Pubblicato in: Banche Centrali, Devoluzione socialismo, Geopolitica Mondiale, Materie Prime, Putin, Russia

Russia. Mr Putin ha vinto la guerra energetica. – Bloomberg.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2022-08-15.

2022-08-13__ In the Energy Markets, Putin Is Winning the War 001

«Putin is winning the energy battle»

«No matter what indicator you use, Russian President Vladimir Putin is winning in the energy markets.

«Putin sta vincendo la battaglia energetica»

«Non importa quale indicatore si usi, il presidente russo Vladimir Putin sta vincendo sui mercati energetici»

* * * * * * *

Questo articolo allegato riporta in modo ben coordinato una lunga serie di elementi già noti. La sua intrinseca novità consiste nel fatto che è edito da Bloomberg, ossia dal tempio dell’ideologia liberal, tutto loggia e culto di ogni anche impensabile possibile perversione.

Ammette ore rotundo che la Russia del Presidente Putin abbia vinto il conflitto che Joe Biden e la Nato gli hanno dichiarato, coprendola di sanzioni, nella vana speranza di portarla al fallimento.

* * * * * * *

Non importa quale indicatore si usi, il presidente russo Vladimir Putin sta vincendo sui mercati energetici. Mosca sta mungendo la sua mucca da mungere, guadagnando centinaia di milioni di dollari ogni giorno per finanziare l’invasione dell’Ucraina e comprare il sostegno interno alla guerra. Quando le sanzioni europee contro le esportazioni di greggio russo entreranno in vigore da novembre, i governi della regione si troveranno di fronte a scelte difficili, poiché la crisi energetica inizierà a colpire consumatori e aziende.

I costi dell’elettricità per le case e le imprese sono destinati a salire a partire da ottobre, poiché l’aumento dei proventi del petrolio consente a Putin di sacrificare le entrate del gas e di comprimere le forniture all’Europa. I prezzi nel Regno Unito saliranno probabilmente del 75%, mentre in Germania alcune aziende municipalizzate hanno già avvertito che i prezzi aumenteranno di oltre il 100%. La Russia è riuscita ad armare le forniture energetiche.

I governi occidentali saranno sempre più costretti a spendere miliardi per sovvenzionare le bollette delle famiglie o, come già avviene in Francia, per assumere il controllo delle società elettriche.

Il primo indicatore che mostra come Putin abbia invertito la tendenza del petrolio è la produzione russa di greggio. Il mese scorso, la produzione del Paese è tornata a livelli vicini a quelli prebellici, con una media di quasi 10.8 milioni di barili al giorno, solo marginalmente in calo rispetto agli 11 milioni pompati a gennaio, immediatamente prima dell’invasione dell’Ucraina.

Dopo questa lotta iniziale, la Russia ha trovato nuovi clienti per il milione di barili al giorno circa che i raffinatori europei hanno smesso di acquistare a causa dell’autosanzione. La maggior parte di questo greggio sta finendo in Asia – in particolare in India – ma anche in Turchia e altrove in Medio Oriente. Una parte è ancora presente in Europa, con gli acquirenti che continuano ad acquistare greggio russo prima dell’introduzione delle sanzioni ufficiali prevista per l’inizio di novembre.

Il secondo indicatore è il prezzo del petrolio russo. Inizialmente, Mosca è stata costretta a vendere i suoi sapori di greggio con sconti enormi rispetto ad altre varietà per attirare gli acquirenti. Nelle ultime settimane, tuttavia, il Cremlino ha riacquistato il potere di determinazione dei prezzi, approfittando di un mercato ristretto.

Il greggio ESPO è passato di mano alla parità con Dubai. Il greggio Urals, il fiore all’occhiello delle esportazioni russe di petrolio verso l’Europa, non sta beneficiando quanto l’ESPO, poiché i suoi principali acquirenti sono tradizionalmente paesi come la Germania piuttosto che l’India. Ma sta anche recuperando il prezzo, vendendo di recente a 20-25 dollari al barile in meno rispetto al Brent di riferimento, dopo essere stato scambiato con uno sconto di quasi 35 dollari all’inizio di aprile. Mosca sta trovando nuovi commercianti di materie prime, spesso operanti dal Medio Oriente e dall’Asia e probabilmente finanziati dal denaro russo, disposti ad acquistare il suo greggio e a spedirlo verso mercati affamati.

L’ultimo indicatore del successo russo è politico, più che di mercato. A marzo e aprile, i politici occidentali erano ottimisti sul fatto che il cartello OPEC, guidato da Arabia Saudita ed Emirati Arabi Uniti, avrebbe abbandonato l’alleanza con la Russia. È accaduto il contrario.

Nonostante il viaggio del Presidente degli Stati Uniti Joseph Biden a Riyadh, Putin ha mantenuto la sua influenza all’interno dell’alleanza OPEC+. Poco dopo la partenza di Biden dall’Arabia Saudita, il vice primo ministro russo Alexander Novak, persona di riferimento della nazione per la gestione delle relazioni con il cartello, è volato nel regno.

La vittoria sul mercato petrolifero significa che Putin può permettersi di rinunciare alle entrate limitando le vendite di gas naturale all’Europa, mettendo sotto pressione Berlino, Parigi e Londra, che si stanno preparando a un massiccio aumento dei prezzi dell’energia al dettaglio e a una potenziale carenza che potrebbe portare al razionamento quest’inverno. Mosca sta facendo così tanti soldi vendendo petrolio che può permettersi di limitare le forniture di greggio anche ai Paesi dell’Europa orientale, come ha fatto all’inizio di questa settimana.

Una combinazione di freddo, aumento della domanda di elettricità e impennata dei prezzi nel corso dell’anno rischia di minare il sostegno occidentale all’Ucraina. I politici europei che sono stati ansiosi di ottenere il plauso internazionale ostentando il loro sostegno a Kiev potrebbero essere meno disposti a pagare il conto interno per evitare la povertà energetica tra i loro elettori.

Putin sta vincendo la battaglia energetica.

* * * * * * *

«No matter what indicator you use, Russian President Vladimir Putin is winning in the energy markets. Moscow is milking its oil cash cow, earning hundreds of millions of dollars every day to bankroll the invasion of Ukraine and buy domestic support for the war. Once European sanctions against Russian crude exports kick in from November, the region’s governments will face some tough choices as the energy crisis starts to bite consumers and companies»

«Electricity costs for homes and businesses are set to soar from October, as the surge in oil income allows Putin to sacrifice gas revenue and squeeze supplies to Europe. UK prices are likely to jump by 75%, while in Germany some municipal utilities have already warned prices will increase in excess of 100%. Russia has successfully weaponized energy supplies»

«Western governments will come under increasing pressure to spend billions either subsidizing household bills or, as is already the case in France, by taking control of power companies»

«The first indicator showing how Putin has turned the oil tide is Russian crude production. Last month, the country’s output climbed back to near pre-war levels, averaging almost 10.8 million barrels per day, only marginally down from the 11 million pumped in January immediately prior to the invasion of Ukraine»

«After that initial struggle, Russia has found new customers for the million barrels a day or so that European oil refiners have stopped purchasing due to self-sanctioning. Most of that crude is ending up in Asia — notably India — but also in Turkey and elsewhere in the Middle East. And some is still showing up in Europe, with buyers still purchasing Russian crude ahead of the planned introduction of official sanctions in early November»

«The second indicator is the price of Russian oil. Initially, Moscow was forced to sell its flavors of crude at huge discounts to other varieties to entice buyers. In recent weeks, however, the Kremlin has regained pricing power, taking advantage of a tight market»

«ESPO crude has changed hands at parity to Dubai. Urals crude, the flagship Russian oil export to Europe, isn’t benefiting as much as ESPO, as its key buyers have traditionally been countries such as Germany rather than India. But it’s also recovering in price, selling recently at $20 to $25 a barrel cheaper than the Brent benchmark, after trading at a discount of almost $35 in early April. Moscow is finding new commodity traders, often operating from the Middle East and Asia and probably financed by Russian money, willing to buy its crude and ship it to hungry markets»

«The final indicator of Russian success is political, rather than market related. Back in March and April, Western policy makers were optimistic that the OPEC cartel, led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, would ditch its alliance with Russia. The opposite has been the case»

«Despite a trip by US President Joseph Biden to Riyadh, Putin has retained his influence inside the OPEC+ alliance. Soon after Biden departed from Saudi Arabia, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak, the nation’s point-person managing the relationship with the cartel, flew to the kingdom»

«The oil market victory means Putin can afford to forego revenue by restricting natural gas sales to Europe, putting pressure on Berlin, Paris and London, which are bracing for massive retail energy price increases and potential shortages that may lead to rationing this winter. Moscow is making so much money selling oil it can afford to restrict crude supply to Eastern European nations, too, as it did earlier this week»

«A combination of cold weather, surging demand for electricity and soaring prices later this year risks undermining Western support for Ukraine. European politicians who’ve been eager to win international kudos by flaunting their support for Kyiv may be less willing to foot the domestic bill for averting energy poverty among their own voters»

«Putin is winning the energy battle»

* * * * * * *


In the Energy Markets, Putin Is Winning the War – Bloomberg.

