced aim is to change the world system into a multipolar system after getting rid of Western hegemony once and for all.

Of course, western experts and planners know all this and dread it, but instead of mentioning it or trying to address it in the real world, these jumped to the domain that they know best; i.e. the military claiming to their audiences that “Ukrainian forces have been able to stall Moscow offensive in the Donbass strike back behind Russian lines and retake territory.” On this narrative, they built the argument that NATO countries should send more support to Ukraine, with more billions of dollars and with the most sophisticated arms. Their imagination was set free to imagine that this is a very important moment for the Ukrainian people and army, and we should support them in order to prevent a Russian victory in Ukraine, as per their illusions.

First, there is no doubt that the press conference and all the media fever that came in its aftermath hailing progress made by Ukrainian forces against Russian forces was meant to change the focus of the Western people’s attention from the horrible consequences of the war on Ukraine on their daily lives and to stop the masses from taking to the streets to forcefully object to these policies, which proved to be disastrous to most of them.

Second, NATO countries have a history of supporting wars that have nothing to do with their geography or history. They now claim that they have to send hundreds of thousands of soldiers to protect the Eastern borders of NATO. What about Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria; are those also bordering NATO, or threatening its power? And what about Taiwan now; is it on the borders of NATO too?

The history of these countries proves without a shadow of a doubt that the military industry is at the core of its survival and continuity, and that is why they cannot survive and keep their hegemony over the world without this industry being well and prosperous, knowing that for this industry to be well and prosperous, it can only feed on wars. That is why they cannot stop igniting wars in one part of the globe or another, and that is the most pending danger NATO countries constitute to the welfare of human beings everywhere. 

What we have to remember is that we are dealing with two different worlds, two different systems of thinking, two different histories, and two very different objectives. The West, which has subjugated and colonized many countries across the world over centuries, has perfected the usage of media and psychological wars to keep people as its subject. Throughout history, Western colonial powers gave no thought to civilian casualties. A reminder of the answer of Madeleine Albright about millions of Iraqi children being killed; she said, “But it was worth it,” whereas Eastern powers represented by Russia in this war pay so much attention to avoiding unnecessary loss of civilian lives. They change their plans and their tactics if they can save lives in their military or on the adversary’s civilian lives. In fact, the Eastern attitude always believes in taking time. They are not in a hurry, and they do not rush to launch a media or psychological campaign because their objectives are far-reaching and by far nobler than those of the party whose main concern is to sell arms and accumulate more capital. 

For those reasons and many others unlisted here, we have to take the Hollywood postures made by the NATO Secretary-General and the US Secretary of State with a huge pinch of salt. Their major aim was to divert attention from the huge disaster they have created to their people through this uncalculated and misconceived adventure. It would have been much wiser and historically correct to review their decisions and decide whether they should continue in this futile endeavor or acknowledge the new realities on the ground born from the rise of the East and its determination, supported by the majority of people on Earth, to put an end to Western hegemony and remap the world on the basis of equal integrity and mutual respect. This may take a bit more time than what most people desire, but the train has left the station and it will undoubtedly reach its abode. The rest are insignificant details that no one will mention in the future.

The opinions mentioned in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Al mayadeen, but rather express the opinion of its writer exclusively.

´Rape Europe´ is next, stupid

July 15, 2022

Source

By Jorge Vilches

useful European idiots

“ Washington and London have drawn ´useful European idiots´ into an economic war against Russia ” – said former Russian president Dmitry Medvedev – adding that “the onset of a systemic crisis in the Eurozone is beginning to come true.” He added that Anglo-Saxons on both sides of the Atlantic conned EU members “like a couple of shell-game tricksters” by drawing them into an unwarranted economic war against Moscow which is actually an Anglo-Saxon project, not theirs. Paraphrasing James Carville, “it´s the Anglo-Saxons, stupid”. The US-UK cabal does not want Europe and Russia to trade, do business, relate, or grow together in any way, shape, or form. So they designed, built and forced upon Europe the current John Bolton-Ukraine war which had plan A (now failed) with Russia as target and plan B as substitute with Europe itself as the intended victim coming next. What Dmitry Medvedev may not know though is that such ”useful European idiots” can be broken down into 3 fairly distinct categories starting with the EU “well-trained career idiots” basically focused on continuously earning salaries and perks way above their capabilities. So they know that (a) the EU system rewards them generously despite their obvious mediocrity and limitations and (b) thus do not dare to question, doubt, let alone defy the EU system or dictats. They all know and feel every day of their lives that the EU ´system´ has a very strict pecking order and what top-cock (or top-hen) says to do or say or think is to be summarily executed without questioning the mandate, even if against European best interests as is the case.

This simplifies the problem from the Washington-London perspective as by controlling a handful of EU leaders (more on that later) the rest just follow the Pied Piper of Hamelin. Furthermore, these EU-captured intellectual simpleton retards are not dumb enough to the extreme of questioning their unequivocal role (they are aware of it) and accordingly constantly strengthen their vested-interests relationship. In sum, they work hard at it.

Then there is a second category of “useful European idiots” grouping the visible top EU leaders – many unelected — who can either be (a) plain corrupt as traditionally allowed for in Europe or (b) perceive themselves as God-chosen to lead Europe to a glorious yet undefined destiny no matter if actively hijacking any representational capacity and values they may have received. For lack of a better term, this “affection” – which pretty much comes with the territory – in medical circles is sometimes also known as “bronzemia” a rare hematological disease that makes the patient believe his destiny is to end up in a bronze sculpture and adored – literally — just like a Greek God of sorts. For example, it is very well known that EU Commission President Ursula von den Leyen abhors British leadership, let alone after the yet un-resolved Brexit due to unconfessable trickery from Perfidious Albion. But she still accepts and follows Anglo-Saxon mandates because of what she perceives to be her role in achieving the still unknown greater European “good”. Go figure… Finally, the third group of “useful European idiots” are regular everyday Europeans that – so as not to abandon their zone of political and economic / financial comfort – knowingly allow their leaders to betray their best interests without getting their feet wet in any way.

C:\Users\Jorge Vilches\Desktop\index.png

Pepe Escobar says in his latest article referenced below: “ The combo in power in Washington actually “supports” the unification of Britain, Poland, Ukraine and The Three Baltic Midgets as a separate alliance from NATO/EU – aiming at “strengthening the defense potential.” That’s the official position of US Ambassador to NATO Julian Smith.

So the real imperial aim is to split the already shattering EU into mini-union pieces, all of them quite fragile and evidently more “manageable”, as Brussels Eurocrats, blinded by boundless mediocrity, obviously can’t see it coming. More on the UK + Australia roles later.

Meanwhile the Austrian Chancellor himself thoughtfully posits that “Alcohol could be our last resort ” and the EU gaslights environmentalists by grossly redefining what ‘green’ energy is. This resembles quite closely former US President Bill Clinton’s dilemma in his grand jury testimony regarding his acknowledged and intense sexual relationship with young White House intern Monica Lewinsky “it depends on what the meaning of the word is is” (sic). No typos in that quote, so say no more…

Ref #1 https://www.rt.com/russia/558846-us-uk-eu-sanctions/ Ref #2 https://www.rt.com/news/558860-austria-chancellor-alcohol-inflation/

Ref #3 https://www.rt.com/news/558790-eu-redefining-green-energy/ Ref #4 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clinton%E2%80%93Lewinsky_scandal

Ref #5 https://thesaker.is/russia-and-china-havent-even-started-to-ratchet-up-the-pain-dial/

plan A

“Rape Russia” was plan A, by first provoking Russia 24x7x365 into an existential armed conflict, then let´s defeat Russia militarily (ha!) and change the regime, then balkanize the Russian Federation and fragment it into manageable pieces, and then plunder all of Russia yet again just like we did in Yeltsin´s time. Easy does it. Problem is plan A failed miserably on all fronts no matter how much and how well hundreds of Anglo-Saxon experts – the real puppeteers moving the EU-Ukraine strings — planned for it, some of whom still insist it´s only a matter of pressing yet longer and harder. Others say let´s not lose this war, let´s just go nuclear (more on that later). Yet others – probably cool-headed baldy boomers with Cuban missile crisis personal experience – warn that let´s better not try nuclear warfare as Russia, at least today with fully proven hypersonic vector delivery… would also win. Besides, European capitals nearby would be very soft and quick targets, would they not? Furthermore, Russia´s Sarmat ICBM would immediately step into the act able to ´demolish half a continent as the most powerful missile of its class in terms of range and warheads invincible to all existing air defenses´(sic) And also possible unstoppable latest generation UAV drone fleets already under Russian deployment and/or drone-bot or regular submarines could also nuclear-trigger unheard-of massive tsunamis at every targeted coastline in Western seaboards that ´almost´ land-locked Russia does not have… plus EMP mid-air detonations grinding the crowded Western cities to a halt. All politically impossible and Russian very highly-improbable… but let´s just hope and pray that it doesn´t happen by accident either…

At any rate, plan A took several disciplines and many years of design and training probably more than 10 as proudly explained by NATO´s top dog, Jens Stoltenberg. Also, as per the latest public statements made by former White House National Security Adviser John Bolton, it took a lot of hard work, many US and UK agencies and hundreds of experts, think tanks, rivers of ink, and Zettabytes of documents (no pun intended) plans, maps, satellite imagery, logistical research, telecommunications development, and testing, interviewing and questioning of many thousands of Ukraine soldiers and foreign mercenaries, political influencing, and many billions of dollars – skeptics please refer to Victoria Nuland — sending tons of lethal, modern, sophisticated weaponry to Russian enemies … and still plan A failed, and badly at that for reasons explained hereafter. Only Field Marshall Nazi General von Paulus and Napoleon Bonaparte would possibly share the disgusting feeling of such terribly frustrating defeat.

With plan A, even Germany broke its long-standing policy of banning all exports of lethal weapons to a conflict zone the instant it agreed to deliver 1,000 rocket launchers and 500 Stinger surface-to-air missiles to Ukraine. France, Belgium, the Netherlands, and many other states have joined the effort and, led by Germany, have added greater support with whatever including anti-tank, anti-aircraft weapons, howitzers, armored vehicles, body armors, night vision devices, grenade launchers, etc., many/most of which completely uncontrolled and without any oversight actually ended up in the hands of numerous resellers on the “black Internet”, not the Ukraine military. The six EU sanctions “packages” – No. 7 is in the works — did not help plan A at all either and, as a matter of fact, all were badly counter-productive. Neither did the addition of “creative transfers” of truly lethal weaponry from Canada per detailed proposal from The Brookings Institution, probably the most prominent “peace-minded” think tank the US will ever have. So imagine what Hoover or The Heritage Foundation, the Council of Foreign Relations, Cato, CSIS, PIIE, American Enterprise or Rand Corporation might say for that matter. The list goes on and on…

Like many other Western strategic projects, plan A most probably originated and/or picked up critical speed in the keenly Russophobic and always protagonistic UK. Still, the level of US involvement was extraordinary and ever-increasing as plan A kept failing, including sanctions preparation, intelligence sharing, weapons deliveries, and tons of money, bribery included. Add to that the ever-heightening political rhetoric: “The United States is in this to win it… not for a stalemate” as one US Congressman proudly tweeted from Kyiv. Or even claiming that “Supplying Arms to Ukraine is Not an Act of War”… The US has sent many F35 jets to Estonia, yet more to Spain and elsewhere…has increased its military presence with US permanent headquarters and troops in Poland… plus a 10-fold enlarged rapid-response force up to 300,000 with yet additional troops in Romania and the Baltic states… plus yet more destroyers in Europe´s waters and skies. And always of course with the always-instrumental UK helping along as per Foreign Secretary Liz Truss – now confirmed candidate for the Prime Minister position — urging to send more “heavy weapons, tanks, and also airplanes” to Ukraine ASAP “digging deep into our inventories and ramping up production”.

Ref #6 https://www.zerohedge.com/political/americas-path-war-russia Ref #7 https://www.rt.com/russia/558801-ukraine-attacks-city-in-kherson/

Ref #8 https://www.justsecurity.org/80661/supplying-arms-to-ukraine-is-not-an-act-of-war/

Ref #9 https://www.brookings.edu/blog/order-from-chaos/2022/03/11/mind-the-escalation-aversion-managing-risk-without-losing-the-initiative-in-the-russia-ukraine-war/ Ref #10 https://www.rt.com/news/558088-biden-troop-deployments-nato-europe/

Ref #11 https://www.euronews.com/next/2022/03/04/ukraine-war-these-countries-are-sending-weapons-and-aid-to-forces-fighting-the-russian-inv

Ref #12 https://www.b92.net/eng/news/world.php?yyyy=2022&mm=07&dd=04&nav_id=114046

Ref #13 https://estonianworld.com/security/the-us-sends-more-f-35-jets-to-estonia/

Ref #14 https://www.rt.com/russia/558824-russia-sarmat-icbm-missile-production/

Ref #15 https://www.rt.com/news/558827-iran-russia-drone-claim/

Ref #16 https://www.rt.com/news/558964-russian-foreign-ministry-ukraine-himars-civilians/

short war

Semantics matter. Sure enough, a formal stake-holder agreement or peace settlement or “peace treaty” of sorts may take very long… or even never happen such as still in Korea. And yes, the conflict will go far beyond Ukraine only as a starting point of a new revolution already outlined by Russia´s President Vladimir Putin splitting the world in two very distinct 21st century halves in a “before and after” moment. Still, I insist in that the current shooting “hot war” in Ukraine will be short, with Russia simply winning by European default come 2023 – or even before — as explained already in depth. So such “cease-fire” does not need any official “Peace Treaty” or settlement, just shooting and bombing stopped altogether. Ukraine will simply depose its aggression for lack of European support or else be run down by Russian forces wherever Russia decides. Europe would have had enough, so they just want OUT.

In sum, backfiring EU sanctions on Russia will be the reason for Europe and Ukraine – not Russia — to abandon the shooting battlefield thus ´ending the shooting war´ soon even if the US would still want to go for it… which actually would not as their plan B (more on that later) would kick in immediately against Europe (!!) as soon as the battlefield war stops in Ukraine. So, thanks to their own EU sanctions, by not having enough Russian oil, fuels, nat-gas, food produce, etc., etc., with social unrest and millions freezing and starving to death, regular public-opinion Europeans would demand the EU to stop battlefield support for the provoked Ukraine war and have their leadership revert sanctions on Russia embracing it as the reliable trading partner as it has always been and thus returning to “normal” ASAP. In that sense, it´d be a short war. Formally, diplomatically, it may never actually end. Just saying…

Ref #17 https://thesaker.is/pitchforks-soon-in-europe/ Ref #18 https://www.rt.com/news/558848-truss-uk-contest-leadership/

Ref #19 https://www.politico.eu/article/ukraine-war-russia-germany-still-blocking-arms-supplies/ Ref #20 https://thesaker.is/natos-new-world

the UK role

After Brexit failed, Old Blighty UK more than ever had to overact positing, for example, that the collective West now needs “a global NATO” to pursue geopolitics anew. Or also “ Europe must immediately cut itself completely off from Russian energy supplies oil, gas and coal ”. Actually, the current UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss went yet further by tapping her well-known Rule Britannia Anglo-Saxon exceptionalistic mind-set which now would badly demand a much larger “lebensraum”. By the way, the Rule Britannia lyrics let the world know that “…at heaven’s command…Britons never, never, never shall be slaves”. No way, slaves will exist, but Britons shall make sure they are the owners of such and not any other way around. So now, with strategically located Australia – among the world´s largest LNG and food produce exporters — the AUKUS core concept is “all Anglo-Saxons for one, and one Anglo-Saxon for all”. And do not kid yourself as this is national UK policy from Tories, Lib Dems and also Labour. And per Liz Truss it´d be a flashing new “Network of Liberty” yet global in nature. The time and place of this new “Global NATO” setting Ms Truss says is (1) right now and (2) throughout the whole world. And the “lebensraum” Ukraine would only be the starting point says Foreign Secretary Truss very proud of British colonial history. Actually it´d have to be even far larger than what Adolf Hitler originally foresaw with his Nazi foreign policy dictum left on record in “Mein Kampf”. Unbelievably, and per the Führer´s own description, such “lebensraum” was to be found – oh coincidence — “in the Ukraine and intermediate lands of eastern Europe”… Liz Truss is on record adding that China would face the same treatment as Russia if it doesn’t “play by the rules”. The war in Ukraine is “our war” because Ukraine’s victory is a “strategic imperative for all of us” while denouncing the “false choice between Euro-Atlantic security and Indo-Pacific security. We need to pre-empt threats in the Indo-Pacific, working with allies like Japan and Australia to ensure that the Pacific is protected. In the modern world we need bothWe need a global NATO,” she said. Also, there is this new US strategy seeking to arm Japan against China, also consistent with such policies. Ref #21 https://www.rt.com/news/554925-missile-study-pacific-rand/

Liz Truss Poised to Scrap Northern Ireland Protocol

no-one left behind

In addition, the sitting UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss — now official Tory candidate for Prime Minister of the UK — has emphasized that the West “must ensure that, alongside Ukraine, the Western Balkans and countries like Moldova and Georgia have the resilience and the capabilities to maintain their sovereignty and freedom”. So Ukraine is not enough for her. And according to the top UK diplomat, NATO should integrate Finland and Sweden “as soon as possible” if the two Nordic nations choose to join the military alliance something which they are both definitely pressured to do.

Adding insult to injury, British Armed Forces Minister James Heappey also stated it is “completely legitimate” for Ukraine to use UK-supplied weapons to strike deep into Russian territory. Ms Truss also has said it was “time for courage, not caution”, making it necessary for the West to send warplanes to Kiev to defeat Moscow sounding much like the US State Department´s London office. Furthermore, German lawmakers overwhelmingly voted to send ‘heavy & complex weapons’ to Ukraine, thus making Germany the easiest, shortest and most probable first strike in the event that thermonuclear warfare with Russia is provoked. Germany could not have picked a better way to most unnecessarily place itself in harm´s way right next to London… or even before London was struck.

Ref #22 https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/german-lawmakers-vote-overwhelmingly-send-heavy-complex-weapons-ukraine

The UK lost most of its colonies in the 20th century and economically lost further more with Brexit while the US outsourced most of its manufacturing base in the 21st. So with only their financial and military weapons left, both now are trying to make NATO global. And thus the UK would finally reclaim its universal influence and “take back control” refreshing its natural right to run a financial-military ´Empire on which the sun never sets´. British troops are getting ready for one of their largest deployments in Europe since the cold war, the Defence Ministry (MoD) has said.

Thousands of UK soldiers are going to be sent to countries ranging from North Macedonia to Finland in the coming months to take part in joint drills with their counterparts from NATO, Finland, and Sweden, with British soldiers also training together with US forces in Poland. Also troops from the Queen’s Royal Hussars have just been deployed to Finland, which shares a 1,300-km-long border with Russia, to be embedded in an armored brigade. Convened by US Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin, and at the behest of US Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley, representatives from 40 countries gathered at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, to set the game plan with the rest of the world as pawns.

In practice, a global NATO is already in the making, and the US-led military bloc’s Madrid summit in late June 2022

is the best proof of this. For the first time in NATO’s history, the Pacific states – Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and South Korea – were invited; actions were intensified to form ‘quasi-alliances’ such as the QUAD (the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue between the US, Australia, Japan and India), AUKUS (the trilateral pact between the US, Britain, and Australia), and the Partners in the Blue Pacific (PBP: AUKUS plus Japan and New Zealand). In contrast to the ‘classical NATO’, which has long been perceived in China as a vestige of the Cold War and intra-Western conflicts, these alliances have an unambiguous anti-Chinese orientation.

Ref #23 https://www.rt.com/news/554705-uk-europe-drills-ukraine/ Ref #24 http://thesaker.is/queen-and-king-set-out-on-the-chessboard/

Ref #25 https://www.rt.com/russia/558819-us-consolidate-west-behind-china/

plan A revised

Since at least 10 years ago, an Anglo-Saxon plan A was proactively deployed for the Ukraine war. It meant having the US + UK fully supporting and pulling the strings from ´behind´ while the EU + Ukraine´s duly bought-out puppets organized a gang-up on Russia from all sides like hyenas on their injured prey. Such plan A by now is obviously failing miserably as the military war is being lost on all fronts and the “sanctions on Russia” have backfired and actually mean terrible “sanctions on Europe” (and “unfriendly” Asians…) with winter rearing its ugly head. Thusly, with plan A failing, Anglo-Saxon plan B is now required. But before getting into its details, let´s first review once more what plan A – or the ´let´s pounce on harmed Russia together´ plan — was all about and how it failed. For Russia was not crushed at all under the weight of sanctions and, actually benefitted in more than one way by collecting ever-larger revenues – due to higher induced prices — for smaller volumes of exports delivered. Furthermore any minute Russia could counter-attack with sanctions of its own regarding many things the West needs besides oil & gas & food & key minerals.

The basic idea behind plan A – not really that “new” by the way — was to prod Russia as much as needed for it to react and then use such reaction to justify a military run-over of Russia. Plan A would take a precise schedule and timing, buying-out whomever wherever, training of the Ukranian military and providing plenty of funding + weapons + intelligence + political coverage + etc. Also there was the requirement to gain time for executing all of the above by actively faking compliance with the Minsk Agreements (shamefully sponsored and led by both Germany & France) which was nothing more than a sham precisely to gain time as readily admitted by former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko. So the Western pirating plan was to pounce on Russia hard, produce regime change – despite the “lots of hard work required” per John Bolton former White House National Security Adviser — possibly assassinate Russia´s President Vladimir Putin ( I kid you not ), ruin Russian business capabilities forever, steal Russia´s deposits in Western banks, cut off her trade and finances, “yeltsinize” Russia all over again, fraction down the Russian Federation into weak portions, keep on grabbing Russian resources, just steal all that´s left or buy it on the cheap… and basically schadenfreude it all the way to the bank…

There was nothing to lose as the US & UK productive game of yesteryear was already over and done with, ´Made in USA´ does not exist anymore, the gold-decoupled Bretton Nothing “petro-dollar” standard is in terminal crisis, Brexit did not work out at all as the UK had originally expected, and 75% of the world does not agree with them either. And if while reading this you feel all this is a very unique and peculiar interpretation of facts, I please urge you to (a) take a look at the sources referenced and (b) take into account that if the White House and the worldwide MSM press are willing and able to cover-up today´s US president´s obvious and most dangerous senility, then what other stories are they euthanizing for you not to know about ? Today´s president of the global superpower is permanently confounded by teleprompter and cheat cards telling him what to do and say. Today, the Commander-in-Chief of the by far most powerful military in the world with 790+ military bases spanning the globe and more than 5,000 nuclear warheads, can barely make it through public appearances. Mind you, President Joe Biden wouldn’t pass a driver’s test, unable to distinguish between a pedestrian or a stop sign. But his finger is on the nuclear trigger. Did the MSM press tell you ?

Joe Biden cheat sheet gives detailed instructions to take seat, keep comments to 2 minutes | news.com.au — Australia's leading news site
Commentator-in-Chief Joe Biden is a threat to the West

Ref #26 https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2022/mar/04/lindsey-graham-suggests-putin-assassination-russia-ukraine

Ref #27 https://www.rt.com/russia/558168-nato-defensive-alliance-global-cop/ Ref #28 https://www.rt.com/russia/558321-rus-pivoting-toward-nonwest/

Ref #29 https://www.rt.com/news/558326-spiegel-eu-economic-war/ Ref #30 https://www.rt.com/russia/558202-jens-stoltenberg-ukrainian-civil-war/

Ref #31 https://www.rt.com/russia/558384-west-failed-support-confrontation/ Ref #32 https://www.rt.com/news/558326-spiegel-eu-economic-war/

Ref #33 https://www.rt.com/russia/558168-nato-defensive-alliance-global-cop/ Ref #34 https://www.zerohedge.com/political/bidens-mental-decay

Ref #35 https://technofog.substack.com/p/bidens-mental-decay Ref #36 https://www.theepochtimes.com/former-white-house-national-security-adviser-john-bolton-says-he-helped-plan-attempted-foreign-coups_4594748.html Ref #37 https://www.rt.com/business/558891-russia-oil-earnings-soar/ Ref #38 https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/climate-mandates-imposed-dutch-farmers-will-ruin-their-livelihoods-war-correspondent Ref #39 https://oilprice.com/Latest-Energy-News/World-News/Germany-To-Halt-Russian-Coal-Imports-Next-Month.html

plan B kicks in

Now Russia is winning on all fronts, be it militarily, geo-politically, strategically, financially, economics or logistics. So in the event that plan A failed – as it is now obviously happening – Anglo-Saxon plan B would soon kick in with Europe and Ukraine the victims, not the victimizers because neither will be able to withstand the tremendous burden that their ´Russian sanctions´ bear upon themselves, not Russia. And who would the victimizers be? Answer: the US + UK pupeteers-in-chief . Please re-read the “ useful European idiots “ paragraph above with very clear statements made by former Russian president Dmitry Medvedev. So the ´Russian sanctions´ will continue to (1) harm Europe and the Ukraine and (2) leave the Russian Federation basically unscathed and just collecting ever larger revenues – due to higher induced prices — for smaller volumes of exports delivered. This benefits Russia in two ways (a) getting paid more by producing less while saving the difference for future sales (b) it allows to finance Russia´s attrition-war strategy forever. There will be violence and massive migrations in Europe for sure as EU leaders are finally realizing.

gold anyone ?

EU politicking though has now stopped in its tracks right at the physical limit which “lite” and uncommitted European consumer economies will not allowed to be crossed thus altering their “comfort zone”. It is becoming ever clearer for European public opinion that without Russian energy, Russian food, and Russian produce at large quite simply Europe cannot survive. So as Frank Sinatra foresaw, the end is now near and Anglo-Saxon+EU joint plans for Russian piracy – plan A — are just about over. Never in their history have Europeans depended so much strictly from Russian produce that very simply cannot stop coming in. All the way to very distant Japan and South Korea, with these Russian sanctions their much-required ´Just-In-Time´ strategy is rapidly becoming ´Just-In-S**t. So now Europeans and Western-compliant Asians would freeze and starve with massive migrations democratically spread out everywhere. That´s why plan B “let´s rape Europe instead” will necessarily kick in soon.

What Anglo-Saxons may do after raping Europe and making it their own for peanuts is to make an energy & produce & resources supply deal with whomever. They´d just get a hold of installed and already built capacity plus expertise and human resources capabilities in Europe. Additionally, they would get the continental internal market in a key and unequaled geopolitical area of the world. The Anglo-Saxons basically just want to change the tide and win at something-anything, so if Russia cannot be defeated they´ll rape continental Europe first and try to make buddies with whomever later, even Latam or Africa… with investments profits on top. And Australia, as an active part of the AUKUS core may also perform a key role regarding “unfriendly” Asians. And beware: if you care to believe the Anglo-Saxons, between Fort Knox and the Bank of England they both pretty much vault everybody else´s gold, Europe´s included. So be carefully aware of the plenty of food for thought before you. Gold is real money as Lawrence of Arabia learned the hard way, and per Liz Truss – possibly the future Prime Minister of the UK — let´s recall that whoever has the gold would make the rules, their rules.

This unexpected self-inflicted slow-motion demolition of sorts was not what Europe had in mind for itself nor understood to be the price they´ll have to pay for fighting – let alone winning — this NATO provoked Ukraine war.

So, if Europeans do not react soon enough and revert course 180 degrees, Europe will continue vassalized depending ever more upon the US and thus self-hurting itself with “Russian” sanctions, not Russia, allowing for the US and London to eventually come in and pick up the pieces and keeping it all for peanuts as per their plan B. And this would mean that the hot shooting Ukraine war would stop. By the way, Russia could just watch the scene also unable to cover the whole globe and being fed-up of so much unjustified past aggression from the EU. And besides just sick and tired of so much nonsense and wasted opportunities during decades of accommodation to European needs. So with or without sanctions, Russia could simply sell ever-lower amounts of oil & gas & food and other strategic commodities to Europe and other Asian “unfriendlies” which are not that easy to find elsewhere as badly needed regarding quality, quantity, price, type, delivery, etc.

This would happen most probably not because Russia wanted to starve and freeze anybody, but rather because she would have simply found new and much better export clients elsewhere and with whom to relate and grow together in every sense, most probably ever-growing BRICS+ Accordingly, Russia would prefer to take better care of such new business, trade and political partners – with different currencies involved, not dollars nor euros — and leaving aside all the great opportunities missed after decades of Russia behaving as an excellent EU business partner to no avail. So, for whatever reasons and without firing a single shot, Russian sanctions could just impoverish Europe and other “unfriendlies” to the point which US and UK investors could step in and buy it out like vulture funds for pennies on the dollar. This outcome would be welcomed by the US & the UK, of course, the real puppeteers pulling the strings of it all and ready to prey upon the impoverished. So unless “Russian sanctions” are reverted 180 degrees, the US & UK would achieve their carefully planned plan B negatively affecting Europe and other “unfriendlies” for having dismissed Russia as a reliable business associate. So the (supposed) “international community” (ha!) is in for some surprises while three more countries are set to join BRICS+.

Ref #39 https://www.rt.com/news/558981-china-international-community-argument/

Ref #40 https://www.rt.com/news/558960-saudi-turkey-egypt-brics/

Ref #41    https://www.goldmoney.com/research/the-collapsing-euro-and-its-implications

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The ´Rape Russia´ plan backfires

July 09, 2022

Source

By Jorge Vilches

The war in the Ukraine will be short, not long. Contrary to what today´s Western casino politicians and MSM talking heads tell us to expect, come 2023 — or even before – Europeans will no longer withstand the tremendous burden that their ´Russian sanctions´ bear upon themselves, not Russia. European public opinion has become ever louder and impatient in this respect and EU politicians are getting cold feet without any solution at hand, just babble. No plan, none, no foresight… only incongruent foolish G-7 ideas such as establishing a buyer´s price cap cartel for oil & gas in a seller´s market which will never get to see the light of day. And despite some minor losses, these sanctions will continue to leave the Russian Federation basically unscathed and just collecting ever-larger revenues – due to higher induced prices — for smaller volumes of exports delivered. This benefits Russia in two ways (a) getting paid more by producing less while saving the difference for future sales (b) it allows to finance Russia´s attrition-war strategy forever while Europeans will very soon crawl and beg for a solution to their own unbearable “Russian sanctions”.

NATO knows this. So another possibility is that the necessarily short Ukraine war goes nuclear, be it because there is no other way for NATO to possibly win or because Russia is once again forced to attack due to constantly-repeated large-caliber direct NATO-orchestrated threats. More on both possibilities later, and even a third regarding Europe´s further vassalization and possible rape. Either way, any way – it´s worth repeating – the Ukraine war will be short.

And even the Davos crowd – after dragging its feet for way too long — has finally accepted that the West is now losing and that Russia is winning in all fronts. Be it militarily, geo-politically, strategically, financially, economics or logistics… despite all forecasts and plans made, Russia was better at it and today is obviously defeating NATO all around. True enough, today Russia does not fully control world food supplies nor all of the world´s energy, but in that respect, Russia does hold a “unique, essential and indispensable” role – sounds familiar, doesn´t it? (*) – better than anyone around, surely regarding Europe today, correct? And concerning the control of the very last factor of this essential trifecta, namely money, well it´s definitely a Russian + Chinese + BRICS “work-in-progress” project with a complete 180 degrees re-definition of what “real money” shall be while de-throning today´s be-all and end-all petro-dollar. This would plain do away with SWIFT + Bretton Nothing + the all-American softie jazz such as the Federal Reserve which is as “Federal” as Federal Express and has zero “reserves” of anything, just legions of un-funded liabilities and un-payable debts plus piles of worthless electronic bits and bytes

de-dollarizing the dollar

The world´s de-dollarization process is already underway with direct involvement of BRICS+ countries now including the world´s No.1 crude oil exporter namely Saudi Arabia — per China’s direct invitation and with Russia being No.2 — and with Iran and Argentina´s pending urgent acceptance. This means having yet more oil & gas and yet more food produce on the BRICS+ side of the equation. So raw-power relationships and key leverage parameters are undergoing a very major shift around the world nowadays. And “rapid changes are taking place in the global monetary system that may affect the international role of the dollar” as admonitioned by Jerome Powell himself, no more and no less than the man in charge of the US monetary policy. Another example is that Germany just had its first trade deficit in 30 years as the costs of its imports have soared while foreign sales have dropped for this most export-oriented economy. And future projections are even worse

https://dxczjjuegupb.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/Putin-Xi.jpeg

Xi Jinping – President of China + Vladimir Putin – President of Russia

world-famous ´Benjamin´ en route to oblivion

(*) first paragraph at https://thesaker.is/europe-fails-with-german-help/

Ref #1 https://quotefancy.com/quote/1275693/Henry-Kissinger-Who-controls-the-food-supply-controls-the-people-who-controls-the-energy

Ref #2 https://www.newsweek.com/nato-grows-china-russia-seek-bring-iran-saudi-arabia-fold-1720780

Ref #3 https://www.rt.com/business/558330-germany-trade-deficit/

Ref #4 https://www.rt.com/russia/558384-west-failed-support-confrontation/

Furthermore, many remain silent about specifics of the original NATO plan which was supposedly aimed at Ukraine and Russia as the only affected territories with direct severe impact upon the livelihood of their population. But of course NATO supposedly would not ever prepare a plan to negatively affect the direct visible promoter of the conflict, namely Europe, no ? Yet, the unexpected backlash of the EU-imposed “Russian sanctions” has been instead to seriously affect Europe, and really not so much Russia which, supposedly, was the only target to be impacted. So the West now finds itself — under EU unelected politicians in full charge and command — directly or indirectly self-harming Europe while Russia has its own territory unscathed and still reaping the benefits of the whole nonsense. True enough, Russia has taken some losses, but fundamentally just keeps gradually and relentlessly recovering Ukrainian territories one right after another and collecting ever-higher revenues and also with the Ruble sky high.

For their part, Ukrainians badly lost their territories and livelihoods while Europeans find themselves in a very awkward and unexpected situation which terribly worsens by the hour and with no end in sight. Let´s repeat it: the impact of the supposedly “Russian sanctions” come 2023 – or before — will become unbearable for Europeans, not Russians.

