Sunday, November 30, 2014

414 Der Spiegel heeft haar taak gedaan: Oorlog uitgelokt. Nu de waarheid.

Robert Parry beschrijft hoe Der Spiegel een van de meest barbaarse media was om Rusland zwart te maken en dus te destabiliseren. ( Artikel Parry

Maar nu, een jaar later, komen ze met een artikel waaruit blijkt dat Yanukovich niet anders kon dan voor Rusland kiezen, en zich dus niet aansluiten bij de EU: aansluiting bij de EU zou 160 miljard $ kosten voor de Ukraïne, enniet 3 miljard,zoals Catherine Ashton hem had voorgespiegeld.( Spiegel

Mijn minachting voor journalisten kent geen grenzen. 

Ze steken de wereld in brand. Vernietigen miljoenen mensenlevens, en zijn te dom om het te beseffen. 

Ik heb de passage over de 160 miljard versus 3 miljard geel gemaakt. 

One year ago, negotations over a Ukraine association 
agreement with the European Union collapsed. 
The result has been a standoff with Russia and war in the Donbass. 
It was an historical failure, and one that German Chancellor Angela 
Merkel contributed to.
Only six meters separated German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych as they sat across from each other in the festively adorned knight's hall of the former Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania. In truth, though, they were worlds apart.
Yanukovych had just spoken. In meandering sentences, he tried to explain why the European Union's Eastern Partnership Summit in Vilnius was more useful than it might have appeared at that moment, why it made sense to continue negotiating and how he would remain engaged in efforts towards a common future, just as he had previously been. "We need several billion euros in aid very quickly," Yanukovych said.
Then the chancellor wanted to have her say. Merkel peered into the circle of the 28 leaders of EU member states who had gathered in Vilnius that evening. What followed was a sentence dripping with disapproval and cool sarcasm aimed directly at the Ukrainian president. "I feel like I'm at a wedding where the groom has suddenly issued new, last minute stipulations."
The EU and Ukraine had spent years negotiating an association agreement. They had signed letters of intent, obtained agreement from cabinets and parliaments, completed countless diplomatic visits and exchanged objections. But in the end, on the evening of Nov. 28, 2013 in the old palace in Vilnius, it became clear that it had all been a wasted effort. It was an historical earthquake.
Everyone came to realize that efforts to deepen Ukraine's ties with the EU had failed. But no one at the time was fully aware of the consequences the failure would have: that it would lead to one of the world's biggest crises since the end of the Cold War; that it would result in the redrawing of European borders; and that it would bring the Continent to the brink of war. It was the moment Europe lost Russia.
For Ukraine, the failure in Vilnius resulted in disaster. Since its independence in 1991, Ukraine has strived to orient itself towards the EU while at the same time taking pains to ensure that those actions don't damage its relations with Moscow. The choice between West and East, which both Brussels and Moscow have forced Kiev to make, has had devastating consequences for the fragile country.
But the impact of that fateful evening in Vilnius goes far beyond Ukraine's borders. Some 25 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall and almost 70 years after the end of World War II, Europe is once again divided. The estrangement between the Russians and the Europeans is growing with Moscow and the West more inimical toward each other today than during the final phase of the Cold War. It's a reality that many in Europe have long sought to ignore.
The story of the run-up to Vilnius is one filled with errors in judgment, misunderstandings, failures and blind spots. It is a chronicle of foreign policy failure foretold -- on all sides. Russia underestimated the will of Ukrainians to steer their country toward the EU and was overly confident in its use of its political power over Kiev as a leverage.
For its part, the EU had negotiated a nearly 1,000-page treaty, but officials in Brussels hadn't paid close enough attention to the realities of those power politics. Even in Berlin, officials for too long didn't take Russian concerns -- about the encroachment of NATO and the EU into Eastern Europe -- seriously enough. The idea that Moscow might be prepared to use force to prevent a further expansion of the Western sphere of influence didn't seem to register with anyone.
With the special role it plays and the special responsibility it has for Europe, the meltdown also represented a failure for Germany. Foreign policy has long been considered one of Chancellor Angela Merkel's greatest strengths, but even she ignored the warning signs. Merkel has proven herself over the years to be a deft mediator who can defuse tensions or work out concrete solutions. But crisis management alone is not enough for good foreign policy. Missing in this crisis was a wider view and the ability to recognize a conflict taking shape on the horizon. Instead, officials in Berlin seemed to believe that because nobody wanted conflict, it wouldn't materialize.
Merkel did say at the summit that, "The EU and Germany have to talk to Russia. The Cold War is over." But the insight came too late.
Kiev, The Presidential PalaceFeb. 25, 2010
Viktor Yanukovych was sworn in as president of Ukraine on Feb. 25, 2010 by the Verkhovna Rada, the country's national parliament. The first guests he would receive as president were chief European Union diplomat Catherine Ashton and European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighborhood Policy Stefan Füle.
Was it a sign?
During his inaugural address, Yanukovych had rejected the clear Western orientation of his predecessor Viktor Yushchenko. Instead, he said Ukraine should become a "bridge" between the East and West. He envisioned Ukraine's future as a "European bloc-free state."
But not long later, he found himself sitting together with Ashton and Füle inside Mariyinsky Palace in Kiev, the official presidential residence. The two had brought a piece of paper with them, which they used to present what they called the "matrix," Yanukovych's choices. It was their own, very bureaucratic way, of describing Ukraine's path to a European future. They handed him the matrix as if it were some kind of gift.
"We have never done this before for anybody," Füle said. Both European leaders considered the paper to be a pledge of confidence.
The "matrix" listed in detail what it would mean for Yanukovych if he engaged himself with the EU. To the left were the conditions he had to fulfill, including things like EU standards or the demands of the International Monetary Fund. On the right, the money was listed that Ukraine would receive if it went down this path toward the West.
Yanukovych was primarily interested in the right-hand column. When he needed money, he had always been in the habit of simply taking it -- from everyone: from his own people; from the Russian Federation; and, of course, also from the EU. Previously, during a stint as prime minister, he had mostly used his power to secure lucrative posts for members of his own clan. Indeed, Yanukovych had enjoyed a dubious reputation dating back to the clan wars in his home region, the Donbass coal basin. Even if he claimed the contrary, he never cared much about Western values. But would Yanukovych really do anything for money?
The president thanked his guests for the "matrix," the "pledge of confidence" that he hadn't actually earned. He had experienced the Europeans as naive do-gooders who were constantly going on about values and human rights but who had no idea about money. He promised both guests that the first trip he would take as Ukrainian president would be to Brussels. They understood it to be a sign, but instead it was but the first of many misunderstandings to come.
Kiev Jan. 10, 2011
Enlargement Commissioner Füle traveled to Ukraine again that January to warn Yanukovych against making any serious mistakes. Füle was genuinely alarmed.
On Dec. 20, 2010, the Ukrainian Prosecutor General's Office had filed charges against Yulia Tymoshenko accusing her of misuse of state funds. It appeared as though Yanukovych was seeking to get a former political opponent out of the way.
"Don't do it," Füle implored.
Füle was then and remains now a great believer in Europe, in the grand promise of freedom. He believes in Western values, in transparency, in the rule of law and in the EU's soft power. It was inconceivable to Füle that someone who had the opportunity to become a part of Europe could possibly refuse.
"Mr. President," Füle warned. "You're walking on thin ice." The president and the commissioner were meeting alone. Füle, who is Czech, studied in the 1980s at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations, an institution for the Soviet elite and he speaks fluent Russian, obviating the need for an interpreter. He reminded Yanukovych of his promise to reform the Ukrainian justice system. The EU even had a term, "selective justice," for the arbitrariness that prevailed in the Ukrainian legal system. Füle also reminded Yanukovych that, as expansion commissioner, it was also his job to convince EU member states of why Ukraine should belong to Europe.
Was it absolutely necessary for the European public to see just how far removed Ukraine still remained from the Western idea of rule of law? Tymoshenko is one of, if not the only, Ukrainian who is recognizable to people living in the West. She was the icon of the Orange Revolution and, despite her shortcomings as prime minister, had lost little of the glamour the revolution had bestowed upon her. Now Tymoshenko, with her trademark crown braid, threatened to become a martyr.
"You have to be 100 percent sure that this will not become a politically motivated justice," Füle said at the time. Yanukovych smiled. "I promise you that our judiciary is independent," he said.
Kiev, Presidential PalaceDec. 12, 2011
Events then proceeded as Füle feared they would. In May, the Prosecutor General's Office indicted Tymoshenko a second time. At this point, she had already been in pre-trial detention for three months. It started to look as though she would get convicted. Füle asked if he could visit her in jail.
Yanukovych went over to his desk, which had a Soviet-era desktop switchboard. He pushed a button and the Ukrainian General Prosecutor quickly answered. "I have here the commissioner," Yanukovych said. "He wants to see the Lady in prison."
Kharkiv, Women's PrisonFeb. 14, 2012
It was bitterly cold on the morning the gate to the Kachanivska women's prison was opened for a bus carrying German doctors. A group of protesters stood in front of the gate shouting, "Yulia, Yulia." The group, led by neurologist Karl Max Einhäupl, the head of Berlin's Charité university hospital, then crowded into Tymoshenko's cell, a room with a small barred window beneath the ceiling. Her lawyer was also present, along with two guards. There were two doctors from Germany, three from Canada and one from Ukraine. Tymoshenko was lying on the bed. Her hair was freshly done as was her make-up. She turned to face her visitors, but the pain was so great that she could hardly move.
The EU had transformed Tymoshenko into a symbol of whether Ukraine was indeed compatible with Europe. If she were released, Kiev would be given the seal of approval for its judiciary. If she remained imprisoned, Ukraine would continue to be stigmatized as a country with an arbitrary legal system.
The doctors diagnosed a protracted slipped disc and stated that it wasn't possible to treat Tymoshenko inside the prison. The diagnosis had been a medical one, but it also served as a political verdict. "We traveled there as doctors and not politicians," Einhäupl would later say, "but that's only half the truth."
Brussels, L'Eccailler du Palais Royal RestaurantMay 30, 2012, 7 p.m.
On May 30 of that year, Füle invited two acquaintances for dinner at L'Ecailler du Palais Royal, one of the better restaurants on Brussels' noble Place du Grand Sablon. The guests included former Polish president Aleksander Kwasniewski, who had just been named as the official negotiating Tymoshenko's release on behalf of the EU, as well as Ukrainian oligarch Victor Pinchuk. They sat upstairs on the second floor so they could enjoy a bit more peace and quiet. Füle ordered a nice bottle of wine for the evening so that he could toast Ukraine's future in Europe.
"To Europe," Füle said.
Two months ago, the European Union and Ukraine officially approved the Ukraine-EU Association Agreement. Brussels had begun paving the way for the "Eastern Partnership" four years ago. The partnership envisions tight political and economic ties between the EU and the six former Soviet republics in Eastern Europe and the Caucasus. The agreements had actually been envisioned as consolation prizes for countries that were unlikely to be granted EU membership at any time in the foreseeable future.
Like so many things in the EU, the Eastern Partnership is also a compromise. The Eastern Europeans, particularly the Poles, would prefer to give Ukraine full EU membership. At the very least, they want some kind of buffer placed between their countries and Moscow. But Southern and Western Europeans are not interested in an additional enlargement round. The result is a complicated situation for EU bureaucrats. Sometimes they get so caught up in policy that they fail to see the forest for the trees.
When considering the association agreement with Ukraine, EU officials clearly didn't pay enough attention to what it might mean for Russia. And that night, although Pinchuk didn't want to spoil the positive atmosphere, he also had the feeling that the commissioner was underestimating the danger that Russia might not sit back passively as Brussels sought to bring Ukraine into its sphere of influence. He warned the commissioner.
But Füle had assumed Russia wouldn't have any objections to the treaty. "Russia had never had a problem with the EU," said sources in Brussels familiar with the negotiations. After all, hadn't Putin offered his backing for closer ties back in 2004? During a visit to Spain at the time, the Russian president said, "If Ukraine wants to join the EU and if the EU accepts Ukraine as a member, Russia, I think, would welcome this."
But a lot of time had passed since then and relations had also deteriorated. It is no coincidence that the turning point was an event in Ukraine, the Orange Revolution at the end of 2004, that ensured the election of pro-European President Viktor Yushchenko. Since then, Brussels and Moscow have been both been vying to deepen ties with countries located in the region between Russia and the EU. The term used for this in the West is "competition of integration." But in Moscow, it is seen as a battle over spheres of influence.
"You will have to find a solution that is also acceptable to Putin," Pinchuk warned the commissioner. "Things could get difficult with the Russians." But Füle believed he knew the Russians better. "It's always difficult with the Russians," he said.
Berlin, the ChancellerySpring 2012
That spring, German Chancellor Merkel was concerned about Tymoshenko, not Russia. Merkel made a phone call to the Ukrainian president in Yalta in Crimea. It was a short time before the European Cup football championships, a tournament hosted that year by both Poland and Ukraine. In April, German President Joachim Gauck had already declined his invitation to participate in a meeting of Central European heads of state in Crimea because of Tymoshenko's incarceration and now Merkel was calling in an effort to persuade Yanukovych to release her. At the beginning of the call, the Ukrainian president tried to charm Merkel. "You speak such good Russian, let's speak without a translator," he suggested. But Merkel blocked him. She spoke with the Ukrainian president as if he were a child. "I want to help," she said, "but you have to free Yulia Tymoshenko."
Brussels, European Council headquartersFeb. 25, 2013
At the EU-Ukraine Summit on Feb. 25, 2013, Yanukovych announced his intention to work more closely with Putin's customs union. The Eurasian Economic Union was Moscow's response to Brussels' growing influence, with the aim being that of creating a single market comprised of post-Soviet states, with Ukraine at its heart.
For Putin, the Eurasion Union is the core of a foreign policy plan to defend Moscow's traditional zone of influence and with which he wants to win back lost terrain. As is always the case when it comes to Russian foreign policy, it is also a question of status. Brussels did in fact offer Moscow some of the elements of an association agreement, but Russia, a former world power, didn't want to be treated like a second-class citizen in Brussels in the same way as other countries like Moldova or Armenia. Moscow insisted on its status as a major power and demanded equal footing.
The Kremlin then proposed to Brussels that negotiations be conducted between the EU and the Eurasion Union -- directly between the two blocs of power. But European Commission President José Manuel Barroso refused to meet with the leaders of the Eurasion Union, a bloc he considered to be an EU competitor.
"One country cannot at the same time be a member of a customs union and be in a deep common free-trade area with the European Union," the commission president said on February 25. He said that Kiev had to decide which path it wanted to take. The message was clear: Kiev had to choose either Brussels or Moscow.
Kiev, Premier Palace HotelJuly 27, 2013
His name wasn't anywhere on the official program and no one appeared to know that he was coming. The Russian Embassy in Kiev hadn't even been informed that Russian President Vladimir Putin would be making an appearance at a conference of his Ukrainian supporters at the Premier Palace Hotel.
"We will respect whatever choice the Ukrainian government and people make...," he said. "But there are facts that speak for themselves." The statements are far from friendly. Whereas they may have sounded like a promise to those listening in the hall, Putin's comments were both a slap in the face and a threat to the Ukrainian government.
Prior to his speech, Putin had spoken for nearly an hour with Yanukovych in the presidential palace, leaving the Ukrainian president vexed. The talk would fundamentally change Russia's position towards Kiev. Previously, officials in Moscow hadn't believed that the association agreement with Brussels could actually come to pass. The general consensus in the Russian capital had been that the EU would insist on Tymoshenko's release and that Yanukovych would never push through all the uncomfortable reforms that Brussels had demanded.
But now, Putin realized that Yanukoych actually was considering signing the agreement.
Moscow, the Interfax News AgencyJuly 29, 2013, 9:24 a.m.
Two days later, the Kremlin-aligned news agency Interfax issued a news alert warning Russian consumers against consuming Ukrainian candies and chocolates. The article quoted Gennadiy Onishchenko, Russia's chief sanitary inspector at the time, who had just imposed a sales ban on candy by Variete, Montblanc pralines and Ukrainian milk chocolate because of alleged quality and safety problems. The sweets are made in factories that belonged to Petro Poroshenko (the oligarch and current Ukrainian president) and a television station he owned had been promoting Ukraine's pro-European policies. Shortly thereafter, Moscow imposed other measures in an escalation between Moscow and Kiev dubbed by the international media as the "chocolate war". Although the term may sound sweet, the realities were anything but nice.
By then, at the very latest, officials in Berlin should have realized that Putin was going to take off the kid gloves in the battle over Ukraine.
Berlin, the Office of the German Advisory GroupSept. 20, 2013
Berlin economists had been doing the calculations for two weeks and now they finally had the decisive figure that Yanukovych's government had been waiting for. Ricardo Giucci, the head of the German Advisory Group that monitors the reform process in Ukraine, already had several impatient emails from Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Serhiy Arbuzov's office when he finally hit the send button. His outgoing message included an 18-page report with the title "Impact assessment of a possible change in Russia's trade regime vis-a-vis Ukraine."
The question the report addressed is what it would cost Ukraine if Moscow were to cut its facilitation of trade with Kiev. The document included tables, bar charts and explanations about the customs union. In the end, though, only one thing interested politicians in Ukraine. On page two, under the heading "summary," the report states that "Ukrainian exports to Russia would decrease by 17 percent or $3 billion per year." It provided a solid figure, from Germany, telling the Ukrainian government what it would have a sacrifice for the sake of closer relations with the EU. Should not Kiev be compensated for such a sacrifice?
Washington, IMF HeadquartersOct. 14, 2013
David Lipton sat down in front of Arbuzov's delegation. He had carried the title of deputy managing director at the IMF since 2011 and served as Christine Lagarde's right-hand man. The Ukrainians who had traveled to Washington found him to be friendly, at least compared to the IMF economists sitting next to Lipton with their frozen smiles exhibiting nothing but contempt for the Ukrainians.
It was the second trip Arbuzov had made to Washington within a period of only two weeks. By then, it had become clear in eyes of the Ukrainians that there could only be an agreement with the EU if Ukraine were to be granted a multi-billion-dollar loan from the IMF.
On Oct. 3, during their first visit, they had sought American support to secure better conditions for a possible IMF loan. The IMF had named conditions during the spring that Kiev considered to be unacceptable. They included a provision that the subsidized price for natural gas be raised by 40 percent and for the Ukraine's currency, the hryvnia, to be devaluated by 25 percent. For Yanukovych, who would have to face re-election in 2015, those steps would have been political suicide. But the Ukrainians also had the impression the IMF was ready to negotiate, not least because Victoria Nuland, the US assistant secretary of state for European affairs, had given her assurances that Washington backed an IMF loan for Ukraine.
Now the Ukrainians had come to present their counterproposal to Lipton, a plan that contained far less than what the IMF had demanded. In terms of negotiations over the EU agreement, the situation was becoming tenuous.

