Russia Turns Off Gas by Walrus.

It should be no surprise to fellow Turcopoles that Reuters is reporting that Gazprom has allegedly just now declared Force Majeure on a large German gas customer. I would expect more cuts will follow.

I expect that the fantasy based community in Western capitals, as opposed to reality based Turcopoles, will howl with indignation at the temerity of the Russians in declining to supply gas to much of Europe in response to their trivial actions in supplying weaponry to Ukraine.

To me, it takes an exquisitely refined doublethink capability for European leaders to demand gas supplies while simultaneously sanctioning Russia and supplying arms to Ukraine. What did they think Russia was going to do?

European leaders have effectively committed economic suicide. Not so Russia. It will be interesting to see how Europe copes.

I fervently hope that there are the proverbial ”older and wiser heads” working behind the scenes at negotiating if not a peace treaty but an armistice. Zelensky’s latest actions suggest to me that what I will term the Galician/SS faction is in charge in Kiev. Their demands and pronouncements are eerily similar in my mind, not WWII but to the demands of The Black Hand that precipitated WWI. Lets hope they don’t have any Princeps among their ranks. I am informed that some people in the Pentagon are sufficiently alarmed by the behavior of the Ukraine Government to label them “Dangerous Partners”.

Where do we go from here?

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103 Responses to Russia Turns Off Gas by Walrus.

  1. Barbara Ann says:

    If US support for its European ally is as solid as State Department rhetoric would suggest, we will now see a modern version of the Berlin Airlift and no expense spared in providing Germany with the ‘Freedom Gas’ it needs to keep the lights on. The architects of the Russian sanctions regime will of course have planned for this eventuality and budgeted for its costs.

    • Razor says:

      I’m wondering if you’ve forgotten the sarc tag.

    • Steve says:

      “The architects of the Russian sanctions regime will of course have planned for this eventuality and budgeted for its costs.”

      But of course. All consequences were intended:)

    • Fred says:

      Barbara Ann,

      “Drill Baby Drill” is where you get ‘Freedom Gas’. We can’t do that any more, because American Gas (just like American Oil) allows freedom of movement and low prices, whoops, I mean it causes “Climate Change”. And we sure can’t have that.

    • JamesT says:

      Barbara Ann,

      We will fight Russia to the last shivering German.

    • Polish Janitor says:

      I was thinking the same thing. Although this help should not be taken for granted by some EU leaders, that whenever they snap their fingers American LNG magically appears at the gas stations. Plus, EU-Israeli economic relations are being upgraded and apparently Israel intends to send its Leviathan gas to EU capitals. Iran could chip in too if it weren’t under sanctions. KSA and OPEC+ on the other hand are unlikely to rise production beyond 500k to 1m bpd which is nothing at all.

    • Muralidhar Rao says:

      Ms. Barbara Ann where do you suppose the US will get the gas? Don’t forget our woke leaders are totally comitted to Green New Deal. I hope you do know that our esteemed leader went to Saudi’s asking for Oil, and their polite/impolite reply was they could do it by 2024-25, So good luck with that Freedom Gas ala Berlin Airlift.

  2. Pat Lang says:

    SST is now Turcopolier.

  3. Whitewall says:

    I’m a new reader and need to ask, SST? ‘Turcopolier’ I know from reading “Tattoo” and this blog.


  4. leith says:

    Meanwhile Mikhail Ulyanov, Russia’s ambassador to international bodies in Vienna, says: “Russia never refused to continue natural gas supplies to Europe and fully complies with its contractual obligations.”

    • walrus says:

      ………and there is obviously a contractual clause about Force Majeur.

    • Fred says:


      Sanctions? What sanctions. Trump warned the Germans, they laughed at him.

    • Polish Janitor says:

      Apparently the gas pipelines from Russia to Europe need some ‘special maintenance operations’ and it may take from 1 hour to 10 years to be become operational again!

  5. borko says:

    Europe survived much bigger adversities than this temporary gas problem.
    It will be tough, but it is not the end of the world (hopefully).
    Russia will miss the income from its sales to Europe greatly if it chooses to make this permanent.

    • Barbara Ann says:


      The threat is not to Europe’s survival but to Germany’s government. Don’t forget that as well as the enemy, your allies get a vote.

    • JamesT says:


      The question is – will Russia and up making more revenue on less export because the price of natural gas will have gone up? That is what happened on the oil front.

      • borko says:


        What happens on the oil front is that Russia is selling its oil at a big fat discount to its “friends” and “partners”.
        Also, how is all this extra gas going to find its way to other buyers?
        You need infrastructure, ships, pipelines etc.

        • Polish Janitor says:

          Back in April, the Russians learned a lot from Iranians the ways and means by which to say their oil to the buyers in India, China, and South Asia for example through STS (ship-to-ship) transfers in the middle of the ocean with transponders shut-off and by shell companies doing the paperwork, documentation, etc. There are a lot of small-sized refineries in China that love these kinds of operations and a whole economic sector there relies on these transfers. Remember this that the Biden administration loves China so much that does not restrict/limit any of these and in fact would love the Chinese economy to continue to grow by receiving heavily discounted Russian crude. In fact it loves Xi so much that Russia now sells other discounted items such as steel, aluminum, grains, and cooking oil to China. Apparently, the Biden admin a while ago sold a few million American strategic oil reserves to China too.

          • borko says:

            Yes, I’ve heard about this. Apparently the Greeks are heavily involved in this scheme, however
            technically this is much easier to accomplish with oil than with gas.

        • JamesT says:


          Russia ships gas via pipeline to Hungary and then Hungary sells the gas to Germany. Or Europe buys LNG that would have gone to China and China satisfies the demand for that LNG with LNG from Russia. The key point is that less supply means higher prices so Russia doesn’t need to ship as much as they were shipping before.

          • borko says:


            Hungary is under a lot of pressure already to tow the official line and join the sanctions regime fully. Orban is currently resisting but you never know will happen.
            Despite their good relationship with Russia and energy supply agreements, the other day Hungary declared the state of energy emergency.
            Among other things, they are now banning export of firewood.

            This will be an interesting winter.

          • LeaNder says:

            Exactly what happened, apparently, they already earned three thirds of what they expected this year. Hungary probably presently would like to have higher long term contacts. I think they were exempted based on that.

            My personal energy footprint is small. Glad I didn’t waste times with panic comparing prices. It went down again, so thanks to the erased taxes, my monthly bill will be only €1 more per month. Not sure about my district heating bill next year. Statistically, district heating used 42% gas in 2018. Haven’t checked what my specific local provider uses. They may partly use heat from the waste incineration plant, since it is municipal. Thankfully, we do not have harsh winters around here. Or rarely do. We’ll see.

            But I would assume that Trump might be pleased to hear that over here some high energy firm already had to close down. I heard of one in my region.

          • LeaNder says:

            should have used numbers. Correction: three fourth (?) three quarters (?) 3/4. slightly above 75% it felt the numbers were. 😉

          • JamesT says:


            It will be an interesting winter for sure – but I still think that Europe will buy Russian gas through third parties as they have been buying Russian oil through third parties. They want plausible deniability – but they also want the gas. And it seems to me that Orban has built a political career from thumbing his nose at Brussels.

          • borko says:


            How is Europe supposed to get to that gas ?

            There aren’t nearly enough LNG ships and terminals for the volume that would be needed.

            Pipelines are there for a reason.

            Plausible deniability is not an issue here since, unlike oil, gas is not sanctioned.
            If I were to guess, I’d say that Russia wants to prevent EU to stock up on gas before winter.

