No amount of sanctions will make Russia bend the knee

Congress is looking to impose new sanctions on Russia and any company that works with Russia.

Two bills in the House and the Senate, instead of penalizing the major gas companies involved, would target a perceived weak link: the specialized pipe-laying companies working on Nord Stream 2 (and on the Russian state-controlled gas company Gazprom’s TurkStream project, which will bring Russian gas across the Black Sea to Turkey and eventually to Europe). The bills would sanction pipe-laying companies involved in the project, freezing their U.S. assets and prohibiting them from doing U.S. business.

One problem with these sanctions is that they are largely after-the-fact when it comes to laying underwater pipe.
Turkstream is already done. Nord Stream is about 75% done, but Congress still believes they can stop it.

President Donald Trump has recommended Germany buy U.S. liquefied natural gas. That would benefit Cruz's home state of Texas, the country's largest producer of natural gas.

A second problem is that Germany doesn't want us dictating their foreign policy. According to a recent survey, only 19 percent of Germans considered the United States a trustworthy partner (well behind Russia).

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Like our War on Terror, all the evidence shows that the sanctions aren't working.

Since 2014, Russia has increased foreign currency reserves to an eye-popping $500 billion (the fourth highest in the world), paid off its foreign debt, "floated" (or in other words devalued) the Russian ruble to boost the competitiveness of Russian exports, "de-dollarized" holdings to insulate Russia from the US financial system, and balanced the state's expenditures and revenues.
Russia also has a low "break-even" oil price, set around $40-45 per barrel, which is the price the Russian state needs to balance its budget each year. Oil is by far the country's largest export and the bedrock of its war chest.

That's actually an amazing achievement. Under a mountain of sanctions, Russia has managed to insulate themselves from American economic war, paid off much of their foreign debts, and positioned themselves to be able handle anything new that the U.S. throws at them.
That austerity came at a cost in slow economic growth.

Not only that, but several major new pipelines are about to go online. This will bring in huge amounts of new revenue.

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the Power of Siberia Pipeline:

Russian gas giant Gazprom has started pumping gas into the Power of Siberia Pipeline bound for China, according to news agency Interfax, which cited the governor of the Republic of Yakutia making the statement Thursday.
The pipeline will deliver 38 billion cubic meter per year (Bcm/y) of natural gas from eastern Siberian fields to China.

Gazprom and CNPC have a contract worth $400bn to supply China with gas for 30 years via this pipeline.

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the Turkstream:

The Russian gas will start running to Turkey via the TurkStream by the end of this year, President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday, Trend reports citing TASS.

Turkstream has the total capacity of 31.5 billion cubic metres per annum, so it nearly matches the Power of Siberia in size. It will be extended up to Hungary next year.

The U.S. has also tried to squeeze Russia by sanctioning the sale of their weapon systems, but that has also failed. Even nominal U.S. allies, such as Turkey and India, are buying Russian weapons.

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Pluto's Republic's picture

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The purpose of a writer is to keep civilization from destroying itself.
– Albert Camus
snoopydawg's picture

Oleg D.....something had a part in the Russia Gate saga and so his aluminum factory was punished. But then Trump relaxed them after Oleg sold his part. Now McConnell is allowing Oleg to build a huge aluminum plant in Kentucky so off course he too is under Vlad's thumb. I recently found out that Oleg has had ties to Mueller and others in our intelligence agencies. I don't think there is one supposed Russian bad man involved in Russia Gate that doesn't have connections to Mueller and his goons. Misfud, Halpern (?), and too many other people who played "the spy who loved me" game. Most of them tried to entrap someone in Trump's campaign.

If Europe wants to spend more money importing our gas and make their citizens pay higher prices then they need to be voted out. Do their citizens even know about this? Do the people in Ukraine know why they are expected to freeze this winter or pay higher prices for gas? Russia does seem to be made of teflon. Nothing seems to stick to them.

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America is a pathetic nation; a fascist state fueled by the greed, malice, and stupidity of her own people.
- strife delivery

@snoopydawg

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oleg_Deripaska
Oleg Deripaska

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@snoopydawg I remember TOP making a big point about the aluminium saying it was Trump really kowtowing to Putin as sanctions were lifted. Turns about that the majority of production was in Western Europe in particular Ireland. Something like upwards of 30K people would end up losing their jobs.

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6 users have voted.

around the web that Russia has become self-sufficient in food following a push by government. Food, btw that has no GMOs by law. I think even their food exports have grown greatly.

If true, even when Europe shakes off the leash, EU farmers won't have the Russian market anymore.

What I know for a fact is that conscious enemy moles hell-bent on destroying the US could all retire; comforted that job is being done by swiftly and completely by our rulers (both visible and not).

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@jim p
between Russia and China. Russian oil and gas in exchange for Chinese chickens.

At the time I wondered at a nuclear power that can't raise chickens as any peasant in America (and China) can.

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edg's picture

@The Voice In the Wilderness

That gas for chicken deal can't be right. Russia produces twice as much chicken meat as the world average. In fact, they're overproducing so much they've started slowing down production.

As of early 2019, Russia was manufacturing 33.7 kg of poultry per capita, the fourth-highest rate in the world, said Elena Stepanova, deputy director of Rosptitsesoyuz, speaking at the Russian Meat and Feed Industry conference in Moscow.

The world’s 2019 average rate is 16.2 kg per capita, and current production in Russia was already equal to domestic demand, Stepanova said.