No matter what indicator you use, Russian President Vladimir Putin is winning in the energy markets. Moscow is milking its oil cash cow, earning hundreds of millions of dollars every day to bankroll the invasion of Ukraine and buy domestic support for the war. Once European sanctions against Russian crude exports kick in from November, the region’s governments will face some tough choices as the energy crisis starts to bite consumers and companies.

Electricity costs for homes and businesses are set to soar from October, as the surge in oil income allows Putin to sacrifice gas revenue and squeeze supplies to Europe. UK prices are likely to jump by 75%, while in Germany some municipal utilities have already warned prices will increase in excess of 100%. Russia has successfully weaponized energy supplies; Western governments will come under increasing pressure to spend billions either subsidizing household bills or, as is already the case in France, by taking control of power companies.

The first indicator showing how Putin has turned the oil tide is Russian crude production. Last month, the country’s output climbed back to near pre-war levels, averaging almost 10.8 million barrels per day, only marginally down from the 11 million pumped in January immediately prior to the invasion of Ukraine. Based on industry estimates, oil production is slightly higher so far this month. 

It isn’t a blip: July marked the third consecutive month of oil production recovery, with output up significantly from this year’s low point of 10 million barrels set in April, when European buyers started shunning Russia and Moscow scrambled to find new buyers.  

After that initial struggle, Russia has found new customers for the million barrels a day or so that European oil refiners have stopped purchasing due to self-sanctioning. Most of that crude is ending up in Asia — notably India — but also in Turkey and elsewhere in the Middle East. And some is still showing up in Europe, with buyers still purchasing Russian crude ahead of the planned introduction of official sanctions in early November. Everyone who bet that Russian oil production would continue to drop — myself included — got it wrong. 

The second indicator is the price of Russian oil. Initially, Moscow was forced to sell its flavors of crude at huge discounts to other varieties to entice buyers. In recent weeks, however, the Kremlin has regained pricing power, taking advantage of a tight market. 

ESPO crude, a category of Russian oil from the Far East, is a good example of the new trend. At the low earlier this year,  it sold at a discount of more than $20 a barrel to Dubai crude, the regional oil benchmark for Asia. Recently, ESPO crude has changed hands at parity to Dubai. Urals crude, the flagship Russian oil export to Europe, isn’t benefiting as much as ESPO, as its key buyers have traditionally been countries such as Germany rather than India. But it’s also recovering in price, selling recently at $20 to $25 a barrel cheaper than the Brent benchmark, after trading at a discount of almost $35 in early April. 

Moscow is finding new commodity traders, often operating from the Middle East and Asia and probably financed by Russian money, willing to buy its crude and ship it to hungry markets. With Brent crude hovering at close to $100 a barrel, and with Russia able to offer smaller discounts, there’s plenty of money coming in to the Kremlin. For now at least, energy sanctions aren’t working. 

The final indicator of Russian success is political, rather than market related. Back in March and April, Western policy makers were optimistic that the OPEC cartel, led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, would ditch its alliance with Russia. The opposite has been the case.

Despite a trip by US President Joseph Biden to Riyadh, Putin has retained his influence inside the OPEC+ alliance. Soon after Biden departed from Saudi Arabia, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak, the nation’s point-person managing the relationship with the cartel, flew to the kingdom. A few days later, OPEC+ announced a minuscule oil production increase, keeping pressure on global energy markets.

The oil market victory means Putin can afford to forego revenue by restricting natural gas sales to Europe, putting pressure on Berlin, Paris and London, which are bracing for massive retail energy price increases and potential shortages that may lead to rationing this winter. Moscow is making so much money selling oil it can afford to restrict crude supply to Eastern European nations, too, as it did earlier this week.

A combination of cold weather, surging demand for electricity and soaring prices later this year risks undermining Western support for Ukraine. European politicians who’ve been eager to win international kudos by flaunting their support for Kyiv may be less willing to foot the domestic bill for averting energy poverty among their own voters.

In public, European governments are still resolute in their determination to wean themselves off Russian energy. Privately, they must be acknowledging the hardships that stance threatens to inflict on their economies. Putin is winning the energy battle; let’s hope that leverage isn’t powerful enough to prompt Western politicians to soften their stance in the real war.

Pubblicato in: Armamenti, Russia

Conflitto Nato – Russo. Verosimile attacco missilistico su Saky, Krimea.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2022-08-13.

Ukraina. Novofedorivka. 001

* * * * * * *

Nota.

«Crimea is internationally recognised as Ukrainian territory»

Questa affermazione è falsa: solo l’enclave liberal occidentale considera la Krimea essere parte della Ukraina. Tutto il restante mondo civile e libero la considera parte integrante della Russia.

* * * * * * *

Una persona è stata uccisa dopo che alcune esplosioni hanno scosso una base militare in Crimea, ha dichiarato il capo dell’amministrazione regionale nominata dalla Russia. Sergei Aksyonov ha scritto sui social media che le esplosioni sono avvenute nella base militare di Saky, vicino a Novofedorivka, sulla costa occidentale della penisola. Il ministero della Difesa russo ha poi dichiarato che sono state fatte esplodere delle munizioni.  È stata istituita una zona di interdizione di 5 km intorno al luogo dell’esplosione.

Mosca ha rifiutato di speculare sull’origine dell’esplosione e Kiev non si è assunta la responsabilità. Il vice primo ministro ucraino, Iryna Vereshchuk, ha scritto su Telegram che le esplosioni di oggi a Novofedorivka sono un altro promemoria di chi appartiene alla Crimea. Perché è Ucraina.

L’attacco in Crimea segnerebbe una drammatica escalation.

Se dovesse emergere che l’Ucraina è responsabile di questo attacco, si tratterebbe di un’escalation significativa. Sarebbe il primo grande attacco a un obiettivo all’interno della Crimea vera e propria. La Crimea è internazionalmente riconosciuta come territorio ucraino, ma la Russia governa la penisola da otto anni e le strutture statali e militari russe sono ben radicate. Per il Cremlino, la Crimea ha uno status quasi sacro, visto come terra storicamente russa che Mosca ha riacquistato trionfalmente nel 2014.

E si teme che se gli ucraini iniziassero ad attaccare sistematicamente obiettivi russi in Crimea, la risposta russa potrebbe essere davvero molto seria. Il mese scorso, l’ex presidente russo Dmitry Medvedev, ora vicepresidente del potente Consiglio di Sicurezza, ha dichiarato che se la Crimea venisse attaccata, il giorno del giudizio attenderà immediatamente tutti coloro [che sono coinvolti]. Sarà molto veloce e molto duro.

* * * * * * *

«One person has been killed after blasts rocked a military base in Crimea, the head of the Russia-appointed regional administration there said. Sergei Aksyonov wrote on social media that the blasts had taken place at the Saky military base near Novofedorivka on the peninsula’s western coast. Russia’s defence ministry later said ammunition was detonated.  5km (three-mile) no-go zone around the blast site had been established.»

«Moscow refused to speculate on the origin of the blast and Kyiv has not taken responsibility. Ukraine’s deputy Prime Minister, Iryna Vereshchuk, wrote on Telegram that “today’s explosions in Novofedorivka are another reminder of who Crimea belongs to. Because it is Ukraine”»

«Crimean attack would mark dramatic escalation»

«If it emerges Ukraine was responsible for this attack, that would be a significant escalation. It would be the first major attack on a target inside Crimea proper. Crimea is internationally recognised as Ukrainian territory, but Russia has ruled the peninsula for eight years and Russian state structures and military facilities are very well established. For the Kremlin, Crimea has a quasi-sacred status, seen as “historically” Russian land that Moscow “re-acquired” triumphantly in 2014»

«And there are fears that if the Ukrainians begin systematically attacking Russian targets inside Crimea, then the Russian response could be very serious indeed. Last month, former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, now Deputy Chairman of the powerful Security Council, said that if Crimea were attacked, then “Judgement Day will instantly await all those [involved]. It will be very fast and very hard»

* * * * * * *


Ukraine war: Blasts rock Russian airbase in annexed Crimea

One person has been killed after blasts rocked a military base in Crimea, the head of the Russia-appointed regional administration there said.