    • Jake says:

      What is ill understood, is that years of sanctions turned a country rich in raw materials into an autarky. They no longer need anything produced in Europe, or the United States. While, clearly, the same thing cannot be said for Europe, or the United States, which both depend on various products coming out of Russia. Directly, or because not buying it from Russia will impoverish them in a spectacular fashion, while it also wrecks other policy goals beyond repair.

      An autarky is able to feed, house and provide to the people all their basic needs. And since the bulk of the countries producing ‘gadgets’ and important consumer goods are not following ‘Washington/London/Brussels/Davos’, but already turned to BRICS/SCO, Russia will have no trouble to realign its economy with those countries. So, the Russians won’t be able to drive around in a German of French car. It will be Chinese instead. And I’ll tell you a little secret: An increasing number of ‘European’ cars these days are also Chinese.

      Russia being an autarky already, may use unsold gas and oil, and all those essential minerals, including gold, to create wealth for the Russian people. To restore what was destroyed in the Donbas, like they built this longest bridge in Europe without any help, and completed Northstream II without relying on western companies after the western companies involved bailed on demand of Trump. And we can all witness their unparalleled ability to produce missiles and shells for their war-needs, when our rather bad ‘intelligence agencies’ predicted they would run out of stuff months ago.

      No doubt they will struggle this year to transition from buying stuff in Europe, to buying it in China, India, or other Asian countries, or making it themselves. People using western consumer goods will have to dump their Apple, or Audi, and buy something else. Never to return to anything produced by us. But the country is not some backwater in a technological sense, and their grasp of logistics is ‘shock and awe’. What’s more, many Europeans and people in other NATO-countries who feel ill at home in their own countries, selling them life-styles that rub them the wrong way, will envy the far less pronounced, not to say conservative laws in Russia and China. A shift in Europe and the US is already visible, where an increasing number of citizens are questioning the wisdom of investing in life-style choices as a product. Russia and China have been signaling that they are not interested. And that they won’t extend ‘human rights’ to people who want to impose a caliphate, play punk music in church uninvited, or undress and start to copulate in public in full view of an unsuspecting crowd visiting a museum. The west may think that is cool, and extend subsidies using public money, but Russia and China disagree, and prefer to invest in bridges and high-speed trains. And state of the art weapons to be used against bullies.

  6. Fourth and Long says:

    My guess is that Barbara Ann’s idea will not be implemented simply because it’s not feasible. Meaning that the US simply hasn’t got the merchandise in sufficient volume to warrant the effort and expense. Supplying Europe with fuels while domestic prices remain punitively high is a recipe for political failures domestically in the looming midterms.

    So what else can bode other than the obvious? Why do you think the Russian administration is doing this? Pressure on the Europeans as their economies suffer and comfort and health levels plummet especially as colder weather inevitably comes around.
    I would think the gas cutoff also puts a crimp in war efforts both offensive and defensive as they require energy. Serious political unrest is probable to likely.

    I personally think the European leadership is either foolish or simply nonexistent in reality as they are vassals of DC. They have been bunglers up and down the line for years now. So have the British which goes without saying. Though they are the slaves of their intelligence-security apparatus and have been hating the Russians since before the days of Elizabeth I and Ivan Grozny. They, and the US want Russia busted up and resources seized and nukes abolished. So there’s nothing whatsoever surprising in what is happening. Obviously the west cares not about the comfort or welfare of their inhabitants or else they’d have done a security deal around the issue of Ukrainian neutrality.

    So they made their beds. Now comes sleepy time.

    • Fourth and Long says:

      EU Commission is proposing to restricting/ration gas which could become mandatory.

      Translation from Russian todays Vzglyad, first few paragraphs:
      Media: EC intends to impose restrictions on gas consumption in Europe

      July 18, 2022, 20:29
      The European Commission will in the coming days propose to EU member states the adoption of voluntary targets for the reduction of gas consumption, which could become mandatory in the event of serious disruptions in supplies, the Financial Times reports, citing a draft document that has come into the publication’s possession.

      According to the newspaper, Brussels plans to call on EU members to “immediately” reduce gas consumption, emphasizing that without significant savings, the continent risks running out of fuel this winter, TASS reports .

      “Joint action now will be less destructive and costly, it will promote solidarity and help avoid the need for unplanned and uncoordinated actions in the future, in a possible crisis with the depletion of gas reserves,” the document says. However, the draft document does not contain exact figures, but it is expected that they will be finalized and refined before the final publication of the proposal on 20 July.

      Recall, the European Commission (EC) will consider on July 20 the EU’s actions in the event of a cessation of Russian gas supplies, said EU Foreign Minister Josep Borrell following a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Brussels.
      Media: EC intends to impose restrictions on gas consumption in Europe

      July 18, 2022, 20:29
      The European Commission will in the coming days propose to EU member states the adoption of voluntary targets for the reduction of gas consumption, which could become mandatory in the event of serious disruptions in supplies, the Financial Times reports, citing a draft document that has come into the publication’s possession.

      According to the newspaper, Brussels plans to call on EU members to “immediately” reduce gas consumption, emphasizing that without significant savings, the continent risks running out of fuel this winter, TASS reports .

      “Joint action now will be less destructive and costly, it will promote solidarity and help avoid the need for unplanned and uncoordinated actions in the future, in a possible crisis with the depletion of gas reserves,” the document says. However, the draft document does not contain exact figures, but it is expected that they will be finalized and refined before the final publication of the proposal on 20 July.

      Recall, the European Commission (EC) will consider on July 20 the EU’s actions in the event of a cessation of Russian gas supplies, said EU Foreign Minister Josep Borrell following a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Brussels.

      • Fred says:


        “The European Commission will in the coming days propose to EU member states the adoption of voluntary targets for the reduction of gas consumption, which could become mandatory…”

        The EU Politburo sure loves central planning and a command economy. If only there was an historical example to show them why that doesn’t work….

  7. Jake says:

    From what I’ve read Russia doesn’t use oil, gas, gold, wheat or anything else as a weapon. Gazprom claiming force majeur is most likely true. If there won’t be any delivery to the German client Reuters mentions, it is due to Canada sitting on a vital turbine after maintenance, and Germany refusing to accept gas through Northstream II. Canada eventually agreed to deliver said turbine, but too late to restart the flow after scheduled maintenance of the system itself. Canada delivered the turbine this week, to Germany, and not to Russia directly. Germany will send the turbine by ferry, taking another week.

    Next the Russians will want to inspect this piece of crucial equipment to make sure it hasn’t been tampered with, so as to blow up an important part of Russia’s gas infrastructure by a NATO-country which has been most vocal about burying Russia. They expect the Northstream pipeline to be up and running again at the start of August. Meanwhile, they will have to suffer through more lies and spin by EU and NATO apparatchiks about Russia using its ‘gas-weapon’, targeting the civilian population and vital industry, even though it is through the chicanery of these apparatchiks that Europe will be destroyed economically this winter if we allow them to have it their way.

    The other ‘issue’ is that Europe doesn’t want to pay in a currency which is worth anything in Russia. Which is about weaponizing the Dollar and the Euro. Which already backfired spectacularly, and will blow up in our faces before the end of the year. Countries producing stuff, and those with plenty of natural resources, are creating a new economy amongst themselves, leaving the NATO-countries to trade LGBTI+-rights, and pay for studies about race, gender and the benefits of legalizing drugs, and producing yet more arms which come with truckloads of overhead costs.

