Archive for: March 2014

Obama: Ignoring Russian Aggression Would Have Global Consequences

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President Calls for NATO Members to ‘Step Up

Mr. Obama invoked the long-standing U.S.-European alliance in an address in Brussels on Wednesday and argued that the Russian intervention has repercussions that could stretch far beyond a dispute over a small peninsula in Eastern Europe.

Mr. Obama’s diplomatic effort to blunt what he described as Russia’s reversion to “the old way of doing things” has paid some dividends.

….
By CAROL E. LEE And MATTHEW DALTON CONNECT
Updated March 26, 2014 4:47 p.m. ET
In a speech in Brussels, President Barack Obama said Russia’s invasion of Ukraine represented a challenge to the long-held view that Europe’s borders cannot be redrawn by force, and called for greater sanctions and military preparedness. Photo: AP.
BRUSSELS—President Barack Obama said in an address in Europe on Wednesday that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine represented a challenge to the long-held view that Europe’s borders can’t be redrawn by force, and called for greater sanctions and military preparedness in response.


President Obama capped a three-day trip to the Netherlands and Belgium, where he has met with European leaders on a long-planned visit reshaped by the crisis in Ukraine. Jerry Seib joins the News Hub with the key takeaways. Photo: AP.

Mr. Obama, speaking to 2,000 mostly young people in Brussels, said U.S. and Western sanctions had begun to bite and that Russia would face additional economic pain and political isolation if it continued on its current course.

“So far, Russia has resisted diplomatic overtures, annexing Crimea and massing large forces along Ukraine’s borders,” he said, adding that Moscow had run “roughshod” over its neighbors and tried to reinstate the adage that “might makes right.”

His speech capped a three-day trip to the Netherlands and Belgium, where he has met with European leaders on a long-planned visit reshaped by the crisis in Ukraine.

He and leaders of the U.K., France, Germany, Japan, Italy and Canada, meeting in The Hague as the Group of Seven leading nations agreed to effectively remove Russia from the Group of Eight. He met with top officials of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and discussed with the European Union ways that continent could reduce its dependency on natural gas from Russia.

He extolled NATO as a vital Western security alliance, declaring that “No NATO nation stands alone” and calling for all member countries to “step up” in their commitment to collective defense.

Mr. Obama lamented that Russia has resisted diplomatic overtures, but said the West isn’t seeking conflict with Moscow and said a new Cold War hasn’t begun.

“After all, unlike the Soviet Union, Russia leads no bloc of nations,” he said.

His speech, in Brussels’ Palais de Beaux-Arts cultural center, was a 40-minute appeal to joint European-U.S. views of democracy and conflict resolution as a basis for galvanizing opposition to Russia’s annexation of Crimea.

The extra action is needed because the U.S. and Europe must not sit idly by as Russia pursues “the old way of doing things,” he said. “That message would be heard not just in Europe but in Asia and the Americas, in Africa and the Middle East.”

Mr. Obama rejected the Kremlin’s arguments that its actions were necessary because Russian-speaking Ukrainians were in danger, and dismissed Moscow’s comparisons of its intervention to NATO’s decision to enter Kosovo in the 1990s, saying that action came only long after the killings of civilians had begun.

He acknowledged criticism of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, but said that didn’t justify seizing and annexing the territory of another country—something the U.S. did not do in Iraq.

“Neither the United States, nor Europe, are perfect in adherence to our ideals, nor do we claim to be the sole arbiter of what is right or wrong in the world. We are human, after all, and face difficult choices about how to exercise our power,” he said.

In Brussels, Mr. Obama met for nearly two hours with the leaders of the EU, Herman Van Rompuy and José Manuel Barroso, and the three at a news conference pinpointed energy as a new central focus of their efforts to isolate Moscow.

“This entire event has pointed to the need for Europe to look at how it can diversify its energy sources,” Mr. Obama said.

He said the U.S.-European trade deal known as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, or TTIP, would ease exports of liquefied natural gas to Europe, one the EU’s main goals in the trade talks, by smoothing the way for export licenses to U.S. firms.

Europe is pushing to reduce its dependence on Russian natural-gas and oil exports. The region has been exploring ways that the EU’s most vulnerable members, mainly in Eastern Europe, could be more easily supplied with gas from Western Europe.

More
IMF Expected to Announce Tentative Ukraine Bailout Deal
Text of Obama’s Speech
One-Ship Ukraine Navy Defies Russia to the End
U.K.: Putin Directly Overseeing Troop Buildup Near Ukraine
EU Crafts Legal Boost For Sanctions Regime
More Than 30 Countries Adopt Nuclear Security Guidelines
Cold War Echoes Under the Arctic Ice
But in the short term, Europe faces a huge challenge in cutting its reliance on Russian gas, which accounts for 100% of supplies in countries such as Lithuania.

“It’s not something that can happen overnight, but what I think this entire crisis has pointed to is the need for us to get moving now,” Mr. Obama said.

Mr. Barroso said U.S. natural-gas reserves, and the potential for increased access to them via a new trade agreement, is a positive development for Europe “because countries will be less dependent on energy coming from, let’s say, difficult spots.”

The leaders also discussed an economic-aid package to Ukraine, which has been slow to complete, as well as economic challenges, Iran, Syria and climate change.

President Obama solidified his stance with the European Union on enacting political and economics sanctions towards Russia. However, there is no sign that Russia will back down from Crimea or bend to punishments from the West.
Write to Carol E. Lee at carol.lee@wsj.com and Matthew Dalton at Matthew.Dalton@wsj.com

?Will fracking make Europe less dependent on Russian gas

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The Gaurdian
LIVEBritain has a duty to exploit its shale gas reserves, says David Cameron. But is fracking the answer to Europe’s reliance on cheap Russian gas? With your help, Karl Mathiesen investigatesJoin the debate. Post your views in the comments below, emailkarl.mathiesen.freelance@guardian.co.uk or tweet@karlmathiesen
Cuadrilla Shale Fracking Plant in Preston, Lancashire.
  • Engineers look at the Cuadrilla shale fracking facility in Preston, Lancashire. Photograph: Matthew Lloyd/Getty Images

European leaders met last week to discuss the issue of energy security. EU council president Herman van Rompuy said that by 2035 Europe could be importing 80% of its oil and gas.

According to Euractiv, van Rompuy said:

“Today we sent a clear signal that Europe is stepping up a gear to reduce energy dependency, especially with Russia”, Van Rompuy said. He added that the goal would be pursued by reducing energy demands, through introducing more energy efficiency, by diversifying the EU’s supply routes and expanding energy sources, particularly renewables.

He said shale gas imports from the US could be used to replace Russian gas. While Angela Merkel, Germany’s chancellor “also didn’t discard developing shale gas in Europe as an alternative to imports. But she put more emphasis on trying to cut down energy consumption by measures of energy efficiency, and a bigger recourse to renewable energy”

Shale gas industry reaction

Ken Cronin, chief executive UKOOG, the UK’s onshore oil and gas industry body, said:

“The PM is right in that shale gas can put the UK in charge of our own destiny. In addition to the gas needed to heat our homes, keep the lights on and power our businesses, it is nearly impossible to get through a day without using multiple products that contain oil or gas. Shampoo, toothpaste, shaving foam, lipstick, and clothing all contain petroleum products and natural gas is also the raw material for plastics. Many industries use gas not only as an energy source but also as a key component of their manufacturing processes.

“Our gas is increasingly being imported from other countries – currently over half comes from overseas and by 2030 that will have risen to 70%. Imports generate very little UK tax revenues and gas producers such as Russia, Algeria or Qatar will sell to the highest bidder. Increasing import dependency puts us at the mercy of not only volatile global energy markets, but both physical and political energy security issues.

“It is therefore vital that we find a home-grown solution that protects both our economy and our environment.

“With renewable energy making technological advances but not yet ready in volume and cost effectiveness, domestic shale gas can provide a medium term solution that can cut carbon emissions. Today we continue to burn a lot of coal, but replacing it with gas would reduce carbon emissions by half, there are also significant positive reductions when imports are taken into consideration.”

Will uncoventional gas be up and running by Christmas?

The prime minister threw the shale gas industry a bit of a curve ball yesterday by saying:

“By the end of this year, there should be some unconventional gas wells up and running that we can demonstrate, and I think the enthusiasm for it will grow.”

Which is simply not the case. The most advanced shale gas well, at Barton Moss, is due to begin test drilling in two months, protests allowing. Once this is complete, an application needs to be made for a test fracking liscense. If this is granted, testing will go on for another year before the well can apply for a full fracking license. Meaning full extraction won’t start until at least 2016 and more likely 2017. And that is just one well. Meaningfull shale gas production will not begin in the UK until the end of the decade.

As a caveat to the PM’s statement, extraction of coalbed methane (also an “unconventional gas”) may begin in Scotland next year, but more likely 2016. Still nowhere near this year.

Updated 

Green groups reaction

Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Researchsaid in Al Jazeera America on Monday that the numbers don’t add up for shale gas.

If the goal is to reduce demand for Russian natural gas, the most cost-effective way is to do much more of what Germany and, to a lesser extent, the rest of the EU is already doing: promote conservation and mass transit and further subsidize the cost of installing solar and wind energy.

Greenpeace UK energy campaigner Lawrence Carter echoed his bossJohn Sauven’s comments in the Guardian yesterday, saying:

“Will fracking reduce our dependence on Russian gas? The simple answer is no, and it’s the industry itself that says so. A study for the oil and gas industry by consultants Pöyry, found that European supplies wouldn’t even come on stream at scale for at least a decade. The study also shows that while the EU’s dependency on gas imports could be reduced by up to 18% depending on the success of EU shale gas extraction, it is actually supplies of liquefied natural gas from Qatar that would be displaced by shale gas – supplies that are deemed “secure” by energy minister Michael Fallon. Even a shale gas boom will have no impact on Russian imports until after 2030, by which point demand for gas should be falling sharply in the EU as efforts to limit climate change bear fruit.

“The same ministers now railing against Europe’s dependence on Russian gas are the same who, for years, were happy for Britain to be lining the pockets of unsavoury oligarchs in places like Russian and Qatar, instead of moving the country towards clean, home-grown energy. After losing the argument on lower energy bills and job creation, David Cameron and his government are clearly exploiting the Ukraine crisis in the hope of turning fracking into a national security issue to drown out any criticism.”

Friends of the Earth energy campaigner Tony Bosworth said:

“Speeding up fracking is the wrong response to the Ukraine crisis. Shale gas won’t deliver until the 2020s at the earliest; is very unlikely to cut energy bills; and it’s another climate-changing fossil fuel.

“If the Prime Minister wants to speed up energy solutions he should get on with cutting energy waste from our heat-leaking homes and developing the UK’s vast renewable energy potential from the wind, sun and sea.”

Shale gas from the US?

In the US, the shale industry has been agitating for new access to EU markets. They have identified Europe’s dependence on Russian gas as an opportuinity to expland their market.