Sergei Aksyonov wrote on social media that the blasts had taken place at the Saky military base near Novofedorivka on the peninsula’s western coast.

Footage circulating on social media appeared to show multiple explosions.

Russia’s defence ministry later said ammunition was detonated, but this has not been independently verified.

The ministry said there was no “fire impact” on the ammunition storage area, Russia’s state-run Ria news agency reports.

The Ukrainian peninsula that Moscow annexed in 2014 is a popular destination with Russian tourists, and one video appeared to show visitors fleeing from a beach as smoke rose in the background.

Local witnesses told the Reuters agency that they heard at least 12 blasts, beginning at about 15:20 local time (12:20 GMT).

After arriving in the area, Mr Aksyonov said a 5km (three-mile) no-go zone around the blast site had been established.

Moscow refused to speculate on the origin of the blast and Kyiv has not taken responsibility.

Ukraine’s deputy Prime Minister, Iryna Vereshchuk, wrote on Telegram that “today’s explosions in Novofedorivka are another reminder of who Crimea belongs to. Because it is Ukraine”.

And Ukraine’s military posted a sarcastic statement on Facebook which hinted at the sinking of the Moskva warship and other military setbacks, reminding Russia of its “fire safety rules and the ban of smoking in unsettled places”.

Russia’s annexation of Crimea eight years ago drew widespread international condemnation.

On 24 February, Moscow launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine, using Crimea as a springboard to move Russian troops deeper inside Ukraine.

Novofedorivka and Saky are about 50km (30 miles) north of the port of Sevastopol, home of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet, which has been leading a blockade of the Ukrainian coastline.

* * *

Crimean attack would mark dramatic escalation

If it emerges Ukraine was responsible for this attack, that would be a significant escalation. It would be the first major attack on a target inside Crimea proper.

The Ukrainians have come close: in June 2022, the Russia-appointed “leader” of Crimea said that Ukrainian forces had fired on Black Sea oil drilling platforms in Crimean waters, resulting in several casualties. And at the end of July, Russian authorities said a drone had struck a Russian naval facility in the city of Sevastopol, injuring six.

Crimea is internationally recognised as Ukrainian territory, but Russia has ruled the peninsula for eight years and Russian state structures and military facilities are very well established.

For the Kremlin, Crimea has a quasi-sacred status, seen as “historically” Russian land that Moscow “re-acquired” triumphantly in 2014. An attack so deep inside Crimean territory would be a major embarrassment for President Putin.

And there are fears that if the Ukrainians begin systematically attacking Russian targets inside Crimea, then the Russian response could be very serious indeed. Last month, former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, now Deputy Chairman of the powerful Security Council, said that if Crimea were attacked, then “Judgement Day will instantly await all those [involved]. It will be very fast and very hard.”

Pubblicato in: Banche Centrali, Brasile, Cina, Devoluzione socialismo, India, Materie Prime, Russia

Algeria. È interessata ad entrare nel Club di Brics.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2022-08-09.

0000-0000__ Brics 001

È nella logica delle cose che l’Algeria confluisca nel Club dei Brics.

Questi sono un insieme di paesi emergenti, in parte già emersi, collegati da rapporti economici privi di imposizioni ideologiche, rispettosi delle altrui sovranità. È una parte di mondo libero.

L’ingresso della Algeria nel Club dei Brics assommerebbe in questo Club la maggior quota mondiale degli energetici estrattivi lasciando l’enclave liberal occidentale sostanzialmente immiserito, sempre che non scompaia.

* * * * * * *

I BRICS ci interessano come alternativa ai centri di potere tradizionali, ha dichiarato il presidente algerino Abdelmadjid Tebboune in un’intervista televisiva. Il Presidente algerino Abdelmadjid Tebboune ha suggerito che il suo Paese, il più grande esportatore di gas naturale dell’Africa, potrebbe entrare a far parte del gruppo economico dei BRICS, che comprende Russia e Cina. Il commento di Tebboune arriva dopo che il presidente russo Vladimir Putin – il cui Paese è colpito da sanzioni occidentali per l’invasione dell’Ucraina – a giugno ha invitato i leader dei BRICS a muoversi verso la formazione di un vero sistema multipolare di relazioni intergovernative.

Il gruppo BRICS comprende anche le principali economie emergenti di Brasile, India e Sudafrica. Il presidente ha aggiunto che il Paese nordafricano soddisfa buona parte dei criteri economici per entrare nel blocco. I membri dei BRICS rappresentano attualmente quasi un quarto del prodotto interno lordo mondiale.

Tebboune ha partecipato a un vertice virtuale dei BRICS alla fine di giugno, quando Putin ha invitato i leader del gruppo a cooperare di fronte alle azioni egoistiche dell’Occidente. Algeri si è astenuta quando l’Assemblea Generale delle Nazioni Unite ha approvato a maggioranza una risoluzione a marzo che chiedeva alla Russia di ritirarsi immediatamente dall’Ucraina. Anche Cina, India e Sudafrica si sono astenuti. Durante una visita in Algeria a maggio, il ministro degli Esteri russo Sergei Lavrov ha dichiarato che l’anno scorso gli scambi commerciali tra il suo Paese e l’Algeria hanno raggiunto i 3 miliardi di dollari.

* * * * * * *

«The BRICS interest us as an alternative to traditional power centres, Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune said in a televised interview. Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune has suggested that his country, Africa’s largest natural gas exporter, could join the BRICS economic group that includes Russia and China. Tebboune’s comment comes after Russian President Vladimir Putin — whose country is hit with Western sanctions over its Ukraine invasion — in June called on BRICS leaders to move towards formation of a truly multipolar system of inter-government relations»

«The BRICS group also includes the major emerging economies of Brazil, India and South Africa. The president added that his North African country meets a good part of the economic criteria for joining the bloc. BRICS members currently account for nearly a quarter of the world’s gross domestic product»

«Tebboune participated in a BRICS virtual summit at the end of June, when Putin called on leaders of the group to cooperate in the face of selfish actions from the West. Algiers abstained when the United Nations General Assembly overwhelmingly passed a resolution in March demanding Russia immediately withdraw from Ukraine. China, India and South Africa also abstained. On a visit to Algeria in May, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said trade between his country and Algeria had reached $3 billion last year»

* * * * * * *

Algeria, Africa’s Largest Natural Gas Exporter, Talks Of Joining BRICS

“The BRICS interest us” as an alternative to traditional power centres, Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune said in a televised interview.

Algiers: Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune has suggested that his country, Africa’s largest natural gas exporter, could join the BRICS economic group that includes Russia and China.

Tebboune’s comment comes after Russian President Vladimir Putin — whose country is hit with Western sanctions over its Ukraine invasion — in June called on BRICS leaders to move towards “formation of a truly multipolar system of inter-government relations”.

The BRICS group also includes the major emerging economies of Brazil, India and South Africa.

“The BRICS interest us” as an alternative to traditional power centres, Tebboune said in a televised interview late Sunday. “They constitute an economic and political force.”

He underlined that there was no need to “get ahead of things” but promised “good news”.

The president added that his North African country meets “a good part” of the economic criteria for joining the bloc.

BRICS members currently account for nearly a quarter of the world’s gross domestic product.

Tebboune participated in a BRICS virtual summit at the end of June, when Putin called on leaders of the group to cooperate in the face of “selfish actions” from the West.

Sanctions over Ukraine have pushed Putin to seek new markets and strengthen ties with countries in Africa and Asia.

Algiers abstained when the United Nations General Assembly overwhelmingly passed a resolution in March demanding Russia immediately withdraw from Ukraine.

China, India and South Africa also abstained.

On a visit to Algeria in May, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said trade between his country and Algeria had reached $3 billion last year.

Pubblicato in: Banche Centrali, Devoluzione socialismo, Materie Prime, Russia

Germania. Tre mesi alla crisi invernale del gas. Poi Kaputt lei e la Europa.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2022-08-05.