    In the west, two strange policies are converging, which are in the same bed, but mutually exclusive from a realistic perspective. First of all there is the long standing drive to get rid of anything ‘toxic’ or detrimental to the environment and climate. Getting rid of Russian oil, gas and their industry is not so much anti-Russian, but utterly crazy in this form, save for some kind of miracle. These people go happily into that dark night, to paraphrase Dylan Thomas. Their opposite number operating on an even more destructive fairy tale, is acting in line with the ‘Davos/NATO’ concept of globalization to create a unipolar world owned by the ‘Masters of the Universe’, the top of the Financial Capitalist Christmas tree, which magically produces various gifts for those who believe in the powers of the printing press, and the legal process acting on their rules, not laws. And those people hold the biggest grudge against Russia, and China, and every country which has second thoughts about giving away what they produce, or mine, in exchange for ‘Mickey Mouse’ money. Money printed, or borrowed from future generations as if there is no tomorrow. While the ‘minimalists’ marching towards that dark night, and the ‘maximalists’ eager to go to war with anyone who will not give them what they ‘deserve’, cannot see eye to eye, they somehow manage to avoid listening to realists warning them that they are a destructive lot.

    None of this is a personal attack on people who care for certain individual rights, a clean environment, a planet which will be habitable for future generations, or those who feel strongly about the need for a military to defend the country, and the costs that go with it. The biggest trouble are those who lie all the time, who feel that smart people need ‘spin’ to fool the rest of us, and who ‘nudge’ us into wars through ignoring agreements reached, accords signed, treaties negotiated, while finding ‘legal scholars’ to redefine words in legal texts so they can get away with torture, murder, daylight robbery, invading countries, and locking up people who expose them.

    A crucial misunderstanding is that Russia selling us oil, gas and everything else, as long as we pay for it, is a clear sign that they need us. They don’t. It is merely the adult thing to do. Throwing a tantrum and dishing out sanctions which hurt your own economy, and threaten the very fabric of your own society, even the lives of your own people, is beyond childish. It is utterly spoilt behavior. And the adult setting those Royal Babies straight understands that it is not wise to destroy the base for a fruitful relationship by allowing yourself to get carried away by anger. Hence the refusal to cut economic ties, while dishing out discipline. But don’t push it…..

    • walrus says:

      Thank you for your post Jake. I wish I could write with such clarity.

      The Russians will have to inspect that turbine with a fine tooth comb, there are very many ways it could have been sabotaged in Canada.

    • Jovan P says:


      nice analysis. They say that the best way to deal with a tantrum is to stay very calm, observe the child to react only if it threatens to hurt itself or someone else, mostly evade speaking and perhaps hug the child (depending on the situation). The Russians seem very calm and the EU is not a child, but a big organization very intent on hurting mostly itself but also Russia. Lets hope that the tantrum passes.

      • Tom67 says:

        I am German. One of my cousins is ex-middle management Deutsche Bank and now works for ING in Munich. She met Peer Steinbrück the other day. Peer Steinbrück was leader of the SPD (party of chancellor Scholz) ten years ago. Steinbrück told a crowd of about 100 bankers that come autumn France and Germany will go to Kiew and tell Selenskyi to make peace and that Ukraine doesn´t need to be such a big country. Otherwise no more support.
        Another cousin heads one those German small to medium companies that are world leaders in their special technological niches. He really and truly shocked me by saying that there is a limit to German endurance. Germans will take a lot and stay quiet but when they get angry they will be worse than the French. The same I heard from other people in industry. If Germany doesn´t change course in her energy and Russia politics we are heading towards an unimaginable disaster and ultimately a fall of our woke goverment.
        The question of course is whether Russia will be amenable to a
        renewal of relations. Chances are China will see to that as she is demanding her pound of flesh from the Kremlin and that pound keeps getting bigger and bigger.

        • Jake says:

          What do you mean by China demanding her pound of flesh?

          • Tom67 says:

            Take Mongolia. I lived there for seven years and still have lots of contacts. Since 2014 Chinas influence has expanded tremendously. Very much against the wishes of Mongolians who prefer Russia. Now people are afraid to talk on the phone about matters Chinese. The major road from the capital Ulaanbaatar to the Russian border is now so bad that there is no more commercial traffic. But the road to China is in mint condition. Have a look at the map. It is 350 k from the Mongolian border to lake Baikal and in between is the Transsib.That is definately no coincidence.
            In Siberia, specifically near Krasnoyarsk, the Chinese farmers who used to just come in spring, plant veggies and leave in autumn are now staying all year round.
            The Kremlin is aware of all of that. That is why I believe that ultimately Moscow will be amenable to some compromise with Europe.
            It will take time and regime change in Germany. But that will come if things continue as they are.
            I live near Ludwigshafen where the biggest chemical works (BASF) in the world is. Everything is geared towards Russian gas. They can´t even use other gas without a several month long retooling. If BASF shuts down all German industry shuts down as the BASF chemicals are in every supply chain. Our politicians dumb as they are only now starting to realise that there is a real world out there. They are starting to panic…

          • Jake says:

            Okay Tom, thanks for responding. But I don’t agree. Russia and China are in this together. Look:


            They are also developing a northern transport route, along the coast of Russia. Russia has developed mini-nuclear, floating power stations for that purpose, as well as top of the bill ice-breakers, and expanded ports, to connect China, the ‘factory’ of the world, and Russia, the producer of raw materials we need for our ‘Green Dream’, with Europe. But the US and the UK (the ‘Warparty/NATO) has been preparing for war against both since at least 2016 to block that development. Look:


            In my analysis of what we are looking at in Ukraine, this war fits right in, with NATO using Ukraine as a proxy to wreck Russia, as prelude to tackling China. But things are not going according to plan. In my opinion, the plan assumed that Russia would be tempted to take all of Ukraine, install a puppet in Kiev, and suffer the consequences. It would have left them with a quagmire. Well trained ‘stay behind’ (Gladio) forces would turn Ukraine into an Afghanistan for Russia. Afghanistan where the US and their Saudi backers fed the Muslim extremists in the previous century to push the Soviet Union over the edge. Russia surprised NATO by not taking the bait, limiting itself to ‘freeing’ those areas that have been pro-Russian ever since Ukraine declared independence, and leaving the ‘ugly’ part to NATO and the EU. They also came well prepared, turning this conflict into an artillery war NATO can’t respond to. In January I predicted on my Dutch language blog that if NATO kept pushing, and insisted to not honoring the Minsk accords, Russia would recognize independence of the two Donbas regions, and impose Minsk II on NATO and Europe, while creating a land corridor along the Black Sea coast for the ‘New Silk Routes’ to Southern Europe, and the soon to be crucial Eastern Mediterranean, where all the gas is. Look:


            Mongolia is part of the bigger picture, and not something Russia and China will fight over. On the contrary! Russia itself already gave land to Chinese farmers in Siberia. Look:


            Crushing Russia became important after Russia displayed some formidable new weapons a few years ago, and the RAND corporation which envisioned this war between NATO and China, assuming only conventional weapons would be used, suddenly woke up to a defensive alliance which could do serious damage to NATO and leave them speechless. Europe, but the US too, would do well to reconsider. This Russia/China alliance is about recreating ‘Industrial Capitalism’ as the path to creating wealth, and leaving ‘Financial Capitalism’ to die, preferably peacefully. Not about world dominance, or imposing the Russian, or Chinese way of life on us, Europeans, or Americans. Look:


            Even though there are plenty of disagreements between people who post on this website, I’ve got the feeling that the bulk is actually in favor of ‘Industrial Capitalism’, and not Neo-feudalism, or ‘corporate greed’. A multipolar, ‘Industrial Capitalist’ world is to be preferred over a unipolar ‘Financial Capitalist’ world run by ‘Davos’, if you get my drift.