According to Reuters, German chancellor Angela Merkel last week said she supported asking US president Barack Obama to relax restrictions on exports of U.S. gas. One mechanism for this would be the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, which would be the world’s largest free trade deal.

But Sean Cockerham and Kevin G. Hall on Mcclatchy DC said that shale gas from America would run up against the same issues as shale gas from Europe. Namely the infrastructure was years away and it would likely only replace Europe’s Asian gas supply.

But while calls for such a Berlin-airlift-style approach to rush American natural gas to Europe and liberate it from the Russians makes for a good political sound bite, such a move isn’t practical and vastly oversimplifies the issue. It would take years to build the necessary facilities on both sides of the Atlantic for shipping and receiving the liquefied natural gas. The countries most reliant on Russian energy, including Ukraine, have no terminals for receiving LNG tankers. They get their natural gas from pipelines.

“The potential in the short term is nothing,” said Edward Chow, an energy and security analyst at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

There are also the realities of the free market. The U.S. Department of Energy has so far approved six applications for natural gas export terminals, but most of that gas is destined for Asia, where prices are far higher and companies can make more money than selling it in Europe.

Longer term, it’s not clear how price-competitive U.S. liquefied natural gas would be in Europe after the cost of transport is factored in, said Tim Boersma, an energy expert at the Brookings Institution in Washington. The American natural gas in Europe would have to compete against supplies from places such as Russia, Norway, Algeria, even the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.

Erich Pica, president of Friends of the Earth US said the US shale gas push was purely opportunistic.

“The fossil fuel industry and its shills are willing to exploit any crisis and go to any lengths in their effort to extract more dirty fuels and dismantle critical climate policies. Rather than promoting dirty fossil fuels like tar sands and fracked natural gas, Obama and [EC president José Manuel] Barroso should be doing everything they can to keep these fuels in the ground and help avert climate catastrophe.”

Thanks to commenter SteB1, who pointed out Terry Macalister’s reportearlier this month on government plans to build a nuclear power plant in the UK with a state-owned Russian company. Macalister says “the dependence side of the argument against Russia is very limited”.

“Clearly there is something jarring about the Department of Energy and Climate Change (Decc) boasting about itspositive negotiations with the Russians over building a nuclear power station in Britain just as a summit is due to begin in London about what sanctions can be taken against Moscow over its involvement in the Crimea.

“If Vladimir Putin is threatening to once again use energy as a political weapon in the Ukraine by cutting off the country’s gas exports, then this is a bad moment to talk about state-owned Rosatom taking a critical stake in UK power infrastructure through the construction of an atomic plant.

“… only around 1%-2% of Britain’s gas imports currently come from Siberia, while one Russian nuclear power plant would provide perhaps 5% or 6% of the country’s electricity needs.”

Yesterday, energy secretary Ed Davey was pushing the renewables handcart, using Russia and the Crimea as added justification for the growth of offshore wind farms, my colleague Terry Macalister reported.

“[Windfarms] are not just the local providers of green energy we need for our low-carbon future, but play an important role at a time of international uncertainty that we see with now Russia and Crimea,” he explained.

The government’s use of the Ukraine situation in both cases is an effective wedge on green groups, who will find it difficult to say that energy independence is not important in the case of shale gas, but vital in terms of renewables.

View image on Twitter

How dependent is Europe on Russian gas?

The answer is: quite. Around 30% of Europe’s gas comes from Russia and natural gas makes up 18.8% of the continent’s primary energy supply. But a report by consulting firm Pöyry for Europe’s oil and gas industry shows the reliance on Russian gas will increase to 50% by 2050 regardless of whether shale gas is part of the mix or not.

John Williams, who co-authored the report, said:

“There’s nothing in that level of shale gas production that will reduce the dependence on Russia from where we are now. In fact it would still be increasing over time. What you’d need to do, instead of looking at increases of shale gas prodcution you would need to start trying to introduce more energy efficency measures.”

But he said it was difficult to see how renewable energy measures could pick up much more of the supply burden without raising costs for consumers. The study controlled the renewable deployment so that it remained at current levels.

The study also found that even in a ‘shale boom scenario’ shale gas would supply less gas to Europe than Russia in ۲۰۵۰٫

Embedded image permalink

Williams said it would not be clear how the EU planned on reducing dependence on Russia until a report is released by the EU commission in June.

“There are a lot of issues at play, it’s not just as simple as saying ‘we don’t want Russian gas and we can replace it’.”

He said that shale gas may well replace other, more expensive gas before it replaced cheap Russian supplies.

David Cameron is just one in a long line of Tories who have been pushing fracking in the wake of Russia’s annexation of the Crimea.

ConservativeHome commentator Garvan Walshe wrote earlier this monththat one of Cameron’s top ten responses to the crisis should be to “Get Fracking”. With no mention of energy independence, Walshe said the government should:

Speed up the process for shale oil and gas drilling, and head off opposition by diverting a sizeable proportion of royalties from fracking to the communities and individuals in which wells are drilled.

Then in the past week, in what must have been an orchestrated move,energy minister Michael Fallon and foreign minister William Hague hit the pages of the Telegraph pushing shale gas. Softening the ground for Cameron to say yesterday:

“Completing the energy single market, making sure there are better interconnectors, making sure there are two-way flows of gas, better storage. This is really good work that’s going to be done…

“So I think it’s a good opportunity. Energy independence, using all these different sources of energy, should be a tier-one political issue from now on, rather than tier five…

“But it’s an interesting question. Why has it taken so long in the UK and Europe, compared with the US? We can ponder that, or alternatively we can just do what this government is doing, which is to roll up the sleeves, simplify the process, make the permissions easier, getting on with getting some wells moving.

“By the end of this year, there should be some unconventional gas wells up and running that we can demonstrate, and I think the enthusiasm for it will grow.

“So I’m confident we’ll win the argument, not least by sort of demonstrating that this is a good technology that will be good for our country.”

What the papers are saying

Reuters said last night that Cameron had made energy independence a priority for Europe:

Energy independence and the adoption of technologies like shale gas fracking should top Europe’s political agenda, Prime Minister David Cameron said on Tuesday, calling the Crimea crisis a “wake-up call” for states reliant on Russian gas.

The Telegraph reported that Cameron had made fracking Britain’s “duty” and that opponents were ill-informed.

Britain has a “duty” to embrace fracking in the wake of the Ukraine crisis, David Cameron has said, as he accused opponents of shale gas exploration of not “understanding” the issue properly.

The Daily Mail implied the UK itself was dependent on Russian gas supply.

Britain has a duty to step up fracking to reduce dependence on gas from Russia, the Prime Minister said yesterday.

The prime minister was clear in his statements that only a tiny fraction of Britain’s gas mix was Russian. The Mail said this may not be true.

Officially the UK imports less than 1 per cent of its gas from Russia. But Moscow-owned firm Gazprom claims it could be as high as 15 per cent indirectly, as Britain’s buys gas from other European countries such as Germany at peak times, which originates from Russia.

The Mail also said that energy industry ‘insiders’ were baffled by the PM’s assertion that shale gas wells could be online within the year.

Welcome to the eco audit

Europe’s shale gas advocates say the Ukraine crisis highlights the need to develop indigenous energy sources, weaning the continent off Russia’s huge reserves of natural gas. In the UK, Tory politicians have been queuing up push the shale gas agenda. Yesterday prime ministerDavid Cameron entered the fray, saying fracking would be “good for our country” and that pursuing its reserves was Britain’s “duty”.

Speaking to reporters after a nuclear security summit in Brussels, Cameron said:

“I think something positive should come out of [the situation in Ukraine] for Europe which is to take a long hard look at its energy resilience, and its energy independence. And I hope it will lead to some really useful work being done.

“Britain is not reliant on Russian gas to any extent, it’s just a few percentage points of our gas intake. But the variety around Europe is very, very wide. Some countries are almost 100% reliant on Russian gas so I think it is something of a wake-up call and I think action will be taken.”

The prime minister and his Tory colleagues have long been vocal advocates for fracking. But Cameron’s invocation of the threatening Russian bear needs examination. Is this pragmatism or opportunism? And is shale gas a necessary part of the cure for Europe’s Gazprom addiction?

Please join in today’s discussion by contributing in the comments below,tweet me or email me. If you are quoting figures or studies, please provide a link to the original source. Follow me on @karlmathiesen for updates throughout the day and later I will return with my own verdict.

************************************************

Blomberg

Businessweek

The crisis in Ukraine underscores the need for the European Union to consider imports of natural gas from the U.S. and development of domestic resources to diversify supplies, President Barack Obama said.

The annexation of Crimea by Russia pushed the 28-nation EU to accelerate its search for ways to cut reliance on imports from Russia’s OAO Gazprom, the main supplier of gas to Europe through Ukrainian pipelines. Europe depends on purchases from abroad for more than a half of its energy consumption and governments in the bloc are divided over exploration for shale gas, which has brought the U.S. toward energy independence.

“It is useful for Europe to look at its own energy assets as well as how the United States can supply additional energy assets,” Obama told reporters today in Brussels after a meeting with EU President Herman Van Rompuy and European Commission President Jose Barroso.

The EU’s overall energy dependency rate is set to rise to 80 percent by 2035 from the current 60 percent, according to the International Energy Agency. The bloc’s heads of state and government at a summit last week asked the European Commission, the EU executive, to prepare by June a road map on how to cut reliance on Russian imports and increase security of supply.

As a part of their debate on energy policies for the next decade at the March 20-21 summit, EU leaders also urged member states to speed up integration of electricity and gas markets to help reduce costs. Power prices in some parts of Europe are double those in the U.S. amid a shale-gas revolution.

Energy Policies

In light of the crisis in Ukraine, Europe will need to examine its energy policies to find ways to diversify supplies and accelerate its energy independence, Obama said. The U.S. as a source of energy is one possibility, he said.

“The truth of the matter is that just as there’s no easy, free, simple way to defend ourselves, there’s no perfect, free, ideal cheap energy sources,” Obama said. “Every possible energy source has some inconveniences or downsides.”

Gas from Russia accounted for 30 percent and oil for about 35 percent of EU imports in 2011, according to EU data. Other major gas suppliers to Europe are Norway, Algieria and Qatar.

Imports of gas from the U.S. as an option to diversify supplies to Europe was mentioned last week by U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron, who is seeking a 25-year plan to improve the EU energy security. Other possibilities recommended by the U.K. include gas development of the so-called southern corridor for gas from the Caspian region and Iraq, and increased cooperation with Norway and North Africa, the U.K. said in a document for the EU summit.

LNG Exports

The U.S. Department of Energy has approved seven permits to export liquefied natural gas to countries that don’t have free trade agreements with the U.S., with 24 applications still pending. The projects approved so far would ship 9.3 billion cubic feet a day of gas overseas, or about 17 percent of gas demand from European countries that are part of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, government data show.

U.S. and EU teams are going to meet next week to discuss energy cooperation, Barroso said today.