Andrà Tutto Bene 001

Il Presidente Putin è perfettamente conscio della situazione attuale della Germania, e con essa del blocco europeo.

Attualmente ha ridotto le forniture del gas ad un livello tale da imporre il depauperamento delle scorte, che dovrebbero quasi terminare agli inizi di novembre.

Quello sarebbe il momento ideale per chiudere i rubinetti.

L’articolo riportato è melenso ed edulcorato.

Nei fatti la Germania, e con essa il blocco europeo sarebbero kaputt.

L’inverno si preannuncerebbe essere gelido, e buio e gelo inducono a riflettere. Il vero problema non è quello del popolo, bensì quello della industria: senza corrente elettrica chiude i battenti.

Ma ne hanno fatte troppe per fermare la mano del Presidente Putin.

* * * * * * *

Il palazzo presidenziale della Germania a Berlino non è più illuminato di notte. La città di Hannover sta spegnendo l’acqua calda nelle docce delle sue piscine e palestre, e i comuni di tutto il Paese stanno preparando rifugi di riscaldamento per tenere le persone al sicuro dal freddo. E questo è solo l’inizio di una crisi che si estenderà in tutta Europa.

Forse siamo ancora in piena estate, ma la Germania ha poco tempo da perdere per evitare una carenza di energia quest’inverno che sarebbe senza precedenti per una nazione sviluppata.

L’amministrazione del cancelliere Olaf Scholz è stata lenta nell’affrontare la vulnerabilità della Germania, stabilendo solo di recente obiettivi di riduzione della domanda, mentre gli sforzi per assicurarsi forniture alternative falliscono.

Il Cremlino probabilmente manterrà i flussi vitali di gas verso l’Europa a livelli minimi finché continuerà lo stallo sull’Ucraina. Per la Germania si profilano razionamenti e recessione e le autorità hanno espresso la preoccupazione di disordini sociali se la carenza di energia dovesse sfuggire al controllo.

L’ultima mossa della Russia è arrivata la settimana scorsa, quando Gazprom ha imputato a un problema di turbina la riduzione dei flussi sul gasdotto chiave Nord Stream a circa il 20% della capacità. Per colmare il divario, il suo ministero ha permesso la ripresa di centrali elettriche a carbone in disuso, con una battuta d’arresto per gli sforzi climatici, e raccomanda ai tedeschi di installare soffioni efficienti e di lavare i panni a temperature più basse.

Gli aumenti dei costi, che cominceranno ad essere applicati seriamente da questo autunno, aumentano la pressione sui poveri. Già circa 1 tedesco su 4 è caduto in povertà energetica, il che significa che i costi per il riscaldamento e l’illuminazione incidono sulla capacità di coprire altre spese. Le ondate di freddo in Europa e in Asia costringerebbero le compagnie energetiche a lottare per le forniture già limitate di gas naturale liquefatto.

L’impennata dei prezzi che deriverebbe da questo scenario potrebbe spingere le compagnie a fermare gli impianti quest’inverno e distruggere circa il 17% della domanda industriale di questo combustibile. Con gli impianti di stoccaggio pieni al 68% e i tassi di ricarica che potrebbero diminuire dopo il taglio dei gasdotti della scorsa settimana, la Germania rischia di non raggiungere l’obiettivo governativo del 95% entro il 1° novembre.

Il 16% delle aziende industriali sta considerando di ridurre la produzione o di abbandonare alcune attività a causa della crisi energetica. Alcuni dirigenti dell’industria chimica sostengono che la produzione potrebbe spostarsi in Turchia, dove c’è accesso ai gasdotti dell’Azerbaigian. La maggior parte dei tedeschi sostiene l’Ucraina, ma i critici potrebbero guadagnare terreno con l’abbassamento delle temperature.

* * * * * * *

«Germany’s presidential palace in Berlin is no longer lit at night. The city of Hanover is turning off warm water in the showers of its pools and gyms, and municipalities across the country are preparing heating havens to keep people safe from the cold. And that’s just the beginning of a crisis that will ripple across Europe»

«It might still be the height of summer, but Germany has little time to lose to avert an energy shortage this winter that would be unprecedented for a developed nation»

«Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s administration has been slow to address Germany’s vulnerability, only recently laying out targets to cut demand as efforts to secure alternative supplies fall short»

«The Kremlin is likely to keep vital gas flows to Europe at minimal levels as long as the standoff over Ukraine continues»

«Rationing and recession are looming for Germany, and authorities have voiced concern about social unrest if the energy shortage spins out of control»

«Russia’s latest move came last week, when Gazprom blamed a turbine issue for reducing flows on the key Nord Stream pipeline to about 20 per cent of capacity»

«To bridge the gap, his ministry has allowed the revival of mothballed coal-fired power plants in a setback for climate efforts and recommends that Germans install efficient shower heads and wash clothes at cooler temperatures»

«The cost increases, which will start filtering through in earnest this fall, add to pressure on the poor»

«Already around 1 in 4 Germans has slipped into energy poverty, meaning costs for heating and lighting affect the ability to cover other expenses»

«Cold snaps across Europe and Asia would force energy companies to battle for already-tight supplies of liquefied natural gas»

«The price surge from such a scenario could prompt companies to halt facilities this winter and destroy some 17 per cent of industrial demand for the fuel»

«With storage facilities 68 per cent full and top-up rates likely to drop after last week’s pipeline cut, Germany risks falling short of the government’s target of 95 per cent by Nov 1»

«16 per cent of industrial firms are considering reducing production or giving up certain operations because of the energy crisis»

«Some chemical-industry executives say production could move to Turkey, where there is access to Azerbaijani pipelines»

«Most Germans support Ukraine but critics could gain traction as temperatures drop»

* * * * * * *


Germany Has Three Months to Save Itself From a Winter Gas Crisis.

Germany’s presidential palace in Berlin is no longer lit at night. The city of Hanover is turning off warm water in the showers of its pools and gyms, and municipalities across the country are preparing heating havens to keep people safe from the cold. And that’s just the beginning of a crisis that will ripple across Europe.

It might still be the height of summer, but Germany has little time to lose to avert an energy shortage this winter that would be unprecedented for a developed nation. Much of Europe is feeling the strain from Russia’s squeeze on natural gas deliveries, yet no other country is as exposed as the region’s biggest economy, where nearly half the homes rely on the fuel for heating.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s administration has been slow to address Germany’s vulnerability, only recently laying out targets to cut demand as efforts to secure alternative supplies fall short. With Moscow continuing to tighten deliveries and France struggling to export electricity to its neighbours, little respite is expected and the risks go beyond this winter.

“The challenges we’re facing are enormous and they affect significant areas of the economy and society,” said Robert Habeck, Germany’s vice-chancellor and economy minister, after unveiling a plan to pass on cost increases from energy companies to consumers. “But we are a strong country and a strong democracy. These are good prerequisites for overcoming this crisis.”

The Kremlin is likely to keep vital gas flows to Europe at minimal levels as long as the standoff over Ukraine continues, said sources. That means shortages in the region will likely persist, with gas prices for every year through 2025 having already hit a record this year.

Rationing and recession are looming for Germany, and authorities have voiced concern about social unrest if the energy shortage spins out of control. The country can’t even count on France, where faulty nuclear reactors are compounding the gas crunch. Electricity prices in Europe’s 2 biggest economies surged to records last week.

Russia — historically the European Union’s biggest gas supplier, covering about 40 per cent of demand — has gradually reduced deliveries in evident retaliation against sanctions. The EU’s challenge is to keep energy flowing across borders in a test of the bloc’s unity and its resolve to resist President Vladimir Putin’s aggression.

“Russia’s policy has always been to divide because then they are stronger,” said Martins Kazaks, governor of the central bank of Latvia, the former Soviet Republic that’s now part of the euro area. “If we allow ourselves to be divided, then we will get weaker,” he said in an interview.

Russia’s latest move came last week, when Gazprom blamed a turbine issue for reducing flows on the key Nord Stream pipeline to about 20 per cent of capacity. In the fallout, gas prices jumped over 30 per cent last week, and electricity prices broke one record after another.

Habeck, who oversees energy policy, called Gazprom’s rationale “farcical”, but acknowledged that the situation is serious and renewed his plea for companies and consumers to step up savings efforts. To bridge the gap, his ministry has allowed the revival of mothballed coal-fired power plants in a setback for climate efforts and recommends that Germans install efficient shower heads and wash clothes at cooler temperatures. 