        • frankie p says:


          Going to Kiev and telling Elenskyy to make peace with Russia is a bit like running out to the barn and closing the door long after the horse has escaped. Why didn’t Germany and France stand up to the US in the 2008 NATO Bucharest summit? Merkel was firmly opposed to inviting Georgia and especially Ukraine into NATO, and yet in the end she rolled over to the US, like the Germans always do. Now the German people, not to mention industry, are going to pay a huge price, and yet still Germany follows the US blindly against the interests of its own people. When are you Europeans going to wake up and realize that your future is yours, and it MUST involve cutting the chord with the US, dismantling NATO, and reestablishing sovereign European nations that protect their national interests. When I see the leadership (I hesitate to call it “leadership”) of Europe repeatedly making decisions that hurt Europe and its people, it is frustrating, but I don’t lose hope, because the final result will be a populist uprising that will wash out all of the Eurotechnocratic bank-controlled leaders.

          • Fran says:

            It’ll only end with the breakup of the EU, when, counter-intuitively, disunity will be strength.

        • Barbara Ann says:


          Very interesting. Germany very much seems to be the weak link in the NATO chain. Please keep us updated in case of any significant relevant developments in German politics.

  8. JK/AR says:

    I’ve placed commentary elsewhere on this “shutdown of the Nordstream” elsewhere but perhaps not here? (Though I do seem to recall posting a link to Rigzone dot slash news dot com?)

    At any rate – and according to a long-time associate of mine in the ‘oilfields [equipment] services’ business, she informed me this [maintenance] “shutdown has been long scheduled.” (I think I recall the scheduled hiatus being ten days – barring any “surprises” in the inspection phase.)

    So, and I suppose I ought say “Perhaps” this isn’t the crisis we might be focusing overly on?

    Still though – Biden is still President so I suppose worrying “What’s next!” is something to be properly concerned about.

    A railroad strike for instance.

  9. robt willmann says:

    I think that a lot of the problems emerging in Europe after policies toward Russia changed starting four months ago in March are the fault of the European Union (EU). When I read the Maastricht Treaty which in 1992 officially created the EU with 12 countries (effective in November 1993), I realized that it was going to cause trouble and was designed to be a stepping stone to make Europe one country and to destroy the sovereignty of the existing states. Sure enough, in 2004, up popped a proposed constitution for Europe. Fortunately, voters in France and the Netherlands rejected it.

    After World War 2, Austrians reached an arrangement with Russia and got their country back. Austria maintained a position of neutrality and originally did not join the EU, although a push had been going on for a number of years, especially through European economic and trade organizations. Unfortunately, in 1995, Austria officially joined.

    Today, 27 countries are under the thumb of the EU regarding most aspects of the lives of the people living there. The EU is a setup that is cleverly designed and is largely autocratic. If it did not exist, each country would decide for itself about its relations with others. Each individual European country would decide if it wanted to impose sanctions on Russia, which it would be entitled to do, but it could not be ordered to do so by the EU.

    • Fred says:


      I think the EU is ripe for self destruction. Did you note the drop in the euro to the dollar? Down more than 10% since January. A far cry from when the Obama Aministration bailed out their banks in ’08. Something Jerome Powell isn’t going to do this time around.

  10. Jovan P says:

    Call me grumpy, but I have to put this comment as a side note, although Walrus’s text is spot on, especially in the part that we all hope that there are some wise heads on every side of the table.

    Gavrilo Princip was not member of the Black hand, but he was a member of Young Bosnia (which consisted of Bosnian youth from different nations and beliefs). The Black hand didn’t have some mastermind evil plan, because it was a relatively weak organization who sought unity for Serbs (at that time many lived in AH annexed Bosnia and the territories occupied by the Ottoman empire, and were second grade citizens/peasants). It did not seek for a world revolution nor world war (at that time the Italians had many anarchist terrorists, one of them even murdered the Austrian princess Sissi), and after the assassination served as a scapegoat for the WWI that was looming. That doesn’t mean that Princip did the right thing, but the Germans and Austro-Hungarians would have started the war one way or another.

    • walrus says:

      Thank you Jovan for correcting me. In regard to Princip, after viewing the Archduke and Duchesses clothing at the Vienna Arsenal, all I can say is that they were big targets.

      • Bill Roche says:

        In 1914 Princip sacrificed his life for Serbia, some people do that. Bosnia Herzagovinia was contested soil and the “larger than life” Grand Duke was there to push the issue into Serbian faces. Princip showed up that day (twice) to deny him. Austria kept “their nationalities” on edge, the better to rule them the cat said. The region was a tinder box, still unsettled after the Balkan Wars but Princip and the “Black Hand” d/n cause the war. It was in the works since 1816. In Galicia, the German ’41 invasion gave Ukrainians hope for freedom from Russia. After losing to the Bolshviks in their attempt for independence after WW I, and being treated to the Holodomore, how can you blame them? Bandera, who fought for the Nazis w/his infamous Galician SS Brigade, is brought up w/o any reference to what the communist had done to the Ukrainians. While you are taking a shot at the “Galician SS”, remember the Finns, Balts, Slovaks, and Armenians did the same. When Putin is finished exorcising the SS in Kiev, would you recommend he also send troops to Helsinki, Bratislava, and Riga. History’s is messy. The more I know the more I don’t. As for Zelinskyy I can’t do more than suggest he read the Col’s blog. On it, I (and others) have opined several times that he should write off the eastern oblasts and Crimea and get on with a new and solidly patriotic Ukraine. There can’t be serious talks until Putin makes clear that his objectives are not the elimination of Ukrainian nationality and sovereignty. Has he done that yet?

        • LeaNder says:

          You are mixing nationalists up here. OUN-Melnyk versus OUN-Bandera? Bandera created his army earlier, the Ukrainian Insurgent Army. He had nothing to do with the SS Brigade. Bandera was quite well-connected. Not least with the German Abwehr, the military intelligence.

          The creation of the Galician SS Brigade was accomplished with a little help from another (official) Ukrainian National Hero: Volodymyr Kubiiovych, head of the Ukrainian Central Committee. In his job equally well-connected with Nazi cadres in the Nazi’s ‘General Government’, regularly meeting its representatives, even for Hitler’s birthday, merrily raising his arm. He helped to raise the young men for the SS Brigade. Not completely sure, but it feels he was closer to the Melnyk faction and got some of his men there.

  11. Jose says:

    Walrus, what do you think of the expansion of BRICS?

    IMHO, Russian is adding to the cost of fuel costs while given discounts to “friendly states.”

    Russia will make up the loses on discounts by selling to the West as their economies tank.

    Expect riots all over Europe during the summer and a very cold winter and expensive winter.

    I agree, the State department is more concerned with protecting Biden/New Liberal Order than America…

    Also, no intervention as our military collapses after turning the DOD into an extension of Georgetown Law School…lol

    Also, Russia is starting to hit hard after Ukraine got its new American toys, good decision.

  12. blue peacock says:

    The German Green Party who campaigned vigorously for and of course Frau. Merkel who executed it, shut down nuclear power production in their climate change utopia and instead relied more & more on Russian gas. No doubt greased by former Chancellor Schroeder who sat on the board of Gazprom. Germany is where it is as a direct consequence of virtue signaling and personal avarice. But….the woke continue to have a louder megaphone. Exhibit A: Harry The Wokeness addressing the UN.

    • TTG says:

      Germany’s dumping nuclear power was definitely short sighted. Three of the six plants remain. Those running those remaining plants have said they could easily and safely keep them running past the end of the year. Instead, Berlin decides to up their coal production and coal fired power plants. Looks like their medium to long term plan was to become 100% dependent on Russian gas, oil and coal. What the hell are they smoking in the Bundestag?

      • Fred says:

        They are all acolytes of the climate change religion.