Ref #5 https://www.rt.com/business/558054-germany-russian-gas-cut-costs/ Ref #6 https://www.rt.com/business/558203-nord-stream-to-halt-gas-eu/

Ref #7 http://www.rt.com/news/558308-macron-russia-anglo-saxon/ Ref #8 http://www.rt.com/business/558262-germany-downplays-reliance-russian-oil/

Queen Elizabeth II + US President Joe Biden

This unexpected self-inflicted slow-motion demolition of sorts was not what Europe had in mind for itself nor understood to be the price they´ll have to pay for fighting – let alone winning — this NATO provoked Ukraine war. So this begs the question regarding exactly what was then the original plan all about if any. The only probably 100% sure answers are that (a) yes, there was a NATO Anglo-Saxon plan that Europe accepted and (b) we may never know exactly what such plan was. But we can posit our best educated guesstimate with our best objective attitude. And only time may possibly tell how accurate we were. For the time being our only guides are the cui bono and cui nocere principles (´who benefits´ and ´who harms´). Or maybe US President Joe Biden and Queen Elizabeth II could know…

unwarranted provocation

“History doesn’t repeat itself, but it often rhymes” – said Samuel Langhorne Clemens better known as ´Mark Twain´.

The Ukraine war was definitely planned by NATO for many years, probably more than ten. This is no secret as NATO´s top dog Jens Stoltenberg openly admitted to such extent. As the most distinguished and respected University of Chicago scholar Dr. John Mearsheimer has repeatedly proven “…the Western alliance began training the Ukrainian military in 2014, averaging 10,000 trained troops annually over the next eight years regardless of who occupied the White House”. In December 2017, the Trump administration, together with other NATO states, began sending ‘defensive’ weapons to Ukraine, while Kiev took a major role in military exercises held on the Russian border.

Furthermore, all sorts of joint-forces naval drills were held in the Black Sea right next to Russia “ to enhance the interoperability ” which would give Ukraine much of what was already being given to regular paying NATO client states. Yet Ukrainian actor-President Volodymyr Zelenskyy just kept asking for more, and NATO was happy to comply. Only that an often missed reality – even by NATO experts, let alone Ukrainian Zelenskyy — is that the Ukraine is a very large place and supply lines to the self-imposed Eastern fighting front are all over and are always very long and thus vulnerable. As Germany´s Wehrmacht learned the tough way biting the Russian dust during WW2 this is something worth taking into account before, not after hostilities start. So maybe this and other unforgivable mistakes may explain French President Emmanuel Macron´s “brain-dead” description of NATO and his current desire not to “annihilate” Russia as if anybody really could, let alone France. Yet again, it´s impossible to make this stuff up…

At any rate Crimea held a democratic referendum vote with the widespread presence of foreign observers that resulted in 97% approval to rejoin Russia. So, after so many unwarranted Western / Ukraine provocations, and lots of terrible nazi commandos killings of Russian-origin folks — including but not limited to the many “Azov battalions” — at the very least it is quite easy to understand why Russia launched its special military operation in view of so much foreign military and unwarranted provocation. Ref #9 https://www.rt.com/russia/558202-jens-stoltenberg-ukrainian-civil-war/ Ref #10 https://www.rt.com/news/558308-macron-russia-anglo-saxon/

President of France Emmanuel Macron

As a matter of fact, NATO’s first Secretary-General, Lord Ismay, famously noted that the mission of the bloc was “to keep the Russians out, the Germans down, and the Americans in.” So NATO meant a significant full-time US military presence in Europe which undertook a thirty-year program of expansion violating the commitment made to Soviet leaders, leaving Russia weakened. And then the crisis flared up when Ukrainian nazi nationalists began brutalizing the region’s Moscow-leaning majority. Two NATO members, France and Germany, helped perpetuate a fraudulent peace process – namely the Minsk Accords — which former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko recently admitted were nothing more than a sham perpetrated for the purpose of buying time so that NATO could train and equip the Ukrainian military for the purpose of forcibly seizing control of both Donbass and Crimea. As Germany´s Der Spiegel reports, NATO was pressured by the US to wage economic war against Russia. Seriously? Who would have known, no?

Ref #11 https://www.rt.com/russia/558168-nato-defensive-alliance-global-cop/

Ref #12 https://www.rt.com/russia/558321-rus-pivoting-toward-nonwest/ Ref #13 https://www.rt.com/news/558326-spiegel-eu-economic-war/

the plan

A plausible explanation – which I am inclined to mostly agree with – is an Anglo-Saxon let´s ´Rape Russia ´ plan (or possibly Europe itself if the “Rape Russia” plan fails…) having the bought-for EU-Ukraine team acting in the forefront despite possibly ending up as the final victim. This Anglo-Saxon plan would aim at 3 different goals, any one of which would satisfy US + UK interests. Of course, achieving more than one goal would mean a highly destructive geo political + financial + economical one-two punch of sorts. Fortunately, the first two goals do not seem achievable, but possible nuclear warfare may change things (more on that later)… or else Europe could be foolish enough not to back down to Russia´s legitimate claims ending up destroyed by sanctions (with Russia unscathed) while the US and UK would later come in and prey on the bargains. That´d be goal No.3, Victoria Nuland´s Anglo-Saxon “fuck the EU “(sic)

3 goals

Goal No.1 = sanctions + asset theft to harm & isolate Russia from the world economy (90% failed) but also hurt Europe

Goal No.2 = military win in the Ukraine by conventional warfare with regime change in Russia so far 100% failed.

The possible future achievement of goal No. 2 could change dramatically with onset of nuclear warfare.

Goal No.3 = munch popcorn and watch Europe suicide itself by opposing Russia while USA stays put and cheers on.

This goal No. 3 would actually take place thru Russian counter-sanctions impoverishing Europe ASWKI.

This plan had always the US leading from behind (and the UK partnering along) while having full control of the duly and readily bought-for EU and Ukrainian leaders. Goal No.1 sanctions were intended to break down any and all Russian business capabilities to abort Russia´s integration into the EU and world economy pretty much forever so that Russia would not ever more compete with Anglo-Saxon interests – especially in Europe — LNG included. A simple enough example would be the already achieved flow reduction of the North Stream 1 and full shut-down of NS2… or the Druzbha pipeline… or the EU import ban on Russian seaborne oil thus tearing Gerhard Schröder´s strategy of Russian energy vis-á-vis European growth into tiny humiliating pieces. This goal No.1 at the most has been 10% ´achieved´ (more on that later) as it has badly backfired on Europeans while Russia had correctly planned for it and thus rapidly and successfully pivoted to Asia and the BRICS+. So the goal No.1 should be considered as 90% failed with Russia cruising along with European revenues and the Ruble as strong as it cares to be… while Europe weakens to the point of breakdown come 2023. So even “failing” for Russia, be advised that this goal No.1 has self-hurt and vassalized Europe much further and now making it ever more dependable on the US and UK “help” and intervention in its geopolitical decisions. As UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss infamously said “ Geo-politics is baaaaack “

goal No.2

This goal No.2 would mean a EU-Ukraine conventional military triumph over Russia – something truly far-fetched and ´to the last Ukranian´ bleeding and suffering — also triggering a regime change thus leaving Russian assets for pennies on the dollar to buy out and control just like in the old Yeltsin days of yonder. Fortunately, so far zero luck with any such rape of Russian spoils and even with sky-high support for Vladimir Putin´s policies today throughout the Russian Federation. So, if ever achieved, goal No. 2 would mean “let´s rape Russia together”. Thus Europe, the supposed cradle of Western civilization, by actively participating in goal No.2 would have been promptly subdued by its own prostituted leaders and followed the US with possibly suicidal orders while in the pocket of what US President Dwight Eisenhower warned about in his 1961 farewell speech, namely the US “Military – Industrial Complex”. Still, despite the lack of success against Russia, the plan has further vassalized (and self-harmed) Europe now strictly kow-towing the US line in exchange for well stacked off-shore bank accounts for the very usefull services rendered. Be that as it may, per this state of affairs, among many other problems Europeans now — and the rest of the fuel-deficient world for that matter — will have to pay for energy an un-payable price “for as long as it takes” so that ‘the liberal world order can subsist’” per White House economic adviser Brian Deese and also confirmed by US President Joseph Biden Ref #14 https://www.theguardian.com/world/video/2014/feb/07/eu-us-diplomat-victoria-nuland-phonecall-leaked-video

Ref #15 https://justthenews.com/politics-policy/energy/white-house-advisor-tells-cnn-high-gases-prices-necessary-future-liberal

Ref #16 https://www.globalresearch.ca/americas-conquest-of-western-europe-is-europe-doomed-by-vassalage-to-washington/5538471

goal No. 3

If Europeans did not react soon enough and revert course 180 degrees as explained later, Europe would continue vassalized depending ever more upon the US and would continue self-hurting itself with “Russian” sanctions, not Russia. Furthermore, the EU+Ukries team is also losing the conventional military war. So then goal No. 3 would eventually apply when Europe ended up pretty much suiciding itself (as explained below) thus allowing for the US and London to come in and pick up the pieces and keeping it all for peanuts. Goal No. 3 would materialize because Russia is already fed-up of so much unjustified aggression from the EU, just sick and tired of so much nonsense and wasted opportunities during decades of accommodation to European needs. So with or without sanctions, Russia would simply sell ever-lower amounts of oil & gas & food and other strategic commodities to Europe which are not that easy to find elsewhere as Europe needs them regarding quality, quantity, price, type, delivery, etc. This would happen most probably not because Russia wanted to starve and freeze Europe to death, but rather because she would have simply found new and much better export clients elsewhere and with whom to grow together in every sense, most probably BRICS+ Accordingly, Russia would prefer to take better care of such new business, trade and political partners – with different currencies involved, not dollars nor euros — and plain forgetting about “crazy-wicked and agreement un-capable”(sic) US and EU which have thrown all the great Russian opportunities to the waste basket after decades of Russia behaving as an excellent business partner to no avail, just EU-US warmongering in return. Goal No. 3 would then be achieved when Russia as explained above – or for whatever reasons and without firing a single shot — would just impoverish Europe to the point which US and UK investors could step in and buy it out like vulture funds do with sovereign bonds (think Argentina 2001) for pennies on the dollar. This outcome would be welcomed by the US & the UK, of course, the real puppeteers pulling the strings of it all and ready to prey upon an empoverished vassal Europe.

Middle Ages-type massive migrations can eventually get to be a deep-learning experience for all as “Kobold” (gremlin) Annalena Bärbock in all her green glory is about to see as the German Minister for Foreign Affairs. Furthermore, even with supposed ´money´ in their pockets, the European elites will not come out of this disaster smelling like roses. No ´money´ will ever buy food or fuel or heating in these circumstances. The EU leadership is slowly realizing that lots of Russian-sourced produce has no substitute thus forcing them to bet the farm on winning the war with Russia which the US-EU-Ukraine team duly prepared for and thought it would be easy stuff… and it was not. Of course, as Russia has stashed up lots of money already, she could decide to just cut-off both oil & gas to Europe, period. Then goal No.3 would instantly kick in. In essence, it´s a stand-off between Europe´s need of Russian produce versus achieving an apparently impossible Russian regime change real soon. If the latter outcome does not happen, the former rules. Anglo-Saxons would win either way. Ref #17 https://www.rt.com/business/555362-west-russia-oil-explainer/ Ref #18 https://www.rt.com/business/558473-eu-energy-emergency-plan/

Rubles, not dollars nor euros

And Russia now also says “it´s our products so you pay in Rubles, okay ?” Why euros or dollars? You plain rob them anyways, so you propose paying for my produce for nothing? Russia does not need, care to have, or find a use for your payment in dollars or euros which are only your strict nonsense, not ours. This includes oil + nat-gas + LNG + refined products + wheat + everything else Ref #19 https://www.rt.com/business/558232-russia-switches-grain-exports-rubles/

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go nuclear ?

The US & UK productive game of yesteryear is over and done, ´Made in USA´ does not exist anymore, the gold-decoupled Bretton Nothing “petro-dollar” standard is in terminal crisis, sanctions backfired, the Ukraine war is being lost, and 75% of the world does not agree with us anymore. So the last resort the US could find was an EU let´s “Rape Russia together” pirating plan – by the way, already tried before — but this time also with Western ´intelligence´ advocating for a change of regime and active “yeltsinization” of Russia so as to buy Russian failed assets for peanuts. So, just pounce on Russia soon and hard enough, ruin Russian business capabilities forever, cut off her trade and finances, etc., etc., and possibly force a regime change, keep on grabbing Russian resources, just steal all that´s left or buy it on the cheap, “yeltsinize” Russia all over again, fraction and balkanize the Russian Federation into smaller weaker Western-manageable portions, etc., etc., and schadenfreude it all the way to the bank…Clear enough?

And if this fails just let Russia impoverish Europe to the point of breakdown and then Anglo-Saxons buy it all for cents

But, wait… what happens if none of these plans come to fruition ? Would the US just bite the bullet ?

It may happen that The Anglo-Saxon Powers That Be do not want to appear as losers, wish to save face, and under a false flag excuse decide to try out Armageddon with a nuclear first-strike strategy against Russia. True enough, in that case, today the Russian Federation’s technologies seem capable of defending properly and even effectively counter-attacking, but the nuclear option could certainly change world scenarios and the possible outcome of Goal No. 2

Clear enough, most US leaders anyway now want war ( any winning war ) with Russia while Russia is trying to avoid war by all means. But the NATO provocations just keep coming relentlessly. So at some point, Russia may also be backed into a corner, and it won’t take long for the battle to go nuclear. And Russian General Andrei Gurulyov does not mince words. “ We will strike London first,” says he per referenced quote below. And even Vladimir Putin himself has not beaten around the bush regarding the Russian Federation now being on “maximum nuclear warfare alert”. And Johnson or Biden or Putin not being in charge would not change anything. It´s national policy in all three countries.

Beware: Russia has clear advantages in this regard, so act accordingly and do not let politicians sell out your future… or your lives. For example, do not let any politician or group of politicians or party lie you into a war which only Congress has the prerogative to declare, not by an Executive Order from Joe Alzheimer´s handlers. Let´s just get angry at the right things and not at each other.

Ref #18 https://usawatchdog.com/paul-craig-roberts-nuke-war-coming-mysterious-deaths-dont-stop-dems-cant-win/

Ref #19 https://www.b92.net/eng/news/world.php?yyyy=2022&mm=07&dd=04&nav_id=114046

Ref #20 https://www.rt.com/russia/558573-belarus-intelligence-war-poland/

In my humble opinion, the only solution for Europe today is

  • stop the Russophobia right now and embrace Russia as a business partner
  • reverse the current unwarranted course 180 degrees on all fronts Ukraine included
  • tell the US + UK warmongering neo-cons to drop dead and go home
  • return the money and all assets robbed from Russia
  • change your political leadership ASAP, en masse
  • elect Herr Gerhard Schröder as Chancellor of Germany and leader of Europe
  • accept Russia´s legitimate territorial claims
  • accept Asia´s success and the decline of Europe and the Western world at large
  • acknowledge multipolarity and fully accept Asia´s legitimate well-earned future role
  • drop the Anglo-Saxon Brexitology superiority-complex philosophy
  • guarantee Russia´s existential security
  • get rid of nazi influence everywhere
  • fully comply with the Minsk Accords
  • become “agreement-capable” and relate with Russia and China respecting wording and spirit of agreed terms.
  • stop the shameful European nonsense now exposed for the world to see.
  • THINK strategically, ACCEPT your limited capabilities, and get rid of US + UK influence altogether

If Europe rejects this only effective SOLUTION, then let´s just sit back and watch Europe suffer the inevitable consequences and so be it. Most probably with the US & UK achieving their carefully planned goal No. 3 whereby Europe ends up fully vassalized and raped by Anglo-Saxons while dismissing Russia as a reliable business associate.

Sitrep Operation Z: SloMo Collapse

July 01, 2022

Source

By Saker Staff

Let us deal with Snake Island first as the level of noise is unbelievable.

Snake Island in the Black sea will remain under Russian naval and air control. Russian Politician Alexei Chernyak.

End of story

Russia can take that piece of serpentine rock and missile it to non-existence but they’ve just used a rock to remove the Ukraine’s biggest impediment (lie) about the paltry amount of wheat in the ships still unable to make passage. Now the supposed ‘international order’ have no more excuses and the Ukraine must demine their naval mines. But always remember, we’re dealing with the Empire of Lies!

For this one, we will look at the bigger world first, and then we will go on to the ramparts.

A reminder: What is this all about?

A Biden advisor says that US drivers will pay a gas premium for as long as it takes, because:

“This is about the future of the liberal world order and we have to stand firm.” https://t.me/IntelRepublic/1516

Liberal world order is code for the rules-based international order which is code for a single pole of power in our world.  In other words, they understand on some level that they are fighting for their existence as the ultimate ruler.

In sharp contrast, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov – Minsk, June 30, 2022

The future world order is at stake. We will go back to the origins and observe in practice the UN Charter principles, above all the principle of sovereign equality of states, or else the world will be plunged into chaos for a long time. Our choice is clear: We stand for unconditional respect for international law. We will uphold this position together with our Belarusian allies and our other numerous like-minded partners who share these approaches, which was confirmed during the recent BRICS summit and in the final documents adopted at this summit.

Russia and the multi-polar world are getting stronger day by day.  Let’s take a look at how the mighty are falling:

EU Circus

We posted a Douglas MacGregor clip recently with the heading: Its collapsed

There is little to be said here and we can only depict this with a cartoon or two.  The number of cartoons generated by this circus exceeded all expectations.  Everyone was cartooning!

NATO – Crisis of Existence and another announcement of Wunderwaffe

The Chinese friends report on the NATO split:

“On the issue of the Russia-Ukraine conflict alone, there are different demands among Western countries, as Germany, France and Italy want to stop the war as soon as possible, and the US is calling on all NATO countries to make a common cause against Russia. Wang Shuo, a professor at the School of International Relations of Beijing Foreign Studies University, believes that in this situation, many European countries are questioning whether NATO can solve the crisis in Ukraine. If it cannot work, what’s the point of NATO’s existence? At the moment when Europeans believe that NATO needs to play a role, it proved itself disunited and incompetent, another sign of NATO’s existential crisis.”

https://www.globaltimes.cn/page/202206/1269395.shtml

And on the NATO document:

Zhao Lijian: The NATO 2022 Strategic Concept has misrepresented facts and distorted the truth. In this document, NATO once again wrongly defined China as posing “systemic challenges”. It smeared China’s foreign policy and pointed fingers at China’s normal military posture and defense policy. The document seeks to stoke confrontation and antagonism and smacks heavily of Cold War mentality and ideological bias. China is gravely concerned over this and firmly opposes it.

Here is our message for NATO: hyping up the so-called “China threat” will lead nowhere. NATO must immediately stop its groundless accusations and provocative rhetoric against China, abandon the outdated Cold War mentality and zero-sum game mindset, renounce its blind faith in military might and misguided practice of seeking absolute security, halt the dangerous attempt to destabilize Europe and the Asia-Pacific, and act in the interest of security and stability in Europe and beyond.

The Baltic States no longer believe in NATO.

Latvia and Estonia decided to buy air defense systems for joint defense.

“The NATO Summit gave a clear signal that assistance will be provided to those who are ready to defend themselves,” Estonian Defense Minister Laanet said. The initiative to develop regional defense was also supported by his Latvian counterpart Pabriks. “We are working on developing our own capabilities,” he stressed.

Finland states it will NOT extradite its citizens to OTHER countries UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES – Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto.

So, already Turkey’s pre-condition to Finland entering the NATO bloc is falling apart. Perhaps The Sultan knows that this may not happen at all.  This is what it looks like: Finland and Sweden have not joined NATO yet, and there is a long process ahead, says Erdogan. According to him, the signatures at the Madrid summit do not mean the end of the work to eliminate Ankara’s concerns. Turkey wants to see in practice what the decisions reached will mean.

Scholz (for what he is worth) at this very same NATO meet, got scared and quickly urged not to hinder the transit of Russian goods to Kaliningrad.  He wants to reduce the tensions in the  Baltic region.  The most interesting is that Politico reports this.  But then, he wants to set the rules according to some rules-based international order concept that he seemingly thinks he is entitled to promulgate on the spot.

“Transit rules should be established taking into account the fact that we are dealing here with traffic between two parts of Russia,” he said at the NATO summit in Madrid.

And he also tumbles the sanctions:

“In the case of Kaliningrad, an exception should be made from anti-Russian sanctions”, Scholz stressed.

Politician and former energy minister Panagiotis Lafazanis urges (https://ria.ru/20220701/lafazanis-1799505196.html)

Greece to conclude a strategic alliance with Russia and to lift sanctions, because “Europe is hit hard by the sanctions. Europe has shot itself.”

And then, Germany Seizes Gazprom LNG Tankers which belonged to the Russian energy giants German subsidiary – Gazprom Germania.  And Russia in the form of Gazprom turns up the Pain Dial by turning off the gas faucet to the company, and key gas retailers in Germany and the UK suddenly stare as the bottom of the tank becomes visible.

So, given the extracts from the last few days through the EU Circus and NATO’s announcement of Wunderwaffen, can you see clearly that they are telling only big stories. These weapons may not materialize, and most know it. Besides, if Russia does not destroy them, she buys them.

Arms trade on the line of contact and indirect deliveries of military equipment from Europe to Russia by Ukrainians

In the context of the news (https://t.me/vzglyad_ru/57577) about the transfer of another six units of CAESAR self-propelled guns by France to Ukraine, we want to talk a little about how things are with the arms trade on the line of contact.

We already wrote that two CAESAR self-propelled guns went to the Russian side for a ridiculous 120 thousand dollars. At the same time, Ukrainian negotiators initially requested $1 million for the launcher.

How it looks technically in practice:

  • Negotiations are underway through special forces on the possibility of acquiring one or another model of foreign equipment;
  • Since this whole thing is taking place on the line of contact, control over specific types of weapons and military equipment received from the West is rather conditional there: the most you can count on is a relatively timid commander and rather zealous representatives of the SBU, who will not give a damn about reputational losses of Ukraine in case of loss of foreign equipment;
  • The Russian side acts as a picky buyer who does not need outdated weapons and military equipment: everything that is needed was obtained by undercover intelligence and so on. Local Ukrainian businessmen are trying to cash in and somehow sell the RF Armed Forces what they have. As a result, the deals go through, but are guided by the Russian side, at the same time, only by the expediency of maintaining contacts with the enemy;
  • In the line of special forces, they agree on the organization of a massive artillery raid on a certain already empty square to divert attention while the actual transfer of equipment is carried out;
  • The Russian side has already expressed interest in acquiring HIMARS. They asked for more ammo.
  • To the Russian side, we repeat, such deals provide an opportunity to maintain working contacts with the Ukrainian side, which in the future will allow solving much more pressing issues. On the Ukrainian side, there is a great desire not to fight and earn money.

So that is one of the deals with the wunderwaffe.  Here is another:

Some watcher of Ukrainian channels report that Ukrainian General Staff asked Zelensky in the role of the President to please please stop requesting 777 howitzers and NLAW anti-tank systems, which quickly fail or do not function at all.

(The telegram channel where I found this, notes .. hahahahah fucking Wunderwaffe)

Xi Jinping’s current visit to Hong Kong for its 25th anniversary since its handover from the Brits, speaks volumes. As well as Mr. Putin’s planned visit to the upcoming G20. The fact that these two leaders are now traveling outside of their countries must show that something has changed. Either the risk of Covid is now such that they can take it, or the security environment has changed so that their security staff considers such visits as an acceptable risk.

Europe is slowly curtailing payments to Ukrainian refugees.  Poland no longer pays for food and accommodation for Ukrainian refugees, with exception of pregnant women, disabled people, and families with many children.

These are convincing arguments that the EU is breaking and NATO is cracking.

To the ramparts we go

Russian Defense Ministry announces successful advance into Lisichansk, Lugansk region, with Russian and allied forces taking control of the Lisichansk oil refinery as well as other key districts in the city, as Ukrainian forces said to be in disorganized retreat.

Sergei Kiriyenko visited the Kharkov region. Such a visit is considered a sign that Putin has made a decision that the region, now Kharkiv, and formerly Zaporozhye and Kherson will be annexed to Russia. The issuance of Russian passports has started and the formation of administration is in progress.  Russia takes full responsibility for such a region. The Russian flag is forever if Kiriyenko, who is responsible specifically for domestic politics, has been there.

This lovely photo was taken in the Lugansk region.

Once the passports flow, and the banks open, Russia is there: The first branch of Promsvyazbank, one of the largest Russian state banks, has opened in Kherson and already there is a bunch of people in line:  https://t.me/EurasianChoice/16207

The Kyiv regime is trying to hide the defeat of the Ukrainian troops in Severodonetsk and present the flight of the UAF militants from the Lysychansk direction as a tactical retreat.

Detail as usual comes in many forms and thank you to the commentators who regularly post different takes.  Be aware we’re coming from the fog of Lisichansk, so, don’t believe everything that every Tom, Dick, and Harry pronounce.  Always confirm with the Russian MoD report.    We still like Military Summary.  I would suggest you take in the last report of yesterday before you look at today’s first report.  The reason for that is that he mentions at the end some of those that he works with.

Payback is in progress for the total hack of all Russian sources as the SMO started.

XakNet Team (https://t.me/xaknet_team) hackers hacked the website of the Ukraine is Our Home TV channel. Now the anthem of Russia is played there.

Earlier (https://t.me/rt_russian/117872), they said that they had gained access to the systems of Ukrainian energy companies of the DTEK group.

And today (https://t.me/intelslava/32332), the Killnet (https://t.me/+a3ATRboVqh05MWNi) group brought down the website of the US Federal Tax Payment System.

Enjoy the discussion.  This sitrep will stay up until it gets too full of comments and then we will refresh.

Gonzalo Lira: Russian Default Hurts The West—Not Russia

June 29, 2022

The west’s Plan B: Secure the realm

Having failed in preserving the unipolar order, the west will resort to Plan B – reviving a bipolar world based on the ‘civilized’ west and the ‘barbarian’ rest.

June 27 2022

Photo Credit: The Cradle

By Fadi Lama

Plan A: Global Hegemony

By the late 1990s, it was clear that a China-led Asia would be the dominant economic, technological and military power of the 21st century.

The late Polish-American diplomat and political scientist Zbigniew Brzezinski spelled out in 1997 that the way to control Asian growth, and China’s in particular, was to control global energy reserves.

The attacks on 11 September 2001 provided the “catastrophic and catalyzing event – like a new Pearl Harbor” to set military intervention plans in motion. As noted by US General Wesley Clark, “in addition to Afghanistan, we’re going to take out 7 countries in 5 years: Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Iran.”

Energy reserves of these countries – in addition to those already controlled by the west – would result in western control over 60 percent of global gas reserves and 70 percent of global oil reserves.

However, the west’s direct military intervention wars failed, and subsequent proxy wars using assorted Al Qaeda-affiliated Islamists failed as well.

Rise of the ‘RIC’

In the two decades since Brzezinski laid out his strategy and the west immersed itself in failed wars, the Eurasian sovereignist core of Russia, Iran, and China (RIC) were heavily focused on national development in all arenas, including the economic, technological and military fields, and physical and social infrastructure development.

By 2018, it was clear that plans for western control of global energy reserves had failed and that the RIC had overtaken the west in many, if not most, of the aforementioned sectors.

As a result, the RIC were able to project power, protecting sovereign nations from western interventionism in West AsiaCentral AsiaSouth America and Africa. In Iran’s case this also involved a direct military response against US forces, following the assassination of the late General Qassem Soleimani. Making matters worse, the gap between the west and the RIC is widening, with little chance for the former to catch up.

The impossibility of sustaining western global hegemony had become evident amid continuous erosion of western power and global influence, which coincide with a commensurate expansion of RIC global influence, both of which necessitated an alternative strategy: a Plan B, as it were.

Plan B: Securing the realm

In view of the irreversible widening of this gap, and the growing global influence of the RIC, the only feasible strategy for the west would be to ‘terminate the competition’ by splitting the world into two regions, one in which the west has ironclad control, where western “rules” reign, and is divorced from the RIC-influenced region.

The current geostrategy of the west is the imposition of an Iron Curtain with the inclusion of as many resource rich nations as possible. Only by realizing the west’s actual geostrategic objective is it possible to understand the reason behind its apparently self-defeating actions, specifically:

  • Imposition of draconian sanctions on Russia that hurt the west far more than Russia.
  • Increasing tensions with China and Iran whilst engaged in a proxy war with Russia.

While the world is fixated on the conflict in Ukraine, the geostrategic objective of the west is being steadily advanced.

Sanctions: the catalyst of crises and coercion

The widely accepted explanation is that the west imposed draconian sanctions with the expectation that it would turn the ruble into “rubble,” create a run on banks, crash the Russian economy, weaken President Vladimir Putin’s grip on power, and pave the way for a more amenable president to replace him.

None of these expectations materialized. On the contrary, the ruble strengthened against the dollar and the euro, and the Russian economy is faring better than most western economies, which are witnessing record inflation and recessionary indicators. To add insult to injury, Putin’s popularity has soared while those of his western counterparts are hitting record lows.

The west’s after-the-fact explanation that sanctions, and their repercussions, were not well thought out, do not hold water.

Often overlooked though, has been the devastating impact of these sanctions on the Global South. US economist Michael Hudson argues that the Ukraine war is merely a catalyst to impose sanctions that would result in global food and energy crises – allowing the US to coerce the Global South to be “with us or against us.”

Indeed the impact of these crises are compounded by the earlier detrimental impact of Covid lockdowns. Food, energy and economic crises are further exasperated by the US Federal Reserve raising interest rates which directly impact the debt servicing ability of Global South countries, placing them on the edge of bankruptcy and at the mercy of the western-controlled World Bank and International Monetary Fund — the instruments for effectively locking these nations within the western realm.

Thus, despite the very negative impact of sanctions on western countries, these nevertheless fit perfectly with the strategic objective of locking in as many Global South countries within the western sphere of influence.

Tensions with China and Iran:

Driving a wedge between Eurasian powers has been an axiom of western geostrategy, as expressed eloquently by Brzezinski: “The three grand imperatives of imperial geostrategy are:

  • to prevent collusion and maintain security dependence among the vassals,
  • to keep tributaries pliant and protected, and
  • to keep the barbarians from coming together.”

In this regard, raising tensions with Beijing and Tehran, while the west is involved in a proxy war with Russia, appears contradictory.

However it starts to make more rational sense when contextualizing the strategy as one aiming to establish an “Iron Curtain” that separates the world into two: one is the western Realm, and the other is Brzezinski’s ‘Barbaria,’ at the core of which are the RIC.

Two worlds

The western realm will continue on its path of neoliberalism. Yet due to significantly smaller populations and resources under its control, it will be significantly impoverished compared to present, necessitating imposition of police states for which Covid-19 lockdowns provide a glimpse into the socio-political future of these states.

Global South countries under the western realm will continue down a path of increased poverty, requiring management by dictatorial governments. Political turbulence is expected as a result of deteriorating socioeconomic conditions.

‘Barbaria,’ as reflected in the very diverse political and economic models of the RIC, will have a variety of development models, reflecting the civilizational diversity within this realm and the mutually beneficial cooperation which currently exists between the RICs, and between the RIC and others.

What about the Global South?

Facing the perfect storm of food, energy, inflation and debt servicing crises, many Global South countries will be in a very weak position and may be readily coerced into joining the western realm. This will be facilitated by the fact that their economic, and consequently, political elites, have their interests aligned with the western financial construct – and will thus wholeheartedly embrace joining the west.

The inability of west to provide effective solutions to these crises, coupled with their colonial past, will make joining Barbaria more attractive. This can be further influenced by the RIC providing support during this crisis period.

Russia has already offered to assist in the provision of food to Afghanistan and African countries, while Iran notably provided gasoline to Venezuela during its fuel crisis. Meanwhile, China has a successful track record of infrastructure development in Global South countries and is spearheading the world’s most ambitious connectivity project, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

As Russian economist and Minister of Integration for the Eurasia Economic Union (EAEU) Sergey Glazyev already hinted when describing the emerging alternative global financial network: “Countries of the Global South can be full participants of the new system regardless of their accumulated debts in dollars, euro, pound, and yen. Even if they were to default on their obligations in those currencies, this would have no bearing on their credit rating in the new financial system.”

How many Global South nations can the western realm realistically expect to hold onto when Barbaria offers a clean slate, with zero debt?

Where does this leave West Asia?

The Axis of Resistance will be further aligned with Barbaria; however, political elites in Iraq and Lebanon favor the western realm. Thus, a politically turbulent period is expected in such countries. Due to the inability of west to offer economic solutions, coupled with the clout of local Resistance parties in these countries, the end game for Iraq and Lebanon is ultimately to join Barbaria, along with the de-facto government of Yemen.

Oil sheikhdoms of the Gulf are creations of the west and therefore belong in the western realm. However due to events of the past two decades, this may not necessarily be where they all line up.  The west’s debacles in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Yemen have convinced the sheikhdoms that the west has lost its military edge, and is no longer able to offer long term protection.

Furthermore, unlike the west, Barbaria has a track record of not directly meddling in the internal affairs of nations, a factor of significance for the sheikhdoms. Recent diplomatic tensions with the west have been evidenced by Saudi and UAE leaders rejecting the oil production demands of the US administration – an unprecedented development. If offered convincing protection by Barbaria, oil sheikhdoms may decide to join it.

End of an Era

Retrenchment of the west marks the end of a long era of western expansionism and oppression. Some date this era back six centuries to the start of European colonization in the fifteenth century. Others date it even further back to the Great Schism and the subsequent Crusades.

The latter are supported by a statement attributed to British Field Marshal Edmund Allenby on entering Jerusalem in 1917:  “only now have the crusades ended,” and the fact that church bells chimed worldwide in celebration of the occupation of Jerusalem.

During this era, hundreds of millions all over the globe were massacred, civilizations were wiped out, billions suffered and still suffer. To state that we are living in epochal times is a gross understatement.

Naturally the end of such an era cannot happen peacefully; the wars of the past 30 years are witness to this.

The regression of western initiated wars from direct military intervention (Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq) to wars by proxy (Syria, Iraq, Ukraine) augurs well, as it reflects the realization by the west that it is no match militarily to the RIC. Had there been any lingering doubts, the war in Ukraine has put them to rest. Thus it can be concluded that the worst is over.