Berlin, ChancelleryOct. 16, 2013
In Germany, though, nobody seemed to be aware of the situation. One month after German parliamentary elections, Merkel spoke on the phone with the Russian president for the first time in quite a while. Vladimir Putin congratulated her on her party's election victory and they agreed to hold a joint cabinet meeting as soon as possible -- a meeting that would never be held.
In addition, the chancellor communicated her concern to the Russian president "over the arrests of the crew of the Greenpeace boat held in Russia," as it says in a press release about the call. Ukraine wasn't mentioned in it.
Merkel did refer to the issue in the phone call, but when Putin refused to take the bait, she let it go. Merkel had no telephone contact with Yanukovych at all at the time.
Brussels, Office of the Enlargement CommissionerOct. 17, 2013
Ukraine was facing insolvency while, at the same time, Russia was busy heaping pressure on Kiev. Although Russian sanctions had long since indicated otherwise, Berlin and Brussels were not taking Ukrainian concerns, and the country's fear of Russia, seriously. The Ukrainians, they seemed to think, were simply interested in driving up the price for their ultimate signature.
Shortly after his visit to the IMF, Arbuzov headed for Brussels to present Enlargement Commissioner Füle with the numbers calculated by the German advisory group. He believed that the numbers spoke for themselves, but Füle didn't take them seriously. "Did you also request calculations," he asked smugly, "about what would happen to the Ukrainian economy in the case of a meteorite strike?"
Berlin, Foreign MinistryOct. 17, 2013
Ukraine's ambassador in Brussels, Konstantin Yeliseyev, embarked on a "special mission" through the EU to what the Ukrainians referred to among themselves as "the problematic capitals." Given the acute situation, he wanted to persuade the Europeans to abandon their demands for Tymoshenko's release.
Yeliseyev's tour took him to The Hague, Copenhagen, Rome, Madrid, Paris and London. But his final and most challenging stop was Berlin. First, Yeliseyev met with Merkel's foreign policy advisor Christoph Heusgen before heading to the Foreign Ministry for a meeting with State Secretary Emily Haber.
Haber in particular demonstrated little enthusiasm for a compromise. When the ambassador sought to explain the Ukrainian position, Haber interrupted him saying: "Your Excellency, we are familiar with all of your arguments," adding that it was not necessary to discuss them for as long as Tymoshenko remained behind bars. Yeliseyev pleaded with Haber to abandon her focus on Tymoshenko, but to no avail.
The closer the summit approached, the greater the EU pressure became on the Germans to cease focusing so much attention on the case of Yulia Tymoshenko. The Poles in particular insisted that the issue could not be allowed to torpedo the association agreement. Behind closed doors, President Bronisaw Komorowski said: "Never again do we want to have a common border with Russia." And Germany began to revisit its position as a result, but it was much too late.
Merkel has often been praised for her pragmatism, particularly when it comes to foreign policy. The chancellor's ability to reduce a political problem to its single soluble element and then to focus all her energies on that element is considered to be one of her great strengths. But her pragmatism reached its limits in this case. Focusing too intently on the trees blinds one to the forest -- and that proved to be Merkel's decisive error. As Berlin continued to focus its efforts on Tymoshenko, it failed to recognize the real danger: The Russian Federation's power play.
Moscow, Military AirportNov. 9, 2013
It doesn't happen often that Vladimir Putin attends a meeting at a site other than the Kremlin or his residence on the outskirts of Moscow. But on that Saturday evening in October, he unexpectedly agreed to a confidential tête-à-tête at the military airport not far from the Russian capital. His interlocutor? Viktor Yanukovych.
It was the second conversation between the two presidents within the space of just a few weeks, with the first having taken place on Oct. 27 in the Black Sea resort of Sochi.
Putin had nothing but disdain for Yanukovych, loathing the Ukrainian leader's constant wavering. In the past, he had often left Yanukovych waiting for hours like a supplicant and the Kremlin was convinced of Yanukovych's unreliability. Though the man from eastern Ukraine was much less pro-European than his successor, he had continued to stubbornly resist requests from Moscow.
Ever since Putin came to realize that Yanukovych was in fact considering signing the EU association agreement, he had been regularly sending Sergey Glazyev to Ukraine to lay out the possible Russian response. Glazyev, Putin's advisor on economic integration in the post-Soviet regions, had been born in Ukraine. But he dutifully issued Russian threats to eliminate benefits and spoke at length of the potentially negative consequences for Ukraine. "The association agreement is suicide for Ukraine," he said. In October, Glazyev visited Yanukovych three times, on one occasion bringing along a Russian translation of the thousand-page draft association agreement because the EU had only sent an English version of it to Kiev.
During Putin's meetings with Yanukovych in Sochi and Moscow, Putin promised subsidies and economic benefits worth around $12 billion annually, including discounted prices for oil and natural gas. Conversely, he also threatened to launch a trade war that would drive an already fragile Ukrainian economy to ruin. Experts in Brussels also believe that he may have told Yanukovych what Moscow knew about his dealings with the EU. In Russian, such information is known as "Kompromat," a word that comes out of KGB jargon and refers to compromising details known about a leading figure.
Following these meetings, Yanukovych's mood changed markedly. He became quieter and ceased holding the endless monologues for which he had become notorious. "Viktor, what's wrong," his Brussels partners would ask. But he evaded such questions, instead speaking in insinuations and innuendos. He proved unwilling to say much about the Russians.
Berlin, the Bundestag Federal ParliamentNov. 18, 2013
Ten days prior to her trip to Vilnius, Merkel delivered a government statement focused on the approaching summit. "The countries must decide themselves on their future direction," Merkel said, adding that she had "raised this issue many times" with Vladimir Putin. But reality looked different, with Kiev having long since ceased to be able to make decisions independently of Moscow. Merkel, though, continued to focus on the symbolism of Tymoshenko case and on "democracy, the rule of law and civil liberties."
Washington DC, IMF HeadquartersNov. 19, 2013
The IMF finally got around to composing a reply to Arbuzov, Ukraine's first deputy prime minister, in response to the Ukrainian proposal that Arbuzov had delivered a month earlier.
It was written by Reza Moghadam, a native of western Iran who had been with the IMF for 21 years. The director of IMF's European Department, Moghadam had plenty of experience with countries that believed they could engage in marketplace-style bartering with the IMF.
"Dear Mr. Arbuzov," Moghadam wrote with barely disguised condescension, "thank you for sharing with us the Ukrainian authorities' latest proposals for policies that could be supported by a possible Stand-By Arrangement with the IMF." The fund, he wrote dismissively, was pleased that the Ukrainian government had recognized the need for a change in course. But Moghadam required just a single sentence to dismantle Kiev's counterproposal. "In our view, overall the proposals still fall short of the decisive and comprehensive policy turnaround that is needed to reduce Ukraine's macroeconomic imbalances," he wrote.
Kiev, Presidential PalaceNov. 19, 2013
At Barroso's behest, Füle traveled to Kiev once again to meet with Yanukovych -- and the Ukrainian president got straight to the point.

In talks with Putin, Yanukovych told Füle, the Russian president explained just how deeply the Russian and Ukrainian economies are interconnected. "I was really surprised to learn about it," Yanukovych said.

Füle couldn't believe what he was being told. "But Mr. President, you have been governor, you have been prime minister, you have been president for a number of years now. Certainly you are the last person who needs to be told about the level of cooperation, interconnection and interdependence of the Ukrainian and Russian economies. Needless to say, the association agreement does not have any negative impact on that," Füle said.

"But there are the costs that our experts have calculated," Yanukovych replied. "What experts?" Füle demanded to know.

The Ukrainian president described to his bewildered guest the size of the losses allegedly threatening Ukraine should it sign the agreement with the EU.

Later, the number $160 billion found its way into the press, more than 50 times greater than the $3 billion calculated by the German advisory group. 
The total came from a study conducted by the Institute for Economics and Forecasting at the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine and it was a number that Yanukovych would refer to from then on.

"Stefan, if we sign, will you help us?" Yanukovych asked. Füle was speechless. "Sorry, we aren't the IMF. 
Where do these numbers come from?" he finally demanded. "I am hearing them for the first time." They are secret numbers, Yanukovych replied. "Can you imagine what would happen if our people were to learn of these numbers, were they to find out what convergence with the EU would cost our country?"

Brussels, Residence of the Ukrainian Ambassador to the EU Nov. 19, 2013, 10:15 p.m.