        • Tidewater says:

          Fred and TTG,

          Isn’t it more likely they are scared shitless of a Russian (or Ukrainian) missile strike on a German reactor that causes a meltdown?

          And by the way, how come there’s not a peep about what happens when there is a hit on the ever-troubled breeder reactor at Gravelines, on the Cotentin peninsula, or on the ones–four or five of them?– at Gravelines on the Pas de Calais?

          That’s it for London and Paris.

          • Tidewater says:

            I wrote that wrong. The problem breeder reactor on the Cotentin is at Flamanville. It is huge.

          • Fred says:


            No. Shutting down natural gas flow to Germany shuts down a third of thier electric power generation and even more of their industrial base. No missles required. The ‘melt down’ is the declining German support for their own politicians for getting them into this mess.

      • blue peacock says:


        We are not too far behind the Germans. When was the last nuclear power plant commissioned in the US? How many do we have under construction?

        China is building hundreds. Of course similar to Schroeder everyone from Biden (via Hunter), McConnell, et al, to all the mega corporations and Wall St are on the Chinese take to suck the wealth and vitality out of US industrial infrastructure for short term personal gains.

        Mr. Woke Newsom is shutting down California nuclear power plants when the state has a massive problem with the “duck curve”. And supposedly he is the leading candidate for the Dems for the next presidential race.

        No external enemy was required. The west is self-destructing from the internal looters.

        • TTG says:

          We have two more reactors under construction in Georgia. The construction on those two started in 2013 and they’re scheduled to be done in 2023. Those old style reactors are too expensive and take too long. And that’s on top of all the regulatory rigamarole involved. Those small modular reactors like NuScale are the future of nuclear power for now. NuScale, mentioned by Biden recently, has been setting up projects in the US and around the world for the last few years.

        • Bill Roche says:

          I think there is a new compartment of history; historical psychology. More BS but I wonder, has the west lost its raison d’etre? B/Y making money and celebrating individual freedom, life, advancement of science, medicine, and the arts is something missing. Yes I am jesting. But then again, is there something the west is missing. It SAS looks like cultural suicide to me.

          • Barbara Ann says:

            Bill Roche

            Where is this advancement in the arts, I cannot discern it? I would like to see a single example of an art form in the Western world that is advancing, or even standing still rather than regressing at an alarming rate. All I see is an increasing trend in the celebration of the aberrant, the deviant, the prosaic and the plain ugly – this is the post-modern aesthetic. That abomination that is the Progress Pride Flag typifies the trend. It is the antithesis of art. It does not represent a deep truth about a state of the human soul, but rather a truth about the state of a tortured mind.

            This is the clearest indication to me that what is left of our civilization is not long for this world; we can no longer produce art. We are out of ideas because a combination of the Enlightenment’s legacy of the worship of rationalism above all else – and its political offspring; liberal progressivism, has led us to a spiritual cul-de-sac. What follows will be a wide-scale psychological collapse as liberalism implodes.

            Germany’s Greens would seem to be candidates for a place in the vanguard. The key tenet of their belief system, that under no circumstances must the planet be allowed to warm, looks likely to meet a reality where without the hated hydrocarbons they will simply freeze, as an indifferent planet looks on.

          • Fred says:

            Barbara Ann,

            It’s the advancement of Épater la bourgeoisie, artistic decadence of the out of the closet people who are now paraded before us by our own elites of the ‘rules based order’.

        • Polish Janitor says:

          I remember a while ago coming across a very interesting bit of philosophy that essentially says liberalism contains the seeds of its own destruction. I think it was either Leo Strauss, Seyed Qutb (belonging to the Muslim Brotherhood) or Irving Kristol. I think when the Cold War ended and the unifying existential enemy in Communism vanished, all sense of sanity vanished with it. GWOT could not replace Communism. But I think China can. But many of the Democrat elites are all in cahoots (by various degrees) with China. I still don’t fully understand why they are so addicted to China?

          • Bill Roche says:

            Tagging on to your comment to address Barbara Ann, I think she is right re ART. Art is not a simple, trifling thing. I am no artist but art is an expression of the human soul and that soul in the west seems is empty. I am also agnostic so I don’t support any particular religion but, when the west got “too damned advanced” for religion it gave up its reason for being. Science, rationalism, and “progressive social engineering” are not effective substitutes for God, patriotism, and family. The west has grown “too advanced ” for such backward ideas. It will be replaced. The only question is by which alternative – Chinese, or Moslem. I like Chinese take out!

  13. The split between East and West predates the battle of Troy, by more than the time since the Battle of Troy.
    Given the country most in the center of this seismic fault is Turkey and Turkey has learned, if it’s no longer an empire itself, the best course of action is to play the sides off each other, because if you’re not the bridge, you’re the battleground. Ukraine is finding this the hard way.
    When Nato said they wanted to turn Ukraine into another Afghanistan, the Ukrainians should have looked at how that worked out for the Afghanis.
    The deeper point is that partisanship, aka, tribalism, runs much deeper than ideology and while the ideologues might shriek the loudest, what wins at the end of the day, is what’s best for your tribe.
    My prediction is that Russia seems to have taken the hint from China, that honey works better than vinegar, so that in a couple of years, Europe will realize that ideologies don’t feed the family and accept integration into the Eurasian framework.
    Especially as the American political structure continues to dissolve into meaningless diatribes, while the dollar, as it looses reserve status, also melts away.
    Matt Talibi wrote an interesting article,
    on the 6 year obsession with prosecuting Trump and the one metaphor I think he missed, is the Donald has become the Great White Whale of our culture.
    Evidence of its complete lack of substance. That some rich, narcissistic New York hustler has become the rock on which our ship has crashed.

    • Those Anatolian farmers and Caucasian sheepherders pretty much pushed the Celts up against the wall. When you think about it long term, the last five hundred years have been the anomaly.

    • Fourth and Long says:

      My dad always explained that the allegory of Moby Dick was that the desire to eliminate evil from the world is madness and doomed to cataclysmic failure. You’ve restated it well. It is a manifest and recurring American stumbling block recently described with terms such as “exceptionalism” which Barack Obama, tellingly publicly signed on to.

      • AngusinCanada says:

        It’s also nothing more than propaganda, used as cover for the true goal of global hegemonic power. Which is also madness and, as we’re now watching unfold in real time, doomed to cataclysmic failure.

      • To culture, good and bad are some cosmic conflict between righteousness and evil, while in nature, it’s the basic biological binary of beneficial and detrimental. The 1/0 of sentience. Even bacteria get that.
        This is because culture is about getting everyone synchronized, as a larger social organism. Sometimes it works well and sometimes it spirals out of control.
        The bigger they come, the harder they fall.

        • jld says:

          “beneficial and detrimental.”
          Indeed this is the golden rule which drove evolution from the very beginning.
          P.S. This Kevin Mitchell fellow has many interesting posts from both a scientific and philosophical standpoint.