Internal instability in some Global South countries will exist in the near future; a consequence of the struggle between diverging interests of populations and neoliberal ruling elites. Decline and impoverishment of the west vs. the rise of RIC will favour the resolving these struggles in favour of the peoples and alignment with RIC.

The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of The Cradle.

“That’s nonsense” – Douglas MacGregor

June 26, 2022

Herr Habeck firehoses oil & gas

June 25, 2022

Source

by Jorge Vilche

German Economy Minister Robert Habeck is now getting very cold feet because the strategy of madly firehosing the excellent oil & gas sourcing that Europe had with Russia until recently to his personal dismay is now fully defeating both the EU´s purpose and Germany´s needs. Ref #1 https://www.rt.com/business/557729-gas-shortage-industry-halt-germany/

So the plan seems to be to steal yet more per Ref #2 https://www.rt.com/business/557731-germany-seeking-nationalize-nord-stream2/

Still, Robert Habeck is realizing that — no matter how thirsty — nobody can ever drink water from a firehose, not even Germans, let alone Europeans. And don´t you dare to try it. If you did, chances are you´d end up with dark-purple lips and ice-cold water pressing deeply inside your sinus cavities, probably knocked-down, blood-shot eyes popping and hurting beyond belief, and possible random injuries elsewhere. Police forces worldwide know all about this so they invented the water-cannon to rapidly disperse confronting defiant crowds. Of course, you could not ever drink from a firehose water jet, but the impact could have you hospitalized. A bit late, Habeck now foresees all of this, and beyond. And it clearly does not end well, not for Germany, nor for Europe either, and winter is coming. Unless Herr Habeck were a member not of the German Green Party but rather of the European War Party, a truly losing proposition.

https://dxczjjuegupb.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/word-image-2-2.jpg

Firehoses many times are also difficult to hold steady even by brutish strong hands and arms of young, well-trained, heavy-booted firemen. Obviously enough, thirst can only be satisfied by drinking one sip at a time no matter how thirsty you might be, most preferably from a cup or glass. And, of course, tremendous thirst cannot be quenched with tremendous amounts of water dispensed from a high pressure firehose jet. Unfortunately, the “firehose” analogies #1 + #2 presented herein are exactly what Robert Habeck is doing per the EU-approved ban on Russian oil by December 2022. Meanwhile, as explained below, China and India instead take full advantage of the nicely discounted price by “sipping” down Russian crude oil gradually and – per the analogy — from an imaginary glass, not a firehose water jet.

Apparently, both of these “firehose strategies” #1 and #2 do not show up on the radar screen of neither European engineers, nor supposed chemical ´experts´, or trade associations, scientific societies, think tanks and/or labor unions. Quite on the contrary, they and many others have remained solemnly silent just watching how a few unelected and improvised groupie politicians that know jack about technical requirements gain political traction and MSM coverage for their foolish ´firehose approach´ as if it were doable and convenient for the best interests of Europeans. But by banning Russia they´ll never quench the EU´s enormous thirst for crude oil, processed and refined products thereof, and natural gas. Rather they will bring the European energy sourcing matrix down on its knees, something which has finally dawned in the mind of Herr Habeck and that by now is most probably already shared by the average European.

firehose #1 per oil

This most self-destructive nonsensical idea consists in simultaneously running throughout the key upstream refinery and petrochemical sector many dozens (if not hundreds) of still undefined and truly challenging parallel reconversion projects of different sorts – all tightly-packed within the same timeframe — requiring currently non-existing resources of different types ( HR + IT hard/soft/firmware + not-yet-designed equipment plus installation and commissioning thereof, etc. etc. etc., etc., etc. ) throughout the European continent and all of them with an identical 6-month deadline for execution and delivery. This most expensive idea starts by banning imported, perfect-from-every-sense-except-politics Russian oil at half the price and without any pay-back cost as nothing other than already existing resources are required. Only a bunch of fools would thus negatively affect the livelihoods of 800 million of their own people that will necessarily suffer the irreversible consequences of this mis-management of their self-made crisis. By December 2022 in 6 short months all that Europeans will have is freezing cold and a horrible, un-rewindable blowback in their hands.

The current course of action officially approved by the EU necessarily calls for the 2022 execution of hundreds of projects related to the Russian oil ban which would supposedly allow for non-Russian oil imports refinement and processing in Europe. Imagine this “firehose” approach trying to adapt all refineries, processing plants, ports, docks, pipelines, logistics infrastructure, etc., etc. to a new mix of yet unknown oils to replace the Russian Urals blend which would therefore require yet unknown modifications and corresponding fine tuning. This impossible re-vamping and retrofitting of absolutely everything will consume humongous amounts of euros, human resources, expertise, trials & errors, risk and lots of hard work and lots and lots of time. The Schwedt refinery alone will require 11 major projects at the very least per Ref.#21 below. All in all, we are talking hundreds of billions of euros that Europe does not have — and should not print — with 40-50 years payback long after (supposedly) fossil fuels have been phased out of the EU and no bank willing to finance the madness. So far nothing has been announced, no feasibility studies, no bid forms issued or trans-European call for bids, no joint-ventures, no engineering firms, plans or specs, no guidelines, no oil vendors, bidding documents, no schedules, no consultants or commissions, no bid opening and contract award dates: plain nothing.

China & India

Readers frequently ask how is it that China and India are readily importing and successfully processing Russian oils while European refineries would supposedly have tremendous trouble processing other “good” oils (ha!). Some readers go far beyond and assure other fellow posters without batting an eyelash that necessarily, of course, if China and India can successfully process and refine Russian oils well obviously enough Europe can readily and easily do the same with yet unknown oil blends from yet unknown vendors blah blah yadda yadda. Well, the short answer is a flat “NO”, the slightly longer answer is “you better know what you are saying and doing” and the longest answer I dare to publish is that “history will not be kind to anyone directly or indirectly involved in what you are saying or proposing”. The more elaborate answer includes that China and India since years ago have already carefully designed, tested, vetted, certified, and commissioned the required modifications for processing Russian Urals blend. But neither China nor India has been stupid and ignorant enough to adopt the European nonsensical and ruinous ´nuclear option´ of the firehose flood-everything-out strategy. First they went slow on solid footing, and then only later speeded-up with their experience on firm ground and with the advantage of the constant Russian Urals that Europe doesn´t have any more

3 differences 3

There are 3 main differences between China & India and the European firehose approach (more on that later). The No. 1 difference is that China & India had plenty of time to slowly study and carefully modify only a limited handful of refineries. So both had many years for the specific modification of only very few refineries later to be easily carbon-copied per the always constant Russian Urals blend feedstock. So China & India fine tuned their processes always responding to a single homogenous constant excellent Russian Urals blend, while Europe does not yet even have the faintest idea of what in glorious cold-freezing hell it has to fine-tune to… or even if it will ever find any blend to fine-tune for … so that its refineries render humongous amounts only of diesel fuel, not anything else, which matters a lot. Difference No. 3 is that Europe will not find a single oil mix to substitute for Russia´s Urals blend feedstock and will end up having to import several variable yet unknown mixes sourced from yet unknown vendors, if any. Very messy.

What both China and India did years ago is to import small amounts of Russia´s Urals blend and comfortably tuned up a small handfull of refineries to process it at a “small scale” like drinking from a glass of water one sip at a time. Now that Russia is offering its Urals blend at a great discount very close to 30%, both China and India are ramping up their purchases while also further enlarging their refining capacity so as to process ever growing amounts of excellent, now super-cheap, abundant, homogenous Russian Urals blend. Anyone, such as Europe, attempting instead a “firehose” strategy with unknown blends will fail miserably as explained to death and in depth in the 21 references linked below. In view of the above, China & India and others too will most probably build brand new refineries ad hoc from scratch only to process Russian Urals blend feedstocks just like Europe was doing a short while ago before going bananas. And once that pipelines from Russia to Asia are concluded in 3 years time the Western world will play second fiddle.

Ref #3 http://www.rt.com/business/557463-russia-china-top-oil-supplier/

Ref #4 http://www.rt.com/business/557403-india-increase-russian-oil/

Ref #5 http://www.rt.com/business/557091-india-russia-import-oil/

Ref #6 https://oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-General/Russia-Overtakes-Saudi-Arabia-As-Chinas-Top-Oil-Supplier.html

bad joke

One way to begin to understand the problem is agreeing and accepting that European Commission President Ursula von der Leyden made a historical bad joke, by saying “ The EU will make sure to phase out Russian oil in an orderly fashion to allow us and our partners to secure alternative supply routes minimizing the impact on global markets”. Nope, you can´t do that in 6 months Ursula, if ever. So if you accept that´d be absolutely impossible then you are on the right track to understand the rest. Otherwise you´d be just playing games running around in circles. Hint: it´d be like trying to change the engine oil while cruising at 150 km/hr on a German autobahn. Of course, you can stop the car and change the oil, but in this case it would mean shutting down Europe for months. You cannot do that, can you ?

By any standards, there are definitely not enough adequate oil blends around to come close to satisfying European refinery requirements comparable to homogenous continuous over-abundant constant Russian high-quality Urals which the EU now has decided to ban. And also please accept once and for all that a specific oil blend is not just “any oil blend” to be plugged & played anywhere anytime. Oil blends are not fungible. A very specific refinery or processing plant tune-up needs to be specifically matched with an always constant high-quality homogenous oil blend in large enough quantities and for a given desired output such as diesel fuel, or whatever. No “open architecture” is possible here, that´s just for IT nerds, not for refineries. And definetly there are no vendors all lined up happily willing and able to sell you their oil blend in unlimited quantities already fully adapted to whatever plant you may have ´as-is´ for whichever desired production output you may need delivered just-in-time on-demand and only when you need it. No. that´s not the case or anywhere close. Europe now may have Angola oil (maybe) for what it might be worth, but it needs 30 additional Angolas nowhere to be found under current circumstances. Suez is a tremendous choke-point.

Ref #7 https://www.freightwaves.com/news/how-new-eu-sanctions-on-russia-will-shake-up-global-energy-trade

Ref #8 https://www.saferack.com/glossary/tanker/

nutshell

In a nutshell, EU politicians have officially approved a forcefull mandate whereby all of Europe will have to execute in 6 short months what India and China would not dare doing in less than 10 (ten) years. That is 20 times more time. When the rubber meets the road, Europeans will realize that their political class are just a bunch of ignorant fools.

Furthermore, China & India had the enormous advantage of having to fine-tune and modify their plants for a single well-known, constant, homogenous, reliable, fully vetted Russian Urals blend… while Europe does (a) not have anywhere near that possibility and (b) does not even know what blends it will be able to find in large enough quantities and (c) it is now realizing that it will not ever be a single oil mix. So, eventually and if lucky enough (for how long ?) Europe will have to fine-tune its refineries and processing plants quite differently (not carbon copied as China & India) depending on what Europe happens to source and procure with the minimum corresponding performance and delivery guarantees. And in view of possible discontinuous supply of the right quality feedstocks, European refineries may very well find themselves back in square one and having to re-do everything all over. Refining and chemical processing are a key upstream sector, highly capital-intensive, thick skin required yet delicate & tricky, and also a very ugly business.

Can People Allergic to Nuts Still Eat Some Types? | Live Science

non-fungible oils

Refineries are very closely matched and mated with subtle calibration to a very specific and foreseeable feedstock. Changing such feedstock requires lots of time, effort, money, dedicated facilities, experimentation, mistakes, trial & error, specific expertise, and risk. Substituting the constant quality and humongous quantity of Russian oils in only 6 months has never been conceived yet alone attempted. Now Europe needs a substitute feedstock it can´t yet know which could it possibly be, if any. This will require cross-border negotiations and coordination,funding, major cross-industry interferences, new costs and surprises from yet unknown trade and other business partners, new procedures, etc. And 95% completion is not enough, only 100% is satisfactory. Everybody and his sister would now in Europe be modifying the same things at the same time with the same resources and the same deadline. Exactly who will refine & process crude oil in the meantime ? No fuels in Europe until European refineries refine something no ?

Ref #9 https://www.ifo.de/en/node/69417

Adapting any EU refinery to new types of oils requires detailed laboratory knowledge of the new blend with constant composition and formal guarantees for its continuous delivery for decades, convoluted & lengthy contracts and procurement processes, extremely detailed engineering plans, manufacturing of parts, shipping, installation, testing, commissioning, optimization, permitting etc. etc. etc. The EU today has highly sensitive plants finely tuned and used to Russian high quality oil during decades. One single ‘bad fuel’ refinery batch would produce never ending down/time cascading impact, damages, repairs, claims, accidents with possible injuries, non-compliance and altered delivery schedules, liabilities everywhere. It´s the joint “oil feedstock – refinery – desired output” sequence to be resolved.

All EU refineries will need modification and tune-up of new feedstock lines and infrastructure, atmospheric distillation facilities, vacuum distillation systems, cat-crack units, visbreaking facilities, alkylation units, catalytic reformers, isomerisation units, ethyl tertiary butyl ether (ETBE) facilities, etc. Plus probably new storage facilities + handling equipment to substitute the Druzhba pipeline now shut-down by December 2022. Plus all sorts of sensors, software & firmware modifications or possible purchases of new stuff which will require personnel and third party vendors all over.

firehose #2 per gas

As if all of the above were not enough, Herr Habeck is now getting Europe ready for a firehose #2 project. Namely the DE-conversion from natural gas and the RE-conversion into dirty coal proposed by a member of the Green Party !!!!

You can´t make this stuff up, trust me that imagination cannot compete with European reality. So, the back-to-coal ´solution´ proposed is (a) very dirty against Europe´s Green Plan plus other climate pledges and regulations (b) ultra expensive (c) a major upheaval throughout Europe which would not make it for this coming winter soon knocking on the European doors, and probably not even for next winter 2024 at least throughout all of Europe… or even in 2025.

This completely separate – yet overlapping – set of major madhouse back-to-coal projects also imply enormous risk and major modifications and tight schedules all around, bids, bidders, contract oversight, etc. etc.etc for which nobody is prepared for nor regulators, nor vendors, nor consultants or engineering firms, nor end users, nor households or the industry at large. So this DE-conversion from natural gas and subsequent RE-conversion into coal simultaneous with the “firehose strategy #1” for Russian oil substitution means enormous additional time and ultra-high costs, technical limitations, interrupted services and production, upheaval everywhere, labor union conflicts, discomfort, civil works, electromechanical contracts, specialized labor, expertise, etc. etc. – nobody would be able to walk down the street for groceries or catching the subway — while all of this is done simultaneously throughout Europe ? This is not fiction

Ref #10 https://www.rt.com/business/557599-europe-russian-gas-cut/

Ref #11 https://www.cnbc.com/2022/06/21/ukraine-war-europe-turns-to-coal-as-russia-squeezes-gas-supplies.html

Ref #12 https://www.france24.com/en/live-news/20220620-dutch-join-germany-austria-in-reverting-to-coal

Ref #13 https://www.rt.com/business/557503-austria-coal-green-energy/

Ref #14 https://www.rt.com/business/557571-czech-republic-gas-energy/

In sum, Herr Habeck and EU politicians have unnecessarily set Europe up for hundreds of overlapping, cross-borders, gargantuan projects impossible to fulfill simultaneously, with absurd sequencing and scheduling coordination, plus peremptory timing limitations and deadlines, with countless synchronized engineering specialties and very risky, highly demanding logistics, plus overwhelming legal, political, and environmental aspects. For decades European refineries have streamlined supplies and specifically matched their processing capabilities for the Russian Urals blend in order to produce a very specific set of final products amongst which diesel fuel is paramount. So now European refineries and processing plants cannot just suddenly switch to whatever oil blends are found elsewhere without the complete set of features that the Urals blend has..Accordingly, this glorious mis-management has the whole EU economy at risk

Europe could also suffer the pain of potentially non-performing rushed and poorly designed modifications made to ports and logistics infrastructures, or while retrofitting and revamping its refineries and chemical processing plants. Furthermore, Europe will spend a fortune it cannot afford while running the certain, serious risk of a failed troublefull reconversion ending up with many half-finished facilities that will not be anywhere ready on time, or ever. And as 95% compliance is not enough to produce a single drop of a processed product (diesel or whatever) this means that under current circumstances and 2022 established deadlines until Europe has 100% adequately modified and successfully retrofitted everything up and running for feedstocks it does not yet have or know about… Europe really has nothing. Additionally, the human resource challenge related to all of the above is insurmountable and probably un-compliable.

Hungary has publically exposed the problem: “the EU has ‘no solution’ to fix damage from Russian oil ban”. Mass migrations very soon are in the cards, including large cities of Western Europe. Herr Habeck already knows this. Skeptics are rapidly hiding because these energy supply problems have become obvious throughout Europe already.

And you just can´t have 35% of the plants processing and/or running with “good” Russian oil still fed by the Druzbha pipeline till December while the remaining 65% run on “bad” unknown non-Russian seaborne oil. You can´t do that.

Ref # 15 https://www.rt.com/news/555297-hungary-eu-no-solution/

Ref # 16 https://oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-General/Record-High-Diesel-Prices-Will-Ripple-Across-The-Economy.html

By the way, Russia today sells LESS oil & gas but earns MORE revenue than last year. Please see Ref # 25 below.

Hereafter a ´mano-a-mano´ comparison between the European “firehose strategy” vs. China & India´s “glass of water”

Analysis is limited to firehose #1 to be applied for the (supposed) EU project regarding substitution of Russian oils.

GENERAL

pre-feasibility studies + feasibility studies + start date + authority + deadline + affected domain + relative project size +

reservoirs + oil quality + oil quantity + human resources

PROCUREMENT

bidding process + contracts + investments + financing + sourcing + vendor certification + tankers certification + oil certification + lab tests + homologation + compliance + price + guarantees

LOGISTICS

docks + handling equipment + loading + ports + pipelines + seaborne delivery

END USERS

refinability + refineries

==============================================================================

GENERAL

pre-feasibility studies

European “firehose” = hundreds of studies urgently needed yesterday, NONE possibly yet done, not yet announced.

China + India = those required were done years ago, many more are currently in progress

feasibility studies

European “firehose” = hundreds of studies urgently needed yesterday, NONE done, nor announced, nor scheduled

China + India = many approved, up and running, yet more are currently in progress

start date

European “firehose” = June 2022

China + India = many years ago, exact date unknown, preparations since ever, plenty of time for everything.

authority

European “firehose” = the EU system has overlapping bureaucratic jurisdictions whereby decisions are made by 27 unanimous votes while limiting or even opposing decisions are later taken by individual member countries.

China + India = everything under the command of a single country authority in charge.

deadline

European “firehose” = 6 months (!!!!!) imminently foolish

China + India = open, gradual, through years, plenty of time left, meanwhile lots of work in progress

affected domain

European “firehose” = 100s of projects, ports, docks, refineries, processing plants, pipelines, logistics, infrastructure

China + India = already done years ago for today´s needs, meaning 0 (zero) affected domain

relative project size

European “firehose” = enormously large, diverse, incommensurate, complex, cross-border, zero management skills.

China + India = carbon-copy expansion of vetted modifications with work in progress for far larger shipments

reservoirs

European “firehose” = unknown, experimental mix from occasional “beach-front bazaar” variable vendors.

China + India = Russian Urals blend, enormous, reliable geologically & physico-chemically stable reservoirs

oil quality

European “firehose” = fully unknown, wishy-washy-iffy, does not even exist, experimental, does not allow any planning of anything yet. A lower-rate or not constant & homogenous oil quality means poor performance and operational risks with possible serious breakdown troubles beyond repair plus possible injuries plus down-time will necessarily require plant process modifications and other engineering & logistics nightmares already described in many references below.

China + India = Russian Urals blend, decades-proven, fully vetted, constant, well-known 100% reliable, high quality homogenous blend, low sulfur, light- intermediate API gravity. Easy to process and/or refine. All-around compliance, special mixture of heavy sour oil from the Ural and Volga region mixed with light API oil of Western Siberia per 9.8 Nelson Complexity index with medium 31.7 API gravity sour with about 1.35% sulfur content.

Matching the Russian Urals oil grade is theoretically ´possible´ by blending high-quality oils from different sources if available from reliable vendors in large enough quantities. BUT maintaining the blend specs and volumetric flow requirements to meet refinery capacity/specs is very difficult. Beware: the Urals blend allows for a very constant Nelson Complexity Index of 9.8 to guarantee refined excellence for a range of products including petrol (gasoline) diesel, aviation turbine fuel, LPG, extra light heating oil, heavy fuel oil, bitumen, benzene, toluene, xylene, and sulfur.

oil quantity

European “firehose” = fully unknown, weakest point no matter what its variable “quality” may get to be. It´d also have to be an “incremental” volume beyond current production because of (a) potential growth in European demand and (b) because no vendor will ever leave traditional customers abandoned high & dry just because the EU has now gone bonkers. Furthermore, these contracts could might all turn out being short-term ephemeral un-sustainable ´purchases of convenience´ without continuity to be dropped the instant the EU´s “ban Russia´s oil” stops dead in its tracks for plenty of good reasons. Not enough quantity means degraded European livelihoods and failing economy, with shut down plants and refineries affecting transportation, heating, hospitals & schools, military, government, business, etc.

In order to substitute Russian oils, other oil-exporting vendor countries will have to either (a) suddenly increase their production (?) and how would they do that exactly (??) … or (b) disregard their traditional clients … and suddenly cut them off high and dry to go out to sell to Europe. In that case, where would their traditional clients find an exporter to buy the right quality oil from? The world oil market is one and the same and Russia inputs at least 15% of such.

China + India = Russian Urals blend, on-demand continuous non-stop unlimited delivery, allows planning everything.

HR Human Resources

European “firehose” = probably the weakest link of all with tons of people missing with yet-to-be-defined job descriptions, yet to be interviewed, hired, trained, teams put together, deployed, etc. etc. Current operational and maintenance + staff & field personnel would probably demand being switched to other jobs… or will drag their feet… or would simply resign thus necessarily compounding the problem to unchartered depths. New, young, inexperienced hands do not help under these circumstances. New managers and all sorts of office & field personnel from logistics to IT contractors, welders, etc. will not even be hired by December 2022

China + India = 100% contracted and working normally with operational personnel, field hands, staff & management

PROCUREMENT

bidding process

European “firehose” = not started yet, no bid forms issued nor trans-European call for bids, no joint-ventures, no engineering firms, plans or specs, or guidelines, no bidding documents, no tentative schedules, no consultants, no commissions or committees, no bid opening and contract award dates. No nothing.

China + India = normal operational checks, buyer-seller relationship well established, future procurement wide open.

contracts

European “firehose” = supposedly by June 2022 impossible to comply with. Real date unknown, possibly by 2023

China + India = already awarded and entered into, currently under execution, with buyer / seller satisfaction

investments

European “firehose” = needs to invest hundreds of billions of euros that Europe does not have and should not print

China + India = already done years ago, now up and running, could expand by carbon copying.

financing

European “firehose” = unfathomable mystery, 40-50 years payback long after fossil fuels are phased out of the EU.

Many dozens of billions of euros need to be financed for these projects. Banks agree ? Refineries and pipelines have a 40-50 year service life. Nobody in their right mind is going to finance with multi-decade payback when per EU regulations the investment will be dead in 10 years.

China + India = not required yet, comes out of national budget already approved. Only needed for new projects.

sourcing

European “firehose” = fully unknown, does not even exist, experimental, does not allow any planning of anything yet.

China + India = excellent Russian Urals blend, decades-proven, fully vetted, constant, well-known 100% reliable.

vendor certification

European “firehose” = vendor(s) do not exist, probably a variable group of partial variable mix vendors with a “beach-front bazaar” structure, uncoordinated and even enemies of each other.

China + India = already done, decades-proven, fully vetted, constant, well-known 100% reliable, no risk,

tanker certification

European “firehose” = do not yet exist, if ever found available as needed both in type and size.

China + India = done, up and running.

oil certification

European “firehose” = does not yet exist

China + India = done, up and running

lab tests

European “firehose” = no vendors, no oil feedstocks, no lab tests of anything

China + India = done years ago per current requirements,regular checks into the future

homologation

European “firehose” = cannot yet exist

China + India = done

compliance

European “firehose” = unknown, all compliance pending, approval takes years with plenty of EU bureaucratic requirements starting with ISO 9001 (manufacturing) + ISO 14000 (environmental) + ISO 15000 (laboratory analysis quality) approval of which starts only after full design and complete specifications are satisfactorily concluded and internally approved for submission to EU regulators. EU´s Green Plan spirit and wording must be complied with, same as other EU Common Policies, climate pledges, and regulations in force. Environmental impact assessments have to be completed with specific procedures, submitted, and approved. Labor union issues also pending

China + India = already 100% compliant, up and running.

price

European “firehose” = unknown, definitely FAR more expensive, with pay-back amortization of the many huge investments / modifications / reforms made plus terrific freight, logistics, and final delivery costs disrupting the European and the world economy with inflation beyond imagination.

China + India = At least 30-35% cheaper than market price and without any pay-back amortization of the many huge investments / modifications / reforms required by the European “firehose”.

guarantees

European “firehose” = no project just wishful thinking, no sourcing, no vendor, does not yet apply

China + India = traditional Urals with 50-year guarantee of homogenous blend ( +/- ) 15% volume

LOGISTICS

docks

European “firehose” = NO vendor(s) yet, many needed with large deliveries, no docks yet, some will be problematic

China + India = small deliveries. No dock improvements required yet. Pre-feasibility studies underway for enlargement

handling equipment

European “firehose” = NO vendor(s) yet, many needed with large deliveries, no handling equipment anywhere yet.

China + India = small deliveries. No handling equipment modifications yet. Pre-feasibility studies underway.

loading & unloading

European “firehose” = NO vendor(s) yet, many needed with large deliveries, no loading experience anywhere yet.

China + India = small deliveries. No modifications required yet. Pre-feasibility studies underway for larger volumes.

ports

European “firehose” = NO vendor(s) yet, many needed with large deliveries, no ports yet, some will be problematic

China + India = small deliveries. No port modifications required yet. Pre-feasibility studies underway.

pipelines

European “firehose” = No new ones foreseen only seaborne delivery . Still, the all-important Schwedt refinery in Germany does need revamping of the Rostock to Schwedt 60-year-old Soviet-era 200 km. pipeline. Full upgrade and retro-fitting required. Not started yet nor plans announced. Partially buried heavy structure built with obsolete materials and technology commissioned in 1963 many times patched-up and most probably unable to be “pig”- inspected properly or meaningfully, let alone be upgraded as needed. Lots of skeletons hanging inside many closets after several decades, now to be opened. Other inter-European transfer pipelines may also need repair and upgrade.

China + India = pre-feasibility & feasibility studies concluded, major pipelines being designed or under construction.

seaborne delivery

European “firehose” = no tankers yet contracted, possible shipping lanes issues, piracy, weather, lack of tankers, vessel size limitations, warfare, labor conflicts both on board and/or on the docks /berths, draft issues, not enough water depth for Suezmax oil tanker channels and ports. Suez is also a tremendous choke-point limitation not allowing for much needed VLCCs or Very Large Crude Carriers – tankers with 2-million-barrel capacity, only allows Aframax.

China + India = already under way, sea lanes well-known, no operational problems.

END USERS

refineability

European “firehose” = fully unknown, risky, requires carefull constant testing of all-around refinery modifications adapting internal processes to new blends required to remain constant for at least 40 preferably 50 years. No data possible yet and lots of work to be done. Refinement process unknown re final distillates quantities and qualities.

China & India = efficient, reliable with excellent guaranteed performance for decades per Nelson Complexity Index of 9.8 allowing to refine with excellence a range of products including petrol (gasoline) diesel, aviation turbine fuel, LPG, extra light heating oil, heavy fuel oil, bitumen, benzene, toluene, xylene and sulfur, mostly sold to Europe and the US.

refineries

European “firehose” = modifications have not yet been bidded, nor announcements made.

China & India = modification finished years ago, up and running

Ref #17 http://thesaker.is/no-fuels-for-europe/

Ref #18 http://thesaker.is/pitchforks-soon-in-europe/

Ref #19 http://thesaker.is/europes-mad-ban-on-russian-oil/

Ref #20 http://thesaker.is/why-russias-oil-ban-is-impossible/

Ref #21 http://thesaker.is/germans-schwedt-hard-for-russian-oil/

Ref #22 http://thesaker.is/dear-ursula-you-are-dead-wrong/

Ref #23 http://thesaker.is/europe-now-cheats-or-suffers/

Ref #24 http://thesaker.is/for-europe-from-russia-with-love/

Ref #25 https://oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-General/Russias-Revenues-From-Gas-Still-High-Despite-Supply-Cuts-To-Europe.html

Exile on Main Street: The Sound of the Unipolar World Fading Away

June 22, 2022

The future world order, already in progress, will be formed by strong sovereign states. The ship has sailed. There’s no turning back.

By Pepe Escobar, posted with the author’s permission and widely cross-posted

Let’s cut to the chase and roll in the Putin Top Ten of the New Era, announced by the Russian President live at the St. Petersburg forum  for both the Global North and South.

The era of the unipolar world is over.

The rupture with the West is irreversible and definitive. No pressure from the West will change it.

Russia has renewed with its sovereignty. Reinforcement of political and economic sovereignty is an absolute priority.

The EU has completely lost its political sovereignty. The current crisis shows the EU is not ready to play the role of an independent, sovereign actor. It’s just en ensemble of American vassals deprived of any politico-military sovereignty.

Sovereignty cannot be partial. Either you’re a sovereign or a colony.

Hunger in the poorest nations will be on the conscience of the West and euro-democracy.

Russia will supply grains to the poorer nations in Africa and the Middle East.

Russia will invest in internal economic development and reorientation of trade towards nations independent of the U.S.

The future world order, already in progress, will be formed by strong sovereign states.

The ship has sailed. There’s no turning back.

How does it feel, for the collective West, to be caught in such a crossfire hurricane? Well, it gets more devastating when we add to the new roadmap the latest on the energy front.

Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin, in St. Petersburg, stressed that the global economic crisis is gaining momentum not because of sanctions, but exacerbated by them; Europe “commits energy suicide” by sanctioning Russia; sanctions against Russia have done away with the much lauded “green transition”, as that is no longer needed to manipulate markets; and Russia, with its vast energy potential, “is the Noah’s Ark of the world economy.”

For his part Gazprom CEO Alexey Miller could not be more scathing on the sharp decline in the gas flow to the EU due to Siemens’ refusal and/or incapacity to repair the Nord Stream 1 pumping engine: “Well, of course, Gazprom was forced to reduce the volume of gas supplies to Europe by 20%+. But you know, prices have increased not by 20%+, but by several times! Therefore, I’m sorry if I say that we don’t feel offended by anyone, we are not particularly concerned by this situation.”

If this pain dial overdrive was not enough to hurl the collective West – or NATOstan – into Terminal Hysteria, then Putin’s sharp comment on possibly allowing Mr. Sarmat to present his business card to “decision-making centers in Kiev”, those that are ordering the current shelling and killing of civilians in Donetsk, definitely did the trick:

“As for the red lines, let me keep them to myself, because this will mean quite tough actions on the decision-making centers. But this is an area that shouldn’t be disclosed to people outside the military-political leadership of the country. Those who deserve appropriate actions on our part should draw a conclusion for themselves – what they may face if they cross the line.”

Baby please, stop breaking down

Alastair Crooke has masterfully outlined  how the collective West’s zugzwang leaves it lumbering around, dazed and confused. Now let’s examine the state of play on the opposite side of the chessboard, focusing on the BRICS summit this Thursday in Beijing.

As much as the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), the Eurasia Economic Union (EAEU) and ASEAN, now it’s time for a reinvigorated BRICS to step up its game. In conjunction, these are the key organizations/instruments that will be carving the pathways towards the post-unipolar era.

Both China and India (which between them were the largest economies in the world for centuries before the brief Western colonial interregnum) are already close and getting closer to “the Noah’s Ark of the world economy”.

The G20 – hostages of the Michael Hudson-defined FIRE scam that is the core of the financialized neoliberal casino – is slowly fading away, while a potential new G8 ramps up: and that is directly connected to BRICS expansion, one of the key themes of this week’s summit. An expanded BRICS with a parallel G8 configuration is bound to easily overtake the Western-centric one in importance as well as GDP by purchasing power parity (PPP).

BRICS in 2021 already added Bangladesh, Egypt, the UAE and Uruguay to its New Development Bank (NDB). In May, at Foreign Ministry-level debates, Argentina, Egypt, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Nigeria, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Senegal and Thailand were added to the 5 BRICS members. Leaders of some of these nations will be connected to the Beijing summit.

BRICS plays a completely different game from the G20. They aim for the grassroots, and it’s all about slowly “building trust” – a very Chinese concept. They are creating an independent Credit Rating Agency – away from the Anglo-American racket – and deepening a Currency Reserves Arrangement. The NDB – including its regional offices in India and South Africa – has been involved in hundreds of projects. Time will tell: one day the NDB will make the World Bank superfluous.

Comparisons between BRICS and the Quad, a U.S. concoction, are silly. Quad is just another crude mechanism to contain China. Yet there’s no question India treads on tightrope walker territory, as it’s a member of both BRICS and Quad, and made a vastly misguided decision to walk out of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) – the largest free trade deal on the planet – opting instead to adhere to the American pie-in-the-sky Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF).

Yet India, long term, skillfully guided by Russia, is being steered to find essential common ground with China in several key issues.

BRICS, especially in its expanded BRICS+ version, is bound to increase cooperation on building truly stable supply chains, and a settlement mechanism for resources and raw material trade, which inevitably has to be based in local currencies. Then the path will be open for the Holy Grail: a BRICS payment system as a credible alternative to the weaponized U.S. dollar and SWIFT.

Meanwhile, a torrent of bilateral investments from both China and India in the manufacturing and services sector around their neighbors is bound to lift up smaller players in both Southeast Asia and South Asia: think Cambodia and Bangladesh as important cogs in a vast supply wheel.

Yaroslav Lissovolik had already proposed a BEAMS concept as the core of this BRICS integration drive, uniting “the key regional integration initiatives of BRICS economies such as BIMSTEC, EAEU, the ASEAN-China free trade agreement, Mercosur and SADC/SACU.”