Konstantin Yeliseyev withdrew to his residence to watch Ukraine play France in the second leg of their qualifying battle for the World Cup in Brazil. Ukraine had won the first leg 2:0 in Kiev and now it was Paris' turn to host. It was the 75th minute, just after France had scored to go up 3:0, when Yeliseyev's mobile phone rang. An enraged Füle was on the line, having just left his meeting with Yanukovych. "Listen," he said to Yeliseyev, "I now have the feeling that you aren't going to sign the association agreement in Vilnius."
Paris, Stade de France, VIP SeatsNov. 19, 2013, 10:45 p.m.
The game had come to end with a French victory, meaning Ukraine would not be heading to Brazil. Pinchuk, the Ukrainian oligarch, was standing in the VIP section of the stadium not far from French President François Hollande when his telephone rang. It was Aleksander Kwasniewski, the former president of Poland. Kwasniewski had also just come from a meeting with Yanukovych in Kiev's presidential palace and he too was furious. "He tricked us!" Kwasniewski shouted into the phone. "Yanukovych isn't going to sign. He is a swindler, a notorious liar!"
Kiev, Deputy Prime Minister's ResidenceNov. 20, 2013
Deputy Prime Minister Arbuzov and his advisors were examining the letter from the IMF, unaware for the moment that negotiations were headed toward failure. Inside the government in Kiev, Arbuzov had spent months promoting Europe against the pro-Russian faction surrounding Prime Minister Mykola Azarov and now he looked like a fool. Every sentence he read sounded like a personal indignity. The IMF European Department director hadn't even addressed Ukraine's deputy prime minister with his correct title. Arbuzov was fully aware that his opponents would jump all over him at the next cabinet meeting.
Kiev, On the Way To the AirportNov. 21, 2013
Yanukovych was on the way to the government terminal of Kiev's Boryspil International Airport ahead of a state visit to Vienna when he finally found the time to deal with legal ordinance Nr. 905-r. The ordinance contained instructions to his government to cease working towards the association agreement with the EU for "reasons of Ukrainian national security." Andriy Klyuyev, secretary of Ukraine's national security council, was sitting next to him in the government Mercedes.
Yanukovych undertook a few minor changes to the ordinance focused on his wish to establish a trilateral commission made up of representatives from Ukraine, Russia and the EU to determine the economic damages an EU association agreement might cause. At the airport, he handed the document to Klyuyev, ordering him to hurry back to the cabinet to change the day's agenda. It would spell the end of the negotiations aimed at signing an EU association agreement in Vilnius. It would be the final rebuff of the EU.
Vienna, Presidential Suite in Hotel SacherNov. 21, 2013, 7:30 p.m.
Yanukovych was sitting at a Rococo table waiting for the glasses to be filled. "Mr. President," Yanukovych said, "I am grateful that you took the time. I didn't want to tell you about what happened today in passing."
The president he was speaking to was Heinz Fischer, Austria's head of state. Fischer was still reeling from an incident that had taken place a few hours earlier, when the two were sitting across from one another at lunch in the Hofburg, the president's official residence and one-time home of Austro-Hungarian royalty. They had just been served coffee with their dessert when each was simultaneously handed a slip of paper by their aides. Fischer's slip read: "Ukraine stops preparations for agreement with the EU." It was a news alert from the Austrian news agency APA.
Fischer was genuinely flabbergasted; the news invalidated everything they had been discussing up to that point. He leaned over to Yanukovych and said: "Now I really don't know what is going on anymore. Has this happened with your knowledge?"
"It was an unavoidable decision," Yanukovych said later that evening in the Sacher Hotel. The two of them were now alone with an interpreter in the best suite that the Austrian president's office had been able to book that afternoon on such short notice. It was a last, desperate effort to establish a sense of proximity that had long since vanished.
"Please understand me. I simply can't sign it now," Yanukovych said. "I had to urgently turn towards Moscow, but I want to keep the doors to Europe open. Please don't see this as a rejection of Europe."
The two presidents spoke until just before midnight, with Yanukovych doing most of the talking in the over four-hour-long meeting. An official notice on the meeting compiled later by Fischer's office mentioned the verbose explanations offered by Yanukovych: "His remarks were repeatedly complemented or interrupted by very long and elaborate comments on the historical and political developments of the last 20 years," the note read.
Vilnius, European Union RepresentationNov. 28, 2013, Midday
For a brief moment, Serhiy Arbuzov thought there might still be hope. Yanukovych's negotiator had headed to Lithuania's EU representation to launch one last attempt to reach agreement with Füle and his aides. "Today, we are going to make a bold chess move," one of Füle's people said, refusing to elaborate. Were the Europeans going to offer Ukraine financial assistance after all?
Vilnius, Kempinski HotelNov. 28, 2013, 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
They were all waiting for Yanukovych. It was the last chance they had to meet with the Ukrainian president to try and convince him to sign the agreement despite all that had happened. Though it was essentially a hopeless attempt, Barroso and European Council President Van Rompuy had resolved to try the impossible. Van Rompuy had brought two copies of the association agreement with him to Vilnius, ready to be signed.
After a few minutes, Yanukovych showed up with his interpreter, the Ukrainian ambassador to the EU and a handful of aides. That was unusual; in the past, Yanukovych had always conducted the most important talks on his own. The greeting was brief and the roles were reversed. This time around it was the EU that wanted something: Yanukovych's signature.
Barroso was visibly nervous. Ukraine's economy, he said, would profit considerably in the long term from closer ties with the EU. "Poland and Ukraine had roughly the same gross domestic product when the Berlin Wall fell. Now, Poland's is roughly three times as large," he said. And then came the "bold chess move" that had previously been hinted at. Barroso said that Brussels would be willing to abandon its demand that Tymoshenko be released.
Yanukovych was dumbfounded. Didn't Brussels understand that other issues had long since become more important? The talks became heated and Van Rompuy, not exactly known for his quick temper, lost his cool. "You are acting short-sightedly," he growled at Yanukovych. "Ukraine has been negotiating for seven years because it thought that it was advantageous. Why should that no longer be the case?"
Outside, the reception for the heads of state and government had long since gotten underway and EU negotiators understood that Yanukovych could no longer be budged. After two hours, Barroso said: "We have to go." He and Van Rompuy briefly shook Yanukovych's hand and shut the door behind them.

When the German delegation, under Merkel's leadership, met with Yanukovych the next morning for one final meeting, everything had already been decided. They exchanged their well-known positions one last time, but the meeting was nothing more than a farce. In one of the most important questions facing European foreign policy, Germany had failed.
But Putin, too, had miscalculated. That same night, thousands of demonstrators collected on the Maidan (Independence Square) in Kiev. Three months later, Yanukovych would be forced to flee the country and Putin would annex the Crimean Peninsula. Thus far, the conflict has claimed the lives of 4,000 people and eastern Ukraine remains gripped by war.
In his speech in Berlin last December marking the beginning of his term as foreign minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier said: "We should ask ourselves ... whether we have overlooked the fact that it is too much for this country to have to choose between Europe and Russia." Füle is likewise convinced that the EU confronted Ukraine with an impossible choice. "We were actually telling Ukraine …: 'You know guys, sorry for your geographic location, but you cannot go east and you cannot go west,'" he says.
More than anything, though, the Europeans underestimated Moscow and its determination to prevent a clear bond between Ukraine and the West. They either failed to take Russian concerns and Ukrainian warnings seriously or they ignored them altogether because they didn't fit into their own worldview. Berlin pursued a principles-driven foreign policy that made it a virtual taboo to speak with Russia about Ukraine. "Our ambitious and consensual policy of the eastern partnership has not been followed with ambitious and consensual policy on Russia," Füle says. "We were unable to find and agree on an appropriate engagement policy towards Russia."
Russia and Europe talked past each other and misunderstood one another. It was a clash of two different foreign policy cultures: A Western approach that focused on treaties and the precise wording of the paragraphs therein; and the Eastern approach in which status and symbols are more important.
Four months after the Vilnius summit, the political portion of the association agreement between Brussels and Kiev was finally signed with the economic section following three months after that. But the price Ukraine paid for the delay has been enormous. And this time, Russia has a voice in the matter. There are 2,370 questions that must be resolved with Moscow before the agreement can come into force. It will almost certainly take years -- and it is the last joint issue about which Moscow and the EU are still speaking.
By Christiane Hoffmann, Marc Hujer, Ralf Neukirch, Matthias Schepp, Gregor Peter Schmitz and Christoph Schult

413 Over Rusland en de toekomst van onze kinderen

Dit is een korte blog over de huidige situatie.

Amerika heeft een sterk leger en kan daarmee heel wat landen haar wil opleggen.
Ik zou daar 40 jaar geleden niet eens zo veel bezwaar tegen hebben gehad.
Rusland was het land van de onvrijheid, van de gulags en de kleurloze woonblokken.
Vergelijk dat eens met Amerika! Muziek, kleur, vrijheid.
Nee, laat Amerika alsjeblief die boze Russen tegenhouden, zo dacht ik in 1970 als 20 jarige.

Wat ik toen nog niet wist, omdat onze geschiedenis dat nu eenmaal verzwijgt, dat is dat we in feite niet bevrijd zijn van Hitler door de Amerikanen, maar door de Russen.
De Russen hadden vier jaar lang op de Duitsers ingebeukt en zo 80% van Hitlers legger verslagen.
Het kostte ze wel 27 miljoen doden.
Ons is altijd gezegd dat Rusland de Oost Europese landen als Polen, Hongarije en Tsjechoslowakije had bezet. Een bewijs van hun boosaardigheid!
Maar nu blijkt dat ze in Rusland al die Westerse veroveraars gewoon beu waren, en in ruil voor onze bevrijding van Hitler, die Oost-Europese landen als een buffer eisten.
De onvrijheid van Polen en Hongarije was dus niet een gevolg van Russische boosaardigheid, maar van de agressie van West Europese landen die steeds Moskou wilden veroveren.

Dat alles heb ik de laatste jaren geleerd, en het werpt toch een heel ander beeld op Rusland.
Daar komen nog tal van zaken bij, zoals het feit dat de Russische Revolutie, waar vooral het Russische volk het grote slachtoffer van is geworden, een boos plan was van  Westerse landen.
En het inzicht dat al die Russische agressie, waar we zo vaak over horen (Hingarije 1956, Praag 1966, Afghanistan 1979, Chechenië, Ossetië 2008, Ukraïne ) altijd werd uitgelokt door Amerika, en àltijd alleen tot doel had om te behouden wat men had en om etnische Russische bewoners te beschermen. ( Als U als lezer dit niet met me eens bent, vraag me dan aub om uitleg, in de commentaar sectie)

Zeker in de laatste jaren, sinds ik in 2008 begon om over de crisis te lezen en allerlei bronnen ontdekte op het internet,  is mij duidelijk geworden dat de wereld eigenlijk 180 graden is gedraaid:
ik ben niet langer bang voor Rusland, maar wèl voor Amerika.
Begrijp me goed: Ik zou niet graag in het Rusland van 1917-1989 geleefd hebben. Wel in het Amerika van die periode.
Maar ik heb grote angst voor een toekomst onder Amerikaans regime, terwijl ik in een toekomst onder Putin veel meer vertrouwen heb.

Waarom? Wat is er veranderd?
De Neocons hebben de macht overgenomen in Amerika, dat is wat er is veranderd.
Wie de Neocons zijn, dat moet U zelf maar achterhalen.
Maar het zijn geestverwanten van diegenen die  Rusland zo onmenselijk maakten in de jaren tot 1939.  Het zijn geestverwanten van de lieden die dit aanrichten.
Het zijn nazaten van de mensen die het Arendar systeem in Polen en Ukraïne in de middeleeuwen zo produktief maar ook zo barbaars maakten.

De verschrikkingen die zich in Gaza, Irak, Libië, Syrië en Ukraïne afspelen zijn allemaal veroorzaakt door de geestverwanten van deze Neocons. Het is hun idee. Het is, zo ben ik bang: onze toekomst.

Er is iets vreselijk mis met deze mensen. Ze haten de mensheid, zegt Yossi Gurvitz.  Hij moet wel gelijk hebben. Maar ik vrees dat het niet alleen komt door hun religie, door wat ze hebben aangeleerd uit hun boeken, maar dat het nu een genetische eigenschap is geworden.  De meest hardvochtigen zijn vaak niet eens religieus.  Maar fanatiek zijn ze des te meer. Het zijn fanatici op zoek naar een 'doel'.
Ik weet waarover ik praat, want ik beschik over dezelfde eigenschap, en deels dezelfde historie, vermoed ik. Maar ik probeer dat fanatisme in dienst van alle volken te stellen, ongeacht hun etniciteit.

Maar hoe weet ik nu dat deze ene groep de kern van het probleem vormt?
Ik weet dit, omdat de Media alles onbesproken laten, en het toeval wil dat die groep ook de Media controleert.
Is er hoop?  
Niet zo veel, vrees ik. Ze hebben altijd nog de Samson optie, waarmee ze ons allen kunnen meenemen in de dood, als hun nederlaag in zicht zou komen.

Tot zover deze korte beschrijving van mijn huidige kijk op de zaak.

Friday, November 28, 2014

412 Vragen over Rusland aan een econoom: Mikhail Khazin

Mikhail Khazin was niet bekend bij mij, maar hij is een bekend Russisch econoom.

Hij schreef een boek in 2003  “Het eind van het Dollar-Rijk en het eind van de Amerikaanse overheersing."
Daar voorspelt hij min of meer de crisis van 2008, en dat zal zeker bijdragen aan zijn populariteit. 

Lezers van The Saker mochten vragen insturen, en die zijn nu door Khazin beantwoord. 

Hieronder de Engelstalige tekst, met daar tussenin de Nederlandse vertaling. 

(In het begin werkte ik anders, meer samenvattend en gaf ik ook wat uitleg bij het moeilijke onderdeel over geld. Maar na enkele pagina's heb ik alles volledig vertaald.) 

HIER is de originele tekst, met engelstalige inleiding door The Saker. 

Dit zijn de zaken die aan de orde komen:

Banken, CB.
Goud en goud als geld.
De Roebel, valuta, geld.
Handel:  de Euraziatische Unie. de Europese Unie. 
SWIFT betalingen 
Geopolitiek en relaties met het buitenland. 
Rusland en haar relaties met BRICS landen, en met Opkomende Landen. 

*****Mikhail Khazin Q&A with the Saker Community*****

Central Bank, Banking


Pertaining to the Russian Central Bank. Who owns it and who controls it and who profits from it?  Do foreign interests have a role to play within it and the bank's ability to inject liquidity into the Russian economy? Can the Russian government instruct the Russian central bank in policy decisions? Can they create an alternative to western based financial institutions like SWIFT, Visa etc. to a system based on rubles?

How is Russia’s national money supply structured presently and Why is the Russian Central Bank still depending on accumulation of US dollars before issuing Ruble’s and if this policy will change in the future, how will that affect financing of the Russian national economy from domestic sources like from Sberbank instead of relying on foreign investment?

Questions came from: T1, Princeton NJ   ,Malcolm DonaldJames, CanadaVic, Northern Ireland , Roxz, Sweden, Colin McKay Australia

Wie is eigenaar van de Centrale bank, wie controleert die, wie profiteert er van.
Zijn er buitenlandse ‘entiteiten’ die er belangen in hebben?
Kan de regering zijn wil opleggen aan de CB?
Kan men in Rusland een alternatief voor SWIFT, Visa etc creeren?
Hoe werkt de geld-creatie in Rusland? Waarom moet de CB  nog steeds $$ in bezit hebben om dan pas roebels te kunnen creeren?  Als dat niet meer nodig zal zijn in de toekomst, wat zijn dan de mogelijkheden om lokale banken als Sherbank de Russische economie te laten financieren?


There is a law that states that the Central Bank is independent of the government. Theoretically, the Central Bank has the right to set its own monetary and money creation policy. However, there are two limitations. The first is the IMF policy. Since the Russian Federation signed an agreement with this organization, the Central Bank sees itself as the main instrument for the implementation of the agreement. Of course, it is largely determined by personalities - while the head of the Central Bank, Gerashchenko, was indeed a distinguished banker and statesman, the Central Bank's policy was relatively independent of external sources; with Ignatiev and Nabiullina the situation has changed and the latter leaders try not to argue with the IMF.
De  CB is bij wet onafhankelijk van de regering.  In theorie mag de CB zijn eigen beleid bepalen, en zelf geld creeren.  Maar : Rusland is’lid’ van het IMF, en moet naar het IMF luisteren. Haar opdrachten uitvoeren.  Maar het hangt ook af wie de baas is bij de CB.  Gerachenko was behoorlijk eigenzinnig. Nu zijn Ignatiev en Nabiullina de baas, en ze doen veel meer wat het IMF vraagt.

The second limitation is the National Banking Council, which includes several representatives from the President Office, government and Parliament. A longstanding Russian Finance Minister, Alexei Kudrin, who is not only a personal friend of President Putin but is also close to the IMF Russian expert, played a key role on the Council until recently.