    • Bill Roche says:

      Our ship d/n crash upon Trump. Trump made an attempt to pull our ship from the rocks of Sycillia and Charybdis. Society seems intent on “going in”. Anathema to the socialists and terrifying to the Rinos, Trump has retained a connection to many not b/c of his charm, wit, or grace, but b/c he has convinced them (me) that despite his human faults he remains committed to the best for America. Look around America’s political wasteland. It is not a pretty sight. You may not like Trump but you always know what he thinks and he always thinks America first. How quaint, ehh? He has enough money, notoriety, a beautiful family and could take it easy for his remaining days but he doesn’t. Why, roll out the pejoratives. But I am not here to argue w/y about Trump. What draws me to your post is a bigger issue that you suggest; the eternal struggle b/t east and west. East from the Hindu Kush, and West to California. Was Homer’s account of Troy evidence of an unresolved conflict b/t between western migrants from central Asia (the great Aryan Migration into Europe,) and those Celts who went east and b/c today’s Slavs. Europe has been considered “west” since the Treaty of Westphalia while the east got lost amongst the Mongols, missed the Renaissance, remained committed to serfdom, and enjoyed years of repressive communism. It has not had a chance to reconnect with western celts since the fall of Rome. Is there still a tribal impasse between Celts who entered Europe around 1000 b.c. and took different forks somewhere around Persia and Turkey. Hmmn, where is Homer when you need him

      • Personally I don’t have a beef with Trump. He was the perfect monkey wrench thrown in a manifestly corrupted state. My observation on him losing the election was like the movie poster of the guy walking out of the burning building, as it crashes behind him. Some years ago, I worked with a woman, whose father was one of the Dirty Dozen and wrote one the books the movie was taken from, name escapes me. This was 2015-16. She commented her father loved watching The Apprentice and thought Trump would make a great president.
        My own opinion is he was the original Kardashian, a genius at keeping his name in the news and self promoting. That he had the perception to see an enormous chunk of the citizenry was extremely pissed off and looking for options, only went to show he was willing to look outside the establishment box. I suspect that if he was actually smart enough to really do something about it, he would have had an accident, not just have a bunch of shit thrown at him.
        As for the conflict between East and West, I think a big factor is the geography. That eastern Asia is fairly open country, that favored large social and tribal affiliations, while Europe is much more broken up, by mountains, rivers, forests, seas, peninsulas, etc, enabling smaller, thus more individually oriented cultures to arise.

        • Bill Roche says:

          Thanks for your reply. I think the adage “geography is the template for civilization” is true. A theory in anthropology is that Aryans moved out of Iran, across the Hindu Kush and into the Indian Northern Plains. THEN, many of them, taking a dose of Indian culture w/t, returned to Persia but did not stop there. Instead they went over the Black Sea and arrived at a “fork in the road”. Some went north east and others north west. At the time all were celts but after the point of departure some b/c today’s eastern Europeans, Slavs, and the others celts, today’s western Europeans (incidentally, some cultural anthropologist point out similarities in Irish Celtic culture and that of India’s Gangetic Plain). This “reverse migration” back out of India and into Europe MIGHT have happened 3000 years ago. From the time Rome really fell, maybe 600 ad, until today, eastern and western Europeans have developed differently. Was Troy the earliest manifestation of their cultural differences? As technology overcomes geography, are we witnessing an attempt for reunion of the two “celtic tribes”. I dunno, but your comment on Troy and Homer got me going. best

      • jld says:

        “evidence of an unresolved conflict b/t between western migrants”
        Your x/y abbreviations are quite often cryptic, what does “b/t” stands for in there?

        • LeaNder says:

          jld, it feels that is supposed to signal between.

          Irony alert: A true conservative knows his cultural roots, all the way down to the Celts. Asterix and Obelix. Celtae, Galli. 😉

        • Bill Roche says:

          It is short for between … btw, best!

  14. lobo says:

    russia cutting gas is expected, all the internet has been buzzing about it since annual maintenance begun, not sure y you think this surprises anyone

    my question is how eu copes. been hearing conflicting opinions from those in the industry

    to those going on about russian maturity… lol i want some of what you are smoking. the only smart ones are china, india and the saudis right now.

    either way if even a whiff of a deal emerges, commodities will cliff dive. fed may actually pivot before year end. wouldnt that be funny lol

  15. Fourth and Long says:

    Colonel Lang often encourages his readers to pay attention to cosmic events. Such as stars. The sun is a star. Also, I am not infatuated with clickbait at all. Nonetheless here’s a story appearing at the very top on my iphone Google search page this morning.

    I don’t own or have access to a solar observatory but these stories have proliferated lately. Either they contain large elements of truth or they presage actions contemplated by various authorities which would be highly disruptive of communication systems.

    Newton believed that God was certainly capable of and possibly inclined on rare occasion to intervene in the affairs of his creations, Rabbbi Luria that he likely abandoned them long ago. I mention this because not to comment ironically on prospects for divine intervention nor because it occured to me that men have become as gods. They haven’t.

    If that’s too heavy enjoy Viktor Tsoi’s (roughly the Soviet Union’s Jimmy Hendrix, dying tragically too young) A Star Named the Sun (Zvezda Po immeni solntze) with some fine Shuffle Dancers:

    Even better, in my humble opinion, is his Kukushka (The Cuckoo) which Polina Gagarina sings so memorably in the 2015 film The Battle of Sebastopol.
    Here, a pleasant choice, two versions accompanied by Shuffle Dancers:

    Nearly every one on planet Asia recognizes these songs instantly and can sing along in the original language.
    Beijing a couple yrs ago, Polina Gagarina:

    Battle of Sebastopol (The Story of Lyudmila Pavlichenko, renowned sniper and great friend of Eleanor Roosevelt):

    The lyrics are easily found online, and an English translation is in this last videos info box. The words to Звезда по Имено Солнце are especially beautiful.

  16. mcohen says:


    Thanks for post.This is where it all started.Africa

    • Fourth and Long says:

      Thanks. They are the secret conquistadores of planet Zemlya-Earthling, long ago.
      American Hip-Hop rules, just as once did The Blues and it’s derivatives. The banjo of the deep South of the United States originally was a gourd, recreated immediately by the African plantation Slaves.

      Fly 2: Zivert & Niletto. Zivert is the woman and composer – singer of the song. A few years ago she was an Aeroflot stewardess who quit to pursue her dream. This is thirty some odd yrs since Hip Hop took Russia by storm.

      Stringbean: Pretty Little Widow:

      Niletto with his homies: Bratik:

      Proof that prejudice against gays in Russia is a groundless talking point:
      Molly: Kracivie Malchik (Beautiful Boy)

      Chorus: Kracivie Malchik Hop Hey, How sad that you’re gay how sad that you’re gay.
      (Kracivie Malchik Hop Hey, Kak zhal shto ti gai, kak zhal shto ti gai.)
      Notice her stage name Molly (Olga Seryabkina, leader of Serebro for years) – 19th British argot for a gay man)

      Serebro (Silver) Malo Tebya (Too little of you)
      Same with English Subtitles:

  17. Poul says:

    Seen from an economist’s view. Russia and its use of gas is all about maximizing profits on a trade relationship that will cease to exist in a few years.

    Olivier Blanchard:

    “1. Russia is a gas monopolist facing a very inelastic European demand curve. The only reason not to set a nearly infinite price (and sell epsilon) is to preserve future demand. This used to be relevant. But future European demand for Russian gas is likely equal to zero. In this case, no reason to preserve the future. A monopolist should go for broke.

    2. Russia gets euros and dollars for its sales. But, given EU and US export restrictions, it has limited use for them. What is the point of getting foreign currency if you cannot buy goods with them? (This is what is leading to the strong ruble, not a strong Russian economy)”

    • Fred says:


      “cease to exist in a few years.” So nobody will have a need for natural gas? He seems not to have paid attention to Russia demanding payment in rubles, or that the ruble is now worth more than before Biden’s sanctions. Does this academic have a Nobel prize like Paul Krugman? He sounds as reasonable as Krugman. Krugman has been proven wrong by reality many times, too. But look at the credentials!

    • Jake says:


      There are currently two conflicting models within economic thought, generally speaking. Within the NATO-aligned countries the predominant theory is based on models which do not reflect reality, and serve ‘Financial Capitalism’. It expresses the wealth of a nation, or group of nations, in GDP, which assigns arbitrary value to all kinds of activity. Including blatantly unproductive, or even counterproductive activity like prostitution and the drug trade. It regards deeply indebted people as ‘owners’, and debt as a contribution to GDP.