“The question is whether through our energy ministers and at the highest levels we’re able to find ways in which we can accelerate this process of diversification and this is something we’re very much committed to,” Obama said. “It’s not something that can happen overnight, but what I think this entire crisis has pointed to is the need for us to get moving now, with the sense of urgency.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Ewa Krukowska in Brussels at ekrukowska@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Lars Paulsson at lpaulsson@bloomberg.net Dan Stets, Bill Banker

 

 

Economic Cost of Crimea Seizure Mounts for Russia

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A World Bank report on the Russian economy, compiled before the most recent evidence of the scale of capital flight, made clear Moscow was already set to pay a significant price in lost growth due to the most serious East-West confrontation since the end of the Cold War.

Gross domestic product (GDP) could contract by as much as 1.8 percent in 2014 if the crisis persists, it said. That high-risk forecast assumes that the international community would still refrain from trade sanctions.

“An intensification of political tension could lead to heightened uncertainties around economic sanctions andwould further depress confidence and investment activities,” the World Bank said.

New Yourk Times

By REUTERS

MOSCOW/BRUSSELS — The economic impact of annexing Crimea from Ukraine could drive Russia into a sharp recession this year even if the West stops short of trade sanctions, the World Bank warned on Wednesday.

The gloomy assessment, far more negative than Russian government forecasts, came on a day when U.S. President Barack Obama was meeting European Union and NATO leaders to discuss how to reduce Europe’s dependence on Russian energy and bolster NATO defences of east European allies bordering Russia and Ukraine.

Obama and leaders of the Group of Seven major industrialised nations agreed this week to hold off on tougher economic sanctions unless President Vladimir Putin takes further action to destabilise Ukraine or other former Soviet republics.

Western concern has focused on Russian troops massed on Ukraine’s eastern border amid Kremlin allegations of attacks on Russian speakers in that industrial region of the country.

But Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk said on Wednesday it seemed likely that the firm Western response so far would stop Russia undertaking what he called “other acts of aggression and interference on the territory of Ukraine”.

A World Bank report on the Russian economy, compiled before the most recent evidence of the scale of capital flight, made clear Moscow was already set to pay a significant price in lost growth due to the most serious East-West confrontation since the end of the Cold War.

Gross domestic product (GDP) could contract by as much as 1.8 percent in 2014 if the crisis persists, it said. That high-risk forecast assumes that the international community would still refrain from trade sanctions.

“An intensification of political tension could lead to heightened uncertainties around economic sanctions and would further depress confidence and investment activities,” the World Bank said.

“We assume that political risks will be prominent in the short-term.”

Under a low-risk scenario, assuming only a short-lived impact from the crisis, GDP could grow by 1.1 percent, just half the bank’s 2.2-percent growth forecast published in December.

RUSSIAN STOCKS REBOUND

Russia is refusing to recognise the Kiev government chosen by parliament after the overthrow of Moscow-backed President Viktor Yanukovich on February 22 following months of street protests against his refusal to sign a pact on closer ties with the EU.

So far, the United States and the EU have imposed personal sanctions against Russian and Crimean officials involved in the seizure of the peninsula and Washington has slapped visa bans and asset freezes on senior business figures close to Putin.

Russian markets and the rouble have been shaken, resulting in massive capital outflows, now estimated by the Economy Ministry at up to $70 billion in the first quarter alone compared with $63 billion in the whole of last year.

However, Russian stocks clawed back more ground on Wednesday and the rouble strengthened as a relief rally continued due to signs of an easing of tensions over the Crimea crisis.

At 1050 GMT the rouble-denominated MICEX index was up 2 percent and the dollar-denominated RTS was up 2.6 percent.

Russian assets have rallied this week as investors calculate that the annexation of Crimea will not trigger more serious Western sanctions.

The Economy Ministry has yet to revise its early 2014 growth forecast of 2.5 percent for the year but a deputy minister said on Monday that it was anticipating GDP growth of “around zero” for the first quarter.

The European Union was set to press Obama at a summit in Brussels to help reduce Europe’s reliance on Russian energy by exporting U.S. natural gasand oil, restricted by U.S. laws.

Russia provides around one third of the EU’s oil and gas and some 40 percent of the gas is exported through Ukraine.

After visiting a World War One graveyard, Obama had just 75 minutes over lunch with the EU’s top officials to tackle issues ranging from transatlantic trade negotiations to climate change.

The Ukraine crisis has largely pushed aside strains in the U.S.-EU relationship over last year’s disclosures of large-scale spying by Washington on European allies.

Obama planned to assuage European concerns in a speech to some 2,000 guests reaffirming Washington’s commitment to defend NATO allies and work in partnership with the EU, before leaving for Rome later in the day.

“Right now, as we look around the world, there is a powerful reason for Europe and the United States to come together to demonstrate that they can take their relationship to a new level,” said U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman.

Obama affirmed that message when he visited war graves on Flanders Field in Waregem in western Belgium, where U.S. soldiers fought a century ago in battles where chemical weapons were first used on a massive scale.

“This visit, this hallowed ground reminds us that we must never, ever take our progress for granted. We must commit perennially to peace, which binds us across oceans,” he said.

Obama did not mention tensions with Russia over Crimea but emphasised instead international cooperation – including with Moscow – to disarm Syria of its chemical weapons.

“Our nations are part of the international effort to destroy Syria’s chemical weapons, the same kinds of weapons that were used to such devastating effect on these very fields,” he said.

NUCLEAR, SHALE GAS IN FOCUS

The quest to reduce reliance on Russian oil and gas supplies has prompted the EU to accelerate efforts to develop its internal energy market and revisit alternative sources such as liquefied natural gas, nuclear energy and shale gas, although the latter options raise strong environmental concerns.

British Prime Minister David Cameron said on Tuesday energy independence and the adoption of technologies like shale gas fracking should top Europe’s political agenda, calling Crimea a “wake-up call” for states reliant on Russian gas.

“Some countries are almost 100-percent reliant on Russian gas, so I think it is something of a wake-up call,” Cameron told reporters after a nuclear security summit in The Hague.

He pointed to reserves of shale gas in southeastern Europe, Poland and England that could be extracted by the process of pumping liquids at high pressure into underground rock formations known as fracking, widespread in the United States.

“I think it’s a good opportunity,” Cameron said. “Energy independence, using all these different sources of energy, should be a tier-one political issue from now on, rather than tier-five.”

Environmentalists say fracking is a threat to the water table and can cause earthquakes and landslides. Countries such as France and Bulgaria have banned it and others such as Britain and Poland have faced anti-fracking protests.

(Additional reporting by Steve Holland and Robin Emmott in Brussels, Marcin Goclowski in Warsaw, Jeff Mason in Waregem, Belgium, William James in The Hague and Jason Bush in Moscow; Writing by Paul Taylor; Editing by Alastair Macdonald

من، تنها جیش العدل را محکوم نمیکنم!

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سخن آخر اینکه قاتل گروهبان دانایی فر قبل از اینکه جیش العدل باشد دولت جمهوری اسلامی و مشخصاً شخص سید علی خامنه ایی بعنوان خداوندگار این مملکت است. رژیم باید بداند با ادامه دور تسلسل کشتار و خفه کردن مخالفین مسئله عمیق شونده  بحران خود با ملت  را حل نمیکند بلکه بر کینه مذهبی و قومی در جامعه می افزاید که دود آن نه بچشم فرزندان آقایان و آقازادگان بلکه بچشم بی گناهانی مانند گروهبان دانایی فر و افراد از جان به ستوه آمده ایی که در عکس العمل به تروریسم دولتی رژیم، دست به اسلحه برده اند میرود. سید علی خامنه ایی و یا آقای روحانی میتوانند بنا به مثل یک سوزن بخودت بزن و یک جوال دوز به دیگری، یکی از فرزندان خود را با آن ۴ نفر اسیر هنوز کشته نشده تعویض کنند و مسلماً  علاوه بر خانواده آن ۴ سرباز  بیگناه، جیش العدل  هم از چنین مبادله ایی خوشحال خواهد شد و آن ۴ نفر سرباز بیگناه هم بخانه خود نزد عزیزانشان باز خواهند گشت و آنگاه اگر رژیم  مایل است میتواند همچنان بحساب خود به مسابقه مرگ و کشتار و تهدید و گروگانگیری خود با جیش العدل  و همه تروریستهای دیگر ادامه دهد.

در یادداشتی با عنوان: “به رئیس جمهور ایران اسلامی حجة الاسلام حسن روحانی ” در ۸ اسفند، بعنوان یک شهروندِ نگرانِ جان این ۵ مرزبان بیگناه خطاب به رئیس جمهور کشورمان نوشتم:

“من این نامه را خطاب بشما ولی در حقیقت برای فردایی که شما دیگر رئیس جمهور نیستید مینویسم. ولی نخست به تقلید از شما روضه خوانان سعی میکنم با یک روضه ای برای آن ۵  نفر مرزبان بیگناه کشورمان آغاز کنم چون ظاهراً جیش العدل تهدید کرده است که بزودی یکی از آنها را خواهد کشت.

جناب روحانی در جریان یک گروگان گیری در یک مدرسه در روسیه در اوایل حکومت همین پوتین یا پدر خوانده او یلتسین، تروریستهای چچن صد ها تن از بچه های مردم و معلمین بیگناه را به گرگان گرفتند. رژیم روسیه که ضرب و شصت نشان دادن به چچنی ها و “واندادگی” در انظار دنیا به تروریستها، برایش از جان صدها کودک و معلم بیگناه مهمتر بود، ترجیح داد بجای مدارا  و سیاستگری با گرونگیرها با گروه ضربت  نظامی وارد عمل شود چون کشتن تروریستها از نجات جان آن کودکان معصوم برایش مهمتر بود.  میخائیل گورباچف با مقایسه رفتار دولت های غربی با دولت روسیه  در موارد مشابه  در مصاحبه ایی در این رابطه همانوقت گفت: آخر برای آنها جان  هر انسان ارزش دارد ولی برای ما بی ارزش است.”  واقعیت اینست که کینه توزی و انتقام کشی  تا حد شخصی، بنیادی ترین فلسفه اعتقادی رژیمی است که شما اینک  رئیس جمهورش هستید. این روشی بوده است که جمهوری اسلامی ما در موارد مشابه در پیش گرفته است.

جناب روحانی دولت شما بجای وارد شدن به مذاکره با همان تروریستها که مسئول تروریست شدن آنها هم خود رژیم شماست، بنا دارد با گروه ضربت خود وارد عمل شود و لذا  از پیش میتوان گفت که نتیجه  چنین رویکردی کشته شدن آن ۵ مرزبان بیچاره است. حتی اگر شما موفق هم بشوید با حمله نظامی آنها را آزاد کنید، این اقدام  نتیجه ایی جز تداوم سیکل انتقام گیری نخواهد داشت .  در حقیقت قاتل احتمالی آن ۵ نفر مرزبان نه جیش العدل بلکه نظامیگرانه اندیشی مسئولین حکومت متبوع شماست. اگر بجای آن مرزبانان، خود شما  هم که رئیس جمهور هم هستید به گروگان گرفته میشدید، بی اعتنا بجان شما، ضرب شصت نشان دادن به گروگانگیران اولویت قطعی و تنها گزینه بود.”