It’s only (BRICS) rock’n roll

Now Beijing seems eager to promote “an inclusive format for dialogue spanning all the main regions of the Global South via aggregating the regional integration platforms in Eurasia, Africa and Latin America. Going forward this format may be further expanded to include other regional integration blocks from Eurasia, such as the GCC, EAEU and others.”

Lissovolik notes how the ideal path from now on should be “the greater inclusivity of BRICS via the BRICS+ framework that allows smaller economies that are the regional partners of BRICS to have a say in the new global governance framework.”

Before he addressed the St. Petersburg forum on video, President Xi called Putin personally to say, among other things, that he’s got China’s back on all “sovereignty and security” themes. They also, inevitably, discussed the relevance of BRICS as a key platform towards the multipolar world.

Meanwhile, the collective West plunges deeper into the maelstrom. A massive national demonstration of trade unions this past Monday paralyzed Brussels – the capital of the EU and NATO – as 80,000 people expressed their anger at the rising and rising cost of living; called for elites to “spend money on salaries, not on weapons”; and yelled in unison “Stop NATO.”

It’s zugzwang all over again. The EU’s “direct losses”, as Putin stressed, provoked by the sanctions hysteria, “could exceed $400 billion a year”. Russia’s energy earnings have hit record levels. The ruble is at a 7-year high against the euro.

It’s a blast that arguably the most powerful cultural artifact of the entire Cold War – and Western supremacy – era, the perennial Rolling Stones, is currently on tour across a “caught in a crossfire hurricane” EU. On every show they play, for the first time live, one of their early classics: ‘Out of Time’.

Sounds much like a requiem. So let’s all sing, “Baby baby baby / you’re out of time”, as one Vladimir “it’s a gas, gas, gas” Putin and his sidekick Dmitry “Under My Thumb” Medvedev seem to be the guys really getting their rocks off. It’s only (BRICS) rock’n roll, but we like it.

President Putin: St Petersburg International Economic Forum Plenary session

June 18, 2022

Ed Note:  This transcript is not fully complete but we post it because of the renewed DDoS attacks on Russian infrastructure.  When it is complete, we will do an update.   (Mr Putin was on top form with an excellent, even exhaustive and detailed economic tour de force for Russia, and then of course for the sane world, or our Zone B).

Pepe Escobar created a very high-level summary:

THE NEW ERA

Top Ten Breakdown – as announced by Putin

  • The era of the unipolar world is over.
  • The rupture with the West is irreversible and definitive. No pressure from the West will change it.
  • Russia has renewed its sovereignty. Reinforcement of political and economic sovereignty is an absolute priority.
  • The current crisis shows the EU is not ready to play the role of an independent, sovereign actor. It’s just an ensemble of American vassals deprived of any politico-military sovereignty.
  • Sovereignty cannot be partial. Either you’re a sovereign or a colony.
  • Hunger in the poorest nations will be on the conscience of the West and Euro-democracy.
  • Russia will supply grains to Africa and the Middle East.
  • Russia will invest in internal economic development and reorientation of trade towards nations independent of the US.
  • The future world order, currently in progress, will be formed by strong sovereign states.
  • The ship has sailed. There’s no turning back.

A further summary from RT rounds it out:  https://www.rt.com/russia/557346-putin-spief-speech-takeaways/


http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/68669

President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev also took part in the session. President of the People’s Republic of China Xi Jinping and President of the Arab Republic of Egypt Abdel Fattah el-Sisi addressed the session via videoconference.

The theme this year is New Opportunities in a New World.

* * *

Plenary session moderator Margarita Simonyan: Good afternoon, or almost evening.

As you may know, we had a minor technical issue. Thankfully, it has been dealt with quickly. We are grateful to those who resolved this.

We are also grateful to the audience.

We are grateful to our leader, President Vladimir Putin, for traditionally fitting this forum into his schedule so that he can tell us about economic prospects and other plans.

We are grateful to President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev for attending our forum. We know that it is not an easy thing to do. Thank you for supporting our forum and our country. We really appreciate this.

We will have a lot of questions today. You may not like some of them, and I may not be happy to ask some of them. We would be much happier to speak only about good things, but this is impossible today.

Mr President, I would like to ask you to take the stand and to tell us what lies in store for us all. Thank you.

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Thank you very much. President Tokayev, friends and colleagues,

I welcome all participants and guests of the 25th St Petersburg International Economic Forum.

It is taking place at a difficult time for the international community when the economy, markets and the very principles of the global economic system have taken a blow. Many trade, industrial and logistics chains, which were dislocated by the pandemic, have been subjected to new tests. Moreover, such fundamental business notions as business reputation, the inviolability of property and trust in global currencies have been seriously damaged. Regrettably, they have been undermined by our Western partners, who have done this deliberately, for the sake of their ambitions and in order to preserve obsolete geopolitical illusions.

Today, our – when I say “our,” I mean the Russian leadership – our own view of the global economic situation. I would like to speak in greater depth about the actions Russia is taking in these conditions and how it plans to develop in these dynamically changing circumstances.

When I spoke at the Davos Forum a year and a half ago, I also stressed that … the era of a unipolar world order has come to an end. I want to start with this, as there is no way around it. This era has ended despite all the attempts to maintain and preserve it at all costs. Change is a natural process of history, as it is difficult to reconcile the diversity of civilisations and the richness of cultures on the planet with political, economic or other stereotypes – these do not work here, they are imposed by one centre in a rough and no-compromise manner.

The flaw is in the concept itself, as the concept says there is one, albeit strong, power with a limited circle of close allies, or, as they say, countries with granted access, and all business practices and international relations, when it is convenient, are interpreted solely in the interests of this power. They essentially work in one direction in a zero-sum game. A world built on a doctrine of this kind is definitely unstable.

After declaring victory in the Cold War, the United States proclaimed itself to be God’s messenger on Earth, …without any obligations and only interests which were declared sacred. They seem to ignore the fact that in the past decades, new powerful and increasingly assertive centres have been formed. Each of them develops its own political system and public institutions according to its own model of economic growth and, naturally, has the right to protect them and to secure national sovereignty.

These are objective processes and genuinely revolutionary tectonic shifts in geopolitics, the global economy and technology, in the entire system of international relations, where the role of dynamic and potentially strong countries and regions is substantially growing. It is no longer possible to ignore their interests.

To reiterate, these changes are fundamental, groundbreaking and rigorous. It would be a mistake to assume that at a time of turbulent change, one can simply sit it out or wait it out until everything gets back on track and becomes what it was before. It will not.

However, the ruling elite of some Western states seem to be harbouring this kind of illusions. They refuse to notice obvious things, stubbornly clinging to the shadows of the past. For example, they seem to believe that the dominance of the West in global politics and the economy is an unchanging, eternal value. Nothing lasts forever.

Our colleagues are not just denying reality. More than that; they are trying to reverse the course of history. They seem to think in terms of the past century. They are still influenced by their own misconceptions about countries outside the so-called “golden billion”: they consider everything a backwater, or their backyard. They still treat them like colonies, and the people living there, like second-class people, because they consider themselves exceptional. If they are exceptional, that means everyone else is second rate.

Thereby, the irrepressible urge to punish, to economically crush anyone who does not fit with the mainstream, does not want to blindly obey. Moreover, they crudely and shamelessly impose their ethics, their views on culture and ideas about history, sometimes questioning the sovereignty and integrity of states, and threatening their very existence. Suffice it to recall what happened in Yugoslavia, Syria, Libya and Iraq.

If some “rebel” state cannot be suppressed or pacified, they try to isolate that state, or “cancel” it, to use their modern term. Everything goes, even sports, the Olympics, bans on culture and art masterpieces just because their creators come from the “wrong” country.

This is the nature of the current round of Russophobia in the West, and the insane sanctions against Russia. They are crazy and, I would say, thoughtless.They are unprecedented in the number of them or the pace the West churns them out at.

The idea was clear as day – they expected to suddenly and violently crush the Russian economy, to hit Russia’s industry, finance, and people’s living standards by destroying business chains, forcibly recalling Western companies from the Russian market, and freezing Russian assets.

This did not work. Obviously, it did not work out; it did not happen. Russian entrepreneurs and authorities have acted in a collected and professional manner, and Russians have shown solidarity and responsibility.

Step by step, we will normalise the economic situation. We have stabilised the financial markets, the banking system and the trade network. Now we are busy saturating the economy with liquidity and working capital to maintain the stable operation of enterprises and companies, employment and jobs.

The dire forecasts for the prospects of the Russian economy, which were made in early spring, have not materialised. It is clear why this propaganda campaign was fuelled and all the predictions of the dollar at 200 rubles and the collapse of our economy were made. This was and remains an instrument in an information struggle and a factor of psychological influence on Russian society and domestic business circles.

Incidentally, some of our analysts gave in to this external pressure and based their forecasts on the inevitable collapse of the Russian economy and a critical weakening of the national currency – the ruble.

Real life has belied these predictions. However, I would like to emphasise that to continue being successful, we must be explicitly honest and realistic in assessing the situation, be independent in reaching conclusions, and of course, have a can-do spirit, which is very important. We are strong people and can deal with any challenge. Like our predecessors, we can resolve any task. The entire thousand-year history of our country bears this out.

Within just three months of the massive package of sanctions, we have suppressed inflation rate spikes. As you know, after peaking at 17.8 percent, inflation now stands at 16.7 percent and continues dropping. This economic dynamic is being stabilised, and state finances are now sustainable. I will compare this to other regions further on. Yes, even this figure is too much for us – 16.7 percent is high inflation. We must and will work on this and, I am sure, we will achieve a positive result.

After the first five months of this year, the federal budget has a surplus of 1.5 trillion rubles and the consolidated budget – a surplus of 3.3 trillion rubles. In May alone, the federal budget surplus reached almost half a trillion rubles, surpassing the figure for May 2021 more than four times over.

Today, our job us to create conditions for building up production and increasing supply in the domestic market, as well as restoring demand and bank financing in the economy commensurately with the growth in supply.

I mentioned that we have taken measures to reestablish the floating assets of companies. In most sectors, businesses have received the right to suspend insurance premiums for the second quarter of the year. Industrial companies have even more opportunities – they will be able to delay them through the third quarter as well. In effect, this is like getting an interest-free loan from the state.

In the future, companies will not have to pay delayed insurance premiums in a single payment. They will be able to pay them in equal installments over 12 months, starting in June next year.

Next. As of May the subsidised mortgage rate has been reduced. It is now 9 percent, while the programme has been extended till the end of the year. As I have mentioned, the programme is aimed at helping Russians improve their housing situation, while supporting the home building industry and related industries that employ millions of people.

Following a spike this spring, interest rates have been gradually coming down, as the Central Bank lowers the key rate. I believe that that this allows the subsidised mortgage rate to be further cut to 7 percent.

What is important here? The programme will last until the end of the year without change. It means that our fellow Russians seeking to improve their living conditions should take advantage of the subsidy before the end of the year.

The lending cap will not change either, at 12 million roubles for Moscow and St Petersburg and 6 million for the rest of Russia.

I should add that we must make long-term loans for businesses more accessible. The focus must shift from budget subsidies for businesses to bank lending as a means to spur business activity.

We need to support this. We will allocate 120 billion rubles from the National Wealth Fund to build up the capacity of the VEB Project Financing Factory. This will provide for additional lending to much-needed initiatives and projects worth around half a trillion roubles.

Colleagues,

Once again, the economic blitzkrieg against Russia was doomed to fail from the beginning. Sanctions as a weapon have proved in recent years to be a double-edged sword damaging their advocates and architects just a much, if not more.

I am not talking about the repercussions we see clearly today. We know that European leaders informally, so to say, furtively, discuss the very concerning possibility of sanctions being levelled not at Russia, but at any undesirable nation, and ultimately anyone including the EU and European companies.

So far this is not the case, but European politicians have already dealt their economies a serious blow all by themselves. We see social and economic problems worsening in Europe, and in the US as well, food, electricity and fuel prices rising, with quality of life in Europe falling and companies losing their market edge.

According to experts, the EU’s direct, calculable losses from the sanctions fever could exceed $400 billion this year. This is the price of the decisions that are far removed from reality and contradict common sense.

These outlays fall directly on the shoulders of people and companies in the EU. The inflation rate in some Eurozone countries has exceeded 20 percent. I mentioned inflation in Russia, but the Eurozone countries are not conducting special military operations, yet the inflation rate in some of them has reached 20 percent. Inflation in the United States is also unacceptable, the highest in the past 40 years.

Of course, inflation in Russia is also in the double digits so far. However, we have adjusted social benefits and pensions to inflation, and increased the minimum and subsistence wages, thereby protecting the most vulnerable groups of the population. At the same time, high interest rates have helped people keep their savings in the Russian banking system.

Businesspeople know, of course, that a high key rate clearly slows economic development. But it is a boon for the people in most cases. They have reinvested a substantial amount of money in banks due to higher interest rates.

This is our main difference from the EU countries, where rising inflation is directly reducing the real incomes of the people and eating up their savings, and the current manifestations of the crisis are affecting, above all, low-income groups.

The growing outlays of European companies and the loss of the Russian market will have lasting negative effects. The obvious result of this will be the loss of global competitiveness and a system-wide decline in the European economies’ pace of growth for years to come.

Taken together, this will aggravate the deep-seated problems of European societies. Yes, we have many problems as well, yet I have to speak about Europe now because they are pointing the finger at us although they have enough of their own problems. I mentioned this at Davos. A direct result of the European politicians’ actions and events this year will be the further growth of inequality in these countries, which will, in turn, split their societies still more, and the point at issue is not only the well-being but also the value orientation of various groups in these societies.

Indeed, these differences are being suppressed and swept under the rug. Frankly, the democratic procedures and elections in Europe and the forces that come to power look like a front, because almost identical political parties come and go, while deep down things remain the same. The real interests of people and national businesses are being pushed further and further to the periphery.

Such a disconnect from reality and the demands of society will inevitably lead to a surge in populism and extremist and radical movements, major socioeconomic changes, degradation and a change of elites in the short term. As you can see, traditional parties lose all the time. New entities are coming to the surface, but they have little chance for survival if they are not much different from the existing ones.

The attempts to keep up appearances and the talk about allegedly acceptable costs in the name of pseudo-unity cannot hide the main thing: the European Union has lost its political sovereignty, and its bureaucratic elites are dancing to someone else’s tune, doing everything they are told from on high and hurting their own people, economies, and businesses.

There are other critically important matters here. The worsening of the global economic situation is not a recent development. I will now go over things that I believe are extremely important. What is happening now does not stem from what happened during recent months, of course not. Moreover, it is not the result of the special military operation carried out by Russia in Donbass. Saying so is an unconcealed, deliberate distortion of the facts.

Surging inflation in product and commodity markets had become a fact of life long before the events of this year. The world has been driven into this situation, little by little, by many years of irresponsible macroeconomic policies pursued by the G7 countries, including uncontrolled emission and accumulation of unsecured debt. These processes intensified with the onset of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, when supply and demand for goods and services drastically fell on a global scale.

This begs the question: what does our military operation in Donbass have to do with this? Nothing whatsoever.

Because they could not or would not devise any other recipes, the governments of the leading Western economies simply accelerated their money-printing machines. Such a simple way to make up for unprecedented budget deficits.

I have already cited this figure: over the past two years, the money supply in the United States has grown by more than 38 percent. Previously, a similar rise took decades, but now it grew by 38 percent or 5.9 trillion dollars in two years. By comparison, only a few countries have a bigger gross domestic product.

The EU’s money supply has also increased dramatically over this period. It grew by about 20 percent, or 2.5 trillion euros.

Lately, I have been hearing more and more about the so-called – please excuse me, I really would not like to do this here, even mention my own name in this regard, but I cannot help it – we all hear about the so-called ‘Putin inflation’ in the West. When I see this, I wonder who they expect would buy this nonsense – people who cannot read or write, maybe. Anyone literate enough to read would understand what is actually happening.

Russia, our actions to liberate Donbass have absolutely nothing to do with this. The rising prices, accelerating inflation, shortages of food and fuel, petrol, and problems in the energy sector are the result of system-wide errors the current US administration and European bureaucracy have made in their economic policies. That is where the reasons are, and only there.

I will mention our operation, too: yes, it could have contributed to the trend, but the root cause is precisely this – their erroneous economic policies. In fact, the operation we launched in Donbass is a lifeline they are grabbing at to be able to blame their own miscalculations on others, in this case, on Russia. But everyone who has at least completed primary school would understand the true reasons for today’s situation.

So, they printed more money, and then what? Where did all that money go? It was obviously used to pay for goods and services outside Western countries – this is where the newly-printed money flowed. They literally began to clean out, to wipe out global markets. Naturally, no one thought about the interests of other states, including the poorest ones. They were left with scraps, as they say, and even that at exorbitant prices.

While at the end of 2019, imports of goods to the United States amounted to about 250 billion dollars a month, by now, it has grown to 350 billion. It is noteworthy that the growth was 40 percent – exactly in proportion to the unsecured money supply printed in recent years. They printed and distributed money, and used it to wipe out goods from third countries’ markets.

This is what I would like to add. For a long time, the United States was a big food supplier in the world market. It was proud, and with good reason, of its achievements, its agriculture and farming traditions. By the way, this is an example for many of us, too. But today, America’s role has changed drastically. It has turned from a net exporter of food into a net importer. Loosely speaking, it is printing money and pulling commodity flows its way, buying food products all over the world.

The European Union is building up imports even faster. Obviously, such a sharp increase in demand that is not covered by the supply of goods has triggered a wave of shortages and global inflation. This is where this global inflation originates. In the past couple of years, practically everything – raw materials, consumer goods and particularly food products – has become more expensive all over the world.

Yes, of course, these countries, including the United States continue importing goods, but the balance between exports and imports has been reversed. I believe imports exceed exports by some 17 billion. This is the whole problem.

According to the UN, in February 2022, the food price index was 50 percent higher than in May 2020, while the composite raw materials index has doubled over this period.

Under the cloud of inflation, many developing nations are asking a good question: why exchange goods for dollars and euros that are losing value right before our eyes? The conclusion suggests itself: the economy of mythical entities is inevitably being replaced by the economy of real values and assets.

According to the IMF, global currency reserves are at $7.1 trillion and 2.5 trillion euros now. These reserves are devalued at an annual rate of about 8 percent. Moreover, they can be confiscated or stolen any time if the United States dislikes something in the policy of the states involved. I think this has become a very real threat for many countries that keep their gold and foreign exchange reserves in these currencies.

According to analyst estimates, and this is an objective analysis, a conversion of global reserves will begin just because there is no room for them with such shortages. They will be converted from weakening currencies into real resources like food, energy commodities and other raw materials. Other countries will be doing this, of course. Obviously, this process will further fuel global dollar inflation.

As for Europe, their failed energy policy, blindly staking everything on renewables and spot supplies of natural gas, which have caused energy price increases since the third quarter of last year – again, long before the operation in Donbass – have also exacerbated price hikes. We have absolutely nothing to do with this. It was due to their own actions that prices have gone through the roof, and now they are once again looking for somebody to blame.

Not only did the West’s miscalculations affect the net cost of goods and services but they also resulted in decreased fertiliser production, mainly nitrogen fertilisers made from natural gas. Overall, global fertiliser prices have jumped by over 70 percent from mid-2021 through February 2022.

Unfortunately, there are currently no conditions that can overcome these pricing trends. On the contrary, aggravated by obstacles to the operation of Russian and Belarusian fertiliser producers and disrupted supply logistics, this situation is approaching a deadlock.

It is not difficult to foresee coming developments. A shortage of fertiliser means a lower harvest and a higher risk of an undersupplied global food market. Prices will go even higher, which could lead to hunger in the poorest countries. And it will be fully on the conscience of the US administration and the European bureaucracy.

I want to emphasise once again: this problem did not arise today or in the past three or four months. And certainly, it is not Russia’s fault as some demagogues try to declare, shifting the responsibility for the current state of affairs in the world economy to our country.

Maybe it would even be nice to hear that we are so powerful and omnipotent that we can blow up inflation in the West, in the United States and Europe, or that we can do things to throw everything into disorder. Maybe it would be nice to feel this power, if only there were truth in it. This situation has been brewing for years, spurred by the short-sighted actions of those who are used to solving their problems at somebody else’s expense and who have relied and still rely on the mechanism of financial emission to outbid and draw trade flows, thus escalating deficits and provoking humanitarian disasters in certain regions of the world. I will add that this is essentially the same predatory colonial policy as in the past, but of course in a new iteration, a more subtle and sophisticated edition. You might not even recognise it at first.

The current priority of the international community is to increase food deliveries to the global market, notably, to satisfy the requirements of the countries that need food most of all.

While ensuring its domestic food security and supplying the domestic market, Russia is also able to scale up its food and fertiliser exports. For example, our grain exports in the next season can be increased to 50 million tonnes.

As a priority, we will supply the countries that need food most of all, where the number of starving people could increase, first of all, African countries and the Middle East.

At the same time, there will be problems there, and not through our fault either. Yes, on paper Russian grain, food and fertilisers… Incidentally, the Americans have adopted sanctions on our fertilisers, and the Europeans followed suit. Later, the Americans lifted them because they saw what this could lead to.

But the Europeans have not backed off. Their bureaucracy is as slow as a flour mill in the 18th century. In other words, everyone knows that they have done a stupid thing, but they find it difficult to retrace their steps for bureaucratic reasons.

As I have said, Russia is ready to contribute to balancing global markets of agricultural products, and we see that our UN colleagues, who are aware of the scale of the global food problem, are ready for dialogue. We could talk about creating normal logistical, financial and transport conditions for increasing Russian food and fertiliser exports.

As for Ukrainian food supplies to global markets – I have to mention this because of numerous speculations – we are not hindering them. They can do it. We did not mine the Black Sea ports of Ukraine. They can clear the mines and resume food exports. We will ensure the safe navigation of civilian vessels. No problem.

But what are we talking about? According to the US Department of Agriculture, the matter concerns 6 million tonnes of wheat (we estimate it at 5 million tonnes) and 7 million tonnes of maize. This is it, altogether. Since global production of wheat stands at 800 million tonnes, 5 million tonnes make little difference for the global market, as you can see.

Anyway, Ukrainian grain can be exported, and not only via Black Sea ports. Another route is via Belarus, which is, incidentally, the cheapest way. Or via Poland or Romania, whichever you prefer. In fact, there are five or six export routes.

The problem is not with us, the problem is with the adequacy of the people in control in Kiev. They can decide what to do, and, at least in this particular case, they should not take their lead from their foreign bosses, their masters across the ocean.

But there is also the risk that grain will be used as payment for arms deliveries. This would be regrettable.

Friends,

Once again, the world is going through an era of drastic change. International institutions are breaking down and faltering. Security guarantees are being devalued. The West has made a point of refusing to honour its earlier commitments. It has simply been impossible to reach any new agreements with them.

Given these circumstances and against the backdrop of mounting risks and threats, Russia was forced to go ahead with the special military operation. It was a difficult but necessary decision, and we were forced to make it.

This was the decision of a sovereign country, which has еру unconditional right to uphold its security, which is based on the UN Charter. This decision was aimed at protecting our people and the residents of the people’s republics of Donbass who for eight long years were subjected to genocide by the Kiev regime and the neo-Nazis who enjoyed the full protection of the West.

The West not only sought to implement an “anti-Russia” scenario, but also engaged in the active military development of Ukrainian territory, flooding Ukraine with weapons and military advisers. And it continues to do so now. Frankly, no one is paying any attention to the economy or well-being of the people living there, they just do not care about it at all, but they have never spared money to create a NATO foothold in the east that is directed against Russia and to cultivate aggression, hatred and Russophobia.

Today, our soldiers and officers, as well as the Donbass militia, are fighting to protect their people. They are fighting for Russia’s future as a large, free and secure multiethnic country that makes its own decisions, determines its own future, relies on its history, culture and traditions, and rejects any and all outside attempts to impose pseudo-values steeped in dehumanisation and moral degradation.

No doubt, our special military operation goals will be fulfilled. The key to this is the courage and heroism of our soldiers, consolidated Russian society, whose support gives strength and confidence to the Russian Army and Navy and a deep understanding of the truth and historical justice of our cause which is to build and strengthen Russia as a strong sovereign power.

My point is that sovereignty cannot be segmented or fragmented in the 21st century. The components of sovereignty are equally important, and they reinvigorate and complement each other.

So, what matters to us is not only the defence of our political sovereignty and national identity, but also strengthening everything that determines our country’s economic, financial, professional and technological independence.

The very structure of Western sanctions rested on the false premise that economically Russia is not sovereign and is critically vulnerable. They got so carried away spreading the myth of Russia’s backwardness and its weak positions in the global economy and trade that apparently, they started believing it themselves.

While planning their economic blitzkrieg, they did not notice, simply ignored the real facts of how much our country had changed in the past few years.

These changes are the result of our planned efforts to create a sustainable macroeconomic structure, ensure food security, implement import substitution programmes and create our own payment system, to name a few.

Of course, sanction restrictions created many challenges for the country. Some companies continue having problems with spare parts. Our companies have lost access to many technological solutions. Logistics are in disarray.

But, on the other hand, all this opens up new opportunities for us – we often talk about this but it really is so. All this is an impetus to build an economy with full rather than partial technological, production, human and scientific potential and sovereignty.

Naturally, it is impossible to resolve such a comprehensive challenge instantly. It is necessary to continue working systematically with an eye to the future. This is exactly what Russia is doing by implementing its long-term plans for the development of branches of the economy and strengthening the social sphere. The current trials are merely resulting in adjustments and modifications of the plans without changing their strategic orientation.

Today, I would like to talk about the key principles on which our country, our economy will develop.

The first principle is openness. Genuinely sovereign states are always interested in equal partnership and in contributing to global development. On the contrary, weak and dependent countries are usually looking for enemies, fuelling xenophobia or losing the last remnants of their identity and independence, blindly following in the wake of their suzerain.

Russia will never follow the road of self-isolation and autarky although our so-called Western friends are literally dreaming about this. Moreover, we are expanding cooperation with all those who are interested in it, who want to work with us, and will continue to do so. … They make up the overwhelming majority of people on Earth.

I will not list all these countries now. It is common knowledge.

I will say nothing new when I remind you that everyone who wants to continue working or is working with Russia is subjected to blatant pressure from the United States and Europe; it goes as far as direct threats. However, this kind of blackmail means little when it comes to countries headed by true leaders who know the difference between their own national interests, the interests of their people – and someone else’s.

Russia will build up economic cooperation with these states and promote joint projects. At the same time, we will certainly continue to cooperate with Western companies that have remained in the Russian market despite the unprecedented arm-twisting – such companies exist, too.

We believe the development of a convenient and independent payment infrastructure in national currencies is a solid and predictable basis for deepening international cooperation. To help companies from other countries develop logistical and cooperation ties, we are working to improve transport corridors, increase the capacity of railways, transshipment capacity at ports in the Arctic, and in the eastern, southern and other parts of the country, including in the Azov-Black Sea and Caspian basins – they will become the most important section of the North-South Corridor, which will provide stable connectivity with the Middle East and Southern Asia. We expect freight traffic along this route to begin growing steadily in the near future.

But foreign trade is not our only priority. Russia intends to increase scientific, technological, cultural, humanitarian and sports cooperation based on equality and mutual respect between partners. At the same time, our country will strive for responsible leadership in all these areas.

The second principle of our long-term development is a reliance on entrepreneurial freedom. Every private initiative aimed at benefiting Russia should receive maximum support and space for implementation.

The pandemic and the more recent events have confirmed how important flexibility and freedom are in the economy. Russian private businesses – in tough conditions, amid attempts to restrain our development by any means – have proved they can compete in global markets. Private businesses should also be credited for Russia’s adaptation to rapidly changing external conditions. Russia needs to ensure the dynamic development of the economy – naturally, relying on private business.

We will continue to reduce administrative hurdles. For example, in 2016–2018, we imposed a moratorium on routine audits of small businesses. Subsequently, it was extended through 2022. In 2020, this moratorium was extended to cover mid-sized companies. Also, the number of unscheduled audits decreased approximately fourfold.

We did not stop at that, and last March, we cancelled routine audits for all entrepreneurs, regardless of the size of their businesses, provided their activities do not put people or the environment at high risk. As a result, the number of routine audits has declined sixfold compared to last year.

Why am I giving so many details? The point is that after the moratorium on audits was imposed, the number of violations by entrepreneurs – this was the result – has not increased, but rather it has gone down. This testifies to the maturity and responsibility of Russian businesses. Of course, they should be offered motivation rather than being forced to observe regulations and requirements.

So, there is every reason to take another radical step forward, that is, to abandon, for good and on a permanent basis, the majority of audits for all Russian businesses, except on risky or potentially dangerous activities. Everyone has long since understood that there was no need to check on everyone without exception. A risk-oriented approach should be at work. I ask the Government to develop the specific parameters of such a reform in the next few months.

There is another very sensitive topic for business, which has also become important today for our national security and economic resilience. To reduce and bring to a minimum all sorts of abuse and loopholes to exert pressure on entrepreneurs, we are consistently removing loose regulations from criminal law that are applied to economic crimes.

Last March, a law was signed, under which tax-related criminal cases against entrepreneurs shall only be brought before a court by the tax service – there is no other way. Soon a draft law will be passed on reducing the statute of limitations for tax-related crimes and on rejecting lawsuits to initiate criminal proceedings after tax arrears have been paid off.

Working comprehensively, although prudently, we need to decriminalise a wide range of economic offenses, for instance, those that punish businesses without a licence or accreditation. This is a controversial practice today because our Western partners illegitimately refuse to provide such licenses.

Our own agencies must not single-handedly make our businesses criminally liable for actually doing nothing wrong. The problem is this, and small businesses understand it very well – if a licence has expired, and Western partners refuse to extend it, what are businesses to do, wrap up operations? By no means, let them work. State oversight should continue, but there should be no undue interference in business.

It also makes sense to think about raising the threshold of criminal liability for unpaid customs duties and other such taxes. Additionally, we have not for a long time reconsidered the parameters of the terms ‘large’ and ‘very large’ economic loss for the purposes of economic offences despite inflation accruing 50 percent since 2016. The law now fails to reflect the current realities and needs to be corrected.

We need to reconsider the conditions for detaining entrepreneurs and for extending preliminary investigations. It is no secret that these practices have long been used inappropriately.

Businesses have been forced to cease operations or go bankrupt even before the investigation is over. The reputation of the owners and of the brand name suffers as a result, not to mention the direct financial loss, loss of market share and jobs.

I want to ask law enforcement to put an end to these practices. I also ask the Government and the Supreme Court to draft appropriate legislation before October 1 of this year.

In addition, at the Security Council, a special instruction was given to look into criminal cases being opened without later proceeding to court. The number of such cases has grown in recent years. We know the reasons. A case is often opened without sufficient grounds or to put pressure on individuals. We will discuss this in autumn to take legislative action and change the way our law enforcement agencies work.

It goes without saying that regional governments play a major role in creating a modern business environment. As is customary during the St Petersburg Forum, I highlight the regions that have made significant progress in the National Investment Climate Rankings compiled by the Agency for Strategic Initiatives.

There have been changes in the top three. Moscow and Tatarstan have remained at the top and were joined by the Moscow Region which, in a span of one year, went from eighth place to the top three. The leaders of the rankings also include the Tula, Nizhny Novgorod, Tyumen, Novgorod, and Sakhalin regions, St Petersburg and Bashkortostan.

Separately, I would like to highlight the regions that have made the greatest strides such as the Kurgan Region, which moved up 36 spots; the Perm Territory and the Altai Territory, up 26 spots; Ingushetia, up 24 spots; and the Ivanovo Region which moved up 17 spots.

I want to thank and congratulate our colleagues in the regions for their good work.

The federal government and regional and municipal governments should focus on supporting individual business initiatives in small towns and remote rural communities. We are aware of such stories of success. That includes developing popular software and marketing locally produced organic food and environmentally friendly products nationwide using domestic websites.

It is important to create new opportunities, to introduce modern retail formats, including e-commerce platforms, as I mentioned above, and to cut the logistics, transportation and other costs, including by using upgraded Russian Post offices.

It is also important to help small business employees, self-employed individuals and start-up entrepreneurs acquire additional skills and competencies. Please include corresponding measures tailored specifically to small towns and rural and remote areas as a separate line in the national project for promoting small and medium-sized businesses.

Today I would like to address our officials, owners of large companies, our business leaders and executives.

Colleagues, friends,

Real, stable success and a sense of dignity and self-respect only come when you link your future and the future of your children with your Fatherland. We have maintained ties with many people for a long time, and I am aware of the sentiments of many of the heads and owners of our companies. You have told me many times that business is much more than just making a profit, and I fully agree. It is about changing life around you, contributing to the development of your home cities, regions and the country as a whole, which is extremely important for self-fulfilment. There is nothing like serving the people and society. This is the meaning of your life and work.

Recent events have reaffirmed what I have always said: it is much better at home. Those who refused to hear that clear message have lost hundreds of millions, if not billions of dollars in the West, in what looked like a safe haven for their assets.

I would like to once again say the following to our colleagues, those who are both in this audience and those who are not here: please, do not fall into the same trap again. Our country has huge potential, and there are more than enough tasks that need your contribution. Invest here, in the creation of new enterprises and jobs, in the development of the tourism infrastructure, support schools, universities, healthcare and the social sphere, culture and sport. I know that many of you are doing this. I know this, but I wanted to say it again.

This is how the Bakhrushin, Morozov, Shchukin, Ryabushinsky, Akchurin, Galeyev, Apanayev, Matsiyev, Mamontov, Tretyakov, Arsanov, Dadashev and Gadzhiyev families understood their noble mission. Many Russian, Tatar, Buryat, Chechen, Daghestani, Yakutian, Ossetian, Jewish, Armenian and other merchant and entrepreneurial families did not deprive their heirs of their due share, and at the same time they etched their names in the history of our country.

Incidentally, I would like to note once again that it remains to be seen what is more important for potential heirs: money and property or their forefathers’ good name and service to the country. The latter is something that cannot be squandered or, pardon my language, wasted on drink.

A good name is something that will always belong to your descendants, to future generations. It will always be part of their lives, going from one generation to another, helping them and making them stronger than the money or property they might inherit can make them.