      A growing number of economists ignored in the west, but valued in countries like Russia and China, argue that our approach increases debt slavery, and impoverishes a country, until it collapses. The focus shifts to possessions and ‘owning’ rights, instead of producing stuff, as witnessed by the export of industrial production to non-western countries, while exploiting a ‘strong Dollar’ (Money printing and borrowing from future generations). Wealth earned elsewhere is sucked up by a ‘rent-seeking’ class, which are basically leeches, not adding anything of value. Economists within this latter, critical frame of mind would be Michael Hudson, Steve Keen, Yanis Varoufakis, David Graeber and, at a preceding theoretical level, Hyman Minsky, who exposed major ‘design’-errors within the dominant economic theory, which inspired the ‘Harvard Boys’ to bring predatory ‘Financial Capitalism’ to Russia. Adam Smith would be a proud member of that group, would he be alive today. This group has no formal label, but I list them as advocates for ‘Industrial Capitalism’, in line with a division used by Michael Hudson. ‘Industrial Capitalism’ would be the original brand of capitalism, as it fought feudalism.

      Despised as ‘socialists’ among western economists and their cheerleaders, they are simply disregarded by most commentators, which is going to cost us dearly, by the looks of it. This is not the time or place to discuss economic theory, but the essence is that your statements are misguided, if you allow me to say so. Certainly from an ‘Industrial Capitalist’ point of view, but also in the real world we are living in. Weaponizing the Dollar and the Euro by stealing money belonging to Russia, parked at western banks, may prove to have been a fatal error. Trust in the Dollar and Euro went out the window, and without it the entire ‘Financial Capitalist’ system is doomed.
      The value of oil and gas found in Russia is now ‘zilch’ as expressed in either Dollars or Euros, because they cannot be trusted. But expressed in currencies of trading partners, oil and gas are still a valuable commodity. What’s more, oil and gas can be used to increase material wealth of the Russian people as they pay less than people in the west, by a significant margin, if Europe has to import oil and gas from far away, adding numerous costs. The price of that oil and gas will become the benchmark for trade with Europe, even for oil and gas from Russia, which is already resulting in lower volumes, but far bigger gains, while forcing Europe to pay in Rubles.

      The strong Ruble is not without risk. It could cause a phenomenon listed as the ‘Dutch Disease’, but that will not happen within the system Russia, China and other ‘BRICS/SCO’ countries are setting up to facilitate trade among them. In fact, the countries buried in debt, the US and Europe mainly, will be facing an uphill battle to stay afloat. Soaring inflation is not the only threat. Truckloads of remaining businesses in Europe will have to close shop without Russian oil and gas, creating an avalanche as businesses catering to this industrial giants, or transporting their goods, are next. And Europe can’t afford going to the printing press again to do the ‘Covid-thing’, handing out free money, without reenacting ‘Weimar’.

      • Poul says:

        Debt slavery?

        You have seen that China moved along that path in the Third World hence all the debt problems in African countries owning China money. Ditto Sri Lanka. China is running into the same problems as the West did when they lent money to Third World countries.

        And domestically China has been running a debt fuelled economy like Japan did in the 1980’s with the same result. Too much debt hence their economy is now faltering.

        Professor of Economy Michael Pettis, Beijing University, covers the topic here. There are many threads on the same topic on his twitter account.

        China is most likely moving along the same path as Japan with the same results. A stagnate economy.

        As for oil and gas. Is Russia the only country in the world that produces oil and gas? No.

        There are plenty of other fish in the sea. BUT it will take time to shift to other producers due to the construction time of energy infrastructure and development of new energy resources, new long-term contracts etc.

        Prices will be higher, but that’s it. Time and higher prices. and then Russia is out in the EU.

        • Jake says:

          Poul, thank you for your reply, but you are missing the point, I’m afraid. Debt slavery doesn’t point to delayed payment for work done, as is the case with China building infrastructure all over the place, on credit they issue to the contracting country. The structure I’m talking about, with an eye for ’seeking rent’, doesn’t build anything. It is merely looking for an opportunity to skin victims alive through extending credit, much like a ‘loan shark’. Furthermore, China is a surplus economy. They earn more than they spend, and they are a major owner of Dollar denominated bonds, almost as large as Japan, which marks the two of them as the true ‘owners’ of the US, and Europe too. Russia is a surplus economy too, but they wisely dumped US bonds a long time ago. And the west just robbed them blind, which did not go unnoticed in the rest of the world.

          There is a fair chance that Russia allowed that to happen, since they already anticipated on the economic warfare that was about to be unleashed, which rendered the US Dollar ‘Mickey Mouse Funny Money’. Useless, unless you need to light your sigar. Which is why they no longer accept it, or the Euro. Both the FED and the ECB now need to raise rates to curb a deadly inflation, killing any prospect of growth, save for statistical growth created by some government bureau. The Russian central bank, after a spectacular move when the west unleashed its economic warfare, and started stealing everything that wasn’t bolted to Russia itself, or parked in less predatory countries, is now reducing rates at huge leaps. Because the general public and companies will have to replace stuff made in the US or Europe with stuff made in China, India or Russia itself, there is an inflationary pressure, which is expected to subside before the end of the year. On the other hand, Martin Armstrong, a rather famous financial guru, predicts that 2023 will be a year from Hell for western countries, is they stay the course.

          Will they drag China, Russia, India and the rest of them down into that rabbit hole? I have my doubts. Chances are, that an increasing number of countries will default on their Dollar and Euro loans, while joining BRICS/SCO in a hurry, to be part of the economic boom created by all this activity around the new transport-routes set up to replace the NATO-controlled ones. Investment will regain its former meaning, as providing money in order to create opportunities, produce stuff, creating local wealth, and rising wages, instead of stuffing the ‘1%’, while erasing the middle class. At least, that is what Russia and China say they are after. And I think they are truthful, if I’m looking at their trackrecord.

          Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying these two countries are a cross between the Savior and Mother Theresa. Hardly. But they subscribe to a different concept of what ‘economy’ is all about, and how to create wealth, and stability, even if ‘unfriendly states’ are out to bury your country alive, with everybody in it.

          Is Russia the only country producing oil and gas? No. How about Iran? Iraq? Syria? Libya? Venezuela? And why is it that Saudi Arabia is signaling it will apply for BRICS membership? And what about Russia accepting payment for oil delivered to India in the currency issued by the UAE? Did you see the threats made by Hezbollah to Israeli rigs in the eastern Mediterranean? And Mexico offering asylum to Julian Assange? Things may grow very weird, very fast, in no time at all.

          When thinking ‘economy’, think ‘wealth’. Not for the happy few, or as expressed as ‘GDP’, ‘calculated’ by the usual suspects, but as ‘having a future’ as a citizen, and knowing your kids will be better off than you are today, without the need to hug a politician.

          • TTG says:


            China is not a surplus economy. Her debt is a bigger percentage of her GDP than in the US, but it is different.

            “The major argument suggesting China likely faces a crisis is that other countries that experienced a similarly rapid increase in debt suffered a financial crash or economic downturn. But other experts argue the risk of a hard landing is low. China has little overseas debt, and a high national savings rate. In addition, most of the debt is state owned – state-controlled banks loaned funds to state-controlled firms – giving the government the ability to manage the situation.”

          • Jake says:

            TTG, I assume your definition is different from that used by (amongst others) Wikipedia.