به آن نوشته می افزایم که قریب ۴ سال پیش دولت اسرائیل برای جنازه  یک سرباز اسرائیلی که توسط حزب الله  لبنان ربوده شده بود، حاضر شد قریب بیش ۲۲۰ زندانی فلسطینی و حزب الله را که عملیات تروریستی هم علیه آن کشور داشتند را آزاد کند.

قریب ۵  یا ۶ سال پیش هم، دولت وقت ترکیه، عبدالله اوجلان رهبر PKK را که صدها برابر عبدالله ریگی و برادرش عملیات تروریستی و کشتار داشت و ارتش پارتیزانی چند هزار نفری را علیه حکومت ترکیه رهبری میکرد و انگ تروریسم  را از سوی دول اروپایی و آمریکا را هم بر خود داشت، را بخشیده و حکم اعدام او را که از سوی دادگاهی صلاحیت دار و علنی با رعایت همه موازین حقوق جزائی مرسوم در دنیا صادر شده بود را، به حبس ابد تبدیل کرد که بعداً زندان او به ویلای شخصی، و خود او به میانجی صلح بین PKK  و دولت کنونی ترکیه تبدیل گردیده است. بیشک عبدالله اوجلان  زندان ابد خود را به پایان نخواهد رساند و برای اتمام انجام مأموریت تاریخی صلح، روزی برای تسریع روند آشتی ملی بین دولت ترکیه و کردهای آن کشور، از زندان آزاد خواهد شد.

بی ربط نیست اگر در مقایسه با نمونه های ذکر شده فوق ؛ ادعاهای مدنیت، دیانت و انسانیت رژیم خودمان را یاوه بافیهای رنگ باخته و تاریخ گذشته ایی بدانیم که  از فرط تکراردیگر گوشی هم برای خود نمی یابند.

از همان روزی که این ۵ نفر مرزبان بیگناه به اسارت گرفته شدند، معلوم بود که جیش العدل با آنها و دولت ما نه تعارف و نه شوخی دارد. کما اینکه رژیم هم با آن چند صد نفر زندانی بلوچ که توسط افرادی نظیر همین مرزداران دستگیر و اسیر شده اند شوخی نمیکند و از همان تروریستها بدتر، هر لحظه ای را که برای زهر چشم گرفتن و نسق کشی مناسب بداند،هر تعداد از آن اسرا را که بخواهد به جوخه اعدام میسپارد.

بنظر من بین آدم کشی رژیم جمهوری اسلامی ما  با عمل جیش العدل کمترین تفاوتی در متُد تروریستی نیست جز اینکه آغاز گر این دور تسلسل کشتار نه جیش العدل بلکه رژیم تروریستی حاکم بر میهن ماست. حال اگر رژیم  زیر نام و عنوان دولت به کشتار دست میزند، نه تنها کمترین امتیازی نسبت به جیش العدل  بدان نمی دهد بلکه جرم آنرا سنگین تر هم میکند زیرا  رژیم در جایگاه دولت، موظف به رعایت موازین حقوقی، زیر دهها مقاوله نامه جهانی را، راجع به رعایت حقوق بشر، حقوق اقلیتهای قومی و مذهبی را امضاء کرده است.

سخن آخر اینکه قاتل گروهبان دانایی فر قبل از اینکه جیش العدل باشد دولت جمهوری اسلامی و مشخصاً شخص سید علی خامنه ایی بعنوان خداوندگار این مملکت است. رژیم باید بداند با ادامه دور تسلسل کشتار و خفه کردن مخالفین مسئله عمیق شونده  بحران خود با ملت  را حل نمیکند بلکه بر کینه مذهبی و قومی در جامعه می افزاید که دود آن نه بچشم فرزندان آقایان و آقازادگان بلکه بچشم بی گناهانی مانند گروهبان دانایی فر و افراد از جان به ستوه آمده ایی که در عکس العمل به تروریسم دولتی رژیم، دست به اسلحه برده اند میرود. سید علی خامنه ایی و یا آقای روحانی میتوانند بنا به مثل یک سوزن بخودت بزن و یک جوال دوز به دیگری، یکی از فرزندان خود را با آن ۴ نفر اسیر هنوز کشته نشده تعویض کنند و مسلماً  علاوه بر خانواده آن ۴ سرباز  بیگناه، جیش العدل  هم از چنین مبادله ایی خوشحال خواهد شد و آن ۴ نفر سرباز بیگناه هم بخانه خود نزد عزیزانشان باز خواهند گشت و آنگاه اگر رژیم  مایل است میتواند همچنان بحساب خود به مسابقه مرگ و کشتار و تهدید و گروگانگیری خود با جیش العدل  و همه تروریستهای دیگر ادامه دهد.

ستون پنجم؛ از بنغازی تا کییف

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استفاده وسیع از تهدید، تطمیع و خریدن آدمها، دامگذاری و.. ، همانقدر در سرویسهای اطلاعاتی این رژیمها مورد استفاده قرار میگیرد که ابزارهای ایدئولوژیکی و پیوندهای سازمانی و اداری با انگیزه های و وظیفه مندانه شغلی  و بوروکراتیک. تعجب انگیز نیست اگر تصور شود که اوکرائین بعنوان یکی از جمهوریهای سابق اتحاد شوروی که طی ۷۰ سال عرصه فعالیت بی حد و مرز رسمی و قانونی KGB بوده است و با  داشتن چندین میلیون روس تباری که بخش اعظمشان خود را همچنان روسی میدانند تا اوکرائینی، تا مغز استخوان دستگاه اداری و نظامی اش در معرض رخنه گری دستگاههای اطلاعاتی روسیه باشد.

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من در رابطه به قیام مردم لیبی علیه قذافی و  قیام مردم سوریه علیه بشار اسد به نقش ستون پنجم در ایجاد اختلال در صفوف مخالفین این دو رژیم و منحرف کردن مسیر پیکار  ضد دیکتاتوری مردم این دو کشور، در آنجا که  برای آن دو رژیم مقدور بوده است یادداشتهای متعددی نوشته ام که نه صرفاً گمانه زنی های عملیاتی بلکه مبتنی بر مستندات قابل قبول نیز بوده اند.

در آن یادداشتها روی این مسئله که استفاده از ستون پنجم در دکترین یا سازو کارهای امنیتی رژیمهایی مشابه رژیم شوروی سابق و روسیه امروز و ایران اسلامی نقشی عظیم دارد تأکید کرده بودم. دلیل این امر هم ساده است. فقط رژیمهای دیکتاتوری از این نوع قادرند در این وسعت، هم از ابزارها و انگیزه های ایدئولوژیکی برای نفرگیری وسیع و ارزان استفاده کنند و هم دست این  گونه رژیمها از نظر منابع مالی و کاربرد شیوهای غیر انسانی کاملاً باز است. مثلاً در مقایسه  میتوان گفت که تشکیلات موساد که آزاد ترین و با اختیاردارترین سرویس اطلاعاتی در اردوگاه غرب است با KGB روسیه، موساد زیر نظارت پارلمانی، قضایی و رسانه ایی کاملاً وسیعتری قرار داشته و ازمنابع مالی محدود تری برخوردار است.  این مطلق العنانی در استخبارات سوریه و دستگاههای متعدد اطلاعاتی و امنیتی جمهوری اسلامی حتی از KGB هم بیشتر است.

ااستفاده وسیع از تهدید، تطمیع و خریدن آدمها، دامگذاری و.. ، همانقدر در سرویسهای اطلاعاتی این رژیمها مورد استفاده قرار میگیرد که ابزارهای ایدئولوژیکی و پیوندهای سازمانی و اداری با انگیزه های و وظیفه مندانه شغلی  و بوروکراتیک. 

تعجب انگیز نیست اگر تصور شود که اوکرائین بعنوان یکی از جمهوریهای سابق اتحاد شوروی که طی ۷۰ سال عرصه فعالیت بی حد و مرز رسمی و قانونی KGB بوده است و با  داشتن چندین میلیون روس تباری که بخش اعظمشان خود را همچنان روسی میدانند تا اوکرائینی، تا مغز استخوان دستگاه اداری و نظامی اش در معرض رخنه گری دستگاههای اطلاعاتی روسیه باشد.

روزنامه کیف پست اوکرائین به نقل از یکی از مطلعین و در رابطه با برکناری وزیر دفاع آن کشور و واگرائی، تسلیم و انحلال بی مقاومت واحد های نظامی اوکرائین در شبه جزیره اشغال شدذه کریمه مینوسد؛ که اگر ارتش اوکرائین میخواست به عکس العمل نظامی هم دست بزند، بسیاری نفربرهای آن فاقد حتی باطری بودند.

حال خراب بودن باطری این نفربرها، تازه اولین کاستی کشف شده است معلوم نیست اگر پای استفاده از مهمات جنگی پیش می آمد، این مهمات با مکانیسمهای جنگی مربوطه جور در می آمدند یانه؟ آیا گلوله این توپ برای آن یک و آن یک بریا این یک ارسال نمی شد. یا وسایل یدکی این برای آن و آن برای این؟. معلوم نبود اطلاعات نظامی دریافت شده چقدر درست و مراکز عملیاتی  یا تمرکز نیروهای روسیه چقدر شناسایی شده و چقدر  گمراه کننده (دیس اینفرماتیو ومانوپولاتیو)، میباشند و بنا براین، طرحهای نظامی مبتنی بر آن داده های اطلاعاتی چقدر مناسب بوده و حتی تا چه حد ممکنست آن طرحها در ستاد جنگی ارتش روسیه و با نظارت KGB  بقصد گمراه سازی تهیه شده بوده  و به ستاد فرماندهی ارتش اوکرائین تنقیه شده اند.

روزنامه کیف پست دیروز سخنان  رهبر حزب اسووبودا را در همین رابطه نقل میکند:

[اوله تیانیبوک، لیدر حزب اسووبوداSvoboda گفت: “حالا اوکرائین با دو دشمن روبروست”روسیه و خائنین به اوکرائین.”روسیه اشغالگر بعنوان دشمن شماره یک  که اوکرائین باید با آن در افتد و دشمنی دیگر که در درون جبهه ماست و باید بدان هم بپردازیم ـ آن خائینی که برای روسیه کار میکنند.”