Today, the situation is gradually beginning to change. It is already clear that the old policy of the Central Bank (that reflects the vision of the IMF in its most orthodox form) does not produce the desired effect and there is a growing criticism in the country of the policy of the Central Bank and the government. However, so far, the leadership of the Central Bank is withstanding this public criticism and does not intend to change its policy. At the same time, the government keeps pressure on the Central Bank to achieve specific results for itself. In particular, the devaluation of the ruble in the last two months is largely due to the fact that the government has too optimistically promised economic growth, which is clearly not there. An attempt was made to stimulate it with the Central Bank agreeing to go against its core mandate, which requires ensuring stability of the national currency’
Dan is er nog een groepje hoge Pieten die invloed heeft op de CB: de Nat. Bank-Raad. Met leden die bijvoorbeeld dichyt bij Putin staan, of dicht bij het IMF.
Maar de CB komt onder invloed van veel kritiek.  Wat het IMF wil leidt niet tot een beter Rusland.  Ook zet de regering druk op het CB om haar wensen uit te voeren. 
Zo is de devaluatie van de roenel in de laatste maanden en gevolg van een te optimistische verwachting van de regering.  De regering wilde de economie versterken, en dat gaf inflatie.  maar de CB  heeft juist als taak die inflatie in toom te houden.

The Central Bank’s investment policy is similarly pulled by the opposing forces of IMF rules and the country’s economic needs. During Gerashchenko’s tenure, the Central Bank was actively increasing domestic capital (from late 1998 until 2003, the money stock M2 increased approximately 10-fold relative to GDP, from 4% to 40%, and about 15 times in absolute terms). The post-Gerashchenko Central Bank has been pursuing a strict policy of keeping the ruble from becoming an independent investment vehicle (in compliance with the principles of the Bretton Woods system, in which the dollar should be the only investment source). It has become clear today that there won’t be foreign investment in Russia at a significant scale and therefore it is necessary to stimulate the ruble investment process. However, the current leadership of the Central Bank refuses to take any steps in this direction. Thus there is a reason to believe that the management of the Central Bank will change in the medium term.
De investerings beleid van de CB zit ook tussen twee vuren:  het IMF enerzijds en de Regering anderzijds. Gerashenko verhoogde de geldhoeveelheid
( 1998-2003: M2 vertienvoudigde in relatie tot het GDP  : van 4% naar 40%.)

Schuin gedrukt: een beetje uitleg en toelichting dor de vertaler. Uit het blote hoofd. Ik denk niet dat alles juist is wat ik hier zeg, maar voor de niet-ingeweiden kan het toch een beeld geven van hoe alles werkt.
( M2= cash geld zoals bankbiljetten en munten plus alles  wat op de bank staat: giraal geld.  ) Na Gerashenko heeft men zich meer aan de afspraak van Bretton Woods gehouden ( in 1944, afspraken over geldsysteem na WO2)
In dat systeem is de $ de basis-waarde. Een land moet een onderpand van $$ hebben, om naar ratio daarvan eigen geld in omloop te kunnen brengen. ( Meen ik. Nvdr) Andersa drukken te veel landen te veel geld, en heb je overal enorme inflatie. Daarom zijn Centrale Bankiers in veel landen ook geheel vrij om ter doen wat ze willen:  zouden ze dat niet zijn, dan zouden regeringsleiders  hen onder druk zetten om geld te drukken. Zo is het verhaal.  Voorbeeld is dan steeds; Weimar DL.  Maar volgens deskundigen was die giga inflatie een gevolg van speculatie door Wall Street. Zie Scahct. Ellen Brown. Liu? )
Nu is wel duidelijk dat er helemaal geen buitenlandse investeerder naar Rusland zullen komen.  We moeten dus zorgen dat er roebels gemaakt worden om voor investeringen te dienen in ons land. Maar de CB hebben daar nu nog weerstand tegen.

Gold, Gold currency


Distinguished Western economists have pointed out that for years naked gold short selling through manipulation of paper contracts have been used to prop up the United States Dollar and Western allied-currencies against the threat of greater depreciation versus gold. Can Russia and China break the West's gold shorting scam?

Would this be an effective way for Russia to retaliate against the Western-Saudi economic warfare that is driving down the ruble and oil price?

In particular, is there any serious likelihood Russia and China could coordinate to take delivery of large quantities of physical gold at the newly opened Shanghai Gold Exchange in order to create an arbitrage between the fake, naked short created paper gold price on the COMEX London market and in Shanghai, resulting in the end of the COMEX as a serious vehicle for gold price discovery that the central bankers can manipulate? (In other words, breaking the West's quasi-monopoly on 'price discovery' in the precious metals market, of which Russia and China are the world-leading producers).
Volgens Westerse deskundigen wordt al jaren goud verkocht (niet fysiek overgedrage, wel ‘eigendomsbewijzen’) dat niet echt bestaat. Dat de verkoper zelfs niet in bezit heeft. Zelfs niet tijdelijk leent. Dat heet: naakt short selling.
Hiermee houdt men de $ en de € hoog ten opzichte van goud. ( Als er veel goud op de markt komt blijft de prijs laag.)  Kunnen Ru en China dit bedrog doen ophouden?  Is dat een mooie wraak op de VS-Saudie aanval op de olieprijs?
Nu zijn Ru en Ch de grootste producenten van goud en edelmetalen.  Maar het Westen bepalt de prijs, en houd die kunstmatig laag.   Kunnen Ru en Ch niet overgaan tot het aanbieden van fysiek goud op de Goud beurs in Shanghai? ( Of wil men daar  op die beurs fysiek goud opvragen voor die papieren bewijzen?) En zo het bedrog van de Londense goudbeurs ( Comex) bloot leggen en die beurs kapot maken. Dan heeft het Westen niet meer de controle over de wereld-goudprijs.

For many years gold analysts like Dr. Jim Willie and 'King World News' have suggested Russia and China have been willing to tolerate the Western manipulation of gold because this has created a fantastic buying opportunity for Russia and China to stockpile the strategic metals at a huge discount. But with the COMEX price being below the Russian if not Chinese mining cost of production at what point do Moscow and Beijing defend their long term gold mining interests (e.g., Magadan miners in Russian Far East) and corporations from predatory undercutting?

Does the Moscow economic elite see the gold price as an Anglo-American weak spot, to hit back at the West for trying to drag down the ruble and the oil price?

What chances are there of the BRICS nations using a debt-free or gold-backed money system?

Will gold replace the USD as the world reserve asset and unit of settlement for international trade?
Goud deskundigen zeggen wel eens dat die lage goudprijs voor Ru en Ch goed uit kwam, want zo konden ze goedkoop veel goud kopen.  Maar als de goudprijs lager is dan de kosten om het goud uit de mijnen in Rusland en China te delven,  kan dit dan die goudmijnen nietkapot maken?
Wat zijn de kansen dat de BRICS een schuld-vrije en door  goud gedekte munt gaan creeren? Gaat goud de $ vervangen als betaaalmiddel om internationale schulden te voldoen?

James, USACorto, NetherlandsMcbuffalo, ArizonaNotRelevant, The NetherlandsJames Bond, Australiabob kay


It had been clear to many economists for a long time that the role of gold in the world will grow and, most likely, will return to its position as a single measure of value. In particular, we wrote about the current crisis back in 2004 in our book "The decline of the dollar Empire and the end of the ‘Pax Americana’.” There's a whole Chapter devoted to the role of gold and its manipulation. However, Russian economic leaders close to the IMF ignored this position at the time. This only began to change in the last couple of years. China has been serious about gold for almost the entire last decade and is now actively preparing for a potential transition to a "gold standard," at least in economic relations between the so-called "currency zones," which, in our opinion, will emerge after the single world dollar system falls apart. 
Veel economen zeggen al lang dat goud weer belangrijk zal worden, en weer als enige het internationale betaalmiddel zal worden. In mijn boek ( Zie boven) uit 2004 schreef ik over de rol van goud en de manipulaties. Recent is er meer aandacht voor goud.  China is al een decennium ‘met goud bezig’ en bereid zich voor om over te gaan op een ‘goud standaard’, toch in elk geval bij de handel met andere geld-zones, die zullen ontstaan zodra de $  niet langer het enige wereldwijde betaalmiddel is. 

But Russia and China cannot stop these manipulations, because the price of paper gold is determined on the speculative dollar markets. They can’t provide "leverage" that would be comparable to that of major U.S. banks that have access to an unlimited issuing resource. The only thing they can do is increase the gap between the price of "paper" and "physical" gold by constantly buying the latter on the world markets. Of course, this increases the instability in the global gold market and creates potential losses for the main "gold dealers" who work with the Federal Reserve on leasing programs, but the degree of imbalances has not reached a critical value yet. It seems to me that the sharp rise in gold prices will start after the burst of the next "bubble" in the US stock market.

With regard to the potential price of gold, as I wrote back in the early 2000's, it is determined by a “fork,” the lower limit of which is the gold price in 1980, when it had its local peak after the dollar was decoupled from gold (USA default) in August 1971, and the upper limit of which is the purchasing power of the dollar in the early twentieth century, when gold was actual money. Today this “fork” (in current dollars) is seen somewhere at the level of $ 4,500 - $ 15,000 per Troy ounce.
Maar Rusland en China kunnen de manipulaties ( op de Comex in Londen) niet doen ophouden.  De grote Westerse banken hebben enorme overmacht om spelletjes te spelen.  Rusland en China kunnen alleen veel fysiek goud kopen om zo het verschil met papieren goud groter te maken. Grote goud handelaren ‘huren’ goud van de FED.  Maar de zaak is nog niet ingestort. Ik denk dat dit wel kan gebeuren als er weer een flinke crisis komt: als de volgende aandelen-bubble barst  op Wall Street.
Wat de waarde van goud is?  Die beweegt zich tussen die van 1971, toen de dollar werd losgemaat van goud. Dat was de laagste niveau.  Het  meeste waarde hgad de dollar voor WO1, begin 20ste eeuw dus.  Omgerekend naar huidige dollars is dat tussen de 4500 $ en 15000 $ per ounce , per 31 gram.
( Momenteel:  3600 € tot 12000 € per ounce. NB Dat zou voor de laagste prijs per kilo uitkomen op 115.000 € en voor de hoogste op 384.000 €  want 1 troy ounce is 31 gram  en de $ staat op 80 eurocent. Hier klopt niks van, want de goudprijs zit ronde de 35000 tot 40.000 euro per kilo als ik het goed heb.  Ik kan dit dus niet goed vertalen.)


American industry is currently oriented chiefly towards weapons production. What danger do you see for Russian industrialization to take the same precipitous path?

It will be interesting to see if Russia can solve this modern riddle of the Sphinx: how to fold the economic surplus back into the economy, while the oligarchs are doing everything in their power to prevent such a thing. What safeguards Russia may have against the aggrandizement of power corporate entities, especially militarily oriented ones, as has been achieved in the USA?

Who are the groups participating in the discussions to promote the development of Russia industrially and culturally, is it the RAS, Valdai Club, think-tanks, etc? What are the main elements being considered for the proposal? Are foreigners somewhat allowed to participate at some point in the proposal?
 De Amerikaanse industrie is tegenwoordig sterk op wapens gericht. Is er gevaar dat Rusland hetzelfde gevaarlijke pad in slaat?  Hoe kan Rusland de winsten uit zijn industrie weer laten investeren in haar industrie, terwijl de oligarchen het geld naar het buitenland willen sluizen? Kan Rusland iets doen om niet ook een Militair-Industrieel Complex te krijgen, zoals nu in de VS het geval is? Welke denk-tank achtige groepen zijn er in Rusland die nu over haar toekomst nadenken?  Wat vindenn ze belangrijk? Doen er ook buitenlanders mee?

Canada shares important features of Russia’s new economy such as growing dependence on resource extraction. Both countries are becoming petro-states, more or less rapidly. My question concerns the extent of de-industrialization in Russia. Is it fair to say that industrial development is now geared to servicing the extraction industries and to what extent is this a trend or not?

After the savage destruction of Novorossiya by the ATO an investment in the hundreds of millions, if not billions, will be required just to get the region back to where they were before they were attacked. On top of the money required for infrastructure, when separation occurs, Novorossiya will be billed, with some justification, their portion of the national debt. Where will the money come from? What role do you think Russia should play in the financing of the rebuild?
Cnada en Rusland lijken wel op elkaar:  de olie-inkomsten zijn belangrijk.  Verdwijnt de industrie uit Rusland>  Blijft alleen nog de olie-gerelateerde induistrie over?
Om Donbass weer op te bouwen zal zeer veel geld nodig zijn. Wie zal Donbass geld lenen?  Rusland?

juliania New Mexico, USA12 chair fan  from PatagoniaDa Ric Edmonton, Alberta, Canada,


The situation with industry in the US in the past couple of years has somewhat improved. There are two reasons: changing energy prices in the US (and here we must say good words for the Obama administration), and the rising cost of production in China. However, the main factor for long-term growth - private demand – is in decline. This suggests that growth in the US does not even have a medium-term prospect. The drop in private demand is the main impact of the economic crisis, which has continued since 2008. Nothing can be done here, because the main mechanism of its stimulation - the refinancing of private debt in an environment of a decline in the cost of credit - is no longer working. Recall that the discount rate of the US Federal Reserve, which was 19% at the beginning of the “Reaganomics” policy (the main tool of which was increasing lending to households), declined almost to zero by December 2008. It’s impossible to raise the rate now, because it will bring down the whole pyramid of debt around the world. 
In de VS gaat het iets beter met de industrie: omdat de energie goedkoper is. En omdat de kosten in China zijn gestegen.  Echter: het belangrijkste voor lange-termijn-groei is de Vraag Van De Koper, en die vraag neemt af. Dit is vooral het gevolg van de 2008 crisis. Hier is niks tegen te doen. Het systeem om die vraag te vergroten was: het oversluiten van leningen tegen een steeds lagere rente. Zo kreeg de consument steeds weer geld om te besteden. Dat lukt niet meer. Maar lager dan 0% rente kun je nioet gaan. ( Italics: vertaling onzeker) Ter herinnering: In de tijd van Reagan was de rente 19% ! Je kunt nu de rente niet meer verhogen, want er is zoveel geleend in de hele wereld: dan kan niemand de rente nog voldoen en stort het kaartenhuis in.
Today US households consume every year about $3 trillion more than they earn. The situation in the EU is not much better. This means that aggregate demand in the world will be sharply decreasing. In other words, continuing to keep the trading and financial infrastructure of a global system of division of labor won’t be cost-effective. The world will most likely return to regional systems of division of labor. Each such system will have to provide domestic production of basic consumer and investment goods. The territory of their self-sufficiency will be regional, with high enough inter-zonal trade barriers. In this scenario the WTO has no prospects.
Nu consumeren de VS huishoudens elk jaar 3 trillion $ meer dan ze verdienen ( 10.000 $ per gezin)  Idem in de EU. Dat kan niet altijd zo doorgaan, dus weten we dat de totale vraag in de wereld in toekomst  sterk zal afnemen. { Maar de vraag in China, India etc. zal toch erg toenemen??} Nu is er een arbeids-specialisatie over de hele wereld: Cina produceert heel veel goederen. Maar bij flink afnemende vraag zaldat niet efficiënt meer zijn.  Vermoedelijk gaan we weer naar regionaal-produceren.  { Door de robotisering zien we dit al gebeuren. BMW maakt zijn nieuwe electrische auto bijna geheel met robots. NB: wel in China! Zie:  Mogelijk dat kleine goederen ‘geprint worden. Maar die regionalisering is danniet het gevolg van minder vraag..
Regio’s van gebieden of landen zullen self-supporting worden. Tarief-muren zullen als bescherming dienen.  De WTO ( World Trade Organisation) heeft dan geen functie meer.