Colleagues,

A responsible and well-balanced macroeconomic policy is the third guiding principle of our long-term development. In fact, this policy has largely enabled us to withstand the unprecedented pressure brought on by sanctions. Let me reiterate that this is an essential policy in the long term, not just for responding to the current challenges. We will not follow in the footsteps of our Western colleagues by replicating their bitter experience setting off an inflation spiral and disrupting their finances.

Our goal is to ensure robust economic growth for years to come, reducing the inflation burden on our people and businesses and achieving the mid- and long-term target inflation rate of four percent. Inflation was one of the first things I mentioned during my remarks, so let me tell you this: we remain committed to this target of a four-percent inflation rate.

I have already instructed the Government to draft proposals regarding the new budget guidelines. They must ensure that our budget policy is predictable and enables us to make the best use of the external economic conditions. Why do we need all this? To put economic growth on a more stable footing, while also delivering on our infrastructure and technological objectives, which provide a foundation for improving the wellbeing of our people.

True, some international reserve currencies have set themselves on a suicidal path lately, which is an obvious fact. In any case, they clearly have suicidal intentions. Of course, using them to ‘sterilise’ our money supply does not make any sense. Still, the principle of planning one’s spending based on how much you earn remains relevant. This is how it works, and we understand this.

Social justice is the fourth principle underpinning our development. There must be a powerful social dimension when it comes to promoting economic growth and business initiatives. This development model must reduce inequality instead of deepening it, unlike what is happening in other countries. To be honest, we have not been at the forefront when it comes to delivering on these objectives. We have yet to resolve many issues and problems in this regard.

Reducing poverty and inequality is all about creating demand for Russian-made products across the country, bridging the gap between regions in terms of their capabilities, and creating new jobs where they are needed the most. These are the core economic development drivers.

Let me emphasise that generating positive momentum in terms of household income growth and poverty reduction are the main performance indicators for government agencies and the state in general. We need to achieve tangible results in this sphere already this year, despite all the objective challenges we face. I have already assigned this task to the Government.

Again, we provide targeted support to the most vulnerable groups – pensioners, families with children, and people in difficult life situations.

Pensions are indexed annually at a rate higher than inflation. This year, they have been raised twice, including by another 10 percent on June 1.

The minimum wage was also increased by 10 percent at the same time, and so was the subsistence minimum – a reference figure used to calculate many social benefits and payments – accordingly, these benefits should also grow, increasing the incomes of about 15 million people.

In recent years, we have built a holistic system to support low-income families with children. Women are entitled to state support from the early stages of pregnancy and until the child reaches the age of 17.

People’s living standards and prosperity are the most important demographic factors; the current situation is quite challenging due to several negative demographic waves that have recently overlapped. In April, less than a hundred thousand children were born in Russia, almost 13 percent less than in April 2020.

I ask the Government to continue to keep the development of additional support measures for families with children under review. They must be far-reaching and commensurate with the magnitude of the extraordinary demographic challenge we are facing.

Russia’s future is ensured by families with two, three and more children. Therefore, we need to do more than provide direct financial support – we need to target and direct the healthcare system, education, and all areas that determine the quality of people’s lives towards the needs of families with children.

This problem is addressed, among other approaches, by the national social initiatives, which regional teams and the Agency for Strategic Initiatives are implementing together. This autumn, we will assess the results of their work, review and rank the Russian regions by quality of life in order to apply the best experiences and practices as widely as possible throughout the country.

Prioritising the development of infrastructure is the fifth principle underlying Russia’s economic policy.

We have scaled up direct budget spending on expanding transport corridors. An ambitious plan for building and repairing the federal and regional motorway core network will be launched next year. At least 85 percent of the roads are to be brought up to code within the next five years.

Infrastructure budget lending is a new tool that is being widely used. The loans are issued for 15 years at a 3 percent APR. As I mentioned before, they are much more popular than we originally thought. The regions have multiple well-thought-out and promising projects that should be launched at the earliest convenience. We will look into how we can use this support measure. We debated this issue last night. What I am saying is that it is a reliable tool.

Upgrading housing and utilities services is a separate matter with a backlog of issues. The industry is chronically underinvested to the tune of 4.5 trillion rubles. Over 40 percent of networks need to be replaced, which accounts for their low efficiency and big losses. About 3 percent of the networks become unusable every year, but no more than 2 percent get replaced, which makes the problem even worse every single year.

I propose consolidating resources and launching a comprehensive programme for upgrading housing and utilities, and synchronizing it with other infrastructure development and housing overhaul plans. The goal is to turn the situation around and to gradually reduce the number of dated networks, just like we are doing by relocating people from structurally unsafe buildings or fixing roads. We will discuss in detail housing and utilities and the construction complex with the governors at a State Council Presidium meeting next week.

On a separate note, I propose increasing resources to fund projects to create a comfortable urban environment in small towns and historical settlements. This programme is working well for us. I propose allocating another 10 billion rubles annually for these purposes in 2023–2024.

We will allocate additional funds for renovating urban areas in the Far Eastern Federal District. I want the Government to allocate dedicated funds to this end as part of the programmes for infrastructure budget lending and housing and utilities upgrading, as well as other development programmes.

Promoting comprehensive improvements and development for rural areas is a top priority for us. People who live there are feeding the country. We now see that they are also feeding a major part of the world, so they must live in comfort and dignity. In this connection, I am asking the Government to allocate additional funding for the corresponding programme. Export duties on agricultural produce can serve as a source of funding here. This is a permanent source of revenue. Of course, there can be fluctuations, but at least this ensures a constant flow of revenue.

On a separate note, I suggest that we expand the programmes for upgrading and modernising rural cultural centres, as well as regional theatres and museums by allocating six billion rubles for each of these projects in 2023 and 2024.

What I have just said about cultural institutions is something that people are really looking forward to, something they really care about. Let me give you a recent example: during the presentation of the Hero of Labour medals, one of the winners, Vladimir Mikhailov from Yakutia, asked me directly for help with building a cultural centre in his native village. This was during the part of the ceremony where we meet behind closed doors. We will definitely do this. The fact that people are raising this issue at all levels shows that they are really eager to see these projects implemented.

At this point, I would like to make a sidenote on a topic that is especially relevant now, since we are in early summer, when Russians usually take their summer vacations.

Every year, more and more tourists want to visit the most beautiful corners of our country: national parks, wildlife sanctuaries and nature reserves. According to available estimates, this year this tourist flow is expected to exceed 12 million people. It is essential that all government bodies, businesses and tourists are well aware of what they can and cannot do in these territories, where they can build tourism infrastructure, and where such activity is strictly prohibited because it endangers unique and fragile ecosystems.

The draft law governing tourism in special protected territories and regulating this activity in a civilised manner is already in the State Duma.

In this context, I would like to draw your attention to the fact that we must figure out in advance all the relevant estimates and ensure that the decisions are well-balanced. We need to be serious about this.

I would like to place special emphasis on the need to preserve Lake Baikal. In particular, there is a comprehensive development project for the city of Baikalsk, which must become a model of sustainable, eco-sensitive municipal governance.

This is not just about getting rid of the accumulated negative environmental impacts from the Baikalsk Pulp and Paper Mill, but about setting a higher standard of living for the city and transforming it into a signature destination for environmental tourism in Russia. We need to rely on the most cutting-edge technologies and clean energy when carrying out this project.

Overall, we will be developing clean technology to achieve the goals we set in the environmental modernisation of production facilities, and to reduce hazardous emissions, especially in large industrial centres. We will also continue working on closed-loop economy projects, green projects and climate preservation. I spoke about these issues in detail at this forum last year.

Consequently, the sixth cross-cutting development principle that consolidates our work is, in my opinion, achieving genuine technological sovereignty, creating an integral system of economic development that does not depend on foreign institutions when it comes to critically important components. We need to develop all areas of life on a qualitatively new technological level without being simply users of other countries’ solutions. We must have technological keys to developing next-generation goods and services.

In the past years, we have focused a lot of attention on import substitution, succeeding in a range of industries, including agriculture, pharmaceuticals, medical equipment, defence production and several others.

But I should stress that there is a lot of discussion in our society about import substitution. And it is not a cure-all nor a comprehensive solution. If we only imitate others when trying to replace foreign goods with copies, even if very high-quality ones, we may end up constantly playing catch-up while we should be one step ahead and create our own competitive technologies, goods and services that can become new global standards.

If you remember, Sergei Korolyov did not just copy or locally upgrade captured rocket technology. He focused on the future and proposed a unique plan to develop the R-7 rocket. He paved the path to space for humankind and in fact set a standard for the entire world, for decades ahead.

Proactively – this is how founders of many Soviet research programmes worked at the time. And today, building on that groundwork, our designers continue to make progress and show their worth. It is thanks to them that Russia has supersonic weapons that do not exist in any other country. Rosatom remains the leader in nuclear technology, developing our fleet of nuclear-powered icebreakers. Many Russian AI and Big Data solutions are the best in the world.

To reiterate, technological development is a cross-cutting area that will define the current decade and the entire 21st century. We will review in depth our approaches to building a groundbreaking technology-based economy – a techno economy – at the upcoming Strategic Development Council meeting. There is so much we can discuss. Most importantly, many managerial decisions must be made in the sphere of engineering education and transferring research to the real economy, and the provision of financial resources for fast-growing high-tech companies. We will also discuss the development of cross-cutting technologies and progress of digital transformation projects in individual industries.

To be clear, of course it is impossible to make every product out there, and there is no need for that. However, we need to possess critical technologies in order to be able to move swiftly should we need to start our own production of any product. This is what we did when we quickly started making coronavirus vaccines, and most recently launched the production of many other products and services.

For example, after dishonest KamAZ partners left the Russian market, their place was taken by domestic companies, which are supplying parts for traditional models and even advanced mainline, transport and heavy-duty vehicles.

The Mir card payment system has successfully replaced Visa and MasterCard on the domestic market. It is expanding its geography and gradually gaining international recognition.

The St Petersburg Tractor Plant is another case in point. Its former foreign partner stopped selling engines and providing warranty maintenance. Engine builders from Yaroslavl and Tutayev came to the rescue and started supplying their engines. As a result, the output of agricultural equipment at the St Petersburg Tractor Plant hit a record high in March-April. It did not decrease, but hit an all-time high.

I am sure there will be more positive practices and success stories.

To reiterate, Russia possesses the professional, scientific and technological potential to develop products that enjoy high demand, including household appliances and construction equipment, as well as industrial and service equipment.

Today’s task is to scale up the capacities and promptly get the necessary lines up and running. One of the key issues is comfortable work conditions for the businesses as well as the availability of prepared production sites.

I ask the Government to submit key parameters of the new operating guidelines for industrial clusters by the autumn. What is critical here?

First – financing. The projects launched in these clusters must have a long-term credit resource for up to ten years at an annual interest rate below seven percent in rubles. We have discussed all these issues with our economic agencies as well. Everyone agreed, so we will proceed.

Second – taxation. The clusters must have a low level of relatively permanent taxes including insurance contributions.

Third – supporting production at the early, kick-off stage, forming a package of orders including subsidising the purchases of ready products by such enterprises. This is not an easy issue but I think subsidies may be required. They are needed to ensure the market. We just have to work it out.

Fourth – simplified administration including minimal or no inspections as well as convenient customs monitoring that is not burdensome.

Fifth, and probably the most important – we need to set up mechanisms of guaranteed long-term demand for the new innovative products that are about to enter the market. I remind the Government that such preferential terms and respective industrial clusters must be launched as early as January 1, 2023.

On a related note, I want to say that both new and already operating points of industrial growth must attract small businesses and engage them in their orbit. It is crucial for entrepreneurs, for small entities to see the horizon and grasp their prospects.

Therefore, I ask the Government together with the SME Corporation [Federal Corporation for the Development of Small and Medium Enterprises] and our biggest companies to launch an instrument for long-term contracts between companies with state participation and SMEs. This will ensure demand for the products of such enterprises for years ahead whereas suppliers can confidently undertake commitments to launch a new manufacturing facility or expand an existing one to meet that order.

Let me add that we have substantially shortened the timeframe for building industrial sites and eliminated all the unnecessary burdensome procedures. Still, there is much more we can do here. We have things to work on, and places to go from here. For example, building an industrial facility from the ground up takes anywhere from eighteen months to three years, while the persistently high interest rates make it harder to buy suitable land plots.

Given this, I suggest launching industrial mortgages as a new tool for empowering Russian businesses to quickly start making all the products we need. What I mean are preferential long-term loans at a five-percent interest rate. Companies planning to buy new manufacturing space will be entitled to these loans. I am asking the Government to work out all the details with the Russian banking sector so that the industrial mortgage programme becomes fully operational soon.

Friends,

Changes in the global economy, finances and international relations are unfolding at an ever-growing pace and scale. There is an increasingly pronounced trend in favour of a multipolar growth model in lieu of globalisation. Of course, building and shaping a new world order is no easy task. We will have to confront many challenges, risks, and factors that we can hardly predict or anticipate today.

Still, it is obvious that it is up to the strong sovereign states, those that do not follow a trajectory imposed by others, to set the rules governing the new world order. Only powerful and sovereign states can have their say in this emerging world order. Otherwise, they are doomed to become or remain colonies devoid of any rights.

We need to move forward and change in keeping with the times, while demonstrating our national will and resolve. Russia enters this nascent era as a powerful sovereign nation. We will definitely use the new immense opportunities that are opening up for us in this day and age in order to become even stronger.

Thank you for your attention.

Margarita Simonyan: Thank you, Mr President.

I would very much like to say that after such exhaustive remarks and such an exhaustive analysis, we have nothing left to talk about, because you have answered all the questions. Still, some questions remain, and we will certainly ask them.

And now I would like to ask President Tokayev to come over here and share with us his perspective on the processes taking place in his country, in our country, and in relations between our countries and in the world.

Thank you.

President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev: President Putin,

forum participants,

I congratulate everyone on a significant event – the 25th St Petersburg International Economic Forum. I thank President Putin for the invitation and for the warm and cordial welcome in the cultural capital of Russia.

Over the past quarter of a century, the St Petersburg Forum has deservedly gained respect as a prestigious expert platform and occupies a worthy place among other world discussion platforms.

Today, we are meeting in rather extraordinary circumstances – I am referring to the elevated political and economic turbulence. The global upheavals caused by the pandemic and the rising geopolitical tensions have led to a new reality. Globalisation has given way to an era of regionalisation, with all its inherent advantages and disadvantages. Be that as it may, the process of reformatting traditional economic models and trade routes is accelerating.

The world is changing rapidly – unfortunately, in most cases it is not for the better. Inflation in many countries is breaking ten-year records, global economic growth is slowing down, and competition for investment and resources is intensifying.

There are constraining factors for economic growth such as climate change, growing migration flows, and faster technological change. We certainly pay attention to these processes.

Speaking about the new reality, it is important to bear in mind the rapidly changing structure of the international order – even the seemingly stable East-West, North-South vectors of interaction are shifting. It is important for the countries in our region not only to find the right answers to all these challenges, but also to try to make the most of them. Therefore, we have to consistently reach our full potential for cooperation within the Eurasian Economic Union. The project to link Eurasian integration with China’s One Belt, One Road initiative is relevant here.

As you know, Kazakhstan is now implementing large-scale political and economic reforms. Their goal is to reset public administration and build a fair, new Kazakhstan. We are working to ensure that there is a correlation between economic growth and rising living standards for our people. We want to achieve sustainable development of trade and economic ties, open new production lines, support the growth of human capital, and make investments.

As part of our large-scale effort to modernise the country, we are drafting new rules of the game in the economy without glaring monopolies and rampant corruption. Our priority is to support businesses and improve the business climate with a view to providing the utmost protection for the rights of investors, and promoting stability and predictability. We will continue meeting all of our commitments to our traditional partners. Kazakhstan will continue building an inclusive, fair society without social inequality.

I believe that to ensure sustainable development of all countries of the region, it is necessary to determine new horizons of cooperation and create new growth points in our economies. Along with this, we must always remember the very important task of ensuring international and regional security.

In this context, I would like to draw your attention to the following points.

The first task, as I have already mentioned, is to strengthen the capacity of the Eurasian Economic Union. This task remains relevant for us. The aggregate size of the economies of its members exceeds $2 trillion. This is an enormous market with free movement of goods, capital, services and workforce. At any rate, this is what it should be.

Despite the pandemic and geopolitical upheavals, cooperation in the EAEU continues to grow stronger. Last year, its trade reached a record $73 billion, which is a third higher than last year.

Russia has been and remains Kazakhstan’s key economic partner in the EAEU. Last year, our trade went up by almost a third to exceed $24 billion. These are record figures for us. The dynamics remains positive this year as well. Our trade increased by over 12 percent in the first quarter of 2022.

I believe that, considering the new reality, it would be appropriate and useful to develop an innovative trade strategy within the Eurasian Economic Union. Instead of imposing counter-sanctions, which, frankly, are unlikely to be productive, a more proactive and flexible trade policy should be pursued covering the Asian and the Middle Eastern markets. Kazakhstan could be instrumental in its role of a buffer market.

Overall, the ultimate success of Eurasian integration largely, if not massively, depends on our effective common trade strategy. Kazakhstan and Russia can break new ground in industrial cooperation.

We have a special plan, a programme for industrial cooperation in the new circumstances. Investors from Russia will be provided with industrial sites complete with infrastructure, and a favourable investment climate will be created for them. As a matter of fact, this is already being done.

The full unlocking of our countries’ agricultural potential is particularly important in these circumstances. According to the FAO [the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations], Russia and Kazakhstan are global leaders in terms of available agricultural land. This fact is of particular importance in light of declining global food security. According to the UN, the number of malnourished people will go from 270 million to 323 million this year.

Providing people with high-quality and safe food remains a priority and a factor in maintaining internal stability.

To create a reliable food system, it is important to implement innovative solutions and advanced technologies, as well as to cut food losses.

Approaches to ensuring food security should be developed at the national level and within regional associations, including the EAEU with account taken of the interests of all state participants. Achieving declared goals in this extremely important area is unlikely without coordinated work.

In other words, fighting skyrocketing inflation and food shortages is our common challenge, which will remain a priority in the foreseeable future, because it directly concerns the well-being of our people. Our countries’ potential makes it possible to consistently and fully supply our markets with the necessary foods, as the President of Russia convincingly demonstrated today.

Secondly, I believe that it is essential that we continue expanding trade and economic cooperation with third countries. Kazakhstan is proactively involved in integration processes, and has always stood for mutually beneficial cooperation with other international organisations.

As far as I know, there has been much interest on the sidelines of the St Petersburg International Economic Forum in Russia’s initiative to build a Greater Eurasian Partnership. This concept consists of offering regional organisations a platform for creating a common space of equal cooperation. It is for this reason that Kazakhstan continues to have a positive outlook on the effort to build the Greater Eurasian Partnership.

This year, Kazakhstan chairs the Commonwealth of Independent States. Over the years, this structure has built up a positive track record despite all the geopolitical challenges, which proves that multilateral dialogue tools are effective.

I believe that the CIS is perfectly suited for serving as a foundation for this megaproject. I am referring to Greater Eurasia, or the Greater Eurasian Partnership. It can encompass the SCO, ASEAN, and the Eurasian Economic Union as its integral elements.

Over the next decade, China, India, as well as countries in the Middle East, South and Southeast Asia, which have traditionally been friendly to us, can become major investors in the economies of our region.

China has already emerged as Kazakhstan’s main economic and foreign trade partner. This country invested in our economy more than $22 billion over the past 15 years. For this reason, strengthening our multilateral cooperation with China is a very important goal for our country.

Of course, the economy matters today just as much as political considerations. I believe that we have to promote business-to-business ties and build new transport and logistics corridors. Today, we treat these matters as our top priorities when meeting with people from Russia and other interested nations.

There is a lot of potential for combining our efforts to develop a pool of breakthrough innovation and technology projects, as well as uninterrupted transportation and logistics chains. At the end of the day, this will create new economic growth opportunities for our countries.

Thirdly, Kazakhstan maintains its unwavering commitment to international efforts to combat climate change. We will be consistent in our efforts to promote green investment and carry out corresponding projects. Environmental problems are global in nature, affecting almost all countries without exception, including Kazakhstan.

Last year, our farmers had serious problems due to a draught that was triggered by low rainfall and low water level in rivers. The cross-border Ural River is in critical condition. We call it Zhayyq on our territory.

I believe we should tackle such problems together when faced with such long-term challenges to the sustainable development of our states. I think we should give serious thought to the prospects of introducing the principles of closed-loop or circular economy. We are working to reduce the GDP’s energy-output ratio, expand the renewable energy sector and reduce transit losses in this area.

The similarity of our economies, industrial infrastructure ties between our two countries and geography as such are prompting us to pool efforts in this strategically important area as well. I hope that together we will manage to draft effective approaches and specific measures for tangible progress in this field.

Fourthly. High quality human resources and constructive inter-cultural dialogue are a reliable source of economic growth. As part of the UN-proclaimed International Decade for the Rapprochement of Cultures, we will continue our policy of preserving the cultural diversity of our country and promoting international dialogue between civilisations.

In September our capital will host yet another congress of world and traditional religions. We welcome the participation of religious figures from Russia in this forum. Practically all of them confirmed their participation.

Kazakhstan is actively reformatting the system of its higher education with the participation of leading foreign universities, including Russian ones. The deepening of international academic ties has special significance for promoting the traditions of bilateral cooperation.

I am convinced that the successful implementation of a number of joint educational and cultural initiatives will allow us to make a tangible contribution to the steady economic advance of our country.

Participants of the forum,

Kazakhstan proceeds from its firm conviction that Eurasia is our common home and that all countries on our continent should closely cooperate in the community. We are confident that the building of a peaceful, stable and economically strong Eurasia will become a major factor of sustainable development and inclusive growth on a global scale.

I am convinced that this prestigious discussion venue that unites top class experts has great potential in searching for constructive ideas aimed at normalising the international situation and recovering the positive dynamics of the world economy.

Thank you for your attention.

Margarita Simonyan: Thank you very much, President Tokayev.

Eurasia is indeed our common home. We all want this home to be safe and prosperous through God’s help and our mutual efforts.

And now we will turn to Africa. We have a video address from President of Egypt Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. Can we have it on the screens, please? Thank you.

President of Egypt Abdel Fattah el-Sisi: In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful,

President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin,

Ladies and gentlemen,

At the outset, allow me to extend to His Excellency, President Vladimir Putin, my sincere congratulations on the silver jubilee of the St Petersburg International Economic Forum. Since 1997, when it has been held for the first time, the forum has become a leading platform for the business community and a remarkable economic event that seeks to discuss the key economic issues facing emerging markets and the world.

Ladies and gentlemen,

The Arab Republic of Egypt, as a guest country, will be part of this year’s session of the forum, which marks the 25th anniversary of its launch, thus confirming the distinguished level that Egyptian-Russian economic relations have reached over the recent years.

This year’s forum is being held amid unprecedented political and economic challenges of a strategic nature. We hope that the outcomes of the forum will contribute to finding effective solutions to these challenges in a way that mitigates the impact of the global economic crisis and its negative repercussions on many countries in the world, especially the economies of emerging countries, takes the concerns and interests of all parties into account, and achieves the security and tranquility of peoples.

This would be achieved through long-term political understandings that open the way for the growth of the global economy, especially in the wake of the severe coronavirus pandemic, which has cost our societies many victims and considerable money and resources, thus making us keen to avoid any slowdown in the global economy.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Let me use this opportunity to reiterate that the Arab Republic of Egypt values its firm, historic friendship relations with the Russian Federation, and values the tangible progress the two countries’ relations have been witnessing over the past years in a multitude of vital sectors, for the two countries’ economies and the prosperity of the two peoples.

The Arab Republic of Egypt and the Russian Federation have been engaged over the past years in the implementation of mega and ambitious projects that serve our countries and respond to the aspirations of our peoples to realise more economic progress.

The most prominent of these are: the project for the establishment of the Dabaa nuclear power plant, which comes within the context of the Egyptian State’s strategy to expand national projects for the use of new and renewable sources of energy.

Another project is the establishment of the Russian Industrial Zone in the Economic Zone of the Suez Canal, which is meant to become an important platform for industry in Africa.

This is in addition to cooperation between the two countries to upgrade the Egyptian railway network and other joint ventures that realise the benefit of the two peoples.

Ladies and gentlemen,

You must be aware that the exceptional events that have been taking place in the Arab Republic of Egypt over the past decade had their immense impact on the overall economic situation in the country. The Egyptian people stood up to surmount this crisis by supporting a clear vision, based on investing in the Egyptian citizen and developing his capabilities.

Therefore, Egypt Vision 2030 was launched to reflect the state’s long-term strategic plan to achieve the principles and goals of sustainable development, with its economic, social and environmental dimensions.

Based on this vision, the Government of Egypt has modernised its legislative structure to enable Egypt to attract more foreign investment. This qualified Egypt to become the top destination for attracting foreign investments in Africa and one of the few countries in the world capable of achieving a growth rate of up to 3.3 percent in 2021, despite the negative challenges posed by the spread of COVID-19 and their impact on the global economy. We expect the Egyptian economy to grow by 5.5% during the current fiscal year. The country’s non-petroleum exports also increased during 2021 to reach $32 billion.

Egypt has also succeeded, within the framework of its strategy to increase its capabilities, to implement mega agricultural projects that are aimed at increasing agricultural land by almost 2 million feddans.

This is in addition to the mega projects Egypt is implementing in the fields of transport, by expanding thousands of kilometers of roads and upgrading Egypt’s transport system by introducing new projects. Those include the high-speed rail that will constitute a means to link the Red Sea and the Mediterranean Sea, thus boosting and facilitating international trade.

Adding to this are the mega industrial projects and the numerous projects in the field of clean energy production, which have been established in Egypt at a rapid pace over the past period.

Despite the previously-mentioned national efforts, Egypt’s actions and efforts to achieve progress were hit recently by economic crises caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The world was partially recovering from its effects and repercussions, when it was hit again by a great economic crisis that cast a shadow over growth rates and negatively affected states’ budgets, reflecting on the rise of fuel prices and the decline in the value of the national currencies in the face of hard currencies. This is in addition to the disruption in supply chains, the emergence of the food crisis, as well as the irregular movement of civil aviation. This sector is connected with vital fields of the Egyptian economy, primarily tourism and insurance.

Addressing this crisis, which has an international character, requires international efforts and collaboration among all parties in order to get matters back to their normal state, particularly the movement of maritime traffic and the regularity of supply chains, particularly foodstuff, such as grain and vegetable oil.

This also requires working toward restoring calm and stability at the international level, in order to mitigate the impact of this economic crisis on the peoples, who seek peace and development.

I also call on all companies participating in this forum and others to take advantage of this huge opportunity that is provided by investing in Egypt in all fields.

I would not miss, before concluding my speech, thanking the people of Saint Petersburg, this brave city throughout history, which at the same time represents an icon for culture and openness on the outside world.

Finally, I would like, once again, to thank His Excellency, President Vladimir Putin, for his kind invitation for Egypt to participate in this forum as a guest of this round, wishing the forum and the participants all success and blessings and wishing our friendly countries more constructive cooperation, prosperity and progress. We pray God Almighty to spread peace and stability across the world and to spare our peoples the scourge of war and its economic and social impact by giving priority to the language of dialogue, understanding and co-existence.

Thank you.

Margarita Simonyan: We are grateful to the President of Egypt. I think that the people of the host city should be especially pleased to hear his warm words about St Petersburg.

We have just a little time left before the discussion begins. They say anticipation increases desire.

We will now listen to an address by President of the People’s Republic of China Xi Jinping.

President of the People’s Republic of China Xi Jinping (retranslated): President Putin, ladies and gentlemen, friends,

I am delighted to have this opportunity to address the plenary session of the 25th St Petersburg International Economic Forum, which I attended in person three years ago.

In February this year, President Putin visited China and attended the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympic Games in Beijing. We had a detailed exchange of views, following which we reached a vital agreement on expanding our comprehensive practical cooperation and implementing the concept of global governance based on joint consultations, joint participation and joint use.

Cooperation between China and Russia is currently ascending in all spheres. Our bilateral trade reached $65.8 billion over the first five months of this year. We can expect to attain new records by year-end. This is evidence of the high resilience and ingenious potential of Chinese-Russian cooperation.

The world is entering a new period of turbulence and transformation amid the ongoing radical changes and the coronavirus pandemic. There is an obvious trend of anti-globalism, a growing divide between the South and the North, and a weakening of cooperation drivers in the area of development, which could plunge the erratically reviving global economy into a deep recession and create unprecedented challenges to the implementation of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

According to ancient Chinese words of wisdom, a clever man sees a seed of crisis in every opportunity and an opportunity in every crisis. Danger and opportunity always go together. By overcoming danger, you get opportunity. Strength lies in confidence. The more there are difficulties, the more important it is to remain confident.

During last year’s session of the UN General Assembly, I proposed a Global Development Initiative, which was positively received and supported by a number of international organisations, including the UN, and about a hundred countries.

Today, at a time when the international community is ever more interested in achieving more equitable, sustainable and secure development, we should seize opportunities, meet challenges head-on, and work on the implementation of the Global Development Initiative to build a shared future of peace and prosperity.

First, we need to create conditions for development. It is important that we follow true multilateralism, respect and support all countries’ pursuit of development paths suited to their national conditions, build an open world economy, and increase the representation and voice of emerging markets and developing countries in global economic governance with a view to making global development more balanced, coordinated and inclusive.

Second, we need to strengthen development partnerships. It is important that we enhance North-South and South-South cooperation, pool cooperation resources, platforms and networks of development partnerships, and scale up development assistance in order to forge greater synergy for development and close the development gap.

Third, we need to advance economic globalization. It is important that we enhance the coordination of development policies and international rules and standards, reject attempts at separation, supply disruption, unilateral sanctions and maximum pressure, remove trade barriers, keep global industrial and supply chains stable, tackle the worsening food and energy crises, and revive the world economy.

Fourth, we need to pursue innovation-driven development. It is important that we unlock the potential of innovation-driven growth, improve the rules and institutional environment for innovation, break down barriers to the flow of innovation factors, deepen exchanges and cooperation on innovation, facilitate deeper integration of science and technology into the economy, and make sure the fruits of innovation are shared by all.

Ladies and gentlemen, friends,

The fundamentals of the Chinese economy are its strong resilience, enormous potential and long-term sustainability, which remain unchanged. We have full confidence in China’s economic development. China will continue to promote high-quality development, promote openness with firm resolve, and pursue high-quality Belt and Road cooperation.

China stands ready to work with Russia and all other countries to explore development prospects, share growth opportunities, and make new contributions to deepening global development cooperation and building a community with a shared future for mankind.

Thank you.

Margarita Simonyan: Thank you, Mr President.

Coming to learn Chinese wisdom and some of Chinese sagacity is always a good thing, especially now that Chinese wisdom might come in useful for the entire world.

Mr President, I would like to show you something that I have brought with me especially. It is juice, and it used to be so nicely coloured. It does not matter what sort of juice it is; you cannot even see the brand here, although it is a popular one. And now – do you see? A small picture and the rest is white. Why is that? And this is happening on a massive scale.

Because we ran out of paint. The producer of paint for such packaging has left Russia, and the producer of the packaging also announced that they are leaving. I bought this two weeks ago, and soon this will disappear. As a result, we will have to pour it into bottles or three-litre glass jars, like it was in my childhood, unless we discover that we do not produce bottles either.

There are conflicting opinions on this. You have touched upon this issue today. Some of the participants – a considerable part, maybe even the majority – came here by Sapsan trains. Some say “We will swap Sapsans for Chinese trains, they are even better,” since Siemens has gone. Others say “We will learn to make them ourselves.” Let me remind you that we launched our own high-speed trains in 1984, I think they were called ER200. I was four years old, did not go to school yet, but we already had high-speed trains – but we do not have them any longer. It is sad, isn’t it?

And there are also people who say that no, we cannot replace all that, we can use Sapsan trains for another couple of years and then we will just give up high-speed railways, which means we will step back from what we got used to. And it is like this with everything: telephones, computers, everything we got used to. This is a very sad, I would even say heartbreaking plan.

Maybe there is a different plan?

Vladimir Putin: Whenever any decisions are taken, the key issues must be to singled out. What is key for us? Being independent, sovereign and ensuring future-oriented development both now and for the future generations? Or having packaging today?

Unless we have sovereignty, we will soon have to buy everything and will only produce oil, gas, hemp fibre, saddles and sell rough logs abroad.

It is inevitable. I have already said so in my speech: only sovereign countries can expect to have a sovereign future. That does not mean, however, that we need to plunge back into a situation of 30, 40 or 50 years ago.

Regarding packaging. I do not think it is such a complicated thing that either our partners from other countries can replace, who will be pleased to occupy this market sooner or later, or we will be able to make ourselves.

Margarita Simonyan: You do not see it, but President Tokayev is nodding his head: they will probably be able to replace it.

Kassym-Jomart Tokayev: Absolutely, this is not a problem.

Vladimir Putin: Of course, we will able to replace it.

The question is about a totally different matter. We keep talking about import substitution. In my speech here I also said – and I will just add a couple of words so as not to take too much time while answering only one question.

The issue is not about import substitution, the issue is to establish our own capabilities based on progress in education, science and new promising schools of engineering. We will always be given packaging materials and other simple things, event telephones and smartphones. What we have never been given and never will be is critically important technologies. We have never been given them before even though we had problem-free relations with our Western partners in the previous decades. This is the problem.

And when we begin to stand up for our rights, we are immediately slapped with some sanctions and restrictions; this is what the problem is all about. Therefore, we must commit ourselves to that and have the capacity to reproduce critically important technologies on the basis of what I mentioned. And with that base we will always be able to manufacture the goods you mentioned: packaging materials, telephones and smartphones. If we realise that and keep focusing on solving fundamental issues, we will resolve everything else without a problem.

Let me reiterate: others are already coming to that place – those who produce the packaging materials, those who produce the paints. We are also starting to produce paints and other consumer goods as well as goods employed in industry in a broader sense. We can make anything – I have absolutely no doubt about that.

Obviously, some things will be lost, other things will be made on a new basis, much more advanced – the way it happened earlier. Therefore, when we talk about import substitution, we will substitute something while other things will have to be done on a totally new promising basis of our own making.

Margarita Simonyan: Thank you. President Tokayev, would you like to add anything?