If measures to re-balance supply and demand fail, the government has the power to declare a gas “emergency”, which would involve the state taking control of distribution and deciding who gets the fuel and who doesn’t.

While households and critical infrastructure like hospitals are protected from cutoffs, there’s no guarantee room temperatures will be as comfortable. Germany’s biggest landlord already announced plans to reduce heating during the night, and public buildings including the Reichstag in Berlin are turning down thermostats.

The cost increases, which will start filtering through in earnest this fall, add to pressure on the poor. Already around 1 in 4 Germans has slipped into energy poverty, meaning costs for heating and lighting affect the ability to cover other expenses, said the Cologne Institute for Economic Research. The government is now working on aid programmes for low-income households.

Cold snaps across Europe and Asia would force energy companies to battle for already-tight supplies of liquefied natural gas. The price surge from such a scenario could prompt companies to halt facilities this winter and destroy some 17 per cent of industrial demand for the fuel, said Penny Leake, a research analyst at consultancy Wood Mackenzie Ltd. “If Nord Stream flows remain at 20 per cent, we are getting close to the danger zone,” she said. 

With storage facilities 68 per cent full and top-up rates likely to drop after last week’s pipeline cut, Germany risks falling short of the government’s target of 95 per cent by Nov 1. The country’s network regulator says reaching that level is hardly possible without additional measures. 

The corporate sector is already reacting. A survey of 3,500 companies by business lobby DIHK showed that 16 per cent of industrial firms are considering reducing production or giving up certain operations because of the energy crisis.

It’s not just Germany. High energy prices have prompted fertiliser producer CF Industries Holdings to announce it would shut one of its UK plants permanently. Cargill Inc, the world’s top crop trader, also closed a British oilseeds processing plant, while in France, supermarkets including Carrefour and Monoprix agreed to reduce energy consumption.

The International Monetary Fund estimates that Germany is at risk of losing 4.8 per cent of economic output if Russia halts gas supplies, and the Bundesbank has pegged the potential damage at 220 billion euros (S$310 billion). While it is certain to be a painful hit, the fear in Germany is that a structural loss in competitiveness will soon follow. 

Energy-intensive industries will likely gravitate to regions with reliable renewable-power resources like Germany’s windy coast or solar-rich areas in the Mediterranean, potentially hollowing out industrial regions along the Rhine and in Germany’s south, said a senior executive at a major German manufacturer. Some chemical-industry executives say production could move to Turkey, where there is access to Azerbaijani pipelines.

Most Germans support Ukraine — about half say the government should continue backing of Kyiv despite rising energy costs, said a Policy Matters poll for Die Zeit — but critics could gain traction as temperatures drop. That would heap even more pressure on Scholz. 

Despite being months into the crisis, his administration just started publicly communicating a goal to cut demand by as much as 20 per cent. And in a sign of the growing urgency, it recently raised its minimum target for gas storage — now 15 percentage points higher than EU-wide levels. BLOOMBERG

Pubblicato in: Banche Centrali, Devoluzione socialismo, Materie Prime, Russia, Stati Uniti

Sudan, Russia, Oro. L’America è out. Ed il contrabbando ferve. Ira dei liberal.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2022-08-04.

2022-08-03__ Russia Sudan Oro 001

La Cnn ha pubblicato un mastodontico articolo sul Sudan e sui suoi rapporti con la Russia ed il traffico dell’oro.

Lo segnaliamo perché è stato scritto nel più perfetto neo-linguaggio liberal, quale da tempo non si leggeva.

Sembrerebbe che non abbiano nessun altro problema, quale, per esempio,

Usa. Misurata in modo corretto l’inflazione è al 17.1% annualizzato. – Bloomberg.

* * *

Il termine ‘pro democracy’ indica la completa accettazione dell’ideologia liberal. Il resto è solo una bieca dittatura sanguinaria.

Hanno il dente avvelenato che il Sudan non si curi dei diktat statunitensi, cosa che agli occhi dei liberal è un peccato mortale.

Quanto poi la Russia, l’articolo gronda un odio irredimibile, quale non lo si leggeva da tempo.

L’articolo, come di abitudine, è pieno di interviste rilasciate da augusti sconosciuti, sempre poi che esistano, che l’autore assume essere verità universali.

Merita di essere letto, con molto buon senso.

* * * * * * *

Giorni dopo che Mosca ha lanciato la sua sanguinosa guerra contro l’Ucraina, un aereo cargo russo si è fermato sulla pista di Khartoum, una striscia di asfalto circondata da sabbia rosso-arancio. Il manifesto di carico dell’aereo indicava che era carico di biscotti. Il Sudan esporta raramente, se non mai, biscotti. All’interno della stiva, scatole colorate di biscotti si estendevano davanti a loro. Sotto di esse erano nascoste casse di legno contenenti la risorsa più preziosa del Sudan. L’oro. Circa una tonnellata.

Questo incidente di febbraio – raccontato alla CNN da diverse fonti ufficiali sudanesi – è uno degli almeno 16 voli russi di contrabbando di oro in partenza dal Sudan, terzo produttore africano del metallo prezioso, nell’ultimo anno e mezzo.

Le prove suggeriscono anche che la Russia ha colluso con l’assediata leadership militare del Sudan ….. In cambio, la Russia ha prestato un potente sostegno politico e militare al Sudan.

Il crescente legame tra i governanti militari del Sudan e Mosca ha generato una ‘intricata rete di contrabbando d’oro.

L’ingerenza della Russia nell’oro del Sudan è iniziata seriamente nel 2014, dopo che l’invasione della Crimea ha provocato una serie di sanzioni occidentali. Le spedizioni di oro si sono rivelate un modo efficace per accumulare e trasferire ricchezza, rafforzando le casse dello Stato russo ed eludendo i sistemi di monitoraggio finanziario internazionale.

Lo svantaggio dell’oro è che è fisico e molto più complicato da usare rispetto ai bonifici internazionali, ma il rovescio della medaglia è che è molto più difficile, se non impossibile, congelarlo o sequestrarlo. Circa l’85% dell’oro in Sudan è venduto in questo modo …. 32,7 tonnellate non sono state registrate nel 2021. Il generale Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, leader dell’unità paramilitare Rapid Support Forces (RSF), è un beneficiario chiave del sostegno russo, in quanto principale destinatario delle armi e dell’addestramento di Mosca. Questi agenti di Wagner sembrano far parte di un crescente clima di paura mentre Mosca stringe la sua presa sull’oleodotto del Sudan, dicono le fonti.

* * * * * * *

«Days after Moscow launched its bloody war on Ukraine, a Russian cargo plane stood on a Khartoum runway, a strip of tarmac surrounded by red-orange sand»

«The aircraft’s manifest stated it was loaded with cookies. Sudan rarely, if ever, exports cookies»

«Inside the hold, colorful boxes of cookies stretched out before them. Hidden just beneath were wooden crates of Sudan’s most precious resource. Gold. Roughly one ton of it»

«This incident in February — recounted by multiple official Sudanese sources to CNN — is one of at least 16 known Russian gold smuggling flights out of Sudan, Africa’s third largest producer of the precious metal, over the last year and a half»

«The evidence also suggests that Russia has colluded with Sudan’s beleaguered military leadership …. In exchange, Russia has lent powerful political and military backing to Sudan»

«The growing bond between Sudan’s military rulers and Moscow has spawned an intricate gold smuggling network»

«Russia’s meddling in Sudan’s gold began in earnest in 2014 after its invasion of Crimea prompted a slew of Western sanctions. Gold shipments proved an effective way of accumulating and transferring wealth, bolstering Russia’s state coffers while sidestepping international financial monitoring systems»

«The downside of gold is that it’s physical and a lot more cumbersome to use than international wire transfers but the flip side is that it’s much harder if not impossible to freeze or seize»

«Some 85% of the gold in Sudan is sold this way …. 32.7 tons was unaccounted for in 2021»

«Gen. Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, leader of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) paramilitary unit, is a key beneficiary from Russian support, as the primary recipient of Moscow’s weapons and training»

«Those Wagner operatives appear to be part of a growing climate of fear as Moscow tightens its grip on Sudan’s gold pipeline, sources say»

* * * * * * *

Russia is plundering gold in Sudan to boost Putin’s war effort in Ukraine

Khartoum, Sudan (CNN)Days after Moscow launched its bloody war on Ukraine, a Russian cargo plane stood on a Khartoum runway, a strip of tarmac surrounded by red-orange sand. The aircraft’s manifest stated it was loaded with cookies. Sudan rarely, if ever, exports cookies.