تیانیبوک که در پارلمان صحبت میکرد افزود؛ نمایندگان پارلمان متقاعد هستند که روسها میخواهند “اوکرائین را تقسیم کنند. ولی سه حزب اپوزیسیونی؛ اسووبودا، ائتلاف برای اصلاحات دموکراتیک  UDAR، حزب میهن پدری همه اوکرائینها Batkivshchyna، که متحداً دیکتاتوری را برانداختند،  حالا هنم دست دردست هم، خائنین را ردیابی خواهند کرد بدون اینکه دستخوش تحریک بشوند. ما نیازمند آنیم تا برای بپایان رساندن کار همچنان متحد بمانیم زیرا امروز فقط آینده اوکرائین مطرح است. … .”]

بنظر من و با قضاوت از روی شور و شوق انقلابی مردم اوکرائین در جریان سه ماه مقاومتشان در سرمای ۲۰ درجه ایی در میدان استقلال کیف و سایر شهرهای اوکرائین؛ سطح آمادگی روانی و اخلاق رزمی مردم اوکرائین بر نیروهای روسی، برتری داشت ولی مسئله جنگ، تنها روحیه رزمی و آمادگی برای جان دادن  نیست بلکه مسئله توازن وتناسب تکنولوژیکی و سازماندهی نیز هست. و اینها بودند  آن دلایلی که ارتش اوکرائین  بخاطر آنها چاره ایی جز تسلیم و عقب نشینی  در کریمه نداشت و غرب هم در واکنش به این تهاجم تجاوزگرانه، چاره ایی جز هدفگیری پاشنه آشیل روسیه که اقتصادی است و در این مورد خاص نظامی نیست نداشت. در این زمینه کافیست که به خبری که بنقل از خود مقامات اقتصادی روسیه گزارش شده بود اشاره کنم و آنهم اینست که با نگاه به منحنی خروج سرمایه از کشور، پیش بینی میشود که طی سه ماهه اول امسال یعنی تا چند روز دیگر،   بنا بگزارش دیلی تلگراف میزان فرار سرمایه به ۷۰ میلیارد دلار برسد.

نرخ برابر ی روبل روسیه طی این سه ماهه علیرغم تزریق دهها میلیارد دلار به بازار در برابر دلار ۱۰% نزول کرده است و فقط با سرنگ تزریق دائمی دلار از سوی بانک مرکزی توانسته است سطح خود را در همین اندازه  هم نگاه دارد. بنا بگزارش نشریه اقتصادی داگنز نرینگز لیوز نروژ بورس مسکو هم طی سه ماهه امسال ۱۳% تنزل یافته است.

هیچ بعید نیست که روسیه به جنوب و شرق اوکرائین هم حمله کند و با ایجاد تنشهای قومی، در آنجا هم نیرو پیاده کرده و مناطقی را هم اشغال کند ولی آیا تفوق نظامی در این درگیری میتواند استراتژیک و ماندگار باشد؟ سئوال اصلی اینست! و پاسخ من به این سئوال اینست که نه تنها روسیه قادر به حفظ این دست آوردها نیست بلکه ادامه این تجاوز اگر  به سقوط و سرنگونی رژیم پوتین نیانجامد به سقوط خود روسیه بعنوان یک کشور منتهی و منتج خواهد شد زیرا در این معادله عقبه و عمق استراتژیکی لقمه بظاهر ضعیف اوکرائین محاسبه نشده است.

در بحث از عقبه یا عمق استراتژیک:

ما در فیلم های طبیعت و وحوش دیده ائیم که گاهی یک مار کبرا یک گوساله را میخورد. یک گوساله یا یک بچه آهو بلحاظ حجم و اندام از خرطوم یک فیل خیلی بزرگتر هستند. حال یک لحظه تصور کنیم که یک مار کبرا خرطوم نرم و کوچکتر یک فیل یا لنگ یک کرگدن  خوابیده روی زمین را قورت بدهد و ذره ذره به تنه حیوان برسد! این را میتوان با شعر کنیزک و کدو در مولوی هم مقایسه کرد.

روسیه وارد یک درگیری ای شده است که برای پیروزی در آن فاقد ظرفیت و عمق استراتژیک است، هم بمعنای نظامی و هم بمعنای اقتصادی و نه چندان کمتر دیپلماتیک. اجماعی که در اثر تجاوز به اوکرائین علیه روسیه شکل گرفته است در تار تاریخ دیپلماسی دنیا بی سابقه است. این دیپلماسی خود را دیر یا زود در عرصه اقتصادی و نظامی  هم نشان خواهد داد.

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Dagens Industry

Putin varnar finansföretag i väst

Uppdaterad 2014-03-27 15:15. Publicerad 2014-03-27 14:37

Foto: Dmitry Lovetsky

Ryske presidenten Vladimir Putin varnar internationella finansföretag från väst för att stoppa verksamhet med betalningssystem i Ryssland. Putin hävdar att det innebär att företagen förlorar pengar och marknadsandelar.

För en vecka sedan drabbades flera ryska banker av att ryska kreditkort med kopplingar till kreditkortsbolagen Visa och Mastercard spärrades.

Rysslands ekonomiminister Alexej Uljukajev räknar med att utflödet av kapital från Ryssland i år kommer att uppgå till 100 miljarder dollar och att tillväxten faller till 0,6 procent.

Om vi räknar med att första kvartalets kapitalutflöde var 60 miljarder då kommer vi nå upp till omkring 100 miljarder dollar för helåret. I det scenariot räknar vi med att tillväxten kommer falla till 0,6 procent, säger Uljukajev.

I januari låg den ryska regeringens tillväxtprognos för 2014 på ۲,۵ procent. Den sänkta prognosen kan kopplas till Ukrainakrisen.

Rysslands valutareserv har hittills i år krympt med 23 miljarder dollar (cirka 150 miljarder kronor), enligt Rysslands centralbank.

Reserven, som bland annat används för att stödköpa rubel på valutamarknaden, krympte med 6,6 miljarder dollar (cirka 43 miljarder kronor) under veckan som avslutades den 21 mars.

 

داگنز نرینگ لیو نروژ

هفته خطرناک برای بورس سهام روسیه:

شاخص بورس روسیه امسال تا کنون ۱۳% و نرخ برایری روبل ۱۰% تا کنون تنزل یافته است کریس ویفر کارشناس   در موسسه  Macro-Advisory til CNBC.  . هفته های بسیار، بسیار ، بسیار پر تلاطمی در پیش است.

Russiske myndigheter frykter at utenlandske investorer i løpet av årets tre første måneder har trukket ut like mye kapital fra landet som gjennom hele fjoråret. Bildet er fra Moskva i januar i år. Foto: AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin

Finans Uroen i Ukraina

Frykter «farlig uke» for russiske aksjer

G7-landene varsler koordinerte sanksjoner som vil ramme Russlands økonomi. Landet ser massiv kapitalflukt.

Publisert: 25.03.2014 — ۰۹:۰۸ Oppdatert: 25.03.2014 — ۱۵:۲۸

– Det er frykten for sanksjoner som har gjort skade, sier partner Chris Weafer i det Moskva-baserte selskapet Macro-Advisory til CNBC.

Aksjeindeksen på Micex-børsen i Moskva har falt 13 prosent så langt i år, og den russiske rubelen er svekket. Mot dollar er rubelen svekket med 10 prosent siden nyttår.

Forrige uke falt den russiske gassprodusenten Novatek over 10 prosent som følge av at EU og særlig USA trappet opp sine sanksjoner.

– Det er trusselen om at sanksjonene kan bli utvidet til noe mye mer alvorlig, som handelsstans eller tilgangen til finansmarkeder. Det er dette som er reflektert i aksjemarkedet heller enn hva som så langt har skjedd, sier han.

Weafer mener det er frykt for fremtidige sanksjoner som har gjort investorene skvetne., og han advarer om at russiske aksjer kan få en «veldig, veldig volatil og farlig uke».

Koordinerte sanksjoner

Mandag kveld ble det kjent at Russland er ute av det gode selskap blant de åtte mektigste landene i verden.

De såkalte G7-landene stenger Russland ute fra G8, og landene lot det i en melding skinne gjennom at saftigere sanksjoner kan komme. Samtidig flyttes G7-toppmøtet som skulle vært holdt i Sotsji i juni, til Brussel.

«Vi er fortsatt klare til å intensivere våre reaksjoner. Det inkluderer koordinerte sanksjoner som vil ha en stadig større innvirkning på den russiske økonomien hvis landet fortsetter å eskalere situasjonen», heter det i en uttalelse etter krisemøtet.

USA innførte torsdag sanksjoner mot 20 russere i president Vladimir Putins nære krets, samt mot banken Bank Rossiya.

Weafer mener markedet er svært sensitivt for nyheter.

– Du har presidenten i USA, presidenten i Kina, alle i Europa på samme tid. Det kommer til å bli mange Russland-slag, og det vil vi se i aksjemarkedet, sier han.

Mandag endte Micex-indeksen ned 0,87 prosent.

Venter massiv kapitalflukt

Russland venter at frykten for strengere sanksjoner vil føre til at investorene kommer til å trekke ut 70 milliarder dollar fra landet i årets første tre måneder, ifølge Financial Times tirsdag, som viser til uttalelser fra landets vise-finansminister.

Til sammenligning trakk investorene ut 63 milliarder dollar av det russiske markedet i hele 2013. Beløpet er også større enn hva Vladimir Putins rådgivere oppga for kun ti dager siden, ifølge FT.

– Utdatert

Russlands utenriksminister Sergej Lakov uttaler at Russland ikke vil klamre seg til G8, og mener forsamlingen er delvis utdatert og har blitt forbigått av G20, som også inkluderer de fremvoksende økonomiene.

– G8 er en uformell klubb. Det finnes ikke et formelt medlemskap i den klubben, så ingen kan bli utvist fra klubben per definisjon, sier Lavrov.

Russland visefinansminister Andrej Klepach sier at sanksjonene sålangt ikke har hatt en direkte økonomisk innvirkning, men at de forverrede internasjonale relasjonene tynget økonomien.

– Kapitalflukten var allerede betydelig før dette, og voksende spenning og kaldere relasjoner gjør det selvsagt enda verre, sier han.

Moskva-børsen later imidlertid til å riste av seg usikkerheten tirsdag.

RTS-indeksen stiger en knapp prosent i et ellers knallrødt europeiske børsmarked, som faller 0,50-1,70 prosent.

 

 

Russia warns of investor flight

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Vladimir PutinFigures around President Vladimir Putin have been the subject of EU and US sanctions
BBC
March 2014

Russia expects investors to move up to $70bn (£۴۲bn) of assets out of the country in the first three months of this year.

The sign that investors are becoming nervous about Russia comes amid sanctions and tensions over Ukraine.

Speaking to reporters on Monday, Andrei Klepach, Russia’s deputy economy minister, also warned of stagnant growth and rising inflation.

He expects growth in the first quarter to be “around zero”.

The Russian economy grew by just 1.3% last year, but Mr Klepach said it was “too soon” to talk about “a recovery from stagnation”.

“There won’t be a recession, but there is a problem of stagnation: it’s length and depth,” Mr Klepach said.

“Unfortunately the investment slump is continuing. I’m not ready to say how long it will continue.”