Kassym-Jomart Tokayev: I think everything is clear here, and judging by President Putin’s extremely interesting speech, we can understand that he is thinking in the categories of historical perspective, so to say.

Margarita Simonyan: As always.

Kassym-Jomart Tokayev: And juice packaging has no place here.

Indeed, it is a small problem, nature abhors a vacuum: others will come who will be producing juice packaging that is just as good, and local producers will appear.

The issue is about something else. In particular, I said in my speech about the importance of Eurasian cooperation, about the importance of uniting efforts to resolve unexpected problems. I think we will arrive at the result we are seeking on this road.

To be continued.

“No fuels for Europe “

June 18, 2022

Source

by Jorge Vilches

The title is correct, no mistakes. And, of course, there will be “no fuels for Europe” none at all… but only if you care to believe the EU leadership when insisting that by December 2022 no seaborne Russian crude oil will evermore be imported. Thusly — if that were the case as the EU approved policy requires — then of course true enough there would certainly be ´no fuels for Europe´ because the EU will necessarily fail in its nonsensical attempt to import and duly process any significant amount of 100% Europe-viable non-Russian oil to substitute for a most successful and traditional Urals blend per the Russian oil ban by December 2022. The same would apply for all the distillates thereof (diesel, petrol, kerosene, aviation fuels, etc.) per an equivalent Russian petroleum products ban by February 2023.

6-6-6

But if, on the contrary, you and I don´t believe for a minute such EU committed nonsense that in 6 short months… or 6 years… Europe will succeed in any meaningful application of its Russian sanctions package No. 6, then consequently of course there will definitely be plenty of fuels available in Europe thanks to the illegal import of traditional Russian oil for a long time to come through third-party “triangulation” as detailed below. Clear enough? If not, it would not be due to this explanation herein but rather because of the forever circumvoluted EU logic always confusing absolutely everything even whether 2 + 2 really really equals 4 or rather “we shall see that later and vote on it…but not now”…

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K.I.S.S. (Keep ISimple Stupid)

In other words, the EU insists that as of December 2022 — in six short months — per sanctions package No. 6 seaborne Russian oil would be successfully banned throughout Europe and substituted with European-viable non-Russian oil and distillates from elsewhere. This will be impossible for reasons already explained to death and in-depth in a half dozen previous articles referenced below. So Europe will not be able to successfully substitute Russian oil and will just keep on buying and paying for it but through EU-illegal “below the counter” deliveries disguised in many old & dirty ways by third parties well-known the world over and especially by Europeans. Such “triangulation” ends up being terribly expensive and risky for Europe, thus the real effective result of the EU´s sanction package No.6 is a complete miserable failure fully against European best interests which EU leaders are unable to think of or care about. Hereinafter I make my case for the corresponding complete effective title of this article as we´ll have ´no (European-viable non-Russian) fuels for Europe´ but instead will have “plenty of (EU-illegal) Russian fuels for Europe”.

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bottom line

It´s short & sweet. TINAThere INAlternative to Russian energy. Please do read Mike Shedlock´s article this week

Ref #1 https://mishtalk.com/economics/the-harsh-reality-of-energy-tina-strikes-the-us-and-europe

The Wall Street Journal reports that fuel shortage has shut down European factories with more coming soon. So whatever the EU does now or may do in the future – still up for grabs, nothing cast in concrete yet — the end-game cannot possibly include any significant EU substitution of Russian oil or nat-gas for that matter. Simply put, even if the EU were able to (very poorly) substitute a small portion of Russian seaborne oil (5 % ?) while exporting less Russia would still collect even higher revenue than today. This most valid and already proven consequence defeats the very purpose of the EU´s sanction package No.6. The reason is that by withdrawing any amount of Russian oil from today´s ultra-tight world markets, the price immediately increases proportionally or even beyond due to very sensitive price expectations derived from the smaller number of remaining willing and able vendors which might not even fully satisfy such newly created world oil market deficit. Thus the supply side of the world´s oil price equation rapidly deteriorates to the point of not being sustainable for more than a few days. While crude oil has many petrochemical applications, fuels are mostly destined to transport and heating, something that Europeans will soon have far less of.

the EU plan (not)

What is at stake is terrible, and no room for misunderstandings here, so let´s get this straight from the get-go: the EU´s “non-plan” to ban Russia´s crude oil and refined products thereof is as improvised as it sounds. For example, this “non-plan” does not include a single word about how the EU will effectively replace the abundant processed and finished oil products and distillates also currently imported from Russia. Would it be from Über-European productivity to be obtained from EU refineries after full modification for processing non-Russian oils? Or maybe through massive additional imports from yet unknown non-Russian sources? If a high school teenager were to submit this EU ´plan´ for teacher´s approval, at least in my 1960s it would have been immediately rejected, I kid you not. Been there, done that, got the T-shirt. Below please find the main points of this EU nonsense about which we only get piecemeal excerpts.

  1. until December 2022 Russia would continue exporting normally to Europe as it always has, meaning that for many months Russia would still happily cash-in copious amounts of euros per EU oil-sales revenue most probably with yet higher oil prices induced on the market by this very precise EU “plan” (not) described herein. This includes post-Covid and peak summer tourist consumption of diesel, petrol/gasoline, and aviation fuel.
  2. until December 2022 the EU would (supposedly) have enough time…only 6 months…to find and pre-select vendors, call for and much later study bids & lab tests, certify, negotiate, award and enter into 30 to 50-year contracts which better be fully complied with by yet unknown brand new international crude oil vendors (who are they, why not known yet ?) necessarily duly compatible with existing refineries and processing plants and other European requirements while simultaneously and successfully reaching legal agreement amongst 27 very diverse and conflicting EU stakeholders regarding design, tender, evaluation and award of contracts and oversight of the building, re-tooling, upgrade, testing, permitting and commissioning of a most important percentage of key European chemical industries and fuel trade businesses to be briefly described later herein and about which nothing has yet been said. This alone would take many years to approve and execute, yet EU politicians just smile solemnly and stare at MSM cameras same as a cat would after gulping down a canary. Matching the Russian Urals oil grade is theoretically “possible” by blending oils from different sources if available in reliable and large enough quantities. BUT achieving the blend specifications and volumetric physical flow requirements to meet refinery required output vis-á-vis desired final product specs is very difficult
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  1. by December 2022 and thereafter all procurement processes for new Europe-compatible non-Russian feedstock oils would be concluded and contracts in full effect with tankers all lined up with shipments ready and waiting to be unloaded. Exactly the same applies to the many modified port, docks, land structures, and systems – just think HR recruiting & training + IT requirements — with their new logistics packages (supposedly) in place and tested to adequately deliver to the corresponding refineries, processing plants, pipelines, storage facilities, etc. throughout Europe. Of course, all of this should sound to you either childish and/or mission impossible simply because it´s both. And, of course, with so many (hundreds) of widespread and disruptive unplanned overlapping projects throughout Europe necessarily both “schedule slippage” and “mission creep” will rear their ugly heads, okay?

Of course, other very pertinent and required modifications, revamping, retro-fitting, retooling, adaptation, tuning, and matching to the new feedstock oils also need to be finished by December 2022 at refineries, processing plants, and pipelines themselves to render the required production yields (quantities and qualities) of the refined and/or processed products. Simply a 6-month nightmare for which 6 years would not be long enough. This should include – although not limited to – all sorts of matters related to civil works, electromechanical contracts, retro-fitting of equipment, HR + IT, new processes with detailed engineering plans, specs & drawings, manufacturing of parts, shipping, installation, testing, commissioning and permitting. And every single European plant and piece of equipment modified at the very same time and with the very same deadline complying with EU environmental laws & regulations + European Green Deal + European Climate Law + legally binding 55% reduction net greenhouse gas emissions + ISO 9000 + ISO 14000 + other ISO norms heavily affecting urbanized and politicized areas and pristine environments with hills, valleys and ridges, forests, rivers, lakes, autochthonous birds, flora and fauna and wildlife at large with possible heavy rain and/or winds and/or snow depending on geographical area and season.

ports

Seaborne crude oil delivery to the EU has many ports, and as important as some of them are (Rotterdam, Maasvalakte, Trieste, etc.) it´d actually be the closest ports to Russia that prove the EU dead wrong, namely Wilhelmshaven (Germany, North Sea) + Rostock (Germany, Baltic) + Gdansk (Poland, Baltic) and also Rosenets- Burgas (Bulgaria, Black Sea). Their modifications and readiness (or not) will actually be the key progress indicators if any. As explained in previous articles referenced below these ports need to perform un-replaceable functions without which right off the bat it´d be impossible for the many projects that depend upon them to get to first base. Furthermore, once their respective modifications are (supposedly) certified, the three of them need to coordinate their operation very smoothly like a perfect trio ensemble for Northern Europe to have chances of importing huge & continuous amounts of Europe-viable non-Russian crude oils. These three ports (Wilhelmshaven , Rostock, and Gdansk) are also what engineers call “single points of failure” which, in this case, is even worse as the three are located way upstream in the supply chain meaning that if any one of them does not perform as planned, farewell bye-bye adios sayonara to German and Polish fuel production and distribution. Such negative impact could also be expanded elsewhere in the event that Slovakia´s huge Slovnaft refinery – or Burgas the largest refinery in the Balkans plus many others — cannot overcome the terrible new problems that these EU policies with nonsensical Russian oil sanctions now mean very specifically for them by also not allowing any ´direct or indirect´ EU transfers or exports anywhere. The No.6 sanctions package will probably fail in and East of Germany. Furthermore, as Poles and Germans don´t always get along well, the Old Continent would not be as we know it with Germany, Poland, and possibly all of Eastern Europe short of or plain cut off from fuels, no? I can´t believe there are no sane knowledgeable Europeans able to stop this.

Ref #2 https://www.lw.com/thoughtLeadership/Sanctions-Update-EU-Expands-Sanctions-and-Export-Controls-Relating-to-Russia-and-Belarus

As a matter of fact, if that ever happened the EU as such would de facto cease to economically exist right there and then. Schedule compliance and meeting Critical Path key dates shall be unforgiving as European engineers surely must know, let´s hope. Even a partial failure would be unbelievably catastrophic by shutting down continuous year-round processes which cannot be re-started and would mean irreparable economic harm and possible human injuries.

Ref #3 https://thesaker.is/germans-schwedt-hard-for-russian-oil/

Ref #4 https://www.visualcapitalist.com/mapped-which-ports-are-receiving-the-most-russian-fossil-fuel-shipments/

https://dxczjjuegupb.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/word-image-2-8.jpg
  1. by December 2022 and thereabouts (supposedly) all around the European continent lots and lots of refineries, processing plants, facilities and premises of all sorts will all necessarily be either shut down with no production for weeks (!!!) thusly unimaginable chaos OR still producing normally while also attempting to incorporate new unvetted modifications, upgrades, and stuff to be commissioned. So it´d be like trying to change the oil of your car´s engine while cruising at 150 km/h speed on a German autobahn without ever stopping. Got it?

I wonder where the arch-famous EU labor unions and industry trade associations are hiding right now ? Have all of them been “captured” by the EU establishment same as MSM? Not a word from anyone as if all of the above (and more) were just business as usual so “what-you-worry-for ?” stuff. No Sir, quite the opposite.

  1. after December 2022 – and this is important – from one minute to the other ( how so, exactly ?? ) the EU would switch over and no longer import seaborne Russian oil suddenly replaced by (supposedly) 100% European-viable fully lab-tested non-Russian continuously abundant certified quality oils to be imported from still unknown far away vendors, not from neighboring Russia. It better be that way, or else Europe would be crashing a Boeing 737 Max in automatic pilot mode into the French Alps same as Germanwings Flight 9525.
  2. the sudden January 2023 switch-over mentioned above also assumes that every single modification required to accept such 100% European-viable non-Russian oils would have already been successfully made and certified, permitted, and commissioned in full compliance with EU policies and norms briefly described later herein, and with no negative impact or alteration of any significance in other ports, docks, handling & storage facilities, the environment at large, pipelines, heavy-duty and heavy-traffic roads yet to be built, public domains, logistics infrastructure, trucks, yards, refineries and processing plants, shipping facilities and premises, etc.
  3. as of January 2023, Russia would (supposedly) no longer export just about any of its oil per EU sanctions package No. 6 forbidding financing, insurance, and reinsurance of Russian oil in transit anywhere in the world.
  4. As of January 2023, Russia supposedly would not possibly retaliate in any way, shape, or form – as if forcefully isolated and tied down inside a high-security “vacuum jail” of sorts. Of course, Russia does not agree with the above and will surely act in self-defense, possibly with harsh retaliation measures fully unexpected by the Western world as described to death and in-depth in the articles referenced below. So EU politicians believe that the Russians are dumb enough to let them roll their ideas out nice and easy at their own pace and whenever they decide to act per their own special EU schedule, with no on-the-fly Russian reactions. No market dynamics involved either as Europe plays everybody else´s pieces too as grandpas would do with 3-year-old grandkids. Furthermore, there are key imports Russia could partially or totally embargo such as strategic value-chain upstream items with captive EU consumers cascading into multiple supply chain failures thru lack of nat-gas, rare earths, inert gases, potash, sulfur, uranium, palladium, vanadium, cobalt, coke, titanium, nickel, lithium, etc.  Ref #5 https://www.rt.com/business/555065-russia-oil-ban-exemption-eu/
  5. as of January 2023, Russia would find itself basically deprived of its oil-exporting revenue worldwide no matter how high the oil price ends up being after shrinking the world market supply by some 15% of Russian oil now all “hijacked” within Russia´s borders and (supposedly) forcing to shut-in entire Russian oil fields thusly damaged beyond repair thereafter hindering any possible future Russian production of oil. (!!!) Amen.

The above points are of course per the theoretical EU ´non-plan´ that will never happen for reasons that should be obvious by now. What follows immediately below is what really will (approximately) happen and for which the EU leadership — under normal conditions at least – would have to pay an enormous political price for, such as collectively resigning to their positions or completely re-designing the EU-Russia relationship on the basis of the Minsk 2 Agreements it never followed and/or forced Ukraine to comply with despite the French & German leadership thereof.

Per The Guardian, “…Come October, it’s going to get horrific, truly horrific…a scale beyond what we can deal with”.

Ref #6 https://www.theguardian.com/business/2022/apr/19/energy-chiefs-fear-40-of-britons-could-fall-into-fuel-poverty-in-truly-horrific-winter

De-Russianizing Russian oil

“Triangulation” means Europe will necessarily keep importing high-quality Russian oil via third countries only at much higher prices. One way to cheat about it having Russian oil staying in some other country´s depot for a short while and thus being “nationalized” on such other country´s behalf and is no longer considered to be ´Russian´. Or, by preparing partial mixtures anywhere – even on high seas — of Russian oil 45% + 55% ´oil from somewhere else´ so as to make the Russian oil DNA untraceable but yet with the “correct” pre-agreed 55% blended in already, you follow? Such old, quick and dirty business is known as “triangulation” and may also involve STS or Ship To Ship high seas transfers. But through every (faked) transaction the price of such de-Russianized oil would increase thus reaching even a 50% surcharge over the original international price paid to Russian suppliers, even discounted. Rinse, repeat.

Accordingly, Made-In-Europe costs and cost of living inflation would rise enormously. Of course, the West would still import lots of badly-needed Russian oil – most especially the US – predominantly from India. In recent months there have been 180 (one hundred and eighty) ownership changes of Russian vessels to firms based mostly in Singapore, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, etc. Other ´deceptive´ shipping practices are increasing every day with yet more creative shenanigans.

Ref #7 https://www.cnbc.com/2022/06/02/how-russia-could-try-to-get-around-the-european-unions-oil-sanctions.html

Ref #8 https://www.fastcompany.com/90760216/the-u-s-is-still-importing-russian-oil-despite-the-ban-report-says

For example, tankers would switch off their GPS equipment, known as ´going dark´, and carry out STS maneuvers by transporting labeled Russian oil a very short distance to a large vessel at sea and then transferring it yet again before final delivery, all the de-Russianizing done “on the move” even at night with no possible satellite or drone surveillance.

Another clear possibility is cheating and corruption all along the very lengthy Druzbha pipeline all the way from Russia into the heart of Europe feeding refineries such as Schwedt, Slovnaft, Burgas, Litvinov, Duna, Leuna, Plock + others

Triangulation | Sight-Size

no news is bad news

Supposedly, per EU sanctions, by December 2022 Europe would not be importing any seaborne Russian oil. Supposedly, in 6-month’s time, the EU would be importing Europe-viable non-Russian oils to substitute for Russian oil.

But in order for the above to happen, lots of things should already be known, alive and kicking, “puffing smoke” so to say. And they are not while 800 million livelihoods plus many hundreds of billions of euros are at stake. Lots of stuff should have already taken place with great visibility and participation from stakeholders. We have none of that though.

8 broad areas 8

Everything that is explained herein below is an absolute requirement right now, not in 6-month’s time. The pre-selection of many dozens of bidders plus the corresponding issuance of bid documents, calls for tender, bid opening + evaluation & homologation + negotiation & contract award processes are still fully unknown. Also missing are plans, drawings, and specs, dates and schedules, possible joint-ventures & engineering firms involved, bid evaluation and bid award authorities, etc., etc. So all items mentioned below are either (a) an unexplainable secret or (b) do not exist.

  1. Feasibility studies: contract & execution + corresponding Reports
  2. Legal basis for Project Owner´s appointment & Regulator´s base-line Reports
  3. Financing plans with 50 years pay-back period long after fossil fuels are phased out of the EU.
  4. Crude oil data & specs, quality, quantities, guarantees, vendor qualifications, contract length, schedule, terms
  5. Shipping tanker contract terms, insurance, and reinsurance of vessels, cargos and ports, docks & facilities
  6. Bids for new infrastructure and modifications of existing infrastructure, civil works + electromechanical contract
  7. Bids for refinery and/or processing plant modifications and retro-fitting, detailed engineering plans, specs & drawings, manufacturing of parts, shipping, installation, testing, certification, commissioning, and permitting. Negotiation + contracts. All plants and equipment simultaneously modified and with the very same deadline.
  8. Projects oversight, progress and certification plus overall compliance re EU labor legislation, environmental laws & regulations + European Green Deal + European Climate Law + legally binding 55% reduction net greenhouse gas emissions+ ISO 9000 (manufacturing ) + ISO 14000 (environment) + other ISO & EU norms
  • On what EU legal basis would a “Bid Authority” evaluate the quality and validity of the bids?
  • Who and how would later negotiate the corresponding contracts?
  • Would there also be a Panel of Consultants for oversight purposes?
Construction Bid Template - Bid Estimate Sheet Download - ConstructUpdate.com

Hundreds of projects need to be executed if all refineries, processing plants, ports, pipelines, logistics infrastructure, etc., etc. are taken into account. There are many vulnerable refineries now fed by the Russian Druzbha pipeline such as Slovnaft + Burgas + Litvinov + Duna + Leuna + Plock + others – that need to overcome the specific impact of these EU negative policies including export prohibition (!!) Just as an example, for processing and refining non-Russian crude oil the Schwedt refinery alone at the very least will require 11 major projects summarized as follows:

  • Wilhelmshaven + Gdansk: dedicated storage + equipment for frequent inbound seaborne batch deliveries
  • Wilhelmshaven + Gdansk: dedicated logistics for outbound deliveries to Rostock port storage terminals
  • Rostock: berth revamping for larger seaborne inbound oil tankers from Wilhelmshaven, Gdansk or elsewhere
  • Rostock: dedicated storage facilities + handling equipment for larger, more frequent seaborne batches
  • Logistics for internal delivery via inland waterways + rail + road inbound to both W. + R. storage terminals
  • Rostock port – Schwedt Refinery: pipeline upgrade & revamping + modifications to receive Rostock feed
  • Schwedt Refinery: new oil feedstock definition, testing and vendor selection, approval, certification & contract.
  • Schwedt Refinery: retrofit and revamping modifications per Option (3) described herein later.
  • Schwedt Refinery: enhanced storage facilities + handling equipment for large deliveries from wherever
C:\Users\Win7_64\Desktop\Image-1_Lukoil-Burgas-1.jpeg

So even assuming that eleven simultaneous Schwedt projects may possibly produce partial although much lower rate substitutes, it´d always be at a MUCH higher price plus the enormous cost of paying back these unnecessary projects which will require lots of negotiation, coordination, funding, expertise, risky modifications, new fixed and variable costs and surprises from yet unknown trade and business partners, new procedures, brokers, insurance companies, etc., etc.

And remember, no (or less) Schwedt means no (or less) Berlin, same as Brandenburg state and all of Western Poland

Schwedt needs fine-tuning revamping of everything related to new feedstock lines and infrastructure, an atmospheric distillation facility, a vacuum distillation system, a cat-crack unit, a visbreaking facility, an alkylation unit, a catalytic reformer, an isomerization unit, and an ethyl tertiary butyl ether (ETBE) facility. Plus brand new storage facilities + handling equipment for Rostock feed to substitute the Druzhba pipeline. Contractors and third parties working everywhere with all sorts of sensors, software & firmware modifications or possible purchases of new hard & software.

Other refineries will be actively competing with Schwedt, among other resources, for the required expertise and experienced, specialized hands-on labor and other specific tooling and equipment, specialized vendors, etc. etc.

Ref #9 https://thesaker.is/germans-schwedt-hard-for-russian-oil/

Ref #10 https://thesaker.is/dear-ursula-you-are-dead-wrong/

“ Europe will spend a fortune it does not have while simultaneously risking project non-performance of the trouble full reconversion projects required ending up with many half-finished facilities that will not be anywhere ready on time, or ever. And as 95% compliance is not enough to produce a single drop of a processed product (diesel or whatever) this means that under current circumstances and 2022 established deadlines until Europe has 100% modified, re-tooled, and retrofitted facilities up and running you really have not achieved anything. Additionally, the human resources challenge related to all of the above is insurmountable and probably un-compliable.”

Politicians do not comprehend the language and requirements of engineering, physics, chemistry, logistics & geology.

And it´s still an unfathomable mystery how the EU will effectively replace the abundant processed and finished oil products and distillates also currently imported from Russia. Not a single official word has been uttered by the EU.

Ref #11 https://www.rt.com/business/556600-analysts-warning-russian-oil-embargo/

Ref #12 http://thesaker.is/pitchforks-soon-in-europe/

Ref #13 https://thesaker.is/for-europe-from-russia-with-love/

Ref #14 https://thesaker.is/europe-now-cheats-or-suffers/

Ref #15 https://thesaker.is/why-russias-oil-ban-is-impossible/

Ref #16 https://thesaker.is/europes-mad-ban-on-russian-oil/

Ref #17 https://thesaker.is/russia-has-a-plan-the-west-does-not/

Ref #18 https://thesaker.is/a-west-mandated-russian-default-who-wins-and-who-loses/

Ref #19 https://www.freightwaves.com/news/as-diesel-prices-soar-past-crude-refining-squeeze-challenges-oil-markets

teaser image
Secret NATO document: Algeria threatens Europe’s security, Russia cuts gas from France, China launches aircraft carrier

Maria Zakharova speaks to RT at SPIEF 2022

June 16, 2022

https://rumble.com/v18n532-russian-fm-spokeswoman-maria-zakharova-speaks-to-rt-at-spief-2022-exclusive.html

Pitchforks soon in Europe?

June 11, 2022

Source

by Jorge Vilches

Dear Europeans

For your own children´s sake — on my knees and with my saddened eyes humbly looking downwards — I beg of you to please stop the current self-destructive nonsense dead in its tracks by immediately demanding from your political class to import the bloody Russian oil normally once again as Europe had been doing for dozens of years. The impact that the ban on Russian oil has upon your daily lives now and for years yonder is such that at the very least a Referendum should have been held. But it was not, and without consultation, the EU leadership acted on their own.

Please be advised that the EU un-elected brass simply does not represent you or your needs. They were all voted amongst themselves into their positions like members of a committee in a private country club. If left unchecked, EU politicians will now continue misrepresenting you and, on your behalf — with your hard-earned assets and livelihoods – will keep on picking a most unnecessary and prolonged armed conflict with Russia, eventually forcing upon you a total war scenario where chances play out all very strongly against you, with Russia probably resulting unscathed.

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their war

European leaders crave for their war, so they can´t think of a better way to provoke it than by applying ever larger and ´meaner´ sanctions on Russia as if (a) sanctions were effective and (b) as if Europe could win such war (not).

Accordingly, we now have yet another set of spanking new EU “sanctions” in package No. 6 that will eventually backfire flat on Europe´s face – like all the others — such as banning the insurance and financing of oil tankers that carry Russian oil. Accordingly, the EU is now trying its very best to

(1) bankrupt the successful Western oil tanker insurance business by reducing the number of participants

(2) induce higher shipping and insurance costs worldwide by reducing the number of participants

(3) foster the development of yet another Russian import substitution service namely oil tanker insurance & financing

(4) seriously hinder the world´s economy by not allowing deliveries of any oil tankers carrying Russian oil anywhere (EU or non-EU) thus cutting off some 15% of the world´s oil supply from the world market and necessarily sending its price yet higher with yet more EU-induced inflation as if we had not had enough already, please brace for it.

(5) force the construction of a new Russian-Chinese-Indian oil tanker fleet leaving idle part of today´s fleet

(6) tempt Russia to embargo strategic value-chain upstream items with captive consumers cascading into multiple failures thru lack of nat-gas, rare earths, inert gases, potash, sulfur, uranium, palladium, vanadium, cobalt, coke, etc.

Ref #1 https://oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-General/Insurance-Ban-Is-The-EUs-Biggest-Blow-Yet-To-Russian-Oil-Exports.html

Ref #2 https://www.rt.com/business/556904-us-russia-energy-revenue-sanctions/

Ref #3 https://www.rt.com/news/556894-russian-energy-resources-stagflation-difficulties/

Ref #4 https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2022/06/global-supply-chains-rattled-by-winds-of-war.html

lost war

Russia does not need to fire a single shot or land a single missile on European territories to win such a total war. Think tanks in Europe and elsewhere know this but say nothing. It´d be plenty enough for Russia to just shut off your nat-gas supply, period. And not even to the whole of Europe. It could possibly be to only, say, some limited area in Germany.

But you need not put up with any of this. Europe should already have learned from history books and its generals not to underestimate or discriminate against Russia. Let alone cheat on it repeatedly as Europe has done since the downfall of the former Soviet Union. Yet again, history will not be kind to anyone directly or indirectly involved, including yourselves. Equivalent events took place in Europe not that long ago and winter will not care what was said where or why or by whom. It will just freeze and starve Europeans to death with no mercy. Just ask the Germans: they should remember, or the French, they like history a lot. Russian attrition warfare is most efficient in any territory.

Northeast Faces Ice Danger After Winter Storm Dumps Snow

Please do not waste any more precious time with forever failed attempts to find substitutes of any kind. Quite simply it is very easy to prove in a matter of minutes ( see plenty of references below ) that God Almighty has no adequate oil available for you in large enough quantities anywhere on planet Earth other than Russia, let alone deliverable at refineries and processing plants per your own needs and capabilities. You simply cannot dismiss one full third of your oil supplies in one sudden stroke of a pen and assume that nothing important will happen including a very negative direct impact upon the price YOU pay. It´s market dynamics 101 that only a fool would dare to ignore, so innocent masses of humans should not pay for the stupid decisions of some few unelected groupie politicians that know jack about basic technical requirements. This is a live & kicking very tough field engineering for dirty-fingernails folks that don´t talk much, not yadda BS at a Brussels cocktail party with laughs, plenty of drinks, hot air, and photo ops.

bid forms AWOL

And not a single one yet making the scene, go figure… The current EU course of action necessarily calls for the 2022 execution of at least 100 projects related to the Russian oil ban thus allowing for non-Russian oil imports. Probably many more than 100 projects need to be executed if all refineries, processing plants, ports, pipelines, logistics infrastructure, etc., etc. are taken into account. But let´s keep it simple and in round figures. The Schwedt refinery alone will require 11 major projects at the very least already described in a previous article. As Schwedt can no longer export anywhere, large areas of nearby Western Poland will be left without fuels now having to urgently find an equivalent Polish supplier close by (???) if any. Same for Slovakia´s Slovnaft which will now also have to quit exporting – but unlike Schwedt — making it unviable although possibly still operational for domestic markets albeit with a huge new deficit to be paid by …?…?… (!!!). Who or how will Slovnaft export markets be supplied now is a dangerous mystery because of rough geography and unexistent logistics plus a newly required distribution infrastructure. All in all, we are talking hundreds of billions of euros that Europe does not have — and should not print — to be paid back in 40 to 50 years’ time long after (supposedly) fossil fuels have been phased out of the EU. This in and of itself does not make any sense whatsoever, but it does blend in perfectly well with other nonsensical stuff of this surreal non-Russian oil sourcing idea. Banks should logically reject approving any financing of dead-on-arrival projects such as these. Still, be it as it may, pre-feasibility and feasibility studies should right now already be underway “puffing smoke” as engineers say amongst themselves in such circumstances. Yet no headlines announced on anything, no bid forms issued or trans-European call for bids, no joint-ventures, no engineering firms, plans or specs guidelines, no bidding documents, no tentative schedules, no consultants, no commissions or committees, no bid opening and contract award dates: nothing. Of course, one very serious possibility is that the effective EU plan is to keep on buying Russian oil as always but now from third parties instead at a MUCH higher price with kick-backs here and there no? So all of what´s missing would actually be another European fake as the Maastricht Treaty acceptance criteria just to name one. This would at least make EU “sense” no? Can´t make this stuff up…

Construction Bid Template - Bid Estimate Sheet Download - ConstructUpdate.com

no diesel so freeze

Europeans: even in theory, there are no viable oil-field reservoirs able to expand their production for the enormous quantity and type of oil blends you need even if they wished to or if geopolitics allowed them. So what would happen then without massive amounts of high-quality diesel fuel that European transportation and industries require?

There is no viable tanker fleet afloat either for such an unexpected and suddenly imposed massive supply-switch project, with complex geo-climatological access and serious sea lanes issues plus seasonal requirements with dedicated facilities yet to be designed, built, permitted, and commissioned, and with terribly limited installed infrastructure at key unloading ports from heavy-duty/heavy traffic roads to cranes and dedicated storage facilities. The same goes for nonexistent in-land logistics for delivery of such yet unknown boutique oil blends with still-to-be-seen minimum quality specs and anywhere near the enormous un-findable quantities as Europe requires no matter how you dice it or slice it or pray for it. None. Zero. Zilch. Nada. Just maybe some “fly-by-night” un-vetted headache providers. You are thus running around in circles with the very serious and certain risk of freezing and starving millions of Europeans to death very soon which Russian oil has solved for you for decades. And whichever narrative you choose, it will always be your own stupid needless fault, not Vladimir Putin´s for Heaven´s sake who is still willing to sell Russia´s oil to you with very important discounts, something which you should not ever take for granted despite Europe´s recent shameless robbery of legitimate Russian savings deposited at Western banks, including personal individual accounts and assets.

So for your own benefit please stop the Russophobia right now, reverse the current unwarranted course 180 degrees, return the money robbed, by your own doing change your leadership ASAP, accept Russia´s territorial claims, accept the decline of Europe and the Western world at large, drop the Anglo-Saxon Brexitology superiority philosophy, guarantee Russia´s existential security and stop the shameful European nonsense now exposed for the world to see.

Otherwise, enter your very own European angry pitchforks with lit torches that will fix this fast. Are you ready?

C:\Users\Win7_64\Desktop\index.jpg

Ref #5 http://thesaker.is/europes-mad-ban-on-russian-oil/

Ref #6 http://thesaker.is/why-russias-oil-ban-is-impossible/

Ref #7 http://thesaker.is/germans-schwedt-hard-for-russian-oil/

Ref #8 http://thesaker.is/dear-ursula-you-are-dead-wrong/

Ref #9 http://thesaker.is/europe-now-cheats-or-suffers/

Ref #10 http://thesaker.is/for-europe-from-russia-with-love/

Ref #11 https://www.rt.com/business/556870-good-times-over-for-europeans/

pitchforks ready

Not that long ago, the French Revolution was planned and led by the middle classes. And in the very near short term that will be the new game of the game throughout Europe if the EU leadership insists on fighting a-la Don Quixote its inevitable dependency on Russia. Besides, in case you didn´t notice, Russia is winning on all fronts, militarily, geopolitically, logistically, socially, economically, and financially. The Ruble is as strong as it cares to be and Russia is the only world power able to self-sustain independently from what happens in the rest of the world. After many years of trying to accommodate your requirements, Russia simply does not care anymore what the West thinks, does, or threatens to do. It can now beat you at any of the three at any time. Your sanctions work against Europe, not Russia. You must see and feel that for sure, so why do you fake being blind? Or are you “brain-dead” per President Macron?

Russia´s Foreign Affairs Minister Sergei Lavrov nailed it for history: the West is simply not “agreement-capable” with the post-Brexit US-led Anglo-Saxon leadership in charge. Did you not have enough with Victoria Nuland´s loud and clear “ fuck the EU ” audio recording? What else would you need to accept what´s really going on? Maybe having a character such as Volodymyr Zelenskyy ruling the Ukraine? He already is… Why has European leadership now turned so unwarrantedly Russophobic? You do not need to be their friend, but why should you make Russia your enemy even proposing an anti-Russian coalition cartel? Ref #12 https://www.rt.com/news/556913-yellen-coalition-russian-sanctions/

European infighting

A network is only as strong as its weakest link. As initially explained in the “their war” paragraph, just-in-time fragility will trigger cascading failures throughout Europe in a matter of days, if not hours. So what´s the European game plan for the 21st. century without energy security? Fighting even more yet again amongst yourselves? What will become of Europe without Russia as a business associate and energy provider? Are you aware of how weak European economies and fragile finances currently stand? Did you know that 85% of the world´s population does not belong to NATO?