            The trouble is that definitions vary, and that accepted economic ‘laws’ within the accepted dogma are proven invalid. But used anyway, because, as economists say, the application ‘works’ within their models. Until a ‘Black Swan’ comes along. But for the topic of this discussion that is not the problem I’m trying to highlight. The very fact that ‘Financial Capitalism’ is the predominant theory in the west, while the SCO-countries returned to ‘Industrial Capitalism’, both with varying descriptions of economic activity, listing them as a ‘plus’, or a ‘drag’, turns any debate on economic matters into word-salad. In my mind, if more people understood what ‘Financial Capitalism’ is after, and that growing wealth concentrated in the ‘1%’ while erasing the middle class, is not a temporary condition, but a design goal, or at least a necessary outcome, we wouldn’t even have all these wars. We could stand our ground, but find a solution.

        • Poul says:

          The current account surplus is precisely where we can see China’s weakness. The policies which suppress domestic demand aka lower wages in order to support export companies and their profits.

          China is not alone in such policies, others are Japan, South Korea, Germany, Netherlands etc.

          Countries like that force their saving surplus upon the US. Resulting in the US government having a lot of power over over countries economy via their control of the dollar. The cost for the US is that the working and middle-class American is experiencing fierce wage competition from abroad.

          Michael Pettis has quite a few post on the topic.

      • Bill Roche says:

        Jake; Kuznets d/n say his GNP measurement was perfect. Objections you raised have been heard before. BTW, Kuznet’s assessment of value was not arbitrary. He tried very hard to make it relevant. As to Black Mkt activities he knew gambling and prostitution existed but d/n assign value to them b/c they were not an economic “good”. In teaching my high school classes about Kuznets contributions in the early ’30’s I would always, always, present socialist arguments to the contrary. Your comments say “capitalism can’t do it”. Socialists tie capitalism up in social welfare schemes that create national debt then say woops, capitalists have no solution to national debt. If some European countries like socialism, go for it but w/o American subsidy of defense, payment for space exploration, pharmaceutical development etc. You think socialism can pay for these plus social welfare and still rtn a “happy” stnd of living. That is, after all, the purpose of an economy. Economies need some control, the only question is whose controlling. I prefer Smith’s invisible hand and individual ownership of ppty and you prefer government command and ownership of ppty. Command economies always are joined w/less individual freedom and I seem to remember that Europe already tried this? You want to do it again?

        • Jake says:

          Bill, you really shouldn’t project your own assumptions on me. I’m not a voodoo-doll. I’m ‘worth’ a few million in Euros, if I include my retirement benefits, for which I paid premiums myself, and no socialist in the sense you seem to imply. But yes, I’ve been around the world a few times, and there are few countries left I’m not familiar with. Europe, not just one country, is my home, and it is not moving in the right direction, which is why I add my voice to those commenting on the state of affairs. Yet I have no reason to scorn Europe for what it had to offer. The so-called’ Rheinland-model which was ‘Industrial Capitalism’ pure and simple, served me well. We have well maintained motorways, internet all over the place, decent health care at affordable rates, and my education was free, including higher education, while we take care of the elderly, even if they never succeeded at saving a penny. What worries me is the future, now that we adopted ‘Financial Capitalism’ to replace ‘Industrial Capitalism’.

          • Bill Roche says:

            Jake I’m happy for your wealth. But as you mention all the nice things European economies have purchased pls remember Europe bought them all b/c America paid for Europe’s defense. What’s the difference b/t Financial and Industrial Capitalism (can there be industry w/o finance). You are not a socialist “in the sense I seem to imply”. In what sense are you a socialist? I’m guessing, that behind your critique w/GDP measurement is objection to individual ownership of ppty. Jake, I think you simply like a command economy. Many folks who do, believe they will be the commanders of that economy, so reducing freedom is no consequence to them. You mentioned “financial” capitalism only serves to grow wealth for 1% of society. Do you have any idea of the % of Americans who are invested in their capitalist economy? It’s more than 1%. But maybe I’ve got you wrong. Here’s an idea. How does what you propose differ from what the communists did to eastern Europe and Russia. Can we at least agree that d/n work out well in terms of personal freedom and increase in wealth (see, I d/n use GNP metrics!).

  18. Poul says:

    Well, as he was the chief economist at the International Monetary Fund from September 1, 2008, to September 8, 2015. I do believe he knows what he is talking about.

    Apparently you haven’t seen the clear statements from EU leaders that Russian gas is on the out. It’s just a question of time. My guess is 6-8 years. The EU & Russia will have to find new trading partners over that time. As he clearly states “European” the rest of the world is not included.

    In a few years Russia will have almost no trade with the EU. Something I have no doubt will last for decades before anything changes. We are looking at decades of economic warfare which will undermine the long-term growth of the Russian economy. China discovered they were vulnerable. Russia is not in China’s league.

    The rouble is as he writes just a consequence of Russia selling more abroad, but not being able to buy the same thing as before due to sanctions. What can you buy with Euros or Dollars as a Russian company? Some foodstuff and some medicine and such.

    Demand for roubles is stronger than supply. But that is not a sign of economic strength.

    • Poul says:

      The above is addressed to Fred

    • Fred says:


      Chief economist of the IMF. Brilliant!
      How’s zero Russian gas for6 to 8 years going to work for the economies of the EU nation states?

      • TTG says:


        What’s so special about Russian gas? EU nations need gas for the foreseeable future, not Russian gas.

        • Jake says:


          What is special, is that it is cheap and easy, flowing from the source to your heater or oven, seamlessly. Apart from that, the caloric value, and chemical composition is pretty specific. Meaning you can’t substitute American LNG without retooling the entire factory. For households, government owned intermediaries will have to change the chemical composition of LNG before passing it on, which adds to the costs of already far more expensive American gas, derived from costly fracking operations which are devastating the local environment to boot, with companies desperately needing high gas prices only to survive.
          The bulk of those companies are already buried in debt, so European customers will foot the bill for that too, before the companies involved will return to posting profits. With rising interest rates, we’re looking at astronomical bills subsidizing this war effort. Add to that the transportation costs, and the need to build new terminals, and Europeans will end up being bled dry. Not the Russians.

        • Fred says:


          What is a global market? What happens when “sanctions not an embargo” removes most of the supply? How do transportation networks function? What is the impact on government regulations (climate change is real!!!!) and can they just be ingnored because you can get a good deal, like you state China and India are doing? Now do nickel, pot ash, electricity, and the rest of the ‘sanctioned but not embargoed’ commodities.

          • Poul says:

            Fred, you forget the role of the Dollar in global trade.

            That is the most powerful effect of the sanctions. Russia can find workaround to some extend but these solutions will add costs to Russian trade.

      • Poul says:

        How is zero income for Russia in the same years plus large loss incurred due to the closure of gas fields? The gas sold to the EU has no other customers until Russia has build new energy infrastructure. They can’t export their gas as LNG until they have the facilities. And that takes time.

        Do you really believe that the EU is going to stay as a customer of Russian gas? The gas vulnerability of the EU has now been revealed clearly so any responsible leader will work to eliminate that flaw. Permanently.

        The Russians are sensibly enough trying to squeeze every cent out of the EU they can. As Blanchard writes they don’t care about any long-term trade relationship.

        • Fred says:


          Congratulations to the EU on their victory. Zero economists will lose their jobs at the IMF, the World Bank, or various EU bureaucracies by the imposition of their approved policies. Russia will NEVER sell gas to the EU again? Ok, guess you’ll have to get it from that guy Biden says he would make “pay the price, and make them, in fact, the pariah that they are”. Funny what two years and desparation makes one do. Like launching a war over, amongst other things, restricting water flow to Crimea.

          • Poul says:

            Why, thank you. And congratulation to Russia, too. Fred.

            The Russian government reaps the rewards of their choices. It’s the price they were willing to pay for the war.

            A rearrange of their trading partners.

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