A heated debate transpired between officials in a back office of Khartoum International Airport. They feared that inspecting the plane would vex the country’s increasingly pro-Russian military leadership. Multiple previous attempts to intercept suspicious Russian carriers had been stopped. Ultimately, however, the officials decided to board the plane.

Inside the hold, colorful boxes of cookies stretched out before them. Hidden just beneath were wooden crates of Sudan’s most precious resource. Gold. Roughly one ton of it.

This incident in February — recounted by multiple official Sudanese sources to CNN — is one of at least 16 known Russian gold smuggling flights out of Sudan, Africa’s third largest producer of the precious metal, over the last year and a half.

Multiple interviews with high-level Sudanese and US officials and troves of documents reviewed by CNN paint a picture of an elaborate Russian scheme to plunder Sudan’s riches in a bid to fortify Russia against increasingly robust Western sanctions and to buttress Moscow’s war effort in Ukraine.

The evidence also suggests that Russia has colluded with Sudan’s beleaguered military leadership, enabling billions of dollars in gold to bypass the Sudanese state and to deprive the poverty-stricken country of hundreds of millions in state revenue.

In exchange, Russia has lent powerful political and military backing to Sudan’s increasingly unpopular military leadership as it violently quashes the country’s pro-democracy movement.

Former and current US officials told CNN that Russia actively supported Sudan’s 2021 military coup which overthrew a transitional civilian government, dealing a devastating blow to the Sudanese pro-democracy movement that had toppled President Omar al-Bashir two years earlier.

“We’ve long known Russia is exploiting Sudan’s natural resources,” one former US official familiar with the matter told CNN. “In order to maintain access to those resources Russia encouraged the military coup.”

“As the rest of the world closed in on [Russia], they have a lot to gain from this relationship with Sudan’s generals and from helping the generals remain in power,” the former official added. “That ‘help’ runs the gamut from training and intelligence support to jointly benefiting from Sudan’s stolen gold.”

At the heart of this quid pro quo between Moscow and Sudan’s military junta is Yevgeny Prigozhin, a Russian oligarch and key ally of President Vladimir Putin.

The heavily sanctioned 61-year-old controls a shadowy network of companies that includes Wagner, a paramilitary group linked to alleged torture, mass killings and looting in several war-torn countries including Syria and the Central African Republic (CAR). Prigozhin denies links to Wagner.

In Sudan, Prigozhin’s main vehicle is a US-sanctioned company called Meroe Gold — a subsidiary of Prigozhin owned M-invest — which extracts gold while providing weapons and training to the country’s army and paramilitaries, according to invoices seen by CNN.

“Through Meroe Gold, or other companies associated with Prigozhin employees, he has developed a strategy to loot the economic resources of the African countries where he intervenes, as a counterpart to his support to the governments in place,” said Denis Korotkov, investigator at the London-based Dossier Center, which tracks the criminal activity of various people associated with the Kremlin. The center was started by Mikhail Khodorkovsky, once the richest man in Russia, now living in exile in London.

CNN, in collaboration with the Dossier Center, can also reveal that at least one high-level Wagner operative — Alexander Sergeyevich Kuznetsov — has overseen operations in Sudan’s key gold mining, processing and transit sites in recent years.

Kuznetsov — also known by his call signs “Ratibor” and “Radimir” — is a convicted kidnapper who fought in neighboring Libya and commanded Wagner’s first attack and reconnaissance company in 2014. He is a four-time recipient of Russia’s Order of Courage award and was pictured alongside Putin and Dmitri Utkin — Wagner’s founder — in 2017. The European Union sanctioned Kuznetsov in 2021.

The growing bond between Sudan’s military rulers and Moscow has spawned an intricate gold smuggling network. According to Sudanese official sources as well as flight data reviewed by CNN in collaboration with flight tracker Twitter account Gerjon, at least 16 of the flights intercepted by Sudanese officials last year were operated by military plane that came to and from the Syrian port city of Latakia where Russia has a major airbase.

Gold shipments also follow a land route to the CAR, where Wagner has propped up a repressive regime and is reported to have meted out some of its cruelest tactics on the country’s population, according to multiple Sudanese official sources and the Dossier Center.

CNN has reached out to the Russian foreign ministry, the Russian defense ministry and the parent organization for the group of companies run by Prigozhin for comment. None has responded.

Responding to the findings of CNN’s investigation, a US State Department spokesperson said: “We are monitoring this issue closely, including the reported activities of Meroe Gold, the Kremlin-backed Wagner Group, and other sanctioned actors in Sudan, the region, and throughout the gold trade.

“We support the Sudanese people in their pursuit of a democratic and prosperous Sudan that respects human rights,” the spokesperson added. “We will continue to make clear our concerns to Sudanese military officials about the malign impact of Wagner, Meroe Gold, and other actors.”

                         Receding into the shadows

Russia’s meddling in Sudan’s gold began in earnest in 2014 after its invasion of Crimea prompted a slew of Western sanctions. Gold shipments proved an effective way of accumulating and transferring wealth, bolstering Russia’s state coffers while sidestepping international financial monitoring systems.

“The downside of gold is that it’s physical and a lot more cumbersome to use than international wire transfers but the flip side is that it’s much harder if not impossible to freeze or seize,” said Daniel McDowell, sanctions specialist and associate professor of Political Science at Syracuse University.

The hub of Russia’s gold extraction operation lies deep in the desert of northeast Sudan, a bleached landscape peppered with gaping chasms where miners toil in searing heat, with only tents fashioned from scraps of tarpaulin and sandbags providing any respite.

Miners from those remote artisanal mines converge on al-Ibaidiya — known as ‘gold town’ — every morning, lugging sacks of gold in carts hauled by donkeys along the town’s unpaved roads. The highest bidders for their goods, many of them say, are almost invariably merchants dispatched from a nearby processing plant known by locals as ‘the Russian company.’

It’s a helter-skelter selling process that sources tell CNN is the nerve center of Russia’s gold siphoning. Some 85% of the gold in Sudan is sold this way, according to official statistics seen by CNN. The transactions are mostly off-the-books, and Russia dominates this market, according to multiple sources, including mining whistleblowers and security sources.

For at least a decade, Russia has hidden its Sudanese gold dealings from the official record. Sudan’s official Foreign Trade Statistics since 2011 consistently list Russia’s total gold exports from the country at zero, despite copious evidence of Moscow’s extensive dealings in this sector.

Because Russia has benefited from considerable government blind spots, it is difficult to ascertain the exact amount of gold it has removed from Sudan. But at least seven sources familiar with events accuse Russia of driving the lion’s share of Sudan’s gold smuggling operations — which is where most of Sudan’s gold has ended up in recent years, according to official statistics.

A whistleblower from inside the Sudanese Central Bank showed CNN a photo of a spreadsheet showing that 32.7 tons was unaccounted for in 2021. Using current prices, this amounts to $1.9 billion worth of missing gold, at $60 million a ton.

But multiple former and current officials say that the amount of missing gold is even larger, arguing that the Sudanese government vastly underestimates the gold produced at informal artisanal mines, distorting the real number.

Most of CNN’s insider sources claim that around 90% of Sudan’s gold production is being smuggled out. If true, that would amount to roughly $13.4 billion worth of gold that has circumvented customs and regulations, with potentially hundreds of millions of dollars lost in government revenue. CNN cannot independently verify those figures.

An anti-corruption Sudanese investigator who has tracked Russia’s gold dealings in Sudan for years provided CNN with the coordinates of a key Russian processing plant. When CNN arrived at the site, some five miles from al-Ibaidiya, a Soviet flag fluttered above the compound. A Russian fuel truck was parked outside.

A casual encounter with the guard — who confirmed that the facility belonged to the so-called “Russian company” — quickly turned into a tense confrontation.

The guard spoke through a walkie talkie, conveying CNN’s request to speak to “the Russian manager.” A group of Sudanese men then rushed to the scene and ordered the CNN crew to leave, before the CNN car was tailed by the security detail.

“You need to go,” another Sudanese employee at the plant told CNN. “This isn’t a Russian company. It is a Sudanese company called al-Solag.”

Al-Solag is a Sudanese front company for Meroe Gold, the US-sanctioned Russian mining business, according to five official Sudanese sources and company registration documents reviewed by CNN.

