More Sanctions: Europe Will Ban Purchase Of Russian Bonds; However Russian Gas Exports Remain Untouched

Over the weekend, insolvent, debt-dependent Europe thought long and hard how to best punish Russia and moments ago reached yet another milestone in deep projective thought: as Reuters reports, Europeans could be barred from buying new Russian government bonds “under a package of extra sanctions over Moscow’s military role in Ukraine that European Union ambassadors were to start discussing on Monday, three EU sources said.” This will be in addition to the ban on the debt funding of most Russian corporations. So as Europe’s 7-day ultimatum for the Kremlin to “de-escalate” counts down, Putin has a choice: continue operating under a budget surplus and ignore Europe’s latest and most amusing hollow threat which is merely a projection of Europe’s biggest fears, or spend himself into oblivion as Europe has done over the past decade and become a vassal state of the Frankfurt central bank.. Somehow we doubt Putin will lose too much sleep over this latest “escalation”…
Some more details on today’s latest threat by Europe, which if nothing else has sent the ruble to a fresh record low against the dollar, leaving Europe green with envy at such currency debasement, and boosting Russian exports even more:
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who led the drive for a tougher EU response, said on Monday that Moscow’s behaviour in Ukraine must not go unanswered, even if sanctions hurt the German economy, heavily dependent on imported Russian gas. “I have said that (sanctions) can have an impact, also for German companies,” Merkel told a news conference in Berlin. “But I have to say there is also an impact when you are allowed to move borders in Europe and attack other countries with your troops,” she said. “Accepting Russia’s behaviour is not an option. And therefore it was necessary to prepare further sanctions.”

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 09/01/2014.

These Clowns Are Dragging Us Into War

These Clowns Are Dragging Us Into War
In 8 weeks, on October 26, there are – supposed to be – parliamentary elections in Ukraine. What’s that going to look like? Who’s going to vote? In the presidential elections a few months ago, most of east Ukraine did not vote. How many different ways are there to define democracy and still remain credible?
In an interview today on Russian Channel 1, Vladimir Putin commented on the upcoming elections: ‘All the participants in the electoral race will want to show how cool they are; Everyone will want to show they are strongmen or strongwomen, and as the political struggle sharpens it is hard to expect anyone to seek a peaceful resolution and not a military one.’ That would seem to be an accurate prediction.
The EU yesterday (in yet another definition of democracy) picked its new president. They chose Polish PM Donald Tusk, which may seem a bit strange since Tusk doesn’t speak a word of either English or French, and he comes from a nation that is not even in the Eurozone, yet he will now now get to chair meetings that concern the euro. But Tusk is a hawk on Russia, and therefore suspiciously convenient to the inner core of Washington and Brussels’ control apparatus. He’s said more bad and ugly things about Russia and Putin than just about anyone recently, and that’s saying something.
The US and EU have worked for years to see their desire to take over Ukraine come to fruition. They’ve come a long way, but they wanted Crimea and the Donbass region most of all, and those they still don’t have. Still, they’ve so far shown themselves more than willing to assist first in killing thousands of eastern Ukrainians to get what they want, and now they are prepared to start a war over it.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 08/31/2014.

Libya May Be Focus Of Major Rift Between US And Regional Allies

Submitted by Defense & Foreign Affairs via OilPrice.com,
It had become clear by late August 2014 that Libya could no longer be seen as a unified state; at best it was in two parts, even with the communal leaderships of both sides professing a desire to resume national unity. By late August 2014, the country had two parliaments: one elected by the Libyan people, and the other given legitimacy solely by foreign support.
The situation seemed so intractable by that point that it was possible that a full military intervention by regional states, perhaps spearheaded by Egypt, could be attempted, with the goal of stabilizing the country and eliminating the foreign-funded and foreign-armed jihadis who were using Libya as a springboard for a proposed pro-Islamist war against the current Egyptian Government.
The proxy forces of the 2011 unilateral intervention by Qatar, supporting jihadis and the Muslim Brothers (Ikhwan), and by Turkey and the US, into the Cyrenaican revolt against Mu’ammar al-Qadhafi, were still dominating the Libyan political scene, much to the frustration of Libyan tribal forces.
Qatar was creating a ‘Free Egyptian Army’ in the Cyrenaica desert, and patterned on the ‘Free Syrian Army’ which Qatar, Turkey, and the US had built to challenge Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad.
Significantly, while the US and European Union (EU) continued in August 2014 to promote the concept of a unified Libya, they were basing their approach around what was essentially a modification of the mode of governance practiced by Mu’ammar al-Qadhafi, who seized power by a coup in 1969, and held it until 2011. Widespread Libyan calls for a return to the 1951 Constitution – drafted by the United Nations and the 140 or so Libyan tribes – have been consistently ignored by Washington and Brussels.
By August 2014, the foreign jihadist fighters – mainly linked to salafist groups and either directly or indirectly working with the Muslim Brothers (Ikhwan) – were still entrenched in Cyrenaica, in Eastern Libya (where the local moderate. anti-salafist Senussiyah sect of Islam predominates), supported by Qatar, Turkey, and the US Government. As well, they were entrenched around Tripoli.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 08/31/2014.