An investment source for creating (or restoring) the relevant industry will be the issue of regional currencies (in our 2004 book these regional systems of division of labour are called “currency zones”). In this sense, Canada is very different from Russia. Russia, most likely, will be one of the leaders of the “Eurasian” currency zone and will actively participate in the development strategy of the division of labor and emissions in the zone. Canada will be a part of the “dollar” zone with its strategy prescribed by Washington. So if our description of the development strategy in the short-term is true, then Russia and the US will restore their industrial production. In the US, due to a significant fall in demand and the loss of many foreign markets, it will be much easier to do this. Canada, however, will remain a “resource extraction” economy.
In een Regio kan men een munt creeren, waarmee mende industrie kan financiere.  Zo zal Canada bijvoorbeeld in de Amerikaanse munt-zone zitten, en ook onder regie van de VS vallen. Rusland zal deel uitmaken van een EurAsia zone.  Als onze voorspellingen kloppen, dan zullen de VS en Rusland weer industriële  producten gaan maken. In de VS is dat als gevolg van enorme vraag uitval en verlies van veel buitenlandse afzetmarkten, en daar is het gemakkelijker om weer te gaan produceren dan in Rusland.  Maar Canada zal vooral een grondstoffen producent blijven.

In general, how the “currency zones” will be configured after a sharp reduction in the global aggregate demand is a very interesting question. In particular, I did not believe the independence referendum in Scotland would result in separation from the UK. However, if the elite of Britain decided to enter the dollar currency zone, then Scotland would almost certainly separate because it is obviously attracted to continental Europe. Canada can see the intrigue with the separation of Quebec revived and its subsequent accession to the renewed EU. But I repeat, all these issues will become relevant only after the sharp fall in aggregate demand.
Het wordt interessant om te zien hoe die munt-zones zich zullen ontwikkelen.  Toen er in Schotland werd gestemd over onafhankelijkheid, dacht ik niet dat ze zich zouden afscheiden.  Maar als de Elite in de UK zou besluiten om zich qua munt bij de VS aan te sluiten ipv bij Europa, dan zal Schotlan zich zeker afscheiden om zich  dan aan te sluiten bij Europa.  Maar dit alles zal pas gebeuren als er enorme vraag-uitval zal zijn.  

It seems to me that Novorossiya (and Ukraine, like many other countries in Eastern Europe, after the configuration change of the European Union), will be restored using the ruble as the issuing resource. The ruble may remain the national currency of Russia or become, perhaps under a slightly different name, the Eurasian Economic Union currency, which theoretically can include (out of major countries) Turkey, Japan, and United Korea. The last two countries, which are highly oriented towards external markets, will have no other options for regional economic cooperation after the U.S. returns to a policy of isolationism, without which they will not be able to recover their economies.
Het lijkt mij dat Nieuw-Rusland en Oekraïne, met veel andere landen in Oost-Europa, na de wijziging  die kan optreden als de globale economie wordt vervangen door Regionale economieen, zullen worden hersteld met behulp van de roebel als munt die wordt gecreerd. De roebel kan de nationale munteenheid van Rusland blijven of worden, misschien onder een iets andere naam, de “munteenheid van de  Euraziatische Unie”. Die Unie kan in theorie  bestaan (wat de grote landenbetreft) uit Turkije, Japan en het Verenigde Korea. De laatste twee landen, die sterk gericht zijn op de buitenlandse markten, zullen geen andere mogelijkheden  hebben dan regionale economische samenwerking nadat de VS terug naar een beleid van isolationisme is gekeerd, omdat ze anders hun economie niet kunnen herstellen.

The Russian expert institutions are divided into three large groups. The first comprises the fragments of the ex-Soviet system of the Academy of Sciences. They partly have lost their quality, but until recently were able to maintain a relative independence. It is this independence, especially in the economic sphere that has infuriated the liberal crowd, which tried to completely destroy the Academy of Sciences as an independent public and expert institute. It is possible to work effectively with some institutions within the group; in particular, some of its representatives were among the Russian participants at the recent XVIII Dartmouth Russian-American conference in Dayton.
De Russische expert instellingen zijn onderverdeeld in drie grote groepen. De eerste bestaat uit de delen van ‘Academie van Wetenschappen’ uit de oude Soviet Unie. Zij hebben aan  kwaliteit ingeboet, maar waren tot voor kort in staat om een relatieve onafhankelijkheid te behouden. Het is deze onafhankelijkheid,  dat de liberale menigte furieus op hen maakte, en ze probeerden de Academie van Wetenschappen volledig te vernietigen.
The second group is created and funded, either directly or indirectly, by Western grants (the most famous in the economic sphere is the Higher School of Economics, in Russia known as the “Russian Economic School”). Organizations within this group represent the interests of the grantors, and their authority has lately fallen rapidly.
De tweede groep is opgericht en gefinancierd, hetzij direct of indirect, met Westerse Fondsen (de meest bekende in de economische sfeer is de Hogere School of Economics, in Rusland bekend als de "Russische Economische School"). Organisaties binnen deze groep vertegenwoordigen de belangen van de mensen die het betalen, en daarom is hun gezag is de laatste tijd sterk gedaald.

The third group comprises people who try to address the real problems with the money that they can find, bypassing the State. I, for example, am among these people. Among the members of this group are independent (from the international heavyweights) consulting companies and research institutes that were created by real producers, and so on. They have done quite a lot in recent years (in the early 2000s we, for example, created a theory that describes the current crisis), but their “weight” within the framework of the State is quite limited. These institutions or individuals can be very interesting from the point of view of purely informational and even non- monetary interaction. Their influence in Russia will grow strongly.

De derde groep bestaat uit mensen die proberen om de echte problemen op te lossen met het geld dat ze kunnen vinden , terwijl ze de Staat links laten liggen. Ik zelf hoor daar bij. Onder de leden van deze groep zijn onafhankelijke consultancy bedrijven (van de internationale zwaargewichten)  en onderzoeksinstituten die zijn gemaakt door echte producenten, etc. etc.  Ze hebben heel wat in de afgelopen jaren gedaan (in de vroege jaren 2000 hebben we bijvoorbeeld een theorie geformuleerd die de huidige crisis beschrijft), maar hun "invloed "  op Staatszaken is vrij beperkt. Deze instellingen of individuen kunnen zeer interessant zijn vanuit het oogpunt van louter informatie en zelfs als het niet over monetaire zaken gaat. Hun invloed in Rusland zal sterk groeien.

Ruble, Currency


In contrast to the US Dollar, how is the Russian Ruble supported by the Russian economy? and its flexibility in working together with the basket of other currencies forming the next world trade mechanism outside of the US Dollar.
Hoe wordt de Russische Roebel ondersteund door de Russische economie? en de flexibiliteit in de samenwerking met de mand van andere valuta's die de volgende wereldhandel mechanisme buiten de Amerikaanse Dollar.

There has been some talk about giving the Russian state the right to issue currency to fund public infrastructure development and to give low interest loans for business in the productive sectors.  What are the chances of such a thing happening and in a timely manner in the near future?
Er is over gepraat dat de Russische staat geld moet creeeren om de bouw  van de openbare infrastructuur te financieren en om leningen met een lage rente voor productie-bedrijven te geven. Wat zijn de kansen dat zoiets gebeurt en zal dat op tijd gebeuren?

Why don’t Russia revise contracts from countries that sanctioned Russia – so that all future transactions for Russian Gas & Oil have to be made in either Gold Bullion and/or Russian Ruble’s?
Waarom herziet Rusland de contracten van landen die Rusland sanctioneerden niet,  zodat alle toekomstige transacties voor Russisch gas & olie moeten worden gemaakt in goud roebel's?

Christian Witting Mandal, NorwayBlue Northern Illinois, USCatrafuse, Timisoara Romania
zerone GermanyAndré Montreal CanadaRicardo Valdivia ChileJH Québec,
Julian, Melbourne


As I have written elsewhere, today’s economic leadership of Russia - the Government and the Central Bank - consider the ruble exclusively within the framework of the Bretton Woods system; as secondary to the US dollar. Accordingly, they hold the economy of Russia open to the world financial system, constrain investment opportunities for the ruble (by overstating the value of dollar-denominated loans) and rely on foreign investment.
Zoals ik elders heb geschreven beschouwt de  huidige economische leiding van Rusland - de regering en de centrale bank - de roebel uitsluitend in het kader van het Bretton Woods-systeem; dus de roebel is secundair aan de Amerikaanse dollar. Dienovereenkomstig staat de  economie van Rusland open voor het grote financiële systeem dat overal geldt. Zo beperken ze de mogelijkheden om met roebels te investeren (door overwaardering van de waarde van leningen die in dollars zijn afgesloten) en vertrouwen ze op buitenlandse investeringen.

In this situation, the stability of the ruble is determined by purely speculative factors of global markets: a price of crude oil, capital outflows, foreign investments, and a foreign capitalization of major Russian exporters. However, the situation can change if we establish a domestic ruble investment system, create development institutions that will provide cheap ruble credit to the real sector of the economy, change the tax system from pure raw materials (with high value-added tax) to industrial, and begin to stimulate small and medium businesses engaged in innovation and production.
In deze situatie wordt de stabiliteit van de roebel bepaald door puur speculatieve factoren van de wereldwijde markten:door  de prijs van ruwe olie, door kapitaalvlucht, door buitenlandse investeringen, en doordat grote Russische exporteurs met buitenlands geld worden gefinancierd. Echter, de situatie kan veranderen als we een binnenlands (roebel) investering systeem op te zetten, als we ontwikkelings-maatschappijen opzetten die  goedkope (roebel) kredieten verstrekken aan de reële sector van de economie, die het belastingstelsel wijzigt  van een  grondstoffen-tax  (met een hoge belasting op de toegevoegde waarde) naar een belasting op industriële producties  en die begint om kleine en middelgrote bedrijven die zich bezighouden met innovatie en productie,  te stimuleren.

While the ruble is seen as secondary to the US dollar, all the above-mentioned suggestions are highly controversial. As long as a main objective of any business in Russia is to increase its dollar capitalization, get a large dollar loan, place shares on the New York or London stock exchanges or sell something for export, the idea of selling oil for rubles will not be greeted with enthusiasm. First, it is necessary to create a ruble-denominated financial infrastructure, then build a business that is oriented on this infrastructure, and only then start a strict policy for its separation from the dollar system. This in any case will require a major change of personnel of the Russian political elite.

Zolang als de roebel wordt gezien als secundair aan de Amerikaanse dollar, zijn alle hierboven genoemde suggesties controversieel. Zo lang het hoofd doel van elk bedrijf in Rusland is om zijn waarde in dollar uitgedrukt te verhogen, om  een grote dollar lening te verkrijgen, om  aandelen op de New Yorkse of Londense beurzen  te kunnen kopen of om zaken te verkopen voor de export, zzzzo lang zal  het idee van de verkoop van olie voor roebels niet met enthousiasme worden begroet. Ten eerste moet er een financiële infrastructuur komen die met roebels werkt,  dan moeten er bedrijven komen die gericht zijn op de op roebels gebaseerde infrastructuur, en dan pas kan je een streng beleid voor de afscheiding van het dollarsysteem gaan voeren. Dit zal in ieder geval alleen lukken als de  huidige Russische politieke elite door andere mensen is vervangen.  



Will the oil-price war currently being waged seriously damage the Russian economy, or is the Russian economy sufficiently diverse to “weather the storm”? Do the falling price of oil AND the falling value of the Ruble effectively offset each other? Is Russia able and/or willing to take retaliatory measures and what might they be? Is the Russian oil industry dependent on Western technology for its operation?

Zal de olie-prijzenoorlog  die nu woedt de Russische economie echt schaden, of is de Russische economie voldoende divers om "de storm te doorstaan"? Zullen de dalende prijs van olie en de dalende waarde van de roebel elkaar compenseren ? Is Rusland in staat en  bereid  om vergeldingsmaatregelen te nemen,  en wat kunnen die dan zijn ? Is de Russische olie-industrie afhankelijk zijn van westerse technologie om te kunnen draaien?

Michael Schaefer Schwerin, Germanyteranam13 from N. CaliforniaRic Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, Dick Lenning Canadajc Southern California


The oil topic is always very complex. There is a huge number of factors, comprising the short-term (increasing the oil production from Libya and partial lifting of sanctions against Iran), medium-term (development of new, more expensive oilfields, and shale “revolution”, etc.) and long-term (change in economic structure and in energy technology). No concurrent view about this problem exists, so it is needless to talk about long-term trends, which, undoubtedly are present, but barely known. The short-term trends, including the recent downturn in prices, will cost the “organizers” quite a lot if they develop against medium- and long-term trends. 
De olie onderwerp altijd zeer complex. Er is een groot aantal factoren, bestaande uit de korte termijn (verhoging van de olieproductie van Libië en de gedeeltelijke opheffing van de sancties tegen Iran), de middellange termijn (ontwikkeling van nieuwe, duurdere olievelden, en leisteen "revolutie", enz.) en lange termijn (verandering in de economische structuur en in energietechnologie). Geen gelijktijdige uitzicht over dit probleem bestaat, dus het is onnodig om te praten over de lange termijn trends, die ongetwijfeld aanwezig, maar nauwelijks bekend zijn. De korte termijn trends, waaronder de recente daling van de prijzen, zal de "organisatoren" kostte nogal wat als ze zich ontwikkelen tegen de middellange en lange termijn trends.