The Russian economy ministry forecasts suggest $65-70bn of assets would be taken out of Russia this quarter, but Mr Klepach said the figure was likely to be closer to $70bn.

That would mark a significant rise on 2013, when capital outflows for the entire year totalled $63bn.

Mr Klepach said sanctions imposed by the US and EU in the wake of the Ukraine crisis had yet to have a significant impact, but said “worsening of relations is a significantly negative factor for economic growth and correspondingly influences the capital outflow

سفره هفت سین: صادق زیبا کلام

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کیانوری به‌جای رستم پاسخ داد: «ببینید رفیق‌ابوالقاسم! نظام حاکم بر آمریکا یک نظام سرمایه‌داری منحط و فاسد است؛ و رفیق کبیر چامسکی که یک روشنفکر متعهد و انقلابی است و مطالبش اکثراً در مطبوعات مستقل و متعهد به زحمتکشان مبارز و کارگران قهرمان و انقلابی در ایران چاپ می‌شود، علیه این نظام فاسد که رو به اضمحلال است به اعتراض به پا خاسته بود.» بعد هم درحالی‌که با پوزخند به‫#‏مهندس‌‌بازرگان‬ و ‫#‏دکتر‌مصدق‬ نگاه می‌کرد گفت: «البته بعضی‌ها خواستند آن نظام منحط و استثمارگر را در ایران خودمان هم پیاده کنند ولی «دست غیب آمد و بر صورت نامحرم زد». البته دست غیب همان دست مبارزین اصیل و ضد امپریالیستی توده‌های زحمتکش خلق‌های مبارز انقلابی میهنمان است…»

zibakklam5

از بس این پوریا عالمی بچه نجیب و با حجب و حیایی است، دلم نیامد بهش نه بگویم. وقتی بهم گفت که چی می‌خواهد، واقعاً داشتم شاخ درمی‌آوردم. بهش گفتم «آخه پوریا جان! من اصلاً اهل هفت‌سین و هفت‌سین بازی نیستم. این‌همه تو یار وفادار داری چرا آمدی از میان همه پیامبران جرجیس را گیر آوردی؟ ‫#‏دکتر‌جلال‌الدین‌کزازی‬، دکتر ‫#‏حداد‌عادل‬، چه می‌دانم این‌همه آدم که هرکدام در منقبت هفت‌سین و عید نوروز به‌ اندازه وزن من، کتاب و مقاله نوشته‌اند، هستند، چرا نمی‌روی سراغ آنها؟ والله بالله سپردن این کار به من، یک‌جور ستم به طرفداران فرهنگ و تمدن پارسی و آریایی است. نویسنده هست که برای هر «سین» ‫#‏هفت‌سین‬ و معنا و مفهوم آن کلی مطلب دارد. آخر سزاوار است وقتی این افراد هستند من بیایم بشوم میزبان سفره هفت‌سین روزنامه شرق؟» گفت: «اگه قول بدهی بیایی، دم حامد طبیبی، داوود محمدی، شهاب طباطبائی و خود رحمانیان را می‌بینم و برات جور می‌کنم، سال ۹۳ یک سرمقاله در صفحه اول شرق داشته باشی، خوبه؟ دیگه چی می‌خوای؟» دیدم فایده‌ای ندارد.

ازش پرسیدم برای ‫#‏سال‌تحویل‬ حالا چه کسانی قرار است بیایند؟

گفت: «راستش…«رستم»، «فردوسی»، «دکتر مصدق»، «مهندس بازرگان» و «کیانوری» قطعاً گفتن میان. ترتیب همه کارها رو هم بچه‌های روزنامه دادن. روی میز اتاق سردبیری بچه‌های تحریریه سفره می‌اندازن. تو هم اصلاً احتیاجی نیست هیچ کاری بکنی. یه خوش‌آمد بگو و جان دکتر اون قیافه سبعانه مناظره‌هات توی تلویزیون با اصولگرایان را فقط نگیر. خواهش می‌کنم هم هرچی گفتند جلوی خودت را بگیر و چیزی نگو. عیده و سال‌تحویله.»

پرسیدم سکه هفت‌سین را چکار کردید؟

گفت: «چند سال قبل که این سکه‌های ۵۰۰ تومانی تازه درآمده بود، بچه‌های تحریریه رفته بودند دیدن آقای احمدی‌نژاد و قرار بود بهشون یکی یه سکه بده. بعد که آمدیم بیرون، متوجه شدیم که سکه‌ها همون سکه‌های ۵۰۰ تومانی است. حامد طبیبی مال خودشو سر عقد داد به خانمش؛ رحمانیان و شهاب طباطبایی هم مال خودشونو فروختند یک مقداری بدهی رو خونه‌شان داشتند و مابقی بچه‌ها هم زدند سکه‌هاشون رو به زخم زندگی‌شون. بعد هم با کمال بی‌انصافی گفتن احمدی‌نژاد واسه مطبوعات کاری نکرد. من مال خودمو نگهداشتم و قرار شده اونو بذاریم تو سفره هفت‌سین.»

دو سه ساعت مانده به تحویل سال سروکله مهمان‌ها یواش‌یواش پیدا شد. اول‌ازهمه فردوسی آمد. شاهنامه‌اش توی یک جلد پوست آهو زیر بغلش بود و خیلی متین و سنگین سلام و علیک کرد و نشست روی مبل. احتیاجی نبود کسی بهم بگوید چقدر از من متنفر است! جواب سلام‌علیکم را که نداد هیچی، اصلاً یک‌بار هم تو چشمم نگاه نکرد. ولی مجبور بودم بروم و بهشان خیرمقدم بگویم.

درحالی‌که سعی می‌کردم خیلی باادب باشم و نیمه‌تعظیمی هم کرده بودم، گفتم: «قربان مزین فرمودین، از طرف روزنامه زنجیره‌ای شرق به حضرت‌عالی خوش‌آمد می‌گویم و پیشاپیش حلول سال جدید را به جنابعالی تبریک می‌گویم. انشالله که سال جدید برای شما و اهل بیت معزز سالی قرین از خیروبرکت و رحمت باشد.» هنوز لغت «باشد» تو هوا بود که برای اولین بار جناب «فردوسی» بهم نگاه کرد و گفت «تو واقعاً خجالت نمی‌کشی؟»

آن‌قدر از این جمله جا خوردم که فکر کردم خطاب فردوسی به آقای رحمانیان یا به خانم مهسا جزینی که پشت سرم بود و داشت چایی می‌آورد، است. برگشتم پشت سرم را نگاه کردم، کسی نبود. مطمئن شدم که به خودم دارد می‌گوید. قبل از اینکه چیزی بگویم ادامه دادند که: «نه واقعاً تو خجالت نمی‌کشی؟ من سی سال رنج بردم و «عجم زنده کردم بدین پارسی» و آن‌وقت تو اینجوری یک نامه سرگشاده و غیر سرگشاده می‌نویسی پر از الفاظ و لغات مهوع و چندش‌آور تازی؟ عقده‌داری عبارات و ادبیات عصر قاجار را مثل نقل‌ونبات در نوشته‌هایت بیاوری؟ آخه ایران سراسر مصیبت و حقارت عصر قاجار چه افتخار و بزرگی داره که این‌همه به زبان و واژگان آن عصر دل بستی؟». بعد هم بهم فرمودند «بدسگال کژاندیش». نفهمیدم یعنی چی ولی فکر نمی‌کنم جرئت کنم به حاج حسین شریعتمداری بگم «برو بدسگال کژاندیش». شاید یه روز به خاتمی گفتم. چون خیلی بهش میاد بدسگال باشه.

کیانوری که در همین حیث و بیث آمده و درون مبل مستقر شده بود، با دیدن وضع من و فردوسی گفت: «رفیق ابوالقاسم! بفرمایید که تازه ایران عصر قاجار خیلی هم شیره گلو سوزی نبوده. عصر مذلت و خفت باری بوده که منابع کشور به تاراج می‌رود؛ استعمارگران سعی می‌کنند دین را از سیاست جدا سازند، فرقه ضاله به راه می‌اندازد، نهضت مشروطه را به انحراف می‌کشانند و به‌جای مشروطه مشروعه، مشروطه منحط غرب تجاوزگرِ و رو به انحطاط را جایگزین می‌سازند و راه را برای به قدرت رسیدن سلسله وابسته و منحوس پهلوی مزدور و رضاشاه وابسته به انگلستان هموار می‌کنند.»

فردوسی بدون توجه به مطالب کیانوری همچنان غرش‌کنان به من گفت: «فقط آمده بودم بهت بگم که شرم بر تو ای پارسی‌زبان، ای فرزند مهر و اهورا که این‌گونه مزدوری تازیان می‌کنی؟»

دکتر مصدق و مهندس بازرگان هم وارد شدند. با ورود آنان، لبخندی که روی صورت کیانوری از حملات جناب فردوسی به من نقش بسته بود تا حدودی آب رفت. تقریباً میهمانان ویژه‌مان کامل شده بودند و فقط منتظر رستم بودیم. از سروصدای تو پله‌ها مشخص شد که جناب رستم هم رسیدند. رستم با همه سلام‌علیک کرد. با فردوسی هم روبوسی مفصلی کرد و نشست پیش او. فردوسی با مهر و محبت زیادی ازش پرسید: «پهلوان کجا بودی خسته به نظر می‌رسی؟»

رستم درحالی‌که در مبل مستقر می‌شد گفت: «رفته بودم نیویورک.»

کیانوری بلافاصله گفت: «حتماً رفته بودید تا به دوستان کمک کنید با استکبار ببندند.»

رستم با لبخند به کیانوری گفت: «نه دکتر، من مدت‌هاست که با هیچ حزب و گروه و جریان و دسته سیاسی همکاری نمی‌کنم. من مستقلم.»

دکتر مصدق هم گفت: «از یک قهرمان ملی، از یک تهمتن، از یک فخر ایران‌زمین غیر از این هم انتظار نمی‌رود. شما به جبهه ملی تعلق دارید که فراتر از هر حزب گروه و دسته است.»

رستم با تواضع خاصی گفت: «قربان من اگر پشت دیو سفید، اکوان دیو، گرسیوز نابکار و اژدهای هفت‌سر را به خاک ‌مالیده‌ام، جنابعالی پشت شیر پیر استعمار بریتانیای کبیر که از مادر فولاد زره هم نابکارتر است را به خاک رساندید. کار شما کارستان بود.»

مهندس بازرگان از رستم پرسید که «پهلوان اگر برای مذاکرات هسته‌ای و برقراری رابطه با آمریکا به نیویورک نرفته بودید پس حتماً رفته بودید بچه‌ها را ببینید؟» و رستم پاسخ داد «نه اتفاقاً، منیژه دختر وسطی‌ام با نوه‌هایم عید می‌آیند تهران. دامادم هم برای ناسا کار می‌کنه و دوهفته مرخصی گرفته باهاشون داره میاد.»