More Mindless Sanctions? Merkel a Liar or a Fool?

As the tide in the Ukraine civil war turns, the EU threatens Russia with more mindless sanctions.
Bloomberg reports EU Vows More Russia Sanctions If War in Ukraine Worsens.
European Union leaders agreed to impose tougher sanctions on Russia, possibly targeting energy and finance, if the war in Ukraine worsens.
Leaders early today gave the European Commission a week to deliver proposals for the penalties. The EU left open the precise trigger for further sanctions, contrasting with a four-point ultimatum issued to Russian President Vladimir Putin on June 27 that preceded the latest curbs.

This post was published at Global Economic Analysis on Saturday, August 30, 2014.

Russia warns E.U. of Ukraine gas shortage

Russia says there is a risk that gas shortages this winter could force Ukraine to siphon off supplies of Russian gas meant for EU customers.
Ukraine's gas reserves have reached a "critical" state, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said.
He was speaking after talks in Moscow with EU Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger. The EU is anxious to ensure secure gas supplies for the winter.
Ukraine needs to store much more gas underground, Mr Novak said.

This post was published at BBC

Kick Russia Out Of SWIFT, UK Demands; But Beware The Retaliation…

UK Prime Minister David Cameron came out swinging this morning; not only at ISIS but in calling for European leaders to block Russia from the SWIFT banking transaction system. European leaders have already (via unnamed sources) denied any actual new sanctions will take place (though they will be discussing them at the NATO Summit) but – as we have noted previously – this is yet another unintended consequence-driven nail in the coffin of USD hegemony…
Bloomberg reports that the U. K. Said to Press EU to Block Russia From Banking Network
The U. K. will press European Union leaders to consider blocking Russian access to the SWIFT banking transaction system under an expansion of sanctions over the conflict in Ukraine, a British government official said. The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, known as SWIFT, is one of Russia’s main connections to the international financial system. Prime Minister David Cameron’s government plans to put the topic on the agenda for a meeting of EU leaders in Brussels Aug. 30, according to the official, who asked not to be named because the discussions are private.
This has consequences…

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 08/29/2014.

Ukraine Accuses Russia Of Launching Invasion, Then Promptly Retracts

It has been a busy morning: following a substantial surge in Ukraine separatist activity in the past 24 hours, which saw them capture the strategic Sea of Azov port town of Novoazovsk, a move which the NYT classified as “Ukraine Reports Russian Invasion on a New Front“, Ukraine has turned on the disinformation spigot to max resulting in a constant verbal, and headline, diarrhea as follows:
POROSHENKO CONVENES SECURITY COUNCIL ON RUSSIAN `INVASION’ POROSHENKO: SITUATION IN UKRAINE’S EAST DETERIORATED SHARPLY UKRAINE EU AMBASSADOR CALLS FOR JOINT EFFORT TO `STOP THIS WAR’ POROSHENKO SAYS SECURITY COUNCIL WILL DRAW UP FURTHER PLANS RUSSIAN ARMY CONTROLS NOVOAZOVSK: UKRAINE SECURITY COUNCIL YATSENYUK URGES UN SECURITY COUNCIL TO DEBATE UKRAINE SITUATION So sure was Ukraine that this time (unlike all those previous disinformation launches) Russia has invaded that Anton Herashchenko, adviser to Ukrainian Interior Ministry, actually commented on his Facebook page saying “Invasion of regular Russian army of Putin to Ukraine is an accomplished fact,’ Adding that Putin “de-facto places Ukraine on a war-footing at a time when a decree was signed to dissolve parliament.”
Well, yes, Ukraine has no government, but Russia of course denied all of it:
PESKOV WON’T COMMENT ON REBEL CLAIM OF RUSSIAN TROOP SUPPORT

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 08/28/2014.