From the macroeconomic prognosis (it has been revised many times within the past 10 years, but the core components were set at the beginning of 2000s, that is why we trust it) the main macroeconomic trend of the next decade will be the division of the world into currency zones. Each zone will have its own price formation mechanism (as was the case in the 70-80s in “Western” and Soviet economic zones). Therefore the drop in oil prices prepares Russia’s economy for different day-to-day realities rather than merely damaging it. 
Onze  macro-economische prognose blijft dat de komende tien jaar de wereld zich zal verdelen in zones met elk een andere valuta. Elke zone heeft zijn eigen prijs vormings mechanisme  zoals het geval was in de jaren  70-80 toen er de "westerse" en de “Sovjet-economische”  zones waren. Daarom is de daling van de olieprijs in feite ook  een voorbereiding  voor de Russische economie op een toekomst die anders is dan wat ze gewend is, en dat is dus niet alleen maar schadelijk.

I’d like to point out that Russia invested surplus profit from the sale of oil into assets in the West. Therefore the decrease in profits will rather bring problems to the US, in whose treasuries the oil money was being allocated. Our budget, even accounting for capital outflow, is in surplus. There are problems with investment resources, but they could be overcome if the economic policies are changed. Retaliatory measures are rather political. By the counter sanctions Russia shows that this is not the way to treat allies. And if they are not allies, then are they enemies? In other words, does the US push Russia into an anti-American union with China? Certainly, the union with China is a disputable matter, but if there is nobody to talk to in the European Union (where the situation can change, just look at Marine le Pen in France and Viktor Orbán in Hungary), if the political elites of the EU are subservient to Washington, and if the U.S. behaves inappropriately, then what are the options?
Ik wil er op wijzen dat Rusland winsten  uit de verkoop van olie heeft geïnvesteerd in activa in het Westen. Daarom zal de winstdaling  eerder problemen brengen in de VS, in wiens schatkamers het olie-geld gewoonlijk binnen stroomde. Onze begroting is positief, terwijl er rekening wordt gehouden met kapitaalsvlucht. Er zijn problemen met het aantrekken van investeerders, maar ze kunnen  worden overwonnen als het economisch beleid wordt veranderd. Vergeldingsmaatregelen zijn een politieke aangelegenheid. Door de contra-sancties Rusland toont aan dat dit niet de manier is om bondgenoten te behandelen. En als ze geen  bondgenoten zijn, zijn ze dan vijanden? Met andere woorden, duwen  de Amerikanen Rusland in een anti-Amerikaanse unie met China?  Zeker, de vereniging met China is een discutabele kwestie, maar als er niemand is om mee te praten in de Europese Unie (waar de situatie kan veranderen, kijk maar naar Marine Le Pen in Frankrijk en Viktor Orbán in Hongarije), als de politieke elites van de EU ondergeschikt zijn aan Washington, en als de VS zich onheus  gedraagt, wat zijn de nog de mogelijkheden?

Sanctions have shown that the US these days is impossible to negotiate with. It means that the matter is not whether Russia can do without American technologies or not; in fact, it is about how it needs to proceed without them. If the economy were healthy, then while Russia would resolve all her current problems, the US would go forward, but amid sagging demand… The US will likely go backwards; this is a standard expectation amid long crises. Sure, the problems of Russia won’t be resolved on their own, it is necessary to update the economic policy. On the whole, sanctions do not constitute a critical matter for the time being. They even can be increased, but there is no guarantee that it will not precipitate a crisis in the US. 
Sancties hebben aangetoond dat er nu met de VS niet te onderhandelen valt. De vraag is dus niet meer of Rusland zonder Amerikaanse technologieën kan of niet; de vraag is hòe we het moeten gaan doen zonder hen. Als de economie gezond was dan zou de VS vooruit gaan, terwijl Rusland aan haar problemen moet werken. Maar met een ( voorspelde)  afnemende  vraag  zal de US waarschijnlijk achteruit gaan; Dit is een standaard verwachting voor als  crises langer duren. Zeker, de problemen van Rusland lossen zich niet vanzelf op, we  moeten het economisch beleid verbeteren. Over het geheel genomen hebben sancties voorlopig nog  geen grote gevolgen. Er kunnen zelfs strengere sancties komen, maar er is ook de mogelijkheid  dat ze in de VS een crisis naderbij brengen.


David Northern CaliforniTom Mysiewicz Reedsport, OR, Rhysaxiel Bordeaux, France
Paul from TokyoR-27 ER/ET Santiago, Chile


What effect will sanctions have on the Russian economy over the next few years? Will they lead to better integration with the BRICS economies and other non-Western countries and how could this help Russia to deal with the sanctions regime? Will the sanctions ultimately provide the catalyst for the development of an alternative reserve currency?
Welk effect zullen sancties hebben op de Russische economie in de komende jaren? Zullen ze leiden tot een betere integratie met de BRICS-economieën en andere niet-westerse landen en hoe kan dit Rusland helpen met het omgaan met de sancties? Zullen de sancties uiteindelijk werken als  katalysator voor de ontwikkeling van een alternatieve reserve valuta?


I’ve already addressed part of this question so I’ll take the opportunity to refine what I’ve said before. Regarding the use of a different currency, this is already decided – There will be one, probably more than one. There is no other way to support investment, apart from by issuing regional currency and it should go without saying that ‘Whoever pays the piper calls the tune’ To put it another way, If and when regional these regional currency issuing centres appear it will quickly become clear who are ‘patriots’ and who are ‘collborators’. It’s all quite straightforward: If you export capital, the destination country will receive the investment. It will become clear quite quickly.
Ik heb deze vraag al deels beantwoord, dus zal ik verfijnen wat ik eerder heb gezegd. Wat betreft het gebruik van een andere valuta, dit is reeds beslist - Er zal een andere komen, en  waarschijnlijk meer dan één andere valuta. Er is geen andere manier om investeringen mogelijk te maken,  dan door de uitgifte van een regionale valuta en het spreekt vanzelf dat  'wie het gelag betaalt’ die is de baas.  Om het anders te zeggen:  Als de centra verschijnen waar de regionale munt wordt uitgegeven, dan zal snel duidelijk worden wie de  'patriotten' zijn en wie de  'collborators' met Het Westen. Het is allemaal heel eenvoudig: als u het kapitaal exporteert, zal het land van bestemming die investering ontvangen. Het zal snel duidelijk zijn.

It’s a completely different matter why the United States chops off the branch on which it is sitting (ie. stimulating the creation of alternative reserve currencies). The answer is similarly straightforward. They simply can’t conceive of their own collapse. However this belief is not simply a matter of idealistic ‘American Exceptionalism’ (We are the dominant, thus we shape history, not the otherway round), but it is also a belief held by the elite, as it forms a critical tool of social governance. Furthermore, if we admit that the official economic doctrine simply doesn’t acknowledge the crisis (To be more exact, it is impossible for the theory to recognise the crisis as the theory lacks the terms of reference to describe the cause) then the crisis actually becomes inevitable, if not inescapable: The economics are themselves founded on axioms which themselves are impelling the economy to catastrophe. There is nothing more to say here. ‘Those whom the gods want to destroy, they first make mad’
Het is de grote vraag waarom de Verenigde Staten de tak af zaagt waar ze op zitten (In feite  stimuleren ze het scheppen van alternatieve reserve valuta). Het antwoord is eveneens eenvoudig. Ze kunnen zich gewoon hun eigen ondergang niet voorstellen . Dit komt echter niet alleen door hun geloof dat ze een ‘Speciaal land”  zijn. (Wij zijn de baas, dus geven we vorm aan de geschiedenis, niet andersom), maar het is ook een geloof van de elite, omdat het een essentieel instrument is van sociaal leiderschap.( ??) Bovendien, als we toegeven dat de officiële economische doctrine de crisis gewoon niet wil zien of kan zien  (Om precies te zijn, is het onmogelijk voor de theorie om de crisis te herkennen omdat de theorie het begrippenkadeniet heeft om de oorzaak te beschrijven), dan wordt de crisis eigenlijk onvermijdelijk, zo niet onontkoombaar:  de economie leunt zelf op aannames die zorgen dat die economie drijft naar een catrastrofaal. Er is hier niets meer over te zeggen. 'Als de Goden iemand willen vernietigen, maken ze hem eerst gek'

The BRICS, moreover is a pretty artificial phenomemon, dreamt up by Goldman Sachs, the famous investment bank for purely commercial reasons. (In fact to issue new securities onto the market). From our side the BRICS countries look like the leaders of regional economic zones (Brazil and South Africa in one (‘Southern’). Russia (‘Eurasian’), China with its own Chinese and India with its own national zone, given its huge population. It looks likely that the Indian zone will most closely follow the Eurasian Zone. In these zones co-oporation will increase as will the attempts of the United States to solve their internal problems by forcing other countries to pay their debts, using the institutions and frameworks set up under the Bretton Woods which established the dollar as the sole reserve currency. These efforts of the United States are only likely to speed up the process of regional integration.
De BRICS-landen zijn trouwens is een vrij kunstmatig fenomeen, bedacht door Goldman Sachs, de bekende investeringsbank om louter commerciële redenen. (In feite om nieuwe waardepapieren op de markt te kunnen brengen). Wij beschouwen de BRICS-landen als de leiders van de regionale economische zones (Brazilië en Zuid-Afrika in een 'Zuid'-zone. Rusland  in de 'Euraziatische' zone,  China met zijn eigen Chinese  zone  en India met zijn eigen nationale zone, gezien de enorme bevolking. Het is waarschijnlijk dat de Indiase zone het dichtst bij de Euraziatische zone zal blijven. In deze zones zal co-oporation toenemen evenals de pogingen van de Verenigde Staten om hun interne problemen op te lossen door het dwingen van andere landen om hun schulden te betalen, met behulp van de instellingen ( IMF, Wereld Bank etc) en kaders opgericht in Bretton Woods, die de dollar als de enige reservemunt aan wezen. Deze inspanningen van de Verenigde Staten zullen waarschijnlijk alleen het proces van regionale integratie versnellen, en dus averechts werken.


In the absence of exchange controls, has consideration been given to creating a split domestic-foreign ruble to support the currency and minimise the impact of sanctions and of commodity and currency speculators?
Er zal dus geen deviezencontrole zijn. Is er aandacht besteed aan het creëren van zowel een  binnenlandse roebel als een internationale roebel om de munt te steunen om ook de impact van sancties te beperken en de impact van speculanten ( in roebels en grondstoffen) te minimaliseren?


Russia has a whole collection of legislation to regulate its currency which are simply not active at the moment because their activation would contradict the ideology which drives the financial elites. There is the mechanism of enforced conversion of foreign revenues (Set at zero percent at the moment). There are limits on declared FX positions and other FX regulations which are similarly not active. I am not at all sure that new legislation is required, those which exist are wholly sufficient should the will be there to activate them.
Rusland heeft een heel arsenaal van wetgeving om zijn  valuta te regelen, maar die is momenteel niet aktief omdat dit de ideologie van de financiële elites zou tegenspreken. Er is het mechanisme van gedwongen geldwissel van buitenlandse inkomsten (die staat op nul procent op het moment). Er zijn grenzen aan de hoeveelheid buitenlands geld (FX) die is toegestaan, en andere FX-verordeningen, die ook niet actief zijn. Ik ben er niet helemaal zeker van dat nieuwe wetgeving nodig is, de bestaande wetgeving is voldoende.

I have a suspicion that the government and the Central Bank (and this refers a united ideological, commercial and political ‘team’ which are labelled by the media as ‘Liberals’, although the term potentially misleading), who promised the national political leadership economic growth although were unable to maintain it, have decided to resolve the situation by devaluation. However they simply don’t understand economics, rather they do not understand that devaluation will only benefit GDP in two specific cases: Either there is a large amunt of idle capacity (like in 1998), or there is a large amount of freely available credit. At the moment there is neither. FX investments are not profitable and no one will invest. As for the ruble the central bank has simply refused to open up the credit market. This means that there can be no positive consequences from devaluation only negative ones. The most obvious will be a collapse in living standards amongst the normal population as the majority of consumer goods are imported. This brings us to the hypothesis that the governance of the central bank is in cahoots with Washington with the shared aim of subverting Putin. The hypothesis is already mainstream in the Russian Media.
Ik heb een vermoeden dat de regering en de centrale bank hebben besloten om de situatie door devaluatie op te lossen. Ze hebben de regering ‘groei’ beloofd, maar dat niet waar gemaakt.  Die lieden worden in de Media ‘Liberals’ genoemd, maar dat is niet helemaal juist.  Maar ze begrijpen de economie gewoon niet, ze begrijpen niet dat devaluatie alleen maar ten goede van het  BBP werken in twee  specifieke gevallen: Als er een grote onbenutte capaciteit voor product5ie is, zoals in 1998, of als er een grote hoeveelheid vrij beschikbaar krediet  is. Op dit moment is er geen van beide. Investeringen met buitenlands geld zijn  niet rendabel en niemand zal investeren. Wat de roebel betreft heeft de centrale bank gewoon  geweigerd om geld beschikbaar te stellen. Dit betekent dat er geen positieve gevolgen van devaluatie kunnen zijn, alleen negatieve. Het meest voor de hand ligt een ineenstorting van de levensstandaard onder de gewone mensen omdat  de meerderheid van de consumptiegoederen worden geïmporteerd. Dit brengt ons tot de hypothese dat het bestuur van de centrale bank onder een hoedje met Washington speelt met het gezamenlijke  doel om Putin te ondermijnen. De hypothese is al mainstream in de Russische media.


Is there enough political will and influence inside the Kremlin and the Russian Government to launch agricultural modernisation and improvement projects given that sanctions have been imposed on agricultural imports?
Is er voldoende politieke wil en invloed binnen het Kremlin en de Russische regering om modernisering van de landbouw door te voeren nu er sancties zijn opgelegd aan de import van landbouwproducten?


At the moment the Kremlin is making demands regarding the state-led modernisation of agriculture which contradict the Governments ideology. Naturally this leads to open sabotage. This is absolutely clear both in the investment environment (The government directly is responsible for the flow of investment but actually plays the opposite role at the moment) and in the implementation of the Russian payments system as just one example of many. If the kremlin has the political will to change the government then the situation will improve and with that, agriculture. If not the situation will continue to deteriorate.
Op dit moment stelt het Kremlin eisen met betrekking tot de modernisering van de landbouw, eisen die tegen de ideologie van diezelfde regering in gaan. Uiteraard leidt dit tot sabotage of tegenwerking. Dit is absoluut duidelijk, bijvoorbeeld  het investeringsklimaat : De overheid is rechtstreeks verantwoordelijk  voor het doorgaan van investeringen, maar speelt eigenlijk nu een tegenovergestelde rol.  En ook bij de uitvoering van de Russische betalingssysteem. Als het Kremlin de politieke wil heeft om de regering te veranderen dan zal de situatie verbeteren en daarmee de landbouw. Indien ze dit niet wil zal het  verslechteren.