Al-Solag’s formation over the last year has marked a key turning point for Russia’s presence in Sudan. Under the new model, Russia’s dealings have receded into the shadows, making the arrangements more reliant on Sudan’s military leadership and further enabling Russian actors to circumvent state institutions, including regulations pertaining to foreign companies, under the guise of a local business. CNN has reached out to Sudan’s military leadership for comment, and received no reply.

‘Too much US scrutiny’

In 2021, Russia’s Sudan envoy, Vladimir Zheltov, called for an impromptu meeting with Sudanese mining officials.

Appearing visibly nervous, Zheltov demanded that Meroe Gold be “obscured” after becoming subject to “too much US scrutiny,” according to a whistleblower from Sudan’s Ministry of Mining who had first-hand knowledge of the meeting.

By June of this year, Zheltov’s demands had materialized. The transfer of Meroe Gold’s assets to the Sudanese-owned al-Solag appeared to have been completed. An analysis of the registration documents of the two companies revealed striking similarities, including two identical lists of legal penalties.

Under Sudanese law, a company wishing to transfer their holdings must also transfer judgments against it. It is illegal to have an undeclared foreign partner.

Sudan’s anti-corruption committee, a watchdog set up to assist Sudan’s transition to democracy, then blocked the attempted subterfuge, according to a former civilian official with direct knowledge of the events. The anti-corruption committee sent a detailed report to the armed forces in September 2021 with evidence of the Meroe Gold transfer to al-Solag, urging them to stop what they dubbed a “crime against the state.”

The watchdog also accused the military of complicity in Russia’s dealings, drawing the ire of the military leadership who lambasted the committee for “harming the armed forces,” according to the former civilian official.

“The Russians and Sudanese officers saw the civilians in the government as an obstacle to their plans,” the former official added.

In October 2021, a month after the anti-corruption committee stopped the transfer of holdings from Meroe Gold to al-Solag, Sudan’s military staged a coup — which US official and former official sources accuse Russia of backing — and the junta immediately dismantled the committee.

“Russia is a parasite,” the former official told CNN. “It pillaged Sudan. And it has exacted a very large political penalty by terminating a democratic project that could have turned Sudan into a great nation.”

Gen. Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, leader of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) paramilitary unit, is a key beneficiary from Russian support, as the primary recipient of Moscow’s weapons and training. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan — the country’s military ruler — is also believed by CNN’s Sudanese sources to be backed by Russia.

Human rights groups have implicated both Burhan and Dagalo (known as Hemedti) in alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity during Sudan’s Darfur conflict that started in 2003.

On the same day that Russia launched its 2022 invasion of Ukraine, Hemedti was heading a Sudanese delegation in Moscow to “advance relations” between the two countries.

Wagner boots on the ground

On a dusty border-crossing between the CAR and Sudan in March 2019, a bespectacled 34-year-old Russian frantically sent his boss — Meroe Gold owner Mikhail Potepkin — a plea for help.

“Radimir is pissed that no one was warned,” wrote Aleksei Pankov in a Telegram conversation which the Dossier Center shared with CNN. He was referring to Kuznetsov, the menacing high-level Wagner operative, depicted as manning the border alongside Sudanese intelligence operatives.

“Tell Radimir that it was a ‘closed’ operation. That’s why we didn’t warn him about it,” came Potepkin’s reply.

“F**k, Radimir is scary. I almost s**t my pants,” Pankov wrote back.

This exchange is part of a string of evidence collected by CNN that establishes Kuznetsov as a key Wagner enforcer across key locations in Sudan.

CNN has also seen official Sudanese communiques referencing Kuznetsov as a “problematic” armed Russian who was overseeing security at the Russian gold processing plant near al-Ibaidiya. A source familiar with Meroe Gold’s activities in Sudan told CNN that Kuznetsov also frequented the company’s offices in Khartoum.

Wagner operatives deploy to Sudan on a rotational basis, the Dossier Center told CNN, and Kuznetsov may be one of several Wagner men in the country. These are strategically dispatched to protect Russia’s smuggling scheme that has grown in importance since Russia launched its war on Ukraine.

Those Wagner operatives appear to be part of a growing climate of fear as Moscow tightens its grip on Sudan’s gold pipeline, sources say.

Several local journalism networks whose work CNN has drawn on for this report — such as Mujo Press, al-Bahshoum and activist journalist Hisham Ali’s Facebook page — have been targeted in recent months, driven into exile under the threat of assassination. Ten protesters were gunned down in demonstrations in June alone, three of whom were prominent pro-democracy activists. CNN security sources believe they were deliberately targeted.

High-level Sudanese officials repeatedly urged CNN’s Nima Elbagir to steer clear of protest sites. Since CNN began this investigation, Elbagir has been put on the military junta’s hit list, according to multiple Sudanese security sources.

As images of Russian tanks encircling Kyiv were flashing on TV screens at Khartoum International Airport, employees watched as the plane laden with cookies and gold took off last February. Senior army brass had intervened and a sense of foreboding set in.

Some of the officials who uncovered the haul were reassigned, some to regional duty stations, and others were sent to army reserves, according to a source with direct knowledge of the incident.

“They paid for doing their jobs,” the source told CNN.

Pubblicato in: Cina, Materie Prime, Russia, Unione Europea

Russia, Cina ed Unione Europea. Il problema degli energetici.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2022-08-04.

Gufo_019__

La Russia sta incrementando le spedizioni di gas naturale verso la Cina, mentre frena i flussi verso l’Europa, il che potrebbe offrire un po’ di tregua dall’impennata dei costi energetici

Il prezzo del gas in Europa è salito dopo che la Russia ha tagliato le forniture …. Gazprom sta trasportando volumi record verso la Cina e questo sta aiutando a bilanciare il mercato …. I crescenti flussi di gas dalla Russia alla Cina sono destinati a sostituire il gas a prezzi più elevati sul mercato cinese.

I maggiori giacimenti della Siberia, che alimentano l’Europa, saranno infine collegati alla Cina, dando alla Russia uno sbocco alternativo per le sue vaste risorse.

I prezzi europei sono preoccupati per la rapidità con cui la Cina uscirà dalla crisi.

Con la ripresa dell’attività economica, la Cina potrebbe iniziare a competere con l’Europa per i carichi di gas naturale liquefatto ….. Se la Russia interrompesse i flussi di gas verso l’Europa, i prezzi salirebbero di cinque volte rispetto al livello attuale.

Il rischio di una recessione globale ridurrà il consumo di gas fino al 16% nell’Unione Europea il prossimo anno …. Il contesto di prezzi elevati non è sostenibile a lungo termine se l’inverno sarà peggiore del passato.

* * * * * * *

«Russia is boosting natural gas shipments to China as it curbs flows to Europe, which may offer some respite from the surge in energy costs»

«The price of gas in Europe went up after Russia cut supplies …. Gazprom is shipping record volumes to China and that this is helping to balance the market …. Increasing flows of gas from Russia to China are set to replace higher priced gas in the Chinese market»

«Siberia’s biggest fields, which feed Europe, will eventually be connected to China, giving Russia an alternative outlet for its vast resources»

«Europe’s prices are worried about how quickly China comes out of covids»

«as Chinese economic activity recovers, it may start to compete with Europe for Liquefied Natural Gas cargo …. If Russia stopped gas flows to Europe, prices would go up five times the current level»

«The risk of a global recession will reduce gas consumption by as much as 16% in the European Union next year …. The high price environment is not sustainable in the long term if the winter is worse than in the past»

* * * * * * *


Russian Gas Pivot Toward China Will Ease Europe’s Energy Crunch

Russia is boosting natural gas shipments to China as it curbs flows to Europe, which may offer some respite from the surge in energy costs.

The price of gas in Europe went up after Russia cut supplies. Ogan Kose, a managing director at Accenture, said that Gazprom is shipping record volumes to China and that this is helping to balance the market.

Kose said in an interview this week that Russian gas being supplied to China will make a difference. As a result of that, China will no longer want to import Liquefied Natural Gas.

European nations want to cut their dependence on Russian gas and are looking for more supplies of Liquefied Natural Gas. Producers are redirecting capacity toward Europe because the region is expected to remain a premium market.

Increasing flows of gas from Russia to China are set to replace higher priced gas in the Chinese market.

Russia’s plans to build new links to China have been accelerated because of the war. Siberia’s biggest fields, which feed Europe, will eventually be connected to China, giving Russia an alternative outlet for its vast resources.