Hungary et al will continue to receive cheap and excellent Russian Urals blend through the Druzbha South pipeline for a yet undefined period of time. This would mean a wholly unfair competitive environment with tremendous advantages for some few over those fed with new unknown expensive non-Russian oils plus the costs for the corresponding retro-fitting / reconversion downtime (or plain non-performance) kicking them outright out of the market for an unknown period of time possibly bankrupting them and creating extraordinary logistics problems to consumers throughout Europe. Allowing for the Druzbha South pipeline to continue feeding 15% of Europe with excellent Russian oils will provide the perfect comparison standard of practice. And it would reveal the fallacy that Russian oils can be substituted easily and without enormous great pains per Ursula von der Leyden´s historical bad joke: “the EU will make sure to phase out Russian oil in an orderly fashion to allow us and our partners to secure alternative supply routes minimizing the impact on global markets”. It´d be like trying to change your car´s engine oil while cruising at 150 km/hr on a German autobahn.

quantities & qualities

By any means, there are definitely not enough adequate oil blends around to satisfy European requirements without continuous Russian high-quality Urals supply. And also please understand and accept once and for all that a specific oil blend is not just “an oil blend” to be plugged & played anywhere anytime. A very specific refinery or processing plant tune-up needs to be specifically matched with an always constant high-quality oil blend in large enough quantities and for a given desired output such as diesel. No “open architecture” is possible here, that´s just for IT nerds, not for chemical engineering realities. And definetly there are no vendors all lined up happily willing and able to sell you their oil blend in unlimited quantities already fully adapted to whatever plant you may have for whichever desired production output you may need. And also any door-to-door pipeline performs infinitely better than the best batch-delivery system, let alone with un-prepared ports thousands of kilometers away from “beach-front bazaar” vendors.

Should ´climate change´ already agreed goals reduce or further increase worldwide oil production? Which is it, please make up your mind. Furthermore, oil-field production will be very hard to maintain into the near future because of constant shale reservoir depletion, fracking prohibition, ever-increasing labor shortages, rising drilling costs due to worldwide inflation, and temporary or permanent lack of missing components caused by supply chain disruptions.

Ref #13 https://www.rt.com/business/556816-eu-buying-russian-oil/

Ref #14 https://oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-General/The-Biggest-Reshuffle-Of-Oil-Flows-Since-The-1970s.html

no people no project

For decades Europe has streamlined supplies and specifically matched its processing capabilities for the Russian Urals blend which means that now Europeans cannot just suddenly switch to whatever little and bad oil blends are found elsewhere. It just does not work that way. If any of that is attempted, the result will be absolutely disqualifying higher prices and costs plus un-thinkable risks for the whole European economy. Furthermore, Europe will spend a FORTUNE it does not have while simultaneously risking project non-performance of the trouble full reconversion projects required ending up with many half-finished facilities that will not be anywhere ready on time, or ever. And as 95% compliance is not enough to produce a single drop of a processed product (diesel or whatever) this means that under current circumstances and 2022 established deadlines until Europe has 100% modified and retrofitted facilities up and running you really have NOTHING. Additionally, the human resource challenge related to all of the above is insurmountable and probably un-compliable. Ref #15 https://www.rt.com/business/556600-analysts-warning-russian-oil-embargo/

RUSSIA – NEON GAS Masterplan Targets MICROCHIPS. Russia Removes Key Ingredient for Production

June 08, 2022

For Europe, from Russia, with love

June 07, 2022

by Jorge Vilches https://thesaker.is/for-europe-from-russia-with-love/

The EU catch-22 conundrum involves many incongruous and conflicting issues each one of which must be solved first before solving any of the others in a context of constant change and dozens of mutually exclusive moving parts.

Simply put, the European situation is ultra-complex, far from enviable, and getting ever worse by the hour. Possibly a Rubik´s cube may represent the problem, but two of them would do it better. Still, you can easily google the solution for Rubik´s cube, but you cannot do that for the European conundrum. And as impossible as it may seem, I tried my best to convince the EU leadership to reverse their foolish decisions. Now, the big news is ( just as unbelievable…) that the Western collective brainos in charge are changing the MSM tune proposing that “a deal must now be made” as if orchestrated by top D.C. communication experts. And it probably is, why not ? Furthermore, most emphatically the living Henry Kissinger persona has boldly proposed the idea to the Davos crowd in.their.face.

fool me once

But HK is not alone and there must be some strategically huge thinking going on. Now even “The Guardian” tries to pivot realizing that “The perverse effects of sanctions means rising fuel and food costs for the rest of the world”. No kidding. ”Sooner or later, a deal must be made “. Congrats for such brilliant idea. And others also join the choir.

pax Russiana

The problem with “a deal must be made” is it contradicts history, and Valdai Director Timofei Bordachev for one.   There cannot be any “deal” in the Ukraine conflict simply because Russia wins and it´s way too late to negotiate anything after plenty of destruction and bloodshed and with no Ukranian or European intention of ever complying with Minsk 2. So Western credibility has reached negative values in the Russian collective mindset. What should take place though is a unilateral withdrawal and full capitulation of Western military support coupled with Ukraine´s unconditional surrender with voluntary regime change and even with a ´pax Russiana´ way beyond Minsk 2. Think US public opinion re Japan 1945 and the Pearl Harbor specter roaming in their minds, nothing less.

the EU conundrum

In an age were securing energy sourcing and ensuring strategic semiconductors is essential, Europe has dug for itself an ugly Catch-22 ditch that will directly hinder the livelihood of 800 million Europeans. Most dangerously, by picking a needless confrontation with Russia and banning the purchase of its oil, Europe has now unilaterally set itself up for an unmanageable outcome with assured negative consequences. This includes severe financial instability derived from

(1) disqualifying higher prices of seaborne risked, batched, necessarily variable and troublesome non-Russian crude oil feedstocks which will turn European products, services, and labor costs utterly expensive and non-competitive.

(2) unnecessarily sacrificing the energy security enjoyed during decades through cheap and reliable Russian Urals blend for yet unknown non-Russian vendors which in the best of cases will never ever match Russia, already a fully vetted, solid, experienced, close-by provider of unlimited quantities of very specific and high quality, door-to-door oils.

(3) spending a monumentally large amount of euros that Europe does not have nor should print while simultaneously risking project non-performance through the necessarily partialized, probably interrupted, postponed or aborted, and well-known trouble full reconversion investments now required for refineries, chemical processing plants, and every logistics infrastructure throughout European industry and trade. And all of this supposedly in 6 months time when 6 years would not be enough, meaning that non-compliance will be rampant by January 2023. Worse yet, having many half-finished, half-baked, half-tested facilities will mean the European energy & fuel matrix will stand flat-footed neither reconverted to yet unknown non-Russian oils nor processing the traditional and fully proven Urals blend (!!!)

 The real ultimate EU problem is ´negotiating´ from a position of extreme weakness it has dug itself into and should have always avoided. But at the same time, Europe cannot be anywhere independent from Russia. So the above will affect current and future European production of fuels to fertilizers and everything in between, from kerosene to diesel to gasoline affecting cars, trucks, buses, plastics, pesticides, agricultural, mining and industrial machinery, foodstuffs, water quality and availability, pharmaceuticals, ships, inks, airplanes, polymers, medical and industrial gases, sealing rings & membranes, power transmission, transformer and lube oils, etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc.

Attempting to execute the above under the described terms – and others not mentioned but technically even far more demanding – would be outright engineering and economics madness. But simultaneously attempting many impossible projects as now required throughout Europe within an ultra-narrow 6-month time-frame and everybody at the same time is sheer nonsensical stupidity, doomed to fail. Why do it then ? Because it´s mandated by the prevailing post-Brexit-US-Anglo-Saxon Russophobia that now hypnotized European leadership foolishly and irreversibly endorses.

Davos failed

Henry Kissinger knows it, but do they?.  Naturally, the EU leadership has made mistakes all along the 21st century, both technical and political, as fallible humans cannot avoid it. But the captains of the European ship this time around are going a long step further by unbelievably forcing its sailors to run around the deck like a bunch of beheaded chickens with no sense of purpose in rapidly approaching shallow waters in what seems to be a deliberate suicidal attempt. This has never happened before in recent history as the European success we all know was always based on superb and cheap Russian energy. The plan and policies were led by former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder who thought it out bottom-up, top-down, sideways, from left to right, from right to left, crossways, you name it. Until finally in the late 1990s reached the conclusion and convinced the European family of nations that Franz should marry Natasha. And so they remained happily married with many healthy and ambitious children until 2022 whereby the post-Brexit US Anglo-Saxon axis achieved the unthinkable by turning Europe against Russia yet again for the third time in a century as Prof. Michael Hudson has correctly observed. Meanwhile, absurdly enough, Poland is now proposing yet additional sanctions against Russia as if they did any good

wrong policy

Mike Whitney at The Unz Review reported how Henry Kissinger nailed it at Davos when claiming that “The EU policy is wrong… and must be changed immediately…or the damage to the US and its allies will be severe and permanent. Negotiations need to begin in the next two months”. So the Davos crowd heard it directly from a very famous horse´s mouth – the still most powerful former Establishment’s Voice – as he splashed ice-cold water at their staring eyes for concocting the current EU suicidal policy. Kissinger told the Davos messenger boys to their faces “you got it wrong” guys so report to your bosses that hurting US allies and US interests must stop immediately, right now. Of course, let´s recall that the real Davos puppeteers never bother to show up anywhere public in their “rules-based order” narrative, let alone at Davos proper. Furthermore, Whitney explained in no uncertain terms that “the basic strategy to weaken and isolate Russia by severing Russia’s economic ties with Europe and goading them into a long and costly quagmire in Ukraine” just pushes Russia and China to their mutual warm embrace. Thus, the West is making both the US No.1 and No.2 top rivals even stronger (unbeatable maybe ?) against US strategic interests. So “ the world’s manufacturing powerhouse (China) and the world’s second biggest producer of hydrocarbons (Russia) just got a helluva a lot better (together) because of Washington’s counterproductive war in Ukraine.” And forgot to add that Russia would also be the world´s topmost nuclear power with flight-ready hypersonic vector delivery capabilities. So already very much with us are supply line disruptions, food and energy shortages, with high inflation rearing its ugly head and worldwide unstoppable deglobalization. But more is coming with massive migrations and unemployment that will necessarily follow as Ukraine calls Germany´s policy “a disgrace”

energy insecurity

Obvious to any clear-thinking and reasonably informed mind, Western energy security is not secure anymore thanks to the EU policy vis-á-vis Ukraine thus placing Western livelihoods and wellbeing at stake. So Russia now has been forced to pull a 180 on the West while successfully focusing on China, India, and the remaining 85% of the world´s population, not NATO´s 15%. Meanwhile, European mismanagement stupidly ensures no possible rewinding for such a trend while Russia can freeze and starve Europe to death anytime it wants as humans are only a few meals away from survival. By the way, Russia has just limited the export of noble gases, a key ingredient in the manufacture of semiconductor chips. So, for example, no neon means no chips which would prolong a worldwide semiconductor supply crisis already wreaking havoc for a wide swath of EU industries. Or just a bit less of Russian natural gas means deep problems for Switzerland which would have to cover its electricity import needs from its other neighbors Germany, Austria, and Italy. Yet, the power export availability of those countries would heavily depend on the available fossil fuels, mostly Russian natural gas to be paid, of course, in nothing else but Rubles.

rubber meets road

The world oil market is finite one and the same. What you buyeth, someone else selleth. If the declared intended goal is to deprive Russia of oil revenue, that would mean that all exportable Russian oils — or a very important fraction thereof – would stay in Russia wherever (even subsurface) but not sold to anyone. That would necessarily mean that approximately 35% of the world´s currently imported oil would have non-Russian vendors. Now there´s no mystery here, so who would that be? Iran and Venezuela would not for different but still well-known technical reasons. So would it be Oman? Let alone whether Oman would have the right quality base blend oil, but still how much constant quality oil can Oman export to the EU? Would Norway suddenly supply all Europe?

(1) So, every refinery in Europe would not possibly be modified and tuned up for, say, a blend based on Oman spot crude. So which ones would and which ones would not? On what basis? Would there be EU infighting for vendors?

(2) such modifications and tuneups would be done all at the same time and with a tremendously strict deadline.

(3) is there enough deliverable surplus Oman or Norwegian blend base oil (or equivalent) to substitute for all current EU consumption of Russian Urals? What percentage then? 10% ? 20 % ? what about the remaining 80%?

(4) What about the added complication of seaborne batch delivery and still missing inland logistics infrastructure?

(5) Thousands of yet unknown people are needed to execute all of these projects with yet to be defined job descriptions, yet to be interviewed, hired, trained, teams put together, deployed, etc. etc. Current operational and maintenance + staff & field personnel would probably demand being switched to other jobs… or will drag their feet… or would simply resign thus necessarily compounding the problem to unchartered depths. New, young, inexperienced hands do not help under these circumstances. Many oldies will be called back from retirement. New managers and all sorts of office & field personnel from logistics to IT contractors, welders, etc. will not even be hired by the end of 2022

humpty dumpty

The EU Russian oil ban means that the UK and others in the continent will find that they now suddenly have spanking new fully unexpected competitors – Germany and Poland and many others too – per European countries bidding for what used to be THEIR vendors, their oils, including “Norway´s or Oman´s” which, of course, have finite supply capacity and will end up exporting a bit more to their traditional European countries and that´d be IT. Same for Middle East producers that besides negative geopolitics are not stupid enough to increase production in this senseless and most probably not sustainable temporary vaccuum of sorts now created by the EU. That leaves the random boutique hit-and-miss “beach front bazaar” oil suppliers, so lots of good luck with that. True enough, the UK and others in Europe have imported non-Russian oils before but in far smaller quantities and still perfectly matched & mated to only a few processing plants and refineries which would now be hundreds all throughout Europe.

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no diesel no glory

At least 50% of cars and almost 100% of trucks in Europe are diesel-powered. So, most European refineries are currently finely tuned to distill humongous tonnage from the “diesel special” Russian Urals blend in theory no longer available unless cheating prevails, of course. Venezuelan and Iran oils are way too heavy for diesel fuel production.

In turn, sweet Middle East oils are clearly not bidding for whatever reasons, even geopolitics. That eliminates the only three possible large enough providers of constant quality oils. So then the trick would be to find crude oil blends from “somewhere” that would be most similar to Russian Urals with a Nelson Complexity Index refinability of 9.8. Of course, this always assuming that European refineries will be rapidly fined-tuned to process such crude blends without problems, something which should be seriously doubted. The fact remains that refineries in the EU still are currently set up to distill diesel from a well-known Russian crude, and switching them over to a different blend would normally take many months if a single refinery were to be modified. Reconverting all refineries and processing plants in Europe simultaneously is an unheard-of experiment with most probable terribly adverse results.

Matching the Urals oil grade in theory is technically “possible” (sorta) by blending oils from different sources, BUT maintaining the blend specs and volumetric physical flow requirements to meet refinery capacity/specs is very difficult.

So, now not having available Russian Urals blend, exactly which “diesel special” crude oil blends — from where? — will European refineries process in order to distill massive amounts of high-quality diesel needed by the European transportation market? Not from Venezuela, and not from the Middle East. Maybe a little bit from Nigeria? Same as the Urals, the final supposedly constant high-quality homogenous non-Russian oil blend has got to have light-intermediate API gravity and low sulfur content. So what percentage of Russian Urals would any of these new blends replace? Anywhere near 100%? If not, how would Europeans manage with the enormous missing difference? The refineability of these non-Russian oil blends is risky and thus requires careful constant testing of all-around refinery modifications adapting internal processes to new yet unknown oil blends required to remain constant for at least 30 years, preferably 50 years. Of course, switching these European refineries over to different and varying types of non-Russian crude blends will take an enormous effort and time. But they better produce tons and tons of diesel. And it is not only a “refinery modification problem”. It´s rather a “refinery modification problem vis-á-vis a given feedstock blend, with guaranteed FIXED & CONSTANT composition, for decades, always unchanging with continuous reliable delivery despite the batch-only nature of seaborne sourcing.

quantity

Russian Urals oil is unlimited, smooth, on-demand, door-to-door, either by pipeline or from nearby Russian ports.

For unknown new oils, chances are that there is not enough volume available, not even in Africa.

The problem is also finding non-Russian oil suppliers with possible future “incremental” export volumes beyond current production for two main reasons: one would be potential growth in EU demand and the second is that no vendor will leave traditional customers abandoned high & dry just because the EU has now launched itself to an impossible project. Furthermore, these possible future European contracts might all turn out to be short-term ephemeral unsustainable ´purchases of convenience´ with no future. If Europe were not receiving timely, large enough, and well-delivered quantities it´d mean degraded European livelihoods and a failing economy, with shut down plants and refineries affecting everything. Price would also go way up, of course. The problem is that increasing source oil-field production is a fantasy stifled by the realities of labor shortages, increased drilling costs due to inflation, and temporary or permanent lack of raw materials caused by supply chain disruptions. There is little chance that worldwide production without Russia´s EU-specific blends will ever be able to match EU demands. Meanwhile, Russia is finding new Asian markets real fast as India in 2022 has increased its purchase of Russian seaborne oil by 25 times, that is 2500%…

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weaker West

So, by banning Russia, its primary and already well-established crude oil import source which satisfied all its energy requirements, Europe will now have to laboriously find it elsewhere with far less supply bidded. So the West will be paying higher prices – possibly much higher – while China, India, and others will be taking advantage of solid, constant, on-demand supplies and discount prices from Russia. Some suicidal EU strategy no?

So, from 2023 Europe will pay very dearly for its energy, thus having much higher non-competitive costs all around. This will affect the internal cost of living and most probably will ruin its export-based business model. “The current energy crisis could be one of the worst and longest in history and European countries could be hit particularly hard”, said the head of the International Energy Agency, Fatih Birol, in a public statement. But it could be even worse.

no game in town

Europe may find itself not only paying much higher prices for the energy it requires. It may end up not even finding it at any price, period. At least not the right type at the precise time that any just-in-time economy requires thus leading to massive unemployment and massive migrations. So you either have it as you should or you actually have nothing at all. The current “just-in-time” world would obviously not function without proper and constant “just-in-time” deliveries of the right type of oil blends.

Europe has just drastically reduced the supply side of its economic equation by not allowing itself to access Russia, the world’s largest oil exporter, the world’s largest natural gas exporter, and a major supplier of coal. This means a self-inflicted severe limitation simply because not oil blends are the same (!!!) And Russia´s Urals oil may not have substitutes anywhere in the world large enough and compliant enough to satisfy European current and future needs.

Actually it´s not a “refinery problem” it´s a joint “refinery + oil blend problem”. Because the refinery is matched and mated for a given (and constant !) oil blend. Refineries do not refine just any oil. It is not plug & play, nowhere near that. So it´s a “specific refinery – specific oil blend” coupling that marries happily ever after for many years to come.

The refinery is always dependent on the input grade of the crude while following the output market requirements.

Right now the EU doesn´t even know what oil blends it will find in enough quantity, quality, and type for whichever of the hundreds of refineries and processing plants involved. That will not be known until both the right oils are secured in the required amounts and terms of delivery while whichever refinery adjusts to it, something not always possible. The much-needed end result has got to be a CONTINOUS supply of a highly SPECIFIC & UNIFORM quality oil blend in ENORMOUS quantities with the right delivery format. No occasional dating but rather a faithful MARRIAGE.

So a given plant or refinery for all practical purposes would pretty much FOREVER be fed with one and the same CONSTANT oil blend of the right formulation and specs. Repeat: it is not “plug & play”. Russia is the T-Rex supplier of a European troglodyte crude oil consumer. The problem is that Europe has just set itself up short of the QUANTITY of the right constant QUALITY of the oil blends it requires from a trustworthy and proven supplier.

Achilles heel

Finding non-Russian substitutes for Russian Urals blend will be hard enough to find and expensive enough to pay for. Constant uninterrupted physical delivery of such will be a whole new challenge which may end being the weakest link, same as yet unthought of human resources as partially explained hereinbefore.

So the process involves lots of previous lab testing trying to find the right reservoirs ( which exactly ? ) with the right type of blend base oil, with the right time window for oil-field production, the right seaborne delivery plus internal logistics and loading port capabilities, availability of the right vessel freight fleet yet unknown plus today non-existent capabilities at unloading ports, and the right land logistics for delivery per end-user requirements. This requires lots of coordination of thousands of the right people, lots of time, lots of the right policies and expertise in place, and tons of money. Russia has always complied with all of that — and even more — at cheap prices. Where will Europe find that in 6 months?

In a nutshell, the world wasn´t anywhere nearly prepared for an EU ban on Russian oil… or other Russian fuels…

market blues

Approximately 50% of the world´s total oil imports are from Japan + South Korea + Australia + New Zealand + Canada + US + Europe. Supposedly, none of these will now be buying any oil from Russia, so they will buy non-Russian oil competing among themselves. In the case of Europe, it´s 36% of their oil imports that they now have to substitute. Obviously a huge amount and not just of any oil. So which oil-exporting countries will now replace the missing Russian oil for these “unfriendlies” to buy? For example, will they have the right quality and enough quantity to substitute Russia´s previous oil export volumes to Europe and other places? In order to substitute for Russian oil, these oil-exporting countries will have to either (a) suddenly increase their production (?) and how would they do that exactly (??) or (b) disregard their traditional clients by suddenly cutting them off high and dry to sell to Europe.

In that case, where would their traditional clients find an exporter to buy the right quality oil from? It´s a single planet Earth market no? So, by now not having Russian Urals blend available because of the EU ban, exactly which crude oil blends — from where? — will European refineries adequately process enough in order to distill MASSIVE amounts of high-quality diesel fuel needed by European cars and trucks market and still render other required distillates…?

refineries nightmare

The fuel supply crisis will continue increasing sharply worldwide as the 2022 summer demand season kicks in while refineries everywhere keep running at an unsustainable rate. Still, refineries will not undergo major revamping & upgrades such as European refineries would now require because of new non-Russian crude oil feedstocks. Only very limited budgets would be approved for refinery modifications in the EU as the normal investment payback is 40 to 50 years, while, in the near future, fossil fuel consumption will supposedly be plummeting sharply. No incentives nor any subsidies will be awarded in any way shape or form. This year, China is expected to overtake the United States as the world’s largest oil refining country meaning it will import ever-larger amounts of crude oil, including Russia´s, so prices will go up accordingly despite any discounts. Meanwhile, the US continues to normally import Russian heavy oil on its own while telling Europe not to. There has been no announcement of any US Russian oil import reduction let alone an outright ban. I guess this piece of information makes it clear who is really running this show.

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ports

Each and every European port will require modifications adapting to new handling, unloading, storage, and additional delivery requirements of non-Russian oil from whichever tanker fleet is found, yet unknown, if any. This means designing and building new dedicated facilities per specific consumer and tanker needs (supposedly fixed and unchanging) in order to match the processing foreseen and executed until today with necessarily different non-Russian oils. An EU Russian seaborne oil ban will shrink the number of vendors and the volume of oil offered to Europe very significantly thus ruining the supply side of the EU oil price equation. The much lower the supply, the MUCH higher the price. With Russian seaborne oil banned, the potential European supply is much smaller both in number of vendors and/or of the volume available for bidding. An unnecessary procurement mess and a very harmful self-inflicted policy. No feasibility studies have been made as there has not been enough time to do any in 3 months.

Ever larger migrations will be one of the prominent indicators of Europe in the very near future while Ukraine officials exchange insults with Hungarian government officers.

Vladimir Putin: Interview with Rossiya TV

June 04, 2022

The President answered questions from Pavel Zarubin of Rossyia 1 TV channel.

Pavel Zarubin: Mr President, we have just followed your meeting with the head of Senegal who is also the current leader of the African Union. He expressed, and actually in the past week many countries have expressed concern not so much about the food crisis, but they are afraid of large-scale famine because world food prices are climbing and so are oil and gas prices, These issues are interrelated.

Naturally, the West blames Russia for this, too. What is the real situation at this point, how is it developing? And what do you think will happen in the food and energy markets?

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Yes, indeed, we are seeing attempts to place the responsibility on Russia for developments in the global food market and the growing problems there. I must say that this is another attempt to pin the blame on someone else. But why?

First, the situation with the global food market did not become worse yesterday or even with the launch of Russia’s special military operation in Donbass, in Ukraine.

The situation took a downturn in February 2020 during the efforts to counter the coronavirus pandemic when the global economy was down and had to be revived.

The financial and economic authorities in the United States, of all things, found nothing better than to allocate large amounts of money to support the population and certain businesses and economic sectors.

We generally did almost the same thing, but I assure you that we were much more accurate, and the results are obvious: we did this selectively and got the desired results without affecting macroeconomic indicators, including excessive inflation growth.

The situation was quite different in the United States. The money supply in the United States grew by 5.9 trillion in less than two years, from February 2020 to the end of 2021 – unprecedented productivity of the money printing machines. The total cash supply grew by 38.6 percent.

Apparently, the US financial authorities believed the dollar was a global currency, and it would spread, as usual, as it did in previous years, would dissolve in the global economy, and the United States would not even feel it. But that did not happen, not this time. As a matter of fact, decent people – and there are such people in the United States – the Secretary of the Treasury recently said they had made a mistake. So, it was a mistake made by the US financial and economic authorities – it has nothing to do with Russia’s actions in Ukraine, it is totally unrelated.

And that was the first step – and a big one – towards the current unfavourable food market situation, because, in the first place, food prices immediately went up, they grew. This is the first reason.

The second reason was European countries’ short-sighted policies, and above all, the European Commission’s policy in regard to energy. We see what is going on there. Personally, I believe that many political players in the United States and Europe have been taking advantage of people’s natural concerns about the climate, climate change, and they began to promote this green agenda, including in the energy sector.

It all seems fine, except for the unqualified and groundless recommendations about what needs to be done in the energy sector. The capabilities of alternative types of energy are overestimated: solar, wind, any other types, hydrogen power – those are good prospects for the future, probably, but today, they cannot be produced in the required amount, with the required quality and at acceptable prices. And at the same time, they began to belittle the importance of conventional types of energy, including, and above all, hydrocarbons.

What was the result of this? Banks stopped issuing loans because they were under pressure. Insurance companies stopped insuring deals. Local authorities stopped allocating plots of land for expanding production and reduced the construction of special transport, including pipelines.

All this led to a shortage of investment in the world energy sector and price hikes as a result. The wind was not as strong as expected during the past year, winter dragged on, and prices instantly soared.

On top of all that, the Europeans did not listen to our persistent requests to preserve long-term contracts for the delivery of natural gas to European countries. They started to wind them down. Many are still valid, but they started winding them down. This had a negative effect on the European energy market: the prices went up. Russia has absolutely nothing to do with this.

But as soon as gas prices started going up, fertiliser prices followed suit because gas is used to produce some of these fertilisers. Everything is interconnected. As soon as fertiliser prices started growing, many businesses, including those in European countries, became unprofitable and started shutting down altogether. The amount of fertiliser in the world market took a dive, and prices soared dramatically, much to the surprise of many European politicians.

However, we warned them about this, and this is not linked to Russia’s military operation in Donbass in any way. This has nothing to do with it.

But when we launched our operation, our so-called European and American partners started taking steps that aggravated the situation in both the food sector and fertiliser production.

By the way, Russia accounts for 25 percent of the world fertiliser market. As for potash fertilisers, Alexander Lukashenko told me this – but we should double-check it, of course, although I think it is true – when it comes to potash fertilisers, Russia and Belarus account for 45 percent of the world market. This is a tremendous amount.

The crop yield depends on the quantity of fertiliser put into the soil. As soon as it became clear that our fertilisers would not be in the world market, prices instantly soared on both fertilisers and food products because if there are no fertilisers, it is impossible to produce the required amount of agricultural products.

One thing leads to another, and Russia has nothing to do with it. Our partners made a host of mistakes themselves, and now they are looking for someone to blame. Of course, Russia is the most suitable candidate in this respect.

Pavel Zarubin: Incidentally, it has just been reported that the wife of the head of our largest fertiliser companies has been included in the new European package of sanctions.

What will all this lead to in your opinion?

Vladimir Putin: This will make a bad situation worse.

The British and later the Americans – Anglo-Saxons – imposed sanctions on our fertilisers. Then, having realised what was happening, the Americans lifted their sanctions, but the Europeans did not. They are telling me themselves during contacts: yes, we must think about it, we must do something about it, but today they have just aggravated this situation.

This will make the situation in the world fertiliser market worse, and hence the crop prospects will be much more modest, and prices will keep going up – that is it. This is an absolutely myopic, erroneous, I would say, simply stupid policy that leads to a deadlock.

Pavel Zarubin: But Russia is accused by high-ranking officials of preventing the grain that is actually there, in Ukrainian ports, from leaving.

Vladimir Putin: They are bluffing, and I will explain why.

First, there are some objective things, and I will mention them now. The world produces about 800 million tonnes of grain, wheat per year. Now we are being told that Ukraine is ready to export 20 million tonnes. So, 20 million tonnes out of 800 million tonnes amounts to 2.5 percent. But if we proceed from the fact that wheat accounts for merely 20 percent of all food products in the world – and this is the case, this is not our data, it comes from the UN – this means that these 20 million tonnes of Ukrainian wheat are just 0.5 percent, practically nothing. This is the first point.

The second. 20 million tonnes of Ukrainian wheat are potential exports. Today, the US official bodies also say that Ukraine could export six million tonnes of wheat. According to our Ministry of Agriculture, the figure is not six but about five million tonnes, but okay, let us assume it is six, plus it could export seven million tonnes of maize – this is the figure of our Ministry of Agriculture. We realise that this is not much.

In the current agricultural year of 2021–2022, we will export 37 million and, I believe, we will raise these exports to 50 million tonnes in 2022–2023. But this is apropos, by the way.

As for shipping out Ukrainian grain, we are not preventing this. There are several ways to export grain.

The first one. You can ship it out via the Ukraine-controlled ports, primarily in the Black Sea – Odessa and nearby ports. We did not mine the approaches to the port – Ukraine did this.

I have already said to all our colleagues many times – let them demine the ports and let the vessels loaded with grain leave. We will guarantee their peaceful passage to international waters without any problems. There are no problems at all. Go ahead.

They must clear the mines and raise the ships they sunk on purpose in the Black Sea to make it difficult to enter the ports to the south of Ukraine. We are ready to do this; we will not use the demining process to initiate an attack from the sea. I have already said this. This is the first point.

The second. There is another opportunity: the ports in the Sea of Azov – Berdyansk and Mariupol – are under our control, and we are ready to ensure a problem-free exit from these ports, including for exported Ukrainian grain. Go ahead, please.

We are already working on the demining process. We are completing this work – at one time, Ukrainian troops laid three layers of mines. This process is coming to an end. We will create the necessary logistics. This is not a problem; we will do this. This is the second point.

The third. It is possible to move grain from Ukraine via the Danube and through Romania.

Fourth. It is also possible through Hungary.

And fifth, it is also possible to do this via Poland. Yes, there are some technical problems because the tracks are of different gauges and the wheel bogies must be changed. But this only takes a few hours, that is all.

Finally, the easiest way is to transport grain via Belarus. This is the easiest and the cheapest way because from there it can be instantly shipped to the Baltic ports and further on to any place in the world.

But they would have to lift the sanctions from Belarus. This is not our problem though. At any rate, President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko puts it like this: if someone wants to resolve the problem of exporting Ukrainian grain, if this problem exists at all, please use the simplest way – through Belarus. No one will stop you.

So, the problem of shipping grain out of Ukraine does not really exist.

Pavel Zarubin: How would the logistics work to ship it from the ports under our control? What would the conditions be?

Vladimir Putin: No conditions.

They are welcome. We will provide peaceful passage, guarantee safe approaches to these ports, and ensure the safe entry of foreign ships and passage through the Sea of Azov and the Black Sea in any direction.

By the way, several ships are stuck in Ukrainian ports at this point. These are foreign ships, dozens of them. They are simply locked up and their crews are still being held hostage.

Europeans are urged to prepare for new inflation and price shocks as the EU agrees to “phase out” Russia’s oil

June 4 2022

European Union approval of the sixth package of sanctions against Russia, including the phasing out of Russian crude and petroleum products, is more likely among politicians, business leaders, economists and market experts. Caused a fierce debate about. Bruegel’s director, Bruegel, a Brussels-based economic think tank, said Guntram Wolf, a “treasure of war” or Europe is plunging into a recession with shocks of new energy prices and rising inflation.

Spiegel. Economists predict that businesses and consumers will feel a pinch of rising energy prices as well. Economists also predicted that the European Central Bank would be caught in a bond between tackling inflation by raising interest rates and keeping interest rates from rising, oil and gas market experts. “The new decision turns Russia into other markets and the EU refuses to expire energy contracts,” said Steffen Bukold, head of Energy Comment, a Hamburg-based research and consulting office.

Spiegel recalled that the EU’s attempt to ban the transportation of Russian oil through tankers owned by European companies could not be driven by the support of Greece and Cyprus. Resistance to ideas. Brussels agreed to ban insurance on Russia’s oil supply, but Moscow predicted that it would “probably find an insurance company from another region.”

A similar trick has already been done. In April, Bloomberg was sent by the British and Dutch energy giant Shell by mixing 49.99% Russian diesel and 50.01% non-Russian oil in the Baltic countries and sending supplies with the non-Russian mark. Reported on how to make “Latovia Blend” diesel fuel. West. According to Bloomberg, “many” oil companies and commodities traders apply tricks to meet European energy demand, while ensuring that Shell is not “subsidizing Vladimir Putin’s war machinery.” There is only one.

In 2021, nearly 40% of oil demand, 55% of gas and 53% of coal will depend on Russia for steel production and power generation, expressing serious concern about the economic implications of attempts to break these relationships. doing. Network agency Chairman Klaus Müller warned Germans of possible gas shortages, saying economic minister Robert Habeck could not eliminate the shortage of gasoline supplies.

In April, the German state-sponsored interdisciplinary institute, the Julich Research Center, said it would cut Russia’s gas supply by two-thirds (Brussels recommends) to help industrial companies fill the country’s gas storage. He warned that he would be forced to stop for several months. Because there are no alternative sources available. At the same time, the government encourages the general public to wear a sweater to keep them warm, not to wash them with hot water until a penny pinch, and to ride a bicycle to save gas. Friday’s new sanctions prohibit “buying, importing, or transferring crude oil.” “Specific petroleum products from Russia to the EU”.