In your recent appearance on TV with Sergei Glazyev, you suggested that the use of sanctions by the US was a sign that the current system was breaking down. Can you elaborate on what you mean?
In uw recente verschijning op tv met Sergei Glazyev, u stelde dat het gebruik van sancties door de VS een teken was dat het huidige systeem aan het ve3rbrokkelen is. Kunt u ingaan op wat je bedoelt?


I have shown above that the current political situation in the United States will lead to the intensification of problems for the United States itself, most obviously in the destruction of the dollar as the global currency. If you see that in order to sustain one of the ‘rules of the game’ that this can only be done at the expense of other rules then it is abundantly clear that the rules are no longer relevant and that they need to be changed.
Ik heb hierboven getoond dat de huidige politieke situatie in de Verenigde Staten zal leiden tot de intensivering van de problemen voor de Verenigde Staten zelf, het duidelijkst in de vernietiging van de dollar als wereldmunt. Als je ziet dat men zonodig, om één van de 'spelregels' te redden men andere regels moet overtreden, dan is het overduidelijk dat de regels niet langer relevant zijn en dat ze moeten worden veranderd.


It appears that the economies of some countries that have followed the US lead in sanctions are being affected. Do you believe the US has promised to subsidize the losses of its allies? Why do you believe these countries have been willing to risk their economies?
Het lijkt erop dat de economieën van sommige landen schade ondervinden van de door de VS  opgelegde sancties. Gelooft u dat de VS heeft beloofd om de verliezen van haar bondgenoten te vergoeden? Waarom denkt u dat deze landen bereid waren om hun economieën te riskeren?


No, the US will be giving money to no-one. Those countries that have acted against their own interests have done so as their elites have been effectively captured by the US. It’s no secret and in fact many write in the independent European media that it is impossible to make a career in politics without ( it was written: with)  support from the US. The only ones therefore who can have a career are those firmly ‘on the hook’. Often the United States will create that hook themselves (Profitable contracts, grants, sometimes bribes and even blackmail). It’s not surprising that they control the entire extent of the EU, eavesdrop on all telephone call etc etc. It just needs the exposure of an affair, a few hundred euros of income hidden from the tax authorities or a recording of an indiscrete telephone call (maybe criticising the Gay Parade) – they would all be enough to, when exposed to the national press, to deprive an individual of his social status or a significant part of his income. Who would go against that?
Nee, de VS zal niemand geld geven. De landen die tegen hun eigen belangen hebben gehandeld hebben  dat gedaan omdat hun eigen elites slaafs waren aan de VS. Het is geen geheim en in feite schrijven velen dat in de onafhankelijke Europese media dat het onmogelijk is om een carrière in de politiek te maken zonder ( er stond: met) steun van de Verenigde Staten. De enigen die dus een carrière kunnen  hebben, zitten al  'aan de haak' van de VS.

Vaak creeert de Verenigde Staten  die haak zelf (winstgevende contracten, subsidies, soms steekpenningen en zelfs chantage). Het is niet verwonderlijk dat ze de hele EU controleren,   alle telefoontjes afluisteren etc etc. Zeopenbaren gewoon een affaire, een paar honderd euro inkomsten die verborgen wereden gehouden voor de fiscus of een opname van een indiscreet telefoongesprek (misschien kritiek op de Gay Parade) – elk vabn deze voorbeelden is voldoende om, wanneer ze worden doorgespeeld  aan de landelijke pers,  een individu van zijn sociale status of van een aanzienlijk deel van zijn inkomen te beroven. Wie zou daar iets tegen kunnen beginnen?

There were a lot of scare stories in the 90s about the ‘Stasi’, who allegedly held records of every citizen of the German Democratic Republic. We now understand that, in comparison with the practices of the United States now that this period was actually an unexpected utopia of personal freedom. To give examples, The Stasi may have known who slept with whom, but it did not have recordings of discussions held during these intimate rendezvous. Ask yourself: Is it pleasant to think that there are people who can, without oversight, scrutinise recordings directly relating to your personal life? Furthermore are their many people on this earth who would not be vulnerable to blackmail in their personal life? And how many people are there really who would refuse to the the bidding of the United States knowing that such information is not only in their hands but ready to be used against them?
Er waren een heleboel paniekverhalen in de jaren '90 over de 'Stasi', die naar verluidt  verslagen bij hield van iedere burger van de Duitse Democratische Republiek. We begrijpen nu dat, in vergelijking met de huidige praktijken van de Verenigde Staten, dat deze periode  eigenlijk een onverwachte utopie van de persoonlijke vrijheid was. Om voorbeelden te geven, kan de Stasi hebben geweten wie met wie sliep, maar het had geen  opnames van de gesprekken of discussies tijdens deze intieme ontmoetingen. Stel jezelf de vraag: Is het prettig om te bedenken dat er mensen zijn die, zonder enig toezicht, opnames kunnen bestuderen  die rechtstreeks verband houden met uw persoonlijke leven? Bovendien,  zijn er veel mensen op deze aarde die niet kwetsbaar zijn voor chantage  in hun persoonlijke leven? En hoeveel mensen zijn er echt die een bevel van de Verenigde Staten zouden weigerren als ze weten dat deze informatie niet alleen in hun handen is, maar ook klaar ligt  om  tegen hen te worden gebruikt?


What could be the response of Russia if the situation with the oil prices, sanctions, economic warfare and military pressure becomes critical? How will it mobilize its allies and how could it strengthen its economy and military, especially the air force and missile defense?
Wat zou de reactie van Rusland kunnen zijn als de situatie met de olieprijzen, sancties, economische oorlogvoering en militaire druk kritieke vormen aan neemt?  Hoe zal het zijn bondgenoten mobiliseren en hoe kan het zijn  economie verterken en zijn militaire kracht, vooral de luchtmacht en het raketschild?


Well Russian has practically no allies, if we think of them in the sense like there were in 1939. Belarus, Kazakhstan and maybe a couple of other small countries. However there a lot of countries that understand that the United States is single handedly destroying the world order and with it global security (This is exactly what Putin said in his ‘Valdai’ speech in Sochi). There are also people in the United States who understand this. Morover the recent mid-term election results, a week ago, in the United States clearly showed that there are people, especially in the older generation, who without having a deep knowledge of the particulars feel that the current elites in the US are leading the world to catastrophe. We would simply hope that the world will not be led to catastrophe.

Nou Rusland heeft praktisch geen bondgenoten, als we denken in de zin van ‘bondgenoten’zoals  in 1939. Wit-Rusland, Kazachstan en misschien een paar andere kleine landen. Toch zijn er veel landen die begrijpen dat de Verenigde Staten in zijn  eentje de wereld orde aan het vernietigen is en daarmee de mondiale veiligheid (Dit is precies wat Poetin zei in zijn Valdai toespraak in Sochi). Er zijn ook mensen in de Verenigde Staten die dit begrijpen. De recente tussentijdse verkiezingsuitslag, een week geleden, in de Verenigde Staten toont ook  duidelijk dat er ( veel oudere) mensen zijn die zonder een depe kennis van de feiten  vinden dat de huidige elites in de VS de wereld  naar een catastrofe leiden. We hopen echt dat de wereld niet wordt geleid naar een  catastrofe.


Vic, Northern IrelandSong, Canada, Gagarin Thespaceman Cape Town, South Africa

Question: Eurasian Union

What do you foresee in terms of the evolution of the Eurasian Union, both in terms of internal economic/political dynamics and its relations with other states (and in particular the US/NATO/EU bloc)? Does it have the possibility to expand outside of the former Soviet Union? Are other regional cooperation organizations such as the CIS and CSTO still relevant?
Wat verwacht je van de evolutie van de Euraziatische Unie, zowel in termen van interne economische  dynamiek als ook inzake de politiek.  En omtrent haar betrekkingen met andere landen en dan vooral met het blok  VS / NAVO / EU ? Heeft het de mogelijkheid om buiten de voormalige Sovjet-Unie landen  uit te breiden? Zijn andere organisaties voor regionale samenwerking, zoals het GOS en CSTO nog relevant?


As I have already said, according to our theory the world could split into several monetary zones – more or less independent systems of divisions of labor. The Eurasian Union is one such zone. In a long-term outlook it may include such prominent countries as Turkey, Japan and United Korea. The last two have no choice: the U.S. and the EU won’t purchase their produce, and they don’t want to be friends with China. So, the Eurasian Economic Union has a promising future, but it also means that we need to work hard to achieve positive results.
Zoals ik al zei kan de wereld zich eventueel op splitsten in verschillende monetaire zones - min of meer onafhankelijke systemen met interne arbeids-specialisaties. De Euraziatische Unie is een dergelijke zone. Op de lange-termijn zouden  prominente landen als Turkije, Japan en het Verenigde Korea er toe kunnen behoren. De laatste twee hebben geen keus: de VS en de EU zullen hun producten niet te kopen, en ze willen niet  met China samen werken. Dus, de Euraziatische Economische Unie heeft een veelbelovende toekomst, maar het betekent ook dat we hard moeten hard werken om positieve resultaten te bereiken.

Questions: European Trade

In the past much has been made of a “Lisbon to Vladivostok” trade zone. What do the parameters of such a zone look like, and given the current hostility of the EU towards Russia, is there any realistic prospect of making it a reality in the near- to mid-term? What circumstances could make this more viable in the future?
In het verleden is er veel gesproken over een handelszone "van Lissabon tot Vladivostok" . Hoe zien de kenmerken  van een dergelijke zone eruit, en gezien de huidige vijandigheid van de EU ten aanzien van Rusland, is er dan wel enig  realistisch vooruitzicht  dat het een realiteit  wordt in de toekomst? Welke omstandigheden kunnen die handelszone  meer levensvatbaar maken in de toekomst?


I think there is no such prospect as of today. The situation in Ukraine has shown that the current EU leadership will not take Russia’s interests into consideration. Any attempt to discuss these interests causes a torrent of statements blaming Russia for “imperial politics”, “restoration of the USSR” and so on. We can argue about Germany and France being outright blackmailed by the Baltic states and Poland, the role of Washington etc., but the fact is that in its current configuration the EU and Russia cannot be “friends” (in the broad sense of the word). We can resume such discussions if a reconfiguration of the EU takes place and the Eastern European countries leave the EU.
In het verleden is er veel gemaakt van een "Lissabon naar Vladivostok" handelszone. Wat doen de parameters van een dergelijke zone eruit, en gezien de huidige vijandigheid van de EU ten aanzien van Rusland, is er geen realistisch vooruitzicht op waardoor het een realiteit in de bijna- tot middellange termijn? Welke omstandigheden dat meer levensvatbaar maken in de toekomst?

Question: Payments/SWIFT
One of the purportedly heaviest weapons in the US/EU sanctions arsenal would be to cut Russia off from the SWIFT payments settlement system. Much has been made of efforts to create an internal system or to link with China’s system. What are the challenges facing Russia as it seeks to end its reliance on this particular Western system, and what is a realistic timeline for implementation?
Een van de ogenschijnlijk zwaarste wapens in het arsenaal van de VS / EU-sancties zou zijn om Rusland af te snijden van het  SWIFT-betalings verkeer. Er is al veel gesproken over inspanningen om een eigen intern systeem te maken of om aan te haken bij  China's systeem. Wat zijn de uitdagingen voor Rusland als het probeert om zijn afhankelijkheid te beeindigen van dit westerse systeem, en wat is een realistische tijdlijn voor de realisatie?


This could have been implemented promptly, but the Central Bank has sabotaged all the efforts. As of today, nothing has been done, so we will have to return to this topic when the Central Bank has new leadership. The current leadership won’t do anything in this direction.
Dit kon snel geïmplementeerd worden , maar de centrale bank heeft alle inspanningen gesaboteerd.Tot op vandaag is er niets gedaan, dus we zullen dit onderwerp opnieuiw moeten aansnijden bij de Centrale Bank als ze een nieuwe leiding hebben . De huidige leiding  zal niets in deze richting te doen.

Geopolitics & Foreign Relations

Question: Russia and relations with BRICs/Emerging Markets
Vraag: Rusland en de betrekkingen met de BRIC-landen / opkomende markten

Russia has been very clear that in light of the West’s aggression that it would redouble its efforts to form an alternative geopolitical grouping, both among emerging markets generally and China specifically. Can you comment on:
Rusland heeft heel duidelijk gemaakt dat het - in het licht van de agressie van het Westen -   zijn inspanningen om een alternatief geopolitiek samenwerkingsverband op te richten zal verdubbelen, zowel bij de opkomende markten in het algemeen en China in het bijzonder. Kunt u commentaar geven op:

Which countries (particularly among the BRICs) are likely to support Russia going forward?

China is probably the most critical relationship for Russia going forward – however given the often strained relationship between the two, many are skeptical of the ability to form a true partnership. Why is today different?

Russia has been actively seeking to expand its trade links with Emerging Markets generally and the BRIC nations specifically. Where do you see the best opportunities for Russia in terms of expanding trade links with these nations or even creating more formal/multinational trade structures? Along these lines, do other EM nations share Russia’s interest in potentially de-dollarizing global trade? Is there any chance Russia and/or others actually de-dollarize and, if so, what are the potential benefits and risks to Russia?
Welke landen (met name onder de BRIC-landen) zullen  waarschijnlijk  Rusland helpen om vooruit te gaan?

China is waarschijnlijk de meest invloedrijke  relatie voor Ruslands toekomst - maar gezien de vaak gespannen relatie tussen de twee, zijn velen  sceptisch over de mogelijkheid om een echt partnerschap te vormen. Waarom is dat nu  anders?

Rusland is actief op zoek om haar handelsbetrekkingen met opkomende markten uit te breiden, zeker met de BRIC-landen. Waar ziet u de beste kansen voor Rusland om handelsbetrekkingen uit te breiden of zelfs  meer formele handels-zones  te stichten?  
Zijn er ook andere Europese landen die los van de dollar willen gaan handelen?  
Is er een kans Rusland en andere landen de dollar vaarwel zeggen en zo ja, wat zijn de mogelijke voordelen en risico's voor Rusland?