The Time Is Ripe For A False-Flag Attack On American Soil

Government engineered false-flag terrorism is a historically established fact. For centuries, political and financial elites have been sinking ships, setting buildings on fire, assassinating diplomats, overthrowing elected leaders, and blowing people up, then blaming these disasters on convenient scapegoats so that they can induce fear in the public and transfer more power to themselves. Skeptics might argue whether certain calamities have been proven beyond a reasonable doubt to be false-flag events, but no one can argue that such tactics have not been used by the establishment in the past. Governments have openly admitted to creating bloody and catalyzing tragedies under false pretenses, like Operation Gladio, a false-flag program in Europe supported by European and American covert agencies which lasted decades, from the 1950′s to the 1990′s.
Gladio utilized well-paid and trained rogue groups and agents as well as patsies, compartmentalized and controlled, who would commit atrocities against the European public. These atrocities would then be blamed on ‘left wing extremists’, galvanizing the citizenry and political representatives towards the false East/West paradigm. The superficial motivation given by whistleblowers was that Gladio was to be used to keep the right wing in power. However, the broader and deeper goal was clearly to manipulate Europeans into accepting a unification mindset, paving the way for the eventual centralization of Europe into the EU supranational block. Gladio, is only one well documented example of false-flag terrorism being exploited by governments to mold mass psychology towards greater collectivism.
It is therefore vital that the public question the legitimacy of EVERY so-called ‘terrorist attack’ or geopolitical incident, otherwise, we may find ourselves duped into supporting wars and unconstitutional actions that only end up poisoning our society and elevating tyrants.
Why do I believe a new false-flag event is imminent? America has not suffered a large scale terrorist attack for over 13 years, after all. I can only say that current trends and international developments seem to be spiraling towards a breaking point; a kind of singularity, and if you understand that the majority of these events are deliberately engineered, then you also understand that the inevitable singularity (or primary disaster) is engineered as well.


This post was published at Alt-Market on 28 August 2014.

Ukraine Accuses Russia Of Imminent Gas Cut-Off, Russia Denies, Germans Anxious

So much for the Russia-Ukraine talks bringing the two sides together as even Germany’s Steinmeier could only say it’s “hard to say if breakthrough made.” Shortly after talks ended, Ukrainian Premier Yatsenyuk stated unequivocally that “we know about the plans of Russia to cut off transit even in European Union member countries,” followed by some notably heavy-on-the-war-rhetoric comments. The Russians were quick to respond, as the energy ministry was “surprised” by his statements on Ukraine gas transits and blasted that comments were an “attempt at EU disinformation.”

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 08/27/2014.

Ukraine Releases Video Of Captured Russian Troops; They “Entered Accidentally” Russia Claims As Putin-Poroshenko Meeting Begins

Moments ago, Russian president Vladimir Putin arrived in Minsk, Belarus where upon the initiative of Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko a summit between the Customs Union (Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan) and Ukraine will be held on Tuesday. As Interfax adds, the meeting will also be attended by three European commissioners – EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton, Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht and European Commission Vice President, Energy Commissioner Gunther Oettinger.
Amusingly, Putin’s arrival did not proceed without incident…
This will be second meeting in the past three months between Putin and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko organized with the mediation of a president a third country. However, official confirmation that a separate meeting between Putin and Poroshenko will take place does not yet exist.
As noted earlier, the main reason for the recent ramp in futures is because someone activated the de-escalation algo sending futs promptly from overnight lows to highs, on hopes there will be some resolution of Ukraine’s proxy civil war, and maybe a detente between Russia and Europe, where the latter is now on the verge of a triple-dip recession due to “costs” against Russia.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 08/26/2014.

Ukraine’s Poroshenko “Optimistic” Over EU Deal, Putin Warns Of Consequences

When two of the richest presidents in the world currently met this morning in Minsk, the tensions was palpable. As Poroshenko (net worth ~$1.3 bn) and Putin (~$440bn) prepared for talks, the threats, promises, and hopes were everywhere…
*POROSHENKO SAYS ‘OPTIMISTIC’ ABOUT TODAY’S MEETINGS IN MINSK, INTERESTED IN EU, CUSTOMS UNION AGREEMENTS But Vladimir Putin – having reminded everyone that Russian capital represents 32% of the Ukraine banking system (threat or statement?) warned any EU association pact may force Russia to scrap trade preferences.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 08/26/2014.