A “phasing out” is expected to take 6 months for crude oil and 8 months for refined products. A “temporary exemption” will also be provided to oil pipelined to European countries in landlocked countries where Russia’s energy “has no viable alternative”, threatening Hungary to block restrictions indefinitely. A carve out was added later. “In addition, Bulgaria and Croatia will benefit from temporary criticisms of Russia’s imports of offshore crude and vacuum gas oil, respectively,” the EU directive said. Last month, Putin said Moscow could not stop Europe’s “economic suicide.” “We must proceed from practical and primarily our own economic interests” in order to respond to the “unexpectedly chaotic” decision made by our western partners in Russia.

https://sputniknews.com/20220603/lets-be-even-handed-indian-fm-calls-out-wests-hypocrisy-on-russian-energy-purchases — video-1095970397.html

https://sputniknews.com/20220529/german-farmers-set-to-lose-up-to-3-million-tonnes-of-harvest-due-to-eu-ukraine-related-sanctions-1095862737.html

https://sputniknews.com/20220603/eu-approves-6th-package-of-sanctions-against-moscow-include-russian-oil-phase-out-1095961978.html

Sputnik International

It’s education, stupid!

June 02, 2022

Source

By Fẹmi Akọmọlafẹ

Maybe it is time the Collective West does something about its educational system.

Watching the performances of Russians and Western officials, one immediately notices that the much-touted and ultra-expensive “education “ provided in the West today is actually not up to par.

The Russian actions in Ukraine revealed a West where leaders remain emotional juveniles who continue to REACT jerkily to Russia’s deft moves. That’s when they are not busy projecting their own values and behavior onto the Russians.

Not only have the Russians vastly outplayed the West militarily, economically, and geopolitically, the actions/reactions of the West have boomeranged mightily to Russia’s advantage. The hyperinflation ravaging the West is just one example.

The exposure of the impotence of the much-touted NATO is also glaring for all to see; the Russians have made a mincemeat of what was touted as the best army in Europe, trained and equipped to NATO’s standards.

It is like every move by the Americans and their vassals in the EU was calculated to benefit the Russians.

This happened because they were ill-taught, and irrational resulting in pure emotional lash outs.

There’s simply no logic behind them.

A good example is how Western sanctions resulted in Russia earning jumbo income from selling less of its oil and gas.

Thank you very much!.

In addition to always being on top of their game, Russian officials always come across as well-educated, well-informed, well-mannered, sophisticated, cultured, and respectful. Western officials, on the other hand, attack the world as haughty, naughty, ill-mannered, ill-educated, uncultured, provincial, and narcissistic imbeciles.

They lack the elementary decorum necessary to engage peers in respectful manners. Ok, superciliousness, fueled by racist arrogance, might partly explain why they behave so, but we cannot discount the possibilities that they simply lack the education, the culture, and the home training required for civilized behavior, especially in encounters with other cultures.

The question needs to be asked how the Collective West ended up with the current gaggle of clowns holding positions of responsibility?

Examples abound aplenty: Just take a look at Sergey Lavrov and compare him with that dwarfish oaf, Anthony Blinken. Please, how did the once great US get to appoint that trashy lightweight idiot supposed to engage with a towering Diplomat of Mr Lavrov’s caliber?  Can’t a kindhearted one whisper in his ears how utterly ridiculous he appears and sounds when he issues stupid threats?

And how do we compare the seriously martial Sergei Shoigu with that Raytheon’s Uncle Tom arms merchant, Lloyd Austin?

And we then have the magnificent, confident, articulate, urbane and sophisticated woman Mr Lavrov appointed to speak for his Foreign Ministry. Please, do not take my word for it, just point out a Western official, male or female (forget the other stupid pronouns concocted by Western woke narcissists pumped up with hedonism), who can match Maria Zakharova in confident eloquence?

It didn’t use to be like this. The West was once great. I should know; I studied there.

Even as a student I noticed that there’s something terribly wrong with the type of education western institutions dish out to students starting in the late 1980s. It is quite noticeable, even to an undergraduate like myself, that there is a TOTAL disconnection between what is being taught at the universities and what transpires in REAL LIFE.

Take what is called Economics as an example. A degree, Bachelor of Science (B.Sc), is awarded to students who successfully complete the four-year program.

Any honest person will know that there’s absolutely nothing scientific in the potpourri of jargon western economists continue to string together to dazzle the gullible.

Meaningless figures and data are churned out to bamboozle people into believing that producing “services” is somehow superior to having mineral resources and a strong manufacturing base. The magicians, who masquerade as economists in the West, successfully cast spells that made people accept fancifully-printed papers, that are backed by nothing, in lieu of gold, diamond, cocoa, coal, titanium, and other real products.

These types of deliberate falsehoods and concoctions explain why Western economies are based on illusions and delusions as the Great V Putin exposed in recent encounters with the Collective West.

Arrogant and totally ignorant Westerners had no idea what the Russians had in stock for them when they started their stupid sanctions which they believed would destroy the Russian economy.

A little knowledge of history, geography, geopolitics, and geoeconomics should have informed the West that a country (the largest in the world) that is not only self-sufficient in food production, but produces almost all the metals required by all of the major industries and, in addition, is the world’s leading energy (oil and gas) producer, is not one to trifle or pick a fight with.

Most especially, not by a bunch of self-worshipping, resource-less, parasitical inconsequential nonentities like the EU states, who suffer from excessive self-regard.

There is little doubt the arrogance of the Collective West is fueled by ignorance which is a result of the poor quality of the education produced by the ideological institutions the West call universities, which have been transformed from places of rigorous learning into ones that produce only selfish, self-centered, narcissistic, hedonistic ideologues who are incapable of any thought beyond the ME!

Education reflects the mental attitude of the people. A society that recognizes neither wrong nor right, truth or falsehood cannot produce upright people who are capable of subjecting their thoughts and actions to deep reflections and applying the necessary breaks to curb their animalistic impulses.

Right from infancy, Westerners are brought up to regard everything as relative and to mix up rhetoric with actions.

Children in nurseries are told tales about the cow jumping over the moon. They are later introduced to the fable of a Santa Claus who deliver gifts through the chimney (let’s not mention the gross racism inherent in the Dutch version of that silly ‘tradition’). From here the westerner is told only tales about how his superior race brought the light of civilization to the rest of the world. Never mind the fact that half of the human drama passed before a European appeared on the scene. And never mind the documented fact that Europeans extinguished the light of civilization wherever they went. Let’s not even consider the absurdity of vandals and rapacious conquerors claiming to be civilizers! What civilization did Europe bring to the Americas? What superior knowledge, apart from that of guns, did the British bring to the Benin Kingdom?

A system of education that teaches everything about personal freedom but remains silent on responsibilities, basic values, and respect for elders and institutions cannot but produce self-seeking, self-affirming narcissistic individuals who will regard any suggestion or notion of rights of others as personal assaults.

A system of education that mistakes cheating and lying for cleverness can not but produce the type of Ambassador Michael McFaul who laughs,  when confronted with the lies the West told over Ukraine’s NATO membership and exclaimed: “That is the real world. Welcome to the real world.” https://nationalfile.com/thats-the-real-world-michael-mcfaul-laughs-off-lies-over-ukraine-nato-membership/

Basically, McFaul told us that the west exists in a real world where the telling of lies is the normal thing! Per his profile, McFaul is a professor in one of the top universities in the US. What type of minds will a man like McFaul produce?

Societies reflect the people that live in them. Western societies produced rugged individualistic-minded people who, in turn, find it difficult to cope with an international arena where the game is to give and take. Despite the fact that they proclaim their superiority over the rest of us, Western societies are incapable of operating on a level playing field. They cannot compete unless the cards are stacked in their favor. If they deny it, they simply should abandon their sense of entitlement and join the rest of humanity in playing by the rules agreed upon by the comity of nations.

Just take a good look at the current crop of Western leaders. The senile mannequin Biden has been a professional politician like for forever and a half. Macron is an investment banker, essentially one who conjures money from thin air, or what are derivatives, futures, etc?

The one in Germany, Scholz, is a lawyer. We all know that lawyers are born liars who make money by manipulating facts and telling barefaced lies. A great pity that we did not listen to Shakespeare and kill all the lawyers!

That lying, cheating, racist, boorish, unscrupulous, drunken addict like Boris Johnson became the leader of a former Great Britain shall forever remain one of the greatest mysteries of our time. It shall also go down as one of the worst things the British did to themselves.

Please, don’t get me wrong, I shed no tears for the inhabitants of that Island of iniquities.

Sadly, for them, the Collective West used to have very solid leaders. No matter how much one disagrees with them or hated their ideology, one cannot but respect Ronald Reagan, Helmut Kohl, Margaret Thatcher, Francois Mitterrand, and George Bush sr.

These men and women were true statesmen, prepared to defend their national interests while recognizing the need not to negate the interests of their peer actors in the global geopolitical arena.

Both Reagan and Thatcher were extreme ideologues, but they still both recognized that they cannot wish the USSR (Russia) away without destabilizing the global security architecture. They acted accordingly.

Alas, today, there’s not a single leader in the West with either the intellectual depth or the cultural sophistication to handle complex geopolitical issues.

Examples:

  • At his first meeting with Chinese officials, the arrogant but amateurish US Secretary of State was promptly shot down by a Chinese official who told him point-blank: “The United States does not have the qualification to say that it wants to speak to China from a position of strength.”
  • In their encounter,  Russia’s FM Lavrov publicly humiliated the queen that poses as the UK’s FM, Truss, by exposing her shallowness and ignorance of basic geography.

With leaders such as these, it is little wonder that the west continues to self-destruct with the speed that few people thought possible.

First, western officials’ lack of simple courtesy, manners, and etiquette is quite stunning.

In many cultures, bullies are considered uncultured philistines and are promptly dispensed with. Even at the height of their war with Iraq we witnessed how US Secretary James Addison Baker continued to extend diplomatic and personal courtesies to his Iraqi counterpart, Tarik Aziz.

Puffed up with insane arrogance, the West rushed to impose thousands of sanctions on Russia. The belief was that the sanctions would cripple Russia and make it forgo the pursuits of its national interests.

So many things are terribly wrong with this assumption and it can only be the product of utterly stupid brains. Just a few: How could anyone in their right mind think that the Russians would have failed to consider ALL possibilities before they decided to confront the west in an existential struggle?

Forget about the Ukraine, Russian officials told whoever would listen that the Ukraine is just a sideshow; upending western domination is the ultimate goal. The Russians simply had enough of bullying and they planned to put an end to it.

Russians are world champions in both mathematics and chess playing, one must be utterly daft to even think that a Judoka like V Putin will go into battle without adequate preparations and preparedness.

Three months later, not only did Russia shrug off all the touted “sanctions from hell,’ but its economy is back on track, steady income are streaming into its treasury, and its currency, the Ruble, has emerged as the best currency in the world!

Instead of the Ruble turning into rubble as the dimwit Biden promised, Russians today worry more about the strength of their currency.

So, how did the West get it so spectacularly wrong?

It’s education, stupid.

While other societies stepped up on the teachings of mathematics and science, the West focused its attention on WOKISM.

The teaching of new pronouns became more important to a people that have become over-obsessed with their genitalias. Not even children were spared in the degenerate obsession to sexualize everything.

The west abandoned the teaching of history. So, people grew up not knowing anything about their past. Years of obscenely grotesque overconsumption produced inert citizens who became too decadent for their own good.

The consequences of these long years of easy living (off the back of foreign resources) are people who deluded themselves that their easy living was made possible by some immutable law of nature.

Westerners forgot that the institutions and the unfair international economic setups which guarantee them to live like exceptionalists were created by crafty, highly-educated, and far-seeing men and women who managed to collar the best advantages for the West.

Example: We saw how spectacularly the Euro has nosedived since V Putin asked Europeans to pay for his gas in his currency.

Not only have the ill-thought sanctions boomeranged badly on the sanctioneers, but the west has also ended up financing Russia’s military campaign in the Ukraine.

More sanctions from hell, please!


Fẹmi Akọmọlafẹ is a writer and a published author. He is a member of the Ghana Association of Writers.

His latest book, “Africa: a Continent on Bended Knees” is available on:
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Africa-Continent-Bended-Femi-Akomolafe-ebook/dp/B08FGZNJ5T
On Ghana Association of Writers Website: https://www.gaw.org.gh/product/africa-a-continent-on-bended-knees/

Michael Hudson on RT CrossTalk Show : World under sanctions

June 01, 2022

Rumble link: https://rumble.com/v16anio-crosstalk-world-under-sanctions.html

RT link: https://www.rt.com/shows/crosstalk/556134-wreaking-havoc-business-russia/

Europe now cheats or suffers

May 31, 2022

Source

by Jorge Vilches

Europe has now painted itself into an infamous corner with only two choices left, nothing else. Both are definitely bad and terribly expensive — probably un-payable — in political and financial terms. On May 30, Brussels (a) dropped its previous declared strategy of ´buying Russian oil to prevent Moscow from selling it elsewhere at soaring prices´ (???) and (b) approved its sanctions package No. 6 imposing a ban on Russian seaborne oil imports. But by Christmas such ban will supposedly exceed 90% of total Russian oil as Germany and Poland have ´volunteered´ to reduce their own pipeline imports by then. Still, 65% of European consumers who today import Russian seaborne oil will suddenly face either one of the only two possible highly detrimental options explained hereinafter. Meanwhile the remaining 35% would theoretically benefit from the Russian Druzbha pipeline which will continue to safely feed them with the excellent Urals oil. But not quite and not really, because an ugly catch is awaiting Europe already cocked — line, hook and sinker — as if planned by its enemies, not its leaders as is the case. Migrations and unemployment cannot be avoided with the self-destructive ideology now rampant in the EU political mindset. Probably unknowingly, the EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen paraphrased Mao Zedong by considering this “a big step forward”.

Ref #1 https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-61638860 + Ref #2 https://www.rt.com/news/555989-eu-russia-embargo-explained/

the rub

There is a very important game-changing rub that short-sighted EU politicians haven´t yet fathomed, let alone sorted out. And it will hit them hard, head-on, blindsided without any protection whatsoever. Not even their favorite protection, i.e, political cover for an obvious self-inflicted harm that public opinion is now witnessing front & center. Because, as duly forewarned, there will be tons of very serious problems with the 65% of consumers using — and most negatively affected by — the new non-Russian seaborne oil blends which literally no one would be exempt from.

Not even the remaining 35% of supposedly “Druzbha safe” oil consumers. How come ? In one minute you´ll find out.

Ref # 3 https://www.rt.com/news/556292-eu-oil-embargo-ukraine/

atomic fall out

Apparently, European brains are AWOL. The sole exception could be Hungary (sorta) the most prominent amongst the opponents of the embargo comparing its potential effect to “an atomic bomb”. So now here we have the atomic bomb being dropped, although rather than an extraordinary explosion it´d be a silent implosion of sorts that not even Hungary has thought of. For, theoretically, this EU ban on Russian seaborne oil would not affect Hungary et al, at least for now, as they would supposedly continue business as usual (not). And supposedly the same would happen with refineries such as all-important Schwedt which, for the time being at least, same as Hungary will continue to receive the Druzbha pipeline feedstock all with 100% normality with excellent Russian oil they are most used to consume, process and refine regularly … But not quite not really anymore, because the non-Russian oil fed to the other refineries and other chemical processing plants in Europe (65%) will cause havoc with knock-on impact throughout the economy directly affecting the remaining 35% of supposedly still “safe” consumers that will continue receiving the Druzbha pipeline feedstock with excellent Russian oil. So, it´ll be an all-around contagious bloody mess.

C:\Users\Jorge Vilches\Desktop\3.jpg

scenarios

You just can´t have 35% of the plants processing and/or running with “good” Russian oil still fed by the Druzbha pipeline… while the remaining 65% run on “bad” unknown non-Russian seaborne oil. It just doesn´t work that way.

Basic laws of physics, chemistry, geology, logistics, engineering, politics, business and trade are being violated without mercy by such an approach. Economies are integral, non-divisible. Will any Karens fill up their fuel tanks with “bad” gasoline / petrol derived from “badly” refined non-Russian oil… or intermittently supplied at filling stations on and off as in now-you-have-it but then you don´t ? What about trucks and plant machinery ? Petrochemicals anyone ?

Will any businesses want to deal with and buy products from associates processing new, yet unknown non-Russian oil blends plagued with problems of every sort derived from their lack of proper matching with their now necessarily hurriedly modified & retrofitted processing plants ? Reference #3 below describes the severe harmful differences between Russian and non-Russian oil blends regarding reservoirs + investments + price + quality + quantity + delivery + refinery feed + Baltic ports modifications + logistics + refine-ability + vendor performance + contract sustainability,etc.

Ref # 4 https://thesaker.is/dear-ursula-you-are-dead-wrong/

Option 1 (expensive) cheating

As European businesses know perfectly well, Option 2 simply means suicide, no doubt about it. So per Option 1 Europe avoids Option 2 and just plain cheats, still hurting itself badly by buying the very same Russian oil it says it´d be banning (not) but actually paying for it to third parties through “triangulation” which is far more EXPENSIVE. That´d mean that Russian oil would be sold to third parties as many times as needed so that the original Russian source can no longer be traced thus declaring it to be non-Russian and delivering it at European ports. This may also include STS or Ship-To-Ship transfers. Actually, even before being downloaded to the very first tanker somewhere in Russia, the now EU banned Russian oil could already be sold at least once, maybe more times. Of course, with each pass of hands, some mark-up is added to justify the investment…and the risk of being caught red-handed somewhere along the line. So the very same excellent Russian oil would get to Europe with at least a 35 to 50% higher price which would defeat the purpose of the EU Russian seaborne oil banning decision. Additional cheating could also include mixing Russia´s Urals oil with other third party blends of different origin OR tapping the South Druzbha pipeline branch into Hungary et al so better keep a close eye on that also. Still, whatever the cheats would still be far more expensive.

Option 2 (expensive) harm

If Europe effectively bans seaborne Russian oil for real, it´d fall into the infamous TRAP of ruining 65% of its industrial base through the failed attempt to use third party non-Russian oil blends with TONS of problems derived from the necessarily incomplete/unsuccessful attempt to adapt refineries and processing plants in 6 months time as repeatedly explained to death in deep detail and forewarning flashing signs at Ref #5 https://thesaker.is/why-russias-oil-ban-is-impossible/

The EU would thus still have the remaining 35% of traditionally excellent products derived from the Urals oils blend delivered by the Russian Druzbha pipeline and refined and/or processed as usual INTERMIXED and “competing” in the very same European economy with a rainbow planoply of different products obtained from different yet-unknown oil blends (65%) through differently modified process plants and refineries which would not be a close equivalent of original Druzbha products obtained with this excellent, proven Made-In-Russia raw material which European refineries and processing plants are specifically tuned-in for. For Heaven´s sake which part of this is so hard to understand ???

Ref #6 https://energyandcleanair.org/wp/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/Corrected_Fossil-fuel-imports-from-Russia-first-two-months-invasion.pdf

worse of both worlds

In a sense, it´d be the worst possible of all cases. It would mean a wholly unfair competition as Druzbha pipeline fed plants would have tremendous advantages over those fed with the new unknown oils plus the corresponding retro-fitting / reconversion downtime (or plain non-performance) kicking them outright out of the market for unknown period of time possibly bankrupting them and creating EXTRA-ordinary logistics problems to consumers throughout Europe.

Allowing for the Druzbha pipeline to continue feeding 35% of Europe with excellent Russian oils will mean the perfect comparison standard of practice. And it would reveal the fallacy of the premise itself, i.e, that Russian oil can be substituted easily and without enormous great pain. But no rewinding is allowed, sorry. And history will not be kind watching how “the EU makes sure to phase out Russian oil in an orderly fashion, in a way that allows us and our partners to secure alternative supply routes minimising the impact on global markets” Who are you kidding Ursula ?

bad options

The new unknown oil blends cannot be described because they do not exist and quite possibly may never exist,

Russian Urals oil = enormous, well-known, geologically & physico-chemically stable reservoirs, reliable, well studied.

Unknown new oils = experimental mix from occasional “beach-front bazaar” vendors variable in time, not well coordinated. Venezuela oil, not good. Middle East oils, not available. Will North Sea supply ALL of Europe ?

In a nutshell, the world wasn´t anywhere nearly prepared for an EU ban on Russian oil… or other Russian fuels…

So now an EU Russian seaborne oil ban would require deep — and in many ways impossible – urgent modifications of European refineries and chemical processing plants throughout in order to adapt them to new yet-unknown feedstocks if ever possibly attainable as explained hereinafter. Instead of shooting itself in the head temple Europe now chooses to shoot itself in both knee-caps and both elbows…Is there not 1 thinking mind in Europe to stop this utter nonsense ?

Oil pipelines

European ports

Each and every European port will probably require modifications adapting to new handling, unloading, storage and additional delivery requirements of non-Russian oil from whichever tanker fleet is found, yet unknown, if any. This means building new dedicated facilities per specific consumer and tanker fleet needs (supposedly fixed, unchanging) in order to match the processing foreseen and executed until today with necessarily different Russian oils. As well known examples, below please find equivalent modifications to be urgently made at Baltic and North Sea ports which may also need to be similarly executed throughout European ports as needed. It´s an unfathomable mystery how all of this will be done simultaneously while maintaining current production at refineries and processing plants as current supply requirements dictate. Of course, countries will be selfish and, just as an example, Poland will not accommodate for German needs at its Gdansk Baltic port. Poland now has other priorities and helping out Germany is not one of them. This will severely affect German refinery logistics, most specially at Gdansk.

Baltic & North Sea ports

Rostock is a not-fit-for-purpose port with only tanker berth No. 3 which accepts crude oil with handling & unloading equipment also very limited. So upgrading and retrofitting is urgently needed plus specific dedicated facilities for storage and delivery capabilities. Also, Long Range (LR) 2 vessels are the maximum size accepted by this Rostock berth, thus limiting crude unloading volumes by each vessel. Furthermore, Wilhelmshaven (North Sea, Germany) and Gdansk (Baltic, Poland) also require dedicated storage + equipment for rather smallish yet frequent deliveries plus dedicated outbound logistics to Rostock port storage terminals which would be the only hub available in such area.

Rostock port in turn needs berth revamping for larger oil tankers from Wilhelmshaven or elsewhere plus dedicated equipment for larger, more frequent seaborne batches. Also required are logistics for internal delivery via inland waterways + rail + road inbound to both Wilhelmshaven and Gdansk dedicated storage terminals with additional linkage to the Rostock – Schwedt pipeline as the refinery just chews up unbelievable volumes of crude oil every day.

Both Wilhelmshaven and Gdansk despite already being large deep well-furnished ports still also require modifications.

Argenschwedt blues

Germany and Poland have also “volunteered” by Christmas 2022 to substitute Russian oil today delivered to both thru the Russian North Druzbha pipeline branch only for a few more months. This means — among many other impossible projects already described in detail — to find a solution for adequate feedstock delivery to Europe´s largest and most politically important refinery namely the troglodyte monster Schwedt that only T-Rex Russian oil can feed. So say no more and refer to fully seasoned Ref #7 https://thesaker.is/germans-schwedt-hard-for-russian-oil/ whereby the more than obvious ´Krautensuiciden´ is described in detail. Just as teaser, please be advised that the Schwedt refinery “solution” goes far beyond Baltic and North Sea ports deep modifications. It necessarily also includes the Rostock-Schwedt pipeline enlargement, upgrade, and revamping, a real-life mission impossible under current circumstances where ALL of Europe is turned upside down indefinitely while it still needs to consume what is still being normally produced until today with superb Russian oil perfectly matching all current and future refinery needs. Please allow

me to repeat myself: It´d be like trying to change all four tires while the car keeps on running non-stop at 100 km/hr.

So don´t cry for Argenschwedt, but be reminded of the required new oil feedstock definition, testing and vendor selection, approval, certification & contract + retrofit and full revamping modifications per Option (3) + enhanced storage facilities + handling equipment for large & frequent batch deliveries. Without very deep and years-long modifications of the Rostock port, the Schwedt refinery will starve to death. And without the Druzbha door-to-door Russian oil feed — besides the poor quality of the non-Russian oil substitute and its probable non-matching with the pertinent technical requirements — the Schwedt refinery would chew up the largest possible Suez tanker in just 4 (four) days. Still, this is impossible today at Rostock port so a string of dozens of far smaller tankers would have to cue up like school children at the infamous berth No.3 the only one apt for oil handling and unloading onto yet to be resolved storage and transmission lines to the Schwedt terminal…and then onto the obsolete 1963 Soviet era pipeline today way too small to make any difference thus badly needing urgent enlargement. Europe has obviously gone full bananas trying to unnecessarily do all of that and plenty more by Christmas. This very bad idea should not end well.

And pray that trying to execute the required modifications with such an unbelievably tight and impossible schedule does not mean – as usual — any physical injuries directly or indirectly to anyone involved in new feedstock lines and infrastructure, an atmospheric distillation facility, a vacuum distillation system, a cat-crack unit, a visbreaking facility, an alkylation unit, a catalytic reformer, an isomerisation unit, and a very important ethyl tertiary butyl ether facility.

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price

An EU Russian seaborne oil ban will shrink the number of vendors and the volume of oil offered to Europe very significantly thus ruining the supply side of the EU oil price equation. The much lower the supply, the MUCH higher the price. With Russian seaborne oil banned, the potential European supply is much smaller both in number of vendors and/or of the volume available for bidding. An unnecessary procurement mess, a harmfull self-inflicted policy.

Russian Urals oil = cheap, unbeatable, un-subsidized, already fully amortized facilities, in-expensive operation

Unknown new oils = unknown, but definitely FAR more expensive with terrific freight, logistics, and final delivery costs.

Not low enough – let alone very high prices — means disrupting the EU and the world with inflation beyond imagination

The unit price would not include pay-back amortization or the many huge investments / modifications / reforms made.

This means that the real effective price would be even far higher if the required monumental investments are priced in.

Ref # 8 https://www.statista.com/statistics/468405/global-oil-tanker-fleet-by-type/

Ref # 9 https://oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-General/Record-High-Diesel-Prices-Will-Ripple-Across-The-Economy.html

Ref # 10 https://www.rt.com/business/556051-eu-new-gas-pipeline/

quality

Russian Urals oil = proven, fully vetted high-quality homogenous blend, low in sulphur, light- intermediate API gravity.

Unknown new oils = wishy-washy-iffy, does not even exist, will mean an engineering-chemical-logistics nightmare that does not bode well, and which will necessarily be heterogenous with batch to batch variations. A lower or mis-adapted oil quality would mean poor performance and operational risks with serious breakdown troubles and injuries plus down-time probably beyond repair at refineries, processing plants and final end use One single ‘bad’ batch would produce never ending down/time impact, damages, repairs, claims, potential accidents with possible injuries, non-compliance and altered delivery schedules, liabilities everywhere. It has happened before with non-Russian oils.

quantity

Russian Urals oil = unlimited, smooth, on-demand.

Unknown new oils = chances are that there is no enough volume available, not even in Africa, let alone Iran.

It´d also have to be “incremental” export volumes beyond current production for two reasons: one would be potential growth in EU demand and the second reason is that no vendor will leave traditional customers abandoned high & dry just because the EU has now gone bananas. Furthermore, these contracts could might all turn out being short-term ephemeral un-sustainable ´purchases of convenience´ with no future. Not enough and well delivered quantity means degraded European livelihoods and failing economy, with shut down plants and refineries affecting everything. Price would go up. Meanwhile, India increases its purchase of Russian seaborne oil by 25 times, that is 2500%. Just sayin´.

Ref. #11 https://www.rt.com/business/556345-russian-oil-exports-jump-india/

refineability

Russian Urals oil = efficient, well known, reliable with excellent guaranteed performance for decades allowing to refine with excellence a range of products including petrol (gasoline) diesel, aviation turbine fuel, LPG, extra light heating oil, heavy fuel oil, bitumen, benzene, toluene, xylene and sulphur.

Unknown new oils = fully unknown, risky, requires carefull constant testing of all-around refinery modifications (details on that later) adapting internal processes to new yet unknown oil blends required to remain constant for at least 30 years, preferably 50 years. No data possible yet. Lots of work yet to be done. Refinement process jeopardized, final distillates quantities and qualities unknown. Politicians believe that technical problems will always be solved by technical people. And though saying that contains a grain of truth, what about time, money and human resources ?

Technical people are not magicians.

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matched & mated

Refineries are very closely matched and subtly calibrated to very specific and foreseeable supply feedstocks which are also very difficult to substitute and with great uncertainty regarding the final outcome. Changing anything either on the refinery side as well as on the feedstock requires lots of time, effort, money, dedicated facilities, experimentation, mistakes, trial & error, specific expertise, risk, and most important fixed, unchanging feedstocks always complying with specs. It´s not a “plug & play” substitute.

This means that Russia today supplies Europe with specific Urals oil that would be almost impossible to get from unknown third parties fast enough and cheap enough in enormous quantities. A very delicate and tight matching has already achieved between the European industry and reliable, vetted, well-known Russian oil vendors.

Ref # 12 https://www.ifo.de/en/node/69417

first-hand SKovacs

Many EU refineries have been built to process certain types of oils found in Russia. The very design & build of these refineries was based on certain specific oil types within narrow variation in blend/quality and steady supply — variation normally of less than 15% vol/day — guaranteed for over 30 years (most commonly 50+ years). Obviously enough, the continuous supply of quality feeds is critical to the operation of a refinery or any chemical plant.

complications

Adapting an EU refinery to new types of oils requires detailed laboratory knowledge of the new blend with constant composition and formal guarantees for its continuous delivery for decades, convoluted & lengthy contracts and procurement processes, extremely detailed engineering plans, manufacturing of parts, shipping, installation, testing, commissioning, optimization, permitting etc. etc. etc. before it can be declared “done”. Any element of this incomplete list, if missing, renders the whole affair a failure both technically and economically.

guarantees

The above assumes guaranteed efficient and continuous shipping and receiving network(s) are always in place and fully operational (!) Such work involves thousands of people, complex processes and of course many billions of euros, regulatory permitting process, inherent lawsuits etc., i.e. A LOT OF TIME – years. If Europe were also deprived of oil + metallurgical coal from Russia — and also iron ore — is unlikely to build much. Never mind the finer components that require other alloy metals which are also provided by Russia… Ref # 13 https://thesaker.is/europes-mad-ban-on-russian-oil/

length of contract

Russian Urals oil = 50+ years, Made-In-Russia will be missed.

Unknown new oils = can´t know, but for decades-long contract requires mammoth reservoirs such as Russia has.

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Christmas 2022

Every European refinery and chemical process plant affected (say, 65%) will now immediately require modification of internal processes adapted to new unknown non-Russian seaborne oils. This re-vamping and retrofitting will consume humongous amounts of euros, human resources, expertise, trials & errors, risk and lots of hard work and lots and lots of time. Plus all sorts of sensors, software & firmware modifications and purchase of new equipment. Unbelievably, Christmas 2022 is the simultaneous deadline for all of the above. Schedule non-compliance could lead to outward chaos by continuous damage beyond repair of machinery, processes, sensitive devices and installations that EU plants currently have in place. No equivalent madness has ever been planned and implemented except for enemies.

Apocalypses now

So the goal is to simultaneously modify all affected European chemical plants and refineries by adapting them to whatever non-Russian feedstocks of whatever quantities (better find enough…) quality and variations are effectively found, contracted and delivered by yet-unknown non-Russian vendors willing and able to deliver to Europe under current circumstances… Geopolitics anyone ? So the name of the game is to modify, adapt, retrofit for non-Russian substitutes of unknown origin with yet undefined all-around characteristics nor vendor track record. These oils would all be different and obviously not interchangeable. Possible storage and delivery cross-contamination are not allowed. Impossible having a “toggle-switch” for alternate feed of different oils to the same piece of equipment. No way.

Also this mammoth undertaking would have to be done without Russia´s accommodation meaning it´d be utmost difficult to phase-out of Russian Urals oil as gradually as needed while new non-Russian blends phase-in… while the rest still awaits modification thus still requiring Russian oil grades which Russia would not supply in the way that Europe would need to keep importing. Russia would have other priorities, not accomodating for European needs.

The EU today has highly sensitive plants finely tuned and used to Russian high quality oil during decades. And no plant will run without continuous, foreseeably constant feed of the right quality product in large enough quantities which most probably will grow in time as demand increases. Europe is now trying to change that in 6 months by executing 11 (eleven) new and very complex and unexpected projects just for the Schwedt Refinery alone. No Pre-Feasibility nor Feasibility studies whatsoever. If this were not a very serious matter I would take it as bad joke.

No batch system in the whole wide world no matter how well designed and built – Swiss and Germans included– is anywhere comparable to a modern door-to-door pipeline such as Druzbha. Tankers have a costly service life if only for the regulation/inspection requirements. So they are a higher risk and higher cost. Also there are negative seasonal availabilities of hydrocarbons and shipping vessels types and sizes which means lots of negotiation, coordination, funding, expertise, risk, new fixed and variable costs and surprises from yet unknown trade and business partners, new procedures, modus operandi, brokers, insurance companies, etc. Can´t make this stuff up.

Human resources are probably the weakest link with tons of people missing with yet to be defined job descriptions, yet to be interviewed, hired, trained, teams put together, deployed, etc. Current operational and maintenance + staff & field personnel would probably demand being switched to other jobs… or will drag their feet… or would simply resign thus necessarily compounding the problem to uncharted depths. New, young, inexperienced hands do not help under these circumstances.

The Schwedt Refinery badly needs a 200 km. pipeline upgrade + revamping on a partially-buried heavy structure built with obsolete materials and technology commissioned in 1963 and already repaired many times. The old pipeline trace goes through highways and urban areas, pristine environments, rolling hills, valleys and ridges, forests, rivers, lakes, home to fish and wildlife with strong winds, rain and snow. People will not like all of that in their back-yards.

This new EU plan needs to cover absolutely 100% of all of Europe´s current and future oil consumption, not just a part. Because Russia now has other priorities and will no longer cooperate with and adapt to EU needs in any way.

So forget about gradual Russian oil substitution. It´d be the opposite. For example, and just to entertain the idea, even if eventually achieving constant delivery of 75% fully-compliant non-Russian oil… it´d still mean digging a 25% deep hole into Europe´s economy, which Russia will not help to solve by supplying the missing 25% oil. This and other important matters led to the title of this article. Europe now will either cheat & pay more or harm itself beyond belief.

My suggestion is get out of Dodge.

Ref # 14 https://thesaker.is/europes-mad-ban-on-russian-oil/

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