Emmanuel from Ames, Iowa. USAAnand from IndiaNotSoFast from Luxembourg


I’ve already said something about it. All the questions above imply the preservation of the present Bretton Woods system and describe possible (or hardly possible, if not impossible) scenarios for developments in the world. However, according to our concept Russia and China won’t form a single alliance, they will be leaders of two different regional alliances – one is the more centralized (China) while the other more democratic. Today’s convergence between China and Russia is not due to the fact that they foresee their common future, but for the reason that they consider existing model unsustainable. The U.S. tries to describe the Russian and Chinese policies from the perspective of sustaining of the current order. This results in a fairly contradictory picture. Once seen from the right point of view, the picture becomes clear. By the way, according to this worldview the U.S. becomes a regional leader just like Russia and China or, let’s say, Brazil.
Ik heb er al iets over gezegd. De voorgaandse vragen impliceren het behoud van de huidige Bretton Woods afspraken en beschrijven mogelijke (of onmogelijke) scenario's voor ontwikkelingen in de wereld. Maar volgens ons zullen Rusland en China niet samen één  alliantie vormen, maar zullen zij de leiders van twee verschillende regionale allianties worden - één is China met een sterk centrale leiding , terwijl de de andere alliantie democratischer zal zijn. De convergentie van vandaag tussen China en Rusland is niet teen gevolg van het feit dat ze een  gemeenschappelijke toekomst verwachtenn, maar om de reden dat ze het  bestaande model onhoudbaar vinden. De VS probeert het  Russische en Chinese beleid te beschrijven vanuit het perspectief dat er niets zal veranderen mbt de dollar  en Bretton Woods.  Dit resulteert in een heel ander  beeld dan wij hebben. Volgens ons wereldbeeld wordt de VS een regionale leider, net als Rusland en China of, laten we zeggen, Brazilië.

Question: Europe

Even if Russia turns towards Asia and the Emerging Markets, Europe will remain a critical part of Russian geopolitical strategy. In light of Europe’s current stance, is there anything Russia can do to improve relations (short of unacceptable concessions)? How does Russia manage around the virulently anti-Russian bloc led by Poland, the Baltics and (Western) Ukraine?
Zelfs als Rusland zich naar Azië en de Emerging Markets keert, zal Europa een cruciaal onderdeel van de Russische geopolitieke strategie blijven. Nu Europa zich zo gedraagt als het doet: is er iets dat Rusland kan doen om de relatie te verbeteren? Wat kan Rusland doen om de extreem anti-Russische landen als Polen en de Ukraïne een beetje te ontwijken?  

David Vienna, AustriaCorto Netherlands, Serb origin, 123abc Germany


I’ve already explained that friendship between Russia and today’s European Union is impossible as long as the U.S. likes it, but this is just for a while, because as soon as safety considerations become the forefront concerns, the U.S. will most likely change its position. What happens to the current elites of the main anti-Russian countries seems to be interest to no one; they [elites] will have to go away, because they won’t be able to change their rhetoric, which will make it impossible for Russia to deal with them. For the time being Russia has nothing to talk about with the European Union for various reasons. The first one is rather obvious: trying to find a consensus whithin the framework of the European Union, the general position of this organization will always be strongly anti-Russian. The second one is that Brussels doesn’t have an independant position; it pursues the Washington’s policy. The third reason is that the current European Union has no future. We need to discuss this issue in detail.
Ik heb al uitgelegd dat  vriendschap tussen Rusland en de Europese Unie onmogelijk is zolang de VS dat wil, maar dit is slechts tijdelijk , want zodra veiligheidsoverwegingen weer belangrijk worden, zullen de VS waarschijnlijk hun positie veranderen . Wat gebeurt met de huidige elites van de belangrijkste anti-Russische landen lijkt niemand te interesseren; zij [elites] zullen het veld moeten ruimen, omdat ze niet meer hun retoriek kunnen wijzigen, en Rusland kan dus onmogelijk met hen verder gaan. Voorlopig heeft  Rusland niets om over te praten met de Europese Unie om verschillende redenen. De eerste is nogal duidelijk:  een consensus met de EU als geheel is onmogelijk want de meerderheid  van deze organisatie altijd sterk anti-Russisch zijn. De tweede is dat Brussel geen onafhankelijk  standpunt  heeft; streeft volgt het beleid van Washington. De derde reden is dat de huidige Europese Unie,  geen toekomst heeft. We moeten deze kwestie in detail te bespreken.

If we place the current European Union on the USSR’s timescale, it can be compared with the period of 1989-1990. The problems are the same. Certain rules were adopted in the context of certain historical, financial and economic situation, and then later codified. Today economic and historic conditions have changed, but it’s nearly impossible to amend legislative policies. Each specific issue might be settled, although it’s unclear when, but there are tens of thousands of those issues and the time is extremely limited. The only chance to accomplish something is to abolish all them at once or, in other words, to dissolve the European Union. It can be assembled again, but the re-assembling will be done according to new regulations.
De huidige Europese Unie is er niet beter aan toe dan de USSR  vlak voor ze opheild te bestaan in 1989-1990. De problemen zijn hetzelfde. Bepaalde regels werden ingesteld in het kader van een bepaalde historische, financiële en economische situatie, en dan later tot wetgeving gemaakt. Vandaag zijn de economische en historische omstandigheden  veranderd, maar het is bijna onmogelijk om de wetgeving te wijzigen. Elk specifiek probleem kan worden opgelost, hoewel het onduidelijk is wanneer, maar er zijn tienduizenden van die zaken en de tijd is zeer beperkt. De enige mogelijkheid om iets te bereiken is alles tegelijk af schaffen, ofwel de EU opheffen. Hij kan weer worden her- opgericht, maar die gebeurt dan op basis van nieuwe regels.

In particular, it can be said that Eastern Europe won’t be part of the “new” European Union. That’s for sure. It has no industry and thus presents no value. There was a political need to “tear them off” from the USSR/Russia and then feed them (to smooth the negative effect from renouncing socialism). Today’s youth doesn’t remember socialism, it means that it is okay to just dump those people and let them survive on their own. They are not of any interest. As we know from the European history of the nineteenth century, they will sink into extreme poverty. But, I repeat, those are their problems.
Het kan worden gezegd dat Oost-Europa niet tot de "nieuwe" Europese Unie zal behoren. Dat is zeker. Het heeft geen industrie en heeft dus geen ‘waarde’. Er was een politieke noodzaak om ze " af te scheuren" van de Sovjet-Unie / Rusland en ze vervolgens te helpen (om het negatieve effect van het afstand van het socialisme te verzachten). De jongeren van vandaag herinneren zich niet het socialisme, het betekent dat het OK is om ze gewoon dumpen en ze op eigen kracht te laten overleven. Ze zijn niet van enig belang. Zoals we weten uit de Europese geschiedenis van de negentiende eeuw zullen ze in extreme armoede verzinken.  Maar, ik herhaal, dat zijn hun problemen.

Coming back to the original question… It’s foolish to make arrangements with the European Union in such environment. That’s why it’s necessary to build our own system of labour division without taking into account the interests of the European Union. If Russia has decided to start building import substitutions, it is simply needs to introduce counter sanctions to a relevant commodity group, since the EU and the U.S., by pursuing sanctions policy, have burried all the norms of the World Trade Organization.
Terugkomend op de oorspronkelijke vraag ... Het is dwaas om afspraken met de Europese Unie te maken in zo’n situatie. Daarom is het noodzakelijk om ons eigen systeem van arbeidsverdeling te maken zonder rekening te houden met de belangen van de Europese Unie. Als Rusland heeft besloten om vervangingen voor importgoederen te gaan maken, dan  moet Rusland gewoon tegen-sancties instellen voor de bepaalde  grondstoffen ( ??) , aangezien de EU en de VS met hun sanctiebeleid alle normen en regels van de World Trade Organization hebben  begraven.

Question: Russia

Given the lack of popular support domestically for the liberal/Atlantacist agenda, how do they continue to retain a power bloc within Russian politics? On the other hand, how do the Eurasian Sovereigntists envision ensuring economic growth, with so many autarkist/state capitalist models having shown severe weakness in recent years? What factor are Great Russian nationalists likely to play going forward, in particular the more radical/national socialist types?
Gezien het gebrek aan steun van de bevolking voor de liberale / Atlantacist agenda ( de pro-Westerse Russen) , hoe hebben  ze dan hun  machtsblok binnen de Russische politiek  kunnen behouden? Aan de andere kant, hoe denken de Euraziatische Sovereignists te zorgen voor economische groei, met zoveel autarkist / staatskapitalistische modellen die  hebben  ernstige zwaktheden  lieten zien in de afgelopen jaren? Welke rol zullen de nationalisten die een Groot-Rusland nastreven gaan spelen in de toekomst, in het bijzonder de meer radicale / nationaal-socialistische types?

Kermit Heartsong San Francisco Bay Area, Author, Ukraine.
ZBig's Grandchessboard & How The West Was Checkmated


First of all, these people (“liberals”) control a considerable part of Russia’s property; second, they are under the protection of the USA; and third, from the point of view of the political elite, they undertook important tasks such as making agreements with the world’s financial system, investments, and economic growth. Today it has become clear that there is no economic growth, there will be no investments, and the USA are not treating us as partners. It means that the “liberals” have lost the political support and will be forced out of the political arena. The main question is: how fast this process is going to be.
Allereerst, deze mensen ("de liberalen", de Pro-Westersen Russen ) besturen een aanzienlijk deel van de eigendommen van Rusland; ten tweede zijn ze onder de bescherming van de VS; en ten derde, vanuit het oogpunt van de politieke elite gezien,  ondernam deze mensen  belangrijke taken zoals het maken van afspraken met de Haute Finance, ze regelden  investeringen en economische groei. Vandaag is duidelijk geworden dat er geen economische groei zal zijn, dat er geen investeringen zullen zijn, en dat  de Verenigde Staten  ons niet behandelen als partners. Het betekent dat de "liberalen" hun politieke steun hebben verloren en ze uit de politieke arena zullen worden gedwongen. De belangrijkste vraag is: hoe snel zal dit proces gaan verlopen.

As for the USA, they have already realized that they did something wrong. The problem is that the Russian “liberal” team has emerged from the privatization that was a grand theft. Today in Russia the words “liberal” and a “thief” are synonyms. In this sense, for instance, a European court ruling on “Yukos” to exact $50 bln is a grave political mistake on the part of the West because everyone in Russia knows beyond doubt that “Yukos” was stolen. The people, who bought it, were fully aware that it was a stolen property and thus no one owes them anything. In other words, for the vast majority of the Russian public the court decision is the clear evidence that the only interest of the West in relation to Russia is to take away (to loot) the assets that belong to the people (the government). That is, the western elite, including its legal system, deliberately make decisions that favor “their own”, even though those people are professed thieves. This is a hard blow to the trust towards the USA and EU; the blow is even harder than the sanctions.
De VS heeft zich al gerealiseerd dat ze iets verkeerd hebben gedaan. Het probleem is dat de Russische "liberalen" zijn is voortgekomen uit de privatisering, wat een grote diefstal was. Vandaag zijn in Rusland de woorden "liberaal" en  “een dief" synoniemen.  In die zin is  bijvoorbeeld  een Europese gerechtelijke uitspraak over "Yukos" om  $ 50 miljard boete aan Rusland op te leggen een ernstige politieke fout van de kant van het Westen, omdat iedereen in Rusland zeker weet dat "Yukos" werd gestolen. De mensen die het kochten, waren zich er  volledig van bewust dat het een gestolen goed was en dus is niemand hen iets schuldig.  Met andere woorden, voor de overgrote meerderheid van het Russische publiek is de beslissing van de rechtbank het duidelijke  bewijs dat het enige belang van het Westen ten aanzien van Rusland is om de bezittingen mee te nemen (plunderen) die aan  het Russische volk behoren. Dat wil zeggen dat de westerse elite, met inbegrip van zijn hun rechtsstelsel, bewust beslissingen neemt die gunstig zijn voor hun eigen mensen ( De Rothschilds) , ook al staan die mensen bekend als dieven. Dit is een harde klap voor het vertrouwen in de richting van de VS en de EU; de klap is nog moeilijker dan de sancties.

As far as the nationalists are concerned, there is a colossal difference among them. There are three large nationalist groups in Russia: Russian nationalists (in a way, they are similar to Ukrainian Galician nationalists, although, of course, they are more decent so far as methods and slogans are concerned); the national and religious nationalists (including Muslim nationalists in the ISIS style), and imperial nationalists (the ones who want to revive the great state and who don’t care about national differences among its citizens). The latter are divided into monarchists, communists and “neoliberal” capitalists who want to build a “true” capitalism that is independent of the west.
Voor wat de nationalisten betreft, is zijn grote verschillen tussen hen. Er zijn drie grote nationalistische groeperingen in Rusland:
  1. De Russische nationalisten  die  op een bepaalde manier vergelijkbaar zijn  met de Oekraïense - Galicische nationalisten, hoewel ze natuurlijk meer fatsoenlijke  methodes en slogans hebben;
  2.  de nationale en religieuze nationalisten (inclusief islamitische nationalisten in de ISIS-stijl),
  3. keizerlijke nationalisten (degenen die de grote staat willen laten herleven en die zich niets aantrekken van de etnische (nationale)  verschillen tussen de burgers. Deze laatsten zijn onderverdeeld in monarchisten, communisten en "neoliberale" kapitalisten die  een "echt" kapitalisme wensen dat onafhankelijk is van het westen.

It is impossible to understand who will win considering the complex processes that are going on in the country. Some of them can form local alliances, but they all have different objectives. That means that a separate set of relationships need to be build with each of these groups. At the same time, there is no point in counting on liberals, in spite of their current power – they have no electoral potential, they will at most receive 3-5 % of votes. They had illusions that a new generation would grow up not remembering the privatization. But the new generation faced the situation when all the “upward paths of vertical growth” are chock-full of children of those liberals and of “siloviki” (national security) they have raised. This is why it is inevitable that new political powers in Russia will be anti-liberal, or anti-West. “Navalnys” have no chance – they defend wrong positions. The West, if they want to have relations with Russia, has to become aware of this situation and correct it. Right now they don’t want to do that, which means that there are no positive prospects.

Het is onmogelijk om te begrijpen wie zal winnen gezien de complexe processen die gaande zijn in het land. Sommigen van hen kunnen lokale allianties te vormen, maar ze hebben allemaal verschillende doelen. Dat betekent dat je een aparte reeks relaties moet maken met elk van deze groepen. Tegelijkertijd heeft het geen nut om op de liberalen te rekenen, ondanks hun huidige invloed – ze hebben geen electoraal potentiee: ze halen  hoogstens  3-5% van stemmen. Ze hadden illusies dat een nieuwe generatie zou opgroeien die niets meer weet van de privatiseringen. Maar de nieuwe generatie wordt geconfronteerd met de situatie dat  alle go3ede banenal zijn bezet door kindeen van de ‘liberals’en van de kindern van invloedrijke ambtenaren zoals de veiligheidsdiensten, de "siloviki". Dit is de reden waarom het is onvermijdelijk is dat nieuwe politieke krachten in Rusland anti-liberaal, of anti-Westers zullen zijn. De "Navalnys" ( een manm die tegen Putin protesteerd)  hebben geen kans - ze verdedigen de verkeerde posities. Het Westen zal , als ze betrekkingen met Rusland willen hebben,zich van  deze situatie bewust moeten worden en haar moeten corrigeren. Nu willen ze dat nog niet doen, en dat  betekent dat er geen positieve vooruitzichten zijn .