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Is Putin's Invasion of Ukraine All About Oil?

Russia and Ukraine map

To Americans on Main Street Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine in the face of a weak and feckless President Obama just doesn’t make much sense.

Invading a non-threatening neighbor appears to be the inexplicable whim of a dictator or perhaps the act of an international bully intent on regional domination and to most Americans it looks like there is little to be gained and much that is allegedly valued in international relations to be lost by the invasion.

But what the establishment media isn’t telling you is that there may be a very good reason for the Russian invasion of Ukraine that every American would understand – oil.

Putin’s Russian Federation is Europe’s energy superpower.

Russia holds the largest natural gas reserves in the world. According to the US Energy Information Administration Russia is the second-largest producer of dry natural gas and third-largest liquid fuels producer in the world. Russia's economy is highly dependent on its hydrocarbons, and oil and gas revenues account for more than 50% of Russia’s federal budget revenues.

And just last week Russia’s Gazprom announced that in 2013 its share of European natural supplies rose to a historical high of 30 percent, with substantial export increases in the United Kingdom, Germany and Italy, which are the largest gas markets in the EU.

Little wonder that Great Britain and Germany have evinced little interest in Obama’s call for sanctions to roll back the Russian invasion.

As The Washington Post noted recently Russia also provides more than half of Ukraine’s natural-gas needs and delinquent payments lie at the center of Ukraine’s economic problems and tension with Moscow.  Since 2006 Russia has twice curtailed supplies in disputes over politics, price and late payments. Those supply cuts rattled countries across Europe that depend on the Russian pipelines that run through Ukraine.

The Post’s writers, and many other analysts argue that such a trade relationship means Russia’s economy, already dangerously dependent on oil and gas revenue, would suffer as much or more damage than the targets of a Russian gas cut-off, but we’re not so sure.

The oil and gas producing region of the Dnieper-Donets basin in Ukraine happens to coincide with the eastern region of the country that has a substantial Russian-speaking population. And the Crimean peninsula, already occupied by Russian troops includes most of the rest of Ukraine’s oil and gas producing capacity.

Russian-speaking “protesters” have already attacked Ukrainian government installations in Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second city and the center of the Dnieper-Donets basin, storming City Hall armed with axe handles and chains.

Reuters reports that Pro-Russian demonstrators occupied the regional government buildings in east Ukraine's city of Donetsk on Monday, besieging local lawmakers as they voted to support the protesters but stopped short of meeting their demands for a split from the national government in Kiev. The 11-storey local government center in Donetsk has been flying the Russian flag, rather than the Ukrainian flag, for three days, with pro-Russian demonstrators staging daily rallies outside.

Donestsk is one of the most industrialized parts of Ukraine, producing coal, steel, chemicals and turbines for nuclear plants and lies at the southern end of the energy rich Dnieper-Donets basin.

If the Ukrainian national government does not move to reassert control over the Russian-speaking areas of the east, its most important energy and industrial region’s resources will be lost to the central government and the country’s already faltering economy.

But if the central government of Ukraine uses force against the Russian-speaking region Putin will have the excuse he needs to move in to protect his Russian-speaking compatriots, and not coincidentally gain control of one of the few major oil producing areas of Europe not already inside Russia’s borders.

While Putin may argue publicly that he is protecting his Russian-speaking “compatriots” from being oppressed by a western-leaning government in Ukraine, his real game may be to ensure that Russia remains Europe's energy superpower. 

One non-military option the United States might deploy to stymie Russian energy threats is to increase its exports of natural gas, yet Democrats and their liberal allies are intransigently opposed to increasing natural gas exports and the construction of liquefied natural gas terminals.

As long as Europe remains dependent on Russian energy resources, and the United States has no realistic plan to enter that market to counter Russia's dominance, Putin can use energy as a weapon to impose his will on the rest of Europe.

CHQ Editor George Rasley accompanied Vice President Dan Quayle when he reopened the American Mission in Tallinn, Estonia, February 6, 1992.

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RUSSIAN CHESS

Having your clients by the guchels is a rare thing and the plus of having a idiot for a opponent who can only play checkers is priceless...Such is the relationship between the russkies, the euros and the feckless Barry Sotero, the Russian has mastered the art of Chess, the euros not so much and Barry is ill equipped to do much of anything......much less play even checkers....

Hubris and Ignorance in Washington !!

"The puppet politicians who Washington intended to put in charge of Ukraine have lost control to organized and armed neo-nazis, who are attacking Jews, Russians, and intimidating Ukrainian politicians. The government of Crimea, a Russian province that Khrushchev transferred to the Ukraine Soviet Republic in the 1950s, has disavowed the illegitimate government that illegally seized power in Kiev and requested Russian protection. The Ukrainian military forces in Crimea have gone over to Russia. The Russian government has announced that it will also protect the former Russian provinces in eastern Ukraine as well.

As Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn pointed out, it was folly for the Communist Party of the Soviet Union to transfer historic provinces of Russia into Ukraine. At the time it seemed to the Soviet leadership like a good thing to do. Ukraine was part of the Soviet Union and had been ruled by Russia since the 18th century. Adding Russian territory to Ukraine served to water down the nazi elements in western Ukraine that had fought for Hitler during World War 2. Perhaps another factor in the enlargement of Ukraine was the fact of Khrushchev’s Ukrainian heritage.

Regardless, it did not matter until the Soviet Union and then the former Russian empire itself fell apart. Under Washington’s pressure, Ukraine became a separate country retaining the Russian provinces, but Russia retained its Black Sea naval base in Crimea.