“In 2019, we forecast some increase in production, but this growth will be attributed primarily to exports. We consider the balance on the domestic poultry market as fully built,” Stepanova said, adding that overall poultry production in Russia in 2019 was expected to grow by 2.7% compared to the previous year, to 5.11 million tons.

Source: Russian Poultry Production Down 6.2% in First Quarter Y/y

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@jim p Russia really played the long game when Putin put a halt to all EU food imports. Besides the food ban, the Russian government began an investment program to bolster domestic production of its own food replacements. Russian cheese anybody? And the programs just did not go to Russia's version of Big Agriculture factory farms--it went to small farmers also.

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https://www.rt.com/news/468948-putin-saudi-arabia-missiles/

Russian President Vladimir Putin has suggested Saudi Arabia should buy Russian air defense systems to protect its oil facilities from drone attacks, pointing to Iran and Turkey, who operate S-300 and S-400 missiles, respectively.
“Saudi Arabia needs to make a smart decision, as Iran did by buying our S-300, and as Mr. Erdogan did by deciding to buy the most advanced S-400 Triumph air defense systems from Russia,” Putin told reporters in Ankara on Monday. “These kinds of systems are capable of defending any kind of infrastructure in Saudi Arabia from any kind of attack.”

Putin was answering a question about the recent drone attack on Saudi Arabian oil facilities, which Washington has blamed on Iran, though Yemen’s Houthi rebels have claimed responsibility. A coalition led by Saudi Arabia invaded Yemen in 2015 and has fought the Houthis there since.

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Pricknick's picture

@humphrey

the most advanced S-400 Triumph air defense systems

According to some, these are the advanced Trump air defense systems.
Guaranteed to put out lots of hot air with stench of aftereffect.
He who dealt it.

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5 users have voted.

Regardless of the path in life I chose, I realize it's always forward, never straight.

The Liberal Moonbat's picture

...CLEAN ENERGY THAT OBSOLETIZES FOSSIL FUELS, ASSHOLES!!!

WE COULD LITERALLY SAVE THE WORLD, BE EVERYONE'S HEROES AGAIN, RESURRECT OUR ECONOMY, END OUR WARS, AND PULL THE FLOOR RIGHT OUT FROM UNDERNEATH RUSSIA AND ALL THOSE GOSHAWFUL ISLAMIC TERRORISTS!

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In the Land of the Blind, the one-eyed man is declared insane when he speaks of colors.

TheOtherMaven's picture

@The Liberal Moonbat

China will get there first.

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There is no justice. There can be no peace.

@The Liberal Moonbat to stop Islamist terrorists, we fund them to keep the forever wars going. I realize you know that, I just could not help myself there. Whenever I hear we must "fight terrorism" my brain automatically goes back to all the things I have read showing how we not only actively created those terrorists to fight our enemies who will not accept our American interests dominating the world, but how many more we make every day we are there destroying their countries.

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7 users have voted.

The Russian economy is arguably the healthiest in the world. It's national debt barely shows as a blip on a bar graph with other nations. She has enough cash to pay it off all her debt today. She sold almost all of her US government bonds. Elvira Nabuillina, head of the Russian Bank, is perhaps the most competent national economic manager in the world. The feeling in Russia is that she is too conservative and high interest rates are the major factor in slower economic growth. Russia is the largest grower and exporter of wheat in the world, passing the US by a factor of two. The energy sector is down to 10% of the economy. However all three new pipelines will turn on by the end of the year generating huge cash streams. Russia has solid trading partnerships with nations representing the vast majority of the people and trade on the planet. Food in Russia is great, and I mean really great. It's also very eclectic with cuisine from all over the world and produced to extremely high standards. GMO is illegal. No weird proteins in your cereal in the morning. American fast food tastes better in Russia because it's made with locally grown produce.
My impression is that Russia is a continuing work in process in construction and reconstruction, everywhere. The stuff that is done is above Western standards, it amazes in gigantic scope and innovativeness. I just visited the new aquarium in Vladivostok. It towers above the ones in Boston and LA, maybe by an order of magnitude. The tallest building in Europe is in St. Petersburg, the next 5 tallest in Moscow City Center. The longest bridge in Europe is in Russia. My impression is that Russia is a dynamic fast growing country and in contrast the US can't do anything new. The US must have that gigantic defense budget, ten times that of Russia, to protect it from what? (hmmm). There is nothing, I repeat nothing, that the US congress can do to slow down Russia today. Some day soon we will need Russia as a friend. At that point we will have to deal with the incredibly bad karma that we created, out of irrational pure hatred and meaness.

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Capitalism has always been the rule of the people by the oligarchs. You only have two choices, eliminate them or restrict their power.

So the xenophobes claim that Nord Stream 2 would allow Russia to manipulate Europe's gas supply for political and other devious purposes. I searched and could not find any example in the past. But I was using Google which has become increasingly useless when searching on a number of topics. I did find articles about the Ukraine stealing the gas. Russia needs the money. I highly doubt they will screw over their investment.

But to the Europeans I say, go fer it. You want to see manipulation of your energy: start up a heavy reliance on American LNG.

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lotlizard's picture

They can’t afford the Western pesticides and herbicides and the GMO seed modified to resist them, and wouldn’t be allowed to buy them anyway becaus of sanctions.

Meanwhile, the E.U. now seems determined to force GMO food onto the European market and onto European dinner tables, even though many individual countries like Germany are still dead set against it.

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@lotlizard
crap in our food supply?

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