مهندس بازرگان گفت: «به‌سلامتی. چشمتان روشن. پس عید جمعتان دور هم هستند.»

درحالی‌که همه منتظر بودند و کنجکاو که رستم برای چه‌کاری به نیویورک رفته بوده است، خودش شروع به توضیح دادن کرد که: «برای کار چامسکی رفته بودم.»

کیانوری پرسید: «پروفسور رفیق چامسکی کسالتی پیدا کردند؟»

فردوسی با نگرانی پرسید: «حالش خوبه؟ طوری شده؟»

رستم گفت: «نه بابا. طوری‌ش نیست، حالش خوبه. رفته بودم ضامنش بشم.»

دکتر مصدق گفت: «واقعاً عجب دوره و زمانه‌ای شده، آدم به چشم‌هایش هم نمی‌تواند اطمینان کند. ما فکر می‌کردیم فقط به انگلیس و سفارتشان نمیشه اطمینان کرد. حالا ‫#‏چامسکی‬ هم کارش جوری شده که پهلوان رستم باید بروند و ضامنش بشوند تا مرخص شود. حالا چیکار کرده بود؟»

‫#‏رستم‬ با خوش‌رویی گفت: «نه بابا، بنده خدا، اصلاً اهل کار خلاف نیست و مشکلش هم خلاف نبوده. مشکلش سیاسیه. دادستان انقلاب آمریکا احضارش کرده به اتهام تضعیف نظام، تبلیغ علیه نظام و تشویش اذهان عمومی. دادستان نیویورک بعد از بازرسی براش قرار یا وثیقه صادر کرده بود. من رفتم ضامنش شدم تا فعلاً آزاد بشه تا در مورد دادگاهش قوه قضائیه آمریکا تصمیم‌گیری کنه.»

‫#‏بازرگان‬ با تعجب پرسید: «نشنیده بودم در آمریکا از این حرف‌ها باشه.»

‫#‏کیانوری‬ با طعنه گفت: «شما کلاً در مورد آمریکا خیلی از واقعیت‌ها را نه می‌خواهید بشنوید و نه می‌خواهید بدانید «آمریکا بزرگ‌ترین ناقض حقوق بشر در جهان است. زندان‌های آمریکا پر از مبارزان و آزادی‌خواهان است. همین چامسکی نمونه بارزش. اگر بنده می‌گفتم شما ما را متهم به تبلیغات و شانتاژ می‌کردید؛ اما رفیق رستم که دیگه دروغ نمی‌گه. شماها یک‌عمر فکر می‌کنید که آمریکا مهد دموکراسی است. جناب بازرگان پس چامسکی را برای چی گرفتن؟ چامسکی چکار کرده بود؟ چک بی‌محل کشیده بود؟ یک زمین را در خیابان پنجم نیویورک به چند نفر فروخته بود؟ جعل امضاء کرده بود؟ از بانک مرکزی منهتن کلاه‌برداری کرده بود؟ سند جعل کرده بود؟ غیر از این است که علیه نظام منحط و فاسد سرمایه‌داری غرب افشاگری می‌کرده؟ غیر از این است که علیه جنایات آمریکا در جهان افشاگری می‌کرده؟ غیر از این است که جنایات یانکی‌های وحشی را که علیه زحمتکشان قهرمان آمریکا و بر ضد نظام سرمایه‌داری خون‌آشام حاکم بر آمریکا که در جریان قیام‌های مردمی وال‌استریت به پاخاسته بودند، افشاگری می‌کرده؟ غیر از این است که آمار وحشتناک کشته‌شدگان تظاهرات و راهپیمایی‌های جنبش وال‌استریت را افشاء می‌کرده؟ غیر از این است که آمار دستگیری‌های جنبش وال‌استریت را به دنیا می‌داده؟ دیگه این انسان چه‌کار می‌کرده؟»

‫#‏فردوسی‬ درحالی‌که آشکارا حوصله‌اش از سخنرانی کیانوری سر رفته بود از رستم پرسید: «اصلاً اینکه تبلیغ علیه نظام می‌کرده یعنی چی؟ یعنی چی‌کار می‌کرده؟»

کیانوری به‌جای رستم پاسخ داد: «ببینید رفیق‌ابوالقاسم! نظام حاکم بر آمریکا یک نظام سرمایه‌داری منحط و فاسد است؛ و رفیق کبیر چامسکی که یک روشنفکر متعهد و انقلابی است و مطالبش اکثراً در مطبوعات مستقل و متعهد به زحمتکشان مبارز و کارگران قهرمان و انقلابی در ایران چاپ می‌شود، علیه این نظام فاسد که رو به اضمحلال است به اعتراض به پا خاسته بود.» بعد هم درحالی‌که با پوزخند به‫#‏مهندس‌‌بازرگان‬ و ‫#‏دکتر‌مصدق‬ نگاه می‌کرد گفت: «البته بعضی‌ها خواستند آن نظام منحط و استثمارگر را در ایران خودمان هم پیاده کنند ولی «دست غیب آمد و بر صورت نامحرم زد». البته دست غیب همان دست مبارزین اصیل و ضد امپریالیستی توده‌های زحمتکش خلق‌های مبارز انقلابی میهنمان است…»

که در این لحظه یک‌مرتبه دکتر ‫#‏مصدق‬ قیام کرد و گفت: «آقای دکتر بس نمی‌کنی؟ یک دقیقه آمدیم اینجا برای سال‌تحویل. ببین چقدر شعار دادی و سخنرانی کردی. ما که نمی‌دانیم چامسکی را به چه منظور خواسته بودند؟ حالا رستم‌خان لطف کردند و چون پهلوان و قهرمان هستند ضمانت آقای چامسکی را کردند که شب عیدی بیچاره در «گوانتانامو» نماند و نزد زن و بچه‌اش باشد.» مهندس بازرگان گفت «شب عیده صلوات بفرستین و به من گفت کتاب دعا را بده می‌خواهم دعای تحویل را بخوانم»

‫#‏سالنامه‌شرق‬ ‫#‏زیباکلام‬ ‫#‏نوروز۱۳۹۳‬ ‫#‏روزنامه‌شرق‬ ‫#‏طنز‬ ‫#‏صادق‌زیباکلام‬
‫#‏محمد‌مصدق‬، ‫#‏مهدی‌بازرگان‬، ‫#‏رستم‌دستان‬، ‫#‏ابوالقاسم‌فردوسی‬ ‫#‏نورالدین‌کیانوری‬

کارتون صادق زیباکلام اثر حسین صافی – خبرآنلاین
کارتون محمد مصدق اثر محمدعلی ضیائی – http://cargocollective.com/maziaei/About
کارتون مهدی بازرگان اثر سعید نوروزی – مجله خط خطی

 

 

 

Amr Moussa reveals El-Sisi’s ‘electoral vision’

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The vision comes despite the fact that the Field Marshal has yet to announce whether or not he will run in the upcoming presidential elections

“The [electoral] platform will determine the framework of the candidate’s vision to build and establish prosperity to the people while respecting the freedoms and rights granted in the new constitution,” said Moussa adding that the plan also includes a re-formulating “the development and investments map” in Egypt. 

امر موسی و السیسی

Marshal Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi and Amr Moussa (Photo:Ahram )

Ahram Online, Saturday 22 Mar 2014

 Renowned politician Amr Moussa briefed state-owned news agency MENA of the electoral platform of Field Marshal Abdel-Fattah El-Sis

El-Sisi, who is widely anticipated to win the upcoming presidential elections, has not yet announced if he is participating in the race or not.

According to the former head of the 50-member constitutional drafting committee, El-Sisi’s platform is concerned with building the state on the basis of modernity while taking into consideration the mandates ratified by the 2014 national charter.

“The [electoral] platform will determine the framework of the candidate’s vision to build and establish prosperity to the people while respecting the freedoms and rights granted in the new constitution,” said Moussa adding that the plan also includes a re-formulating “the development and investments map” in Egypt.

He further added that prominent figures and experts are being involved in discussions on the electoral platform.

Regaining security and fighting corruption are also on El-Sisi’s agenda, says Moussa.

Egypt’s presidential elections are expected to be finalized before July 17, according to interim president Adly Mansour. The date for registration has not yet been announced.

To date, the only presidential candidate to declare his campaign is Nasserist figure Hamdeen Sabbahi, who has been an outspoken critic of El-Sisi’s presidential hopes, arguing that he should retain his post as defence minister and not enter politics.

A recent survey conducted by Egyptian polling center Baseera said 51 percent of Egyptians would vote for El-Sisi, while 45 percent of Egyptians said they were undecided as to who they would vote for.

 

UK sketches out Europe’s energy alternatives to Russia

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The 28 EU states also want to be in a position to supply Ukraine with energy should Russia cut off supplies. They are expected to ask the Commission, the EU executive, to draw up an in-depth study of EU energy security by June this year.

solider_guards_oil_well._iraq_undated_shutterstock

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Published 20 March 2014

EurActiv.com with Reuters

Europe has a range of options to shore up its energy security and cut dependence on Russian supplies, including asking the United States to export more gas, and working with Iraq, a British government document says.

Following Russia’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea region, talks between European Union leaders in Brussels on Thursday and Friday are focusing on how Europe can make itself less reliant on Russian gas pumped via Ukraine.

The 28 EU states also want to be in a position to supply Ukraine with energy should Russia cut off supplies. They are expected to ask the Commission, the EU executive, to draw up an in-depth study of EU energy security by June this year.

Britain’s discussion paper, circulated to other EU governments and seen by Reuters, calls for a 25-year plan, as well as measures for the nearer term.

It says that this week’s talks “should make clear that Europe will work in a coordinated and expedited manner to reduce its high energy dependency rates”.

At their meeting in Brussels, EU leaders are also discussing to how ramp up their response to the crisis in Crimea, amid growing doubts over whether they are united enough to impose hard-hitting sanctions on Moscow.

The EU has, however already taken steps to diversify its energy sources in response to previous crises when Russia cut off supplies to Ukraine.

It has backed a new link, the Trans Adriatic Pipeline, to import Azeri gas, and has improved infrastructure to allow gas to be pumped from the EU into Ukraine, rather than the other way around.

But analysts say that if Russia turned off supplies for any length of time, Europe would still face major problems.

Britain says in its discussion paper that exploration of how to ship Iraqi gas to Europe should be intensified, and cooperation with other strategic partners enhanced.

EU-US energy talks should examine how to bring about gas exports from the United States to the European Union, it said, and consider how that could be reflected in transatlantic trade talks.

The United States has begun granting licences to export liquefied natural gas, but progress has been slow because of political sensitivities about keeping most of the gas for domestic use in the United States.

Analysts say the natural destination for US exports would be Asia, where gas prices are higher than in Europe, although even limited shipments to the European Union could be of help.

Britain – which only receives a small amount of Russian gas during peak winter demand via a pipeline link to continental Europe – is proposing US gas as just one of many options.

It also urges EU authorities to help member states exploit their own resources through regulation on completion of a single, liberalised energy market and targeted aid.