Washington tried, but failed, to take Ukraine in 2004 with the Washington-financed “Orange Revolution.” According to Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, since this failure Washington has “invested” $5 billion in Ukraine in order to foment agitation for EU membership for Ukraine. EU membership would open Ukraine to looting by Western bankers and corporations, but Washington’s main goal is to establish US missile bases on Russia’s border with Ukraine and to deprive Russia of its Black Sea naval base and military industries in eastern Ukraine. EU membership for Ukraine means NATO membership.

Washington wants missile bases in Ukraine in order to degrade Russia’s nuclear deterrent, thus reducing Russia’s ability to resist US hegemony. Only three countries stand in the way of Washington’s hegemony over the world, Russia, China, and Iran.

Iran is surrounded by US military bases and has US fleets off its coast. The “Pivot to Asia” announced by the warmonger Obama regime is ringing China with air and naval bases. Washington is surrounding Russia with US missile and NATO bases. The corrupt Polish and Czech governments were paid to accept US missile and radar bases, which makes the Polish and Czech puppet states prime targets for nuclear annihilation. Washington has purchased the former Russian and Soviet province of Georgia, birthplace of Joseph Stalin, and is in the process of putting this puppet into NATO.

Washington’s Western European puppets are too greedy for Washington’s money to take cognizance of the fact that these highly provocative moves are a direct strategic threat to Russia. The attitude of European governments seems to be, “after me, the deluge.”

Russia has been slow to react to the many years of Washington’s provocations, hoping for some sign of good sense and good will to emerge in the West. Instead, Russia has experienced rising demonization from Washington and European capitals and foaming at the mouth vicious denunciations by the West’s media whores. The bulk of the American and European populations are being brainwashed to see the problem that Washington’s meddling has caused in Ukraine to be Russia’s fault. Yesterday, I heard on National Public Radio a presstitute from the New Republic describe Putin as the problem.

The ignorance, absence of integrity, and lack of independence of the US media greatly enhances the prospect for war. The picture being drawn for insouciant Americans is totally false. An informed people would have burst out laughing when US Secretary of State John Kerry denounced Russia for “invading Ukraine” in “violation of international law.” Kerry is the foreign minister of a country that has illegally invaded Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, organized the overthrow of the government in Libya, tried to overthrow the government in Syria, attacks the civilian populations of Pakistan and Yemen with drones and missiles, constantly threatens Iran with attack, unleashed the US and Israeli trained Georgian army on the Russian population of South Ossetia, and now threatens Russia with sanctions for standing up for Russians and Russian strategic interests. The Russian government noted that Kerry has raised hypocrisy to a new level.

Kerry has no answer to the question: “Since when does the United States government genuinely subscribe and defend the concept of sovereignty and territorial integrity?”

Kerry, as is always the case, is lying through his teeth. Russia hasn’t invaded Ukraine. Russia sent a few more troops to join those at its Black Sea base in view of the violent anti-Russian statements and actions emanating from Kiev. As the Ukrainian military in Crimea defected to Russia, the additional Russian troops were hardly necessary.

The stupid Kerry, wallowing in his arrogance, hubris, and evil, has issued direct threats to Russia. The Russian foreign minister has dismissed Kerry’s threats as “unacceptable.” The stage is set for war.

Note the absurdity of the situation. Kiev has been taken over by ultra-nationalist neo-nazis. A band of ultra-nationalist thugs is the last thing the European Union wants or needs as a member state. The EU is centralizing power and suppressing the sovereignty of the member states. Note the alignment of the neoconservative Obama regime with anti-semitic neo-nazis. The neoconservative clique that has dominated the US government since the Clinton regime is heavily Jewish, many of whom are dual Israeli/US citizens. The Jewish neoconservatives, Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and National Security Adviser Susan Rice, have lost control of their coup to neo-Nazis who preach “death to the Jews.”

The Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported on February 24 that Ukrainian Rabbi Moshe Reuven Azman advised “Kiev’s Jews to leave the city and even the country.” Edward Dolinsky, head of an umbrella organization of Ukrainian Jews, described the situation for Ukrainian Jews as “dire” and requested Israel’s help.

This is the situation that Washington created and defends, while accusing Russia of stifling Ukrainian democracy. An elected democracy is what Ukraine had before Washington overthrew it.

At this time there is no legitimate Ukrainian government.

Everyone needs to understand that Washington is lying about Ukraine just as Washington lied about Saddam Hussein and weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, just as Washington lied about Iranian nukes, just as Washington lied about Syrian president Assad using chemical weapons, just as Washington lied about Afghanistan, Libya, NSA spying, torture. What hasn’t Washington lied about?"

PR.

Anyone can cut and paste from nutjob websites

And anyone who thinks Barry and his gang are neo-conservatives is certifiably insane. The president - and I use that term loosely - would be pushing for war if a neo-con. He would be staunchly supporting Israel and pressuring the opposition in Venezuela to depose the government there. None of that is happening.
Game, set, match.

Behind the State Dept. diplomatic mask ...

If this report is true, our feckless, incompetent and arrogant State Dept. may have just inadvertently staged a Gulf of Tonkin incident for the benefit of Russia.

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-03-05/behind-kiev-snipers-it-was-some...

Oh those pesky phone leaks. Thank you Eric Snowden. The need for disinfection is worse than we thought but at least the sunshine is getting through more and more these days.