Already Britain has successfully lobbied against more onerous EU legislation that might have thwarted its aim to develop shale gas.

With France’s EDF, Britain is also seeking to build a new nuclear plant, but the Commission has raised concerns Britain’s funding plans break EU competition law.

“The European Commission should prioritise energy state aid cases to facilitate rapid deployment of infrastructure in the EU ensuring security of supply,” the discussion paper says

EurActiv.com with Reuters

As Investors Flee, Russia Inc. Is Feeling the Pain

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Ordinary Russians also would be hurt by capital flight. If the outflow continues at it,s current pace, it will total $70 billion during the first quarter, some 3.2 percent of gross domestic product. “There is a real risk that this could push Russia into recession this year,” says Capital Economics’ Shearing. Adding to the pain, the ruble has plunged 22 percent over the past year—a blow to shoppers in a country where imported goods account for more than 40 percent of consumption.

Global Finance & Markets

By   

Want to know how President Vladimir Putin’s showdown with the West is affecting Russian business? Ask retailer Detsky Mir.

Detsky Mir (Children’s World), which started as a Soviet-style department store across from KGB headquarters in Moscow, rode demand from a growing middle class over the past two decades to become a $1.1 billion-a-year company. It now has more than 200 stores selling children’s clothing and toys in dozens of Russian cities. Last fall it announced plans for an initial public offering on the London Stock Exchange early in 2014.

Then came Putin’s grab for Crimea, and now Detsky Mir has put the IPO on hold, according to a person with direct knowledge of the situation. “In these conditions [the company] will not do anything,” the person said.

Detsky Mir isn’t alone. Even as Europe and the U.S. have refrained from imposing all-out economic sanctions, Russian companies are suffering as investors flee the country. Canceled IPOs, suspended loan negotiations, plummeting share prices—all are part of an estimated $50 billion in private investment that has left Russia since Jan. ۱, according to economist Neal Shearing of Capital Economics in London.

The Russian unit of German retailer Metro (MEO:GR) may scratch its planned London listing, as shares in Lenta (LNTA:LI), another Russian big-box chain, have slumped more than 17 percent since the stock’s Feb. ۲۷ debut on the London exchange. The crisis also could derail some $۸ billion in loans being sought by major Russian companies such as steelmaker Novolipetsk (NLMK:RM) and mobile operator VimpelCom (VIP). “Until the situation stabilizes, there will be fewer international banks willing to lend in Russia,” Dmitry Dudkin of investment bank UralSib Capital in Moscow told Bloomberg News earlier this month.

At the same time, these companies’ stocks are getting hammered. Shares of Novolipetsk, controlled by one of Russia’s richest men, Vladimir Lisin, are down more than 34 percent this year. VimpelCom, controlled by billionaire Mikhail Fridman, has dropped 32 percent. According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Russia’s 19 richest people have lost $18.3 billion since the Crimea incursion began on Feb. ۲۸٫

Businesspeople “are very scared,” Alexander Lebedev, who owns the Moscow-based investment group National Reserve, tells Bloomberg News. “There could be margin calls, reserves might be drawn down, exchange rates may fall, and prices will rise.”

And yet, business leaders have remained almost entirely silent, as the Kremlin in recent years has tightened government control of the economy. “The business community is freaking out—they’re terrified,” says Ben Aris, the editor and publisher of Business New Europe in Moscow, an online journal covering business and finance in the former Soviet bloc.

Ordinary Russians also would be hurt by capital flight. If the outflow continues at its current pace, it will total $70 billion during the first quarter, some 3.2 percent of gross domestic product. “There is a real risk that this could push Russia into recession this year,” says Capital Economics’ Shearing. Adding to the pain, the ruble has plunged 22 percent over the past year—a blow to shoppers in a country where imported goods account for more than 40 percent of consumption.

Despite its oil, gas, and mineral riches, Russia has suffered for years from a dearth of private investment that could diversify its economy and cushion it against commodity-price fluctuations. Consumer-facing companies such as Detsky Mir, Lenta, and VimpelCom looked set to help remedy that problem. Instead, Russia now will suffer an “absolute decrease” in private investment, says Bernie Sucher, an American entrepreneur and investor who has worked in Moscow for more than 20 years. “This is going to be an enduring setback for the economy,” he predicts.

Some in Putin’s inner circle seem to think the government can step up public investment to compensate for the loss of private capital. But, Sucher says, that approach is doomed to fail. Russia has already lost ground on competitiveness as the Kremlin has played an increasing role in the economy, he says. “The state, no matter how rich it is, cannot make up for the quality, efficiency, and competitiveness of private capital.”

Matlack is a Paris correspondent for Bloomberg Businessweek.

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Russia Sounds Alarm on Economy as West Starts With Sanctions

By Olga Tanas and Anna Andrianova

Mar 18, 2014 4:36 PM GMT+0100

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Photographer: Bulent Doruk/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Voting for the future of Crimea finishes in Simferepol, Ukraine, on March 16, 2014.

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Russia’s economy is showing signs of a crisis, the government in Moscow said as the U.S. and the European Union announced sanctions over its plan to annex the Crimea region from Ukraine.

“The situation in the economy bears clear signs of a crisis,” Deputy Economy Minister Sergei Belyakov said in Moscow yesterday. The cabinet needs to refrain from raising the fiscal burden on companies, which would be the “wrong approach,” he said. “Taking money from companies and asking them afterward to modernize production is illogical and strange.”

Even before the standoff with the West, the worst since the Cold War, Russia’s economy was facing the weakest growth since a 2009 recession as consumer demand failed to make up for sagging investment. President Vladimir Putin signed a treaty today on Crimea joining Russia, signaling his defiance of Western sanctions. Russia won’t seek to further split Ukraine, he said in the Kremlin.

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The Ukrainian crisis is putting a strain on Russia’s $2 trillion economy, which expanded 1.3 percent in 2013 after 3.4 percent the previous year. Last year’s growth was “insufficient” and the current outlook and government forecasts “can’t satisfy us,” Putin said March 12.

Photographer: Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg

The Micex-RTS Moscow Exchange, Russia’s benchmark stock index, the day after the…Read More

Ruble Drops

Russia will probably dip into a recession in the second and third quarters of this year as “domestic demand is set to halt on the uncertainty shock and tighter financial conditions,” Vladimir Kolychev and Daria Isakova, economists at Moscow-based VTB Capital, said in a research note yesterday. They cut their 2014 estimate to zero growth from 1.3 percent.

The ruble has weakened about 9.6 percent against the dollar this year, more than any of the 175 currencies tracked by Bloomberg except the Argentine peso, the Kazakh tenge, the Ukrainian hryvnia, Zambia’s kwacha and Kyrgyzstan som. It traded at 36.3190 as of 6:10 p.m. in Moscow, strengthening from 36.4860 at 3 p.m., before Putin’s speech.

EU foreign ministers yesterday agreed to freeze assets and impose visa travel bans on 21 Russian, Crimean and former Ukrainian officials, while U.S. President Barack Obama imposed sanctions on seven Russians.

“Further provocations will achieve nothing, except to further isolate Russia and diminish its place in the world,” Obama said yesterday at the White House. The U.S. can “calibrate our response” based on whether Russia chooses “to escalate or to de-escalate the situation.”

Putin’s Message

Crimea’s referendum, when the Black Sea peninsula voted March 16 to join Russia, was legal and in accordance with international laws, Putin said today.

A Snapshot of Ukraine’s Past and Future

“Crimea is our historic legacy,” Putin told lawmakers, regional governors and government officials in Moscow. “It should be part of a strong and stable sovereignty, which today can only be Russian.” Addressing Ukrainians, Putin said: “Don’t believe those who scare you with Russia, who yell that Crimea will be followed by other regions. We don’t want to split up Ukraine, we don’t need that.”

The region’s accession to Russia would cost “dozens of billions of rubles” annually, Labor Minister Maxim Topilin told Bloomberg before Putin’s address. A billion rubles is $27.6 million.

Crimea Cost

The direct cost of annexing Crimea will be at least $3 billion for the Russian budget, according to Vladimir Osakovskiy, chief economist for Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States at Bank of America Corp. in Moscow.

That amount includes $2 billion to replace funds from Ukraine’s budget and raise wages and pensions to the Russian level, as well as $1.5 billion to $2 billion for infrastructure upgrades, Osakovskiy said in an e-mailed response to questions.

Russia already plans to spend at least 50 billion rubles ($1.4 billion) to build a bridge across the strait of Kerch to connect the peninsula to its mainland, Transport Minister Maxim Sokolov told reporters March 5.

The ruble’s slide, exacerbated by the intensifying tensions over Ukraine and the threat of sanctions, forced the central bank to look past sluggish growth and tighten monetary policy. Bank Rossii lifted its benchmark interest rate to 7 percent from 5.5 percent at an emergency meeting March 3.

Policy makers held borrowing costs at their regular meeting on March 14 and said thebenchmark rate wouldn’t be cut in the next several months.

Growth Outlook

Consumer-price growth accelerated to 6.2 percent in February from a year earlier from 6.1 percent in January. Bank Rossii wants to keep inflation within 5 percent this year after missing its target range of 5 percent to 6 percent in 2013.

While Putin at a March 12 meeting with senior officials in Sochi called the economy “stable,” a range of economists cut forecasts for this year.

Morgan Stanley (MS) economists Jacob Nell and Alina Slyusarchuk lowered their estimate for 2014 growth to 0.8 percent from 2.5 percent, according to a note to clients yesterday.

“We see Russia close to recession in the first half of 2014 as a result of the Ukrainian security crisis driving higher rates and risk premia, leading to weaker consumption and contracting investment,” they wrote.

Monetary tightening will make borrowing more expensive and difficult for businesses and consumers, possibly leading to recession this year, Vladimir Miklashevsky, an economist at Danske Bank A/S (DANSKE) in Helsinki, wrote in a note clients. Even a forecast of 1 percent growth this year is optimistic given the geopolitical environment, he said, cutting his estimate to that level from 2.6 percent on March 14.

Capital Outflow

Capital outflow from Russia may reach $70 billion in the first quarter and there is “a real risk that this could push Russia into recession,” London-based Capital Economics said in a report published yesterday.

The sum may have reached $35 billion in January and February, Russian Economy Minister Alexei Ulyukayev told reporters today in Moscow. That’s more than half of the $63 billion for all of 2013.

One way of helping accelerate growth would be to lower costs for companies, Belyakov said yesterday. The total tax burden in the economy slightly fell to 33.3 percent of gross domestic product last year, Deputy Finance Minister Sergei Shatalov said at the same conference.

“From the business point of view, the fiscal burden, I think, is extremely high today for both the economy and companies,” Belyakov said.

To contact the reporters on this story: Olga Tanas in Moscow at otanas@bloomberg.net; Anna Andrianova in Moscow at aandrianova@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Balazs Penz at bpenz@bloomberg.net Torrey Clark