Russian gas will be sold in Asia. There will always be someone else buying that gas.

                         China imports gas and oil.

The China Gas Quarterly was published by the National Development and Reform Commission.

China, which also imports gas via Central Asia, is buying more gas and less of it.

China has been absent from spot purchases of liquified natural gas so far this year and its appetite may remain low through September due to high prices and uncertainty about the economy.

Europe’s prices are worried about how quickly China comes out of covids. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. said in a note last week that as Chinese economic activity recovers, it may start to compete with Europe for Liquefied Natural Gas cargo.

If Russia stopped gas flows to Europe, prices would go up five times the current level. Kose said that the average price in 2023 would be less than this year.

                         Recession risk

The risk of a global recession will reduce gas consumption by as much as 16% in the European Union next year. The European Union wants a 15% reduction in gas use through the winter, while the French utility says that clients are cutting gas use.

The combination of demand destruction in Europe and Asia and Russian gas finding new outlets will bring gas prices down. The high price environment is not sustainable in the long term if the winter is worse than in the past.

Pubblicato in: Commercio, Russia

Svizzera. Negli ultimi due mesi l’export in Russia si è impennato.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2022-08-03.

Switzerland 001

Le esportazioni svizzere verso la Russia di turboreattori, pompe d’aria e altri macchinari hanno registrato un’impennata negli ultimi due mesi, mentre i produttori si affrettavano a evadere gli ordini firmati prima che le sanzioni per l’invasione dell’Ucraina da parte di Mosca rendessero illegali alcune vendite.

Dopo aver oscillato tra 1 milione di franchi svizzeri (1.04 milioni di dollari) e 2.5 milioni di franchi al mese da gennaio ad aprile, le esportazioni di turboreattori, turbopropulsori e altre turbine a gas sono balzate a 11.2 milioni di franchi a maggio e a 52.9 milioni di franchi a giugno.

Il totale delle esportazioni svizzere verso la Russia, per un valore di 492 milioni di franchi, è aumentato dell’83% circa a giugno rispetto a gennaio, il mese prima dell’inizio della guerra il 24 febbraio, grazie soprattutto alle vendite di prodotti farmaceutici, medicinali, diagnostici e sangue.

Macchinari complessi come i motori a reazione e altri prodotti provenienti dalla Svizzera sono articoli che la Russia non può facilmente sostituire con fonti interne.

In confronto, l’Unione Europea ha esportato in Russia 110 milioni di euro (112 milioni di dollari) di turboreattori e 194 milioni di euro di pompe d’aria da gennaio a maggio di quest’anno. …. L’Ufficio federale delle dogane non rivela quali aziende sono incluse nei suoi dati di esportazione.

La SECO è stata criticata per non aver fatto abbastanza per confiscare i beni russi sanzionati in Svizzera, ma sostiene che il semplice fatto di essere russi non giustifica il congelamento dei conti bancari, della villa o degli edifici di una persona o di una società.

L’agenzia ha dichiarato a luglio di aver bloccato finora circa 7 miliardi di dollari di beni russi sanzionati. Anche gli Stati membri dell’UE hanno congelato circa 14 miliardi di dollari di beni legati a individui sanzionati.

* * * * * * *

«Swiss exports to Russia of turbojets, air pumps and other machinery surged in the past two months as manufacturers raced to fill any orders signed before sanctions over Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine render some of the sales illegal»

«After ranging from 1 million Swiss francs ($1.04 million) to 2.5 million francs a month from January to April, exports of turbojets, turbopropellers and other gas turbines jumped to 11.2 million francs in May and 5.9 million francs in June»

«Total Swiss exports to Russia valued at 492 million francs were about 83% higher in June than in January, the month before the war started Feb. 24, driven mostly by sales of pharmaceutical goods, medicines, diagnostics and blood»

«Complex machinery like the jet engines and other products coming from Switzerland are items Russia can’t easily replace from domestic sources»

«By comparison, the European Union exported 110 million euros ($112 million) worth of turbojets and 194 million euros of air pumps to Russia from January through May of this year»

«The Swiss Federal Office for Customs doesn’t disclose which companies are included in its export data»

«SECO has been criticized for not doing enough to seize sanctioned Russian assets in Switzerland but counters that simply being Russian is not grounds for a person or company to have their bank accounts, villa or buildings frozen»

«The agency said in July it has blocked about $7 billion of sanctioned Russian assets to date. EU member states have also frozen about $14 billion of assets linked to sanctioned individuals»

* * * * * * *


Swiss Exports to Russia Surge in Race to Beat Sanctions.

– Shipments jump more than tenfold before end of grace period

– Swiss adopted EU sanctions after Ukraine invasion in February

* * * * * * *

Swiss exports to Russia of turbojets, air pumps and other machinery surged in the past two months as manufacturers raced to fill any orders signed before sanctions over Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine render some of the sales illegal.

After ranging from 1 million Swiss francs ($1.04 million) to 2.5 million francs a month from January to April, exports of turbojets, turbopropellers and other gas turbines jumped to 11.2 million francs in May and 5.9 million francs in June, Swiss customs data shows. Shipments of air and vacuum pumps showed similarly large gains compared with pre-war levels.

Total Swiss exports to Russia valued at 492 million francs were about 83% higher in June than in January, the month before the war started Feb. 24, driven mostly by sales of pharmaceutical goods, medicines, diagnostics and blood.

Switzerland’s latest trade readings show how the war combined with sanctions on key Russian supplies are distorting global trade — by rerouting the flow of many key goods, altering demand patterns and causing cargo pileups at European ports. At the same time, authorities are stepping up efforts to monitor compliance with a complex maze of new rules.

Overall, Russian imports have plunged since the US and its allies imposed sweeping sanctions over Ukraine, dropping 22% in the second quarter to $72.3 billion, according to the Bank of Russia. The authorities have stopped publishing detailed data amid the sanctions, but officials say shipments of investment and intermediate goods have been particularly hard hit. Complex machinery like the jet engines and other products coming from Switzerland are items Russia can’t easily replace from domestic sources.

By comparison, the European Union exported 110 million euros ($112 million) worth of turbojets and 194 million euros of air pumps to Russia from January through May of this year, according to EU figures. Exports of the goods from the bloc of 27 nations to Russia also ticked up in April and May after collapsing in March, though they’re in line with year-earlier levels, Eurostat data shows.

Total EU exports to Russia, however, have fallen since trade restrictions were introduced.

The restrictions on several — but not all — types of those goods are covered in different sanctions packages introduced in the EU, Switzerland and the UK. The exports have been banned as part of actions targeting key industries, while shipments of others are prohibited for their potential military use and some are considered luxury items sanctioned earlier this year.

Some of the measures include wind-down periods before the prohibitions come into force, as well as a number of exemptions. In Switzerland’s case, most of these periods expire between mid-June and the end of July.

While the so-called transitional provisions were intended to provide an orderly off ramp of any existing business to ease the pain on Swiss exporters, the rules may have prompted a spike in the export of machinery whose final destination or use becomes harder to track once in a Russian economy largely closed off from the West.

The Swiss Federal Office for Customs doesn’t disclose which companies are included in its export data.

SECO, the Swiss agency which enforces Switzerland’s sanctions, says not all machinery that falls into these categories are sanctioned and the transit of Swiss goods via the EU is subject to the EU’s sanctions. The EU and the UK introduced a ban on exports of most turbojets in March and April, and sales to Russia of various higher-end pumps used in key industries or by the military are also prohibited. Some of those restrictions are already in force.

The use of transitional provisions explains the surge of Swiss goods directly to Russia, a SECO spokesman said by email. Once those end in August, any violations are subject to legal prosecution, he added. 

SECO has been criticized for not doing enough to seize sanctioned Russian assets in Switzerland but counters that simply being Russian is not grounds for a person or company to have their bank accounts, villa or buildings frozen.

The agency said in July it has blocked about $7 billion of sanctioned Russian assets to date. EU member states have also frozen about $14 billion of assets linked to sanctioned individuals, though the actual figure is likely to be higher as most nations have not been reporting their data.

The EU, the UK and other allies in the Group of Seven have set up various working groups to step up efforts to better monitor the implementation of sanctions. A European diplomat said Switzerland had mostly mirrored the EU’s sanctions but appeared to be less effective at enforcing the measures.

Pubblicato in: Banche Centrali, Cina, Devoluzione socialismo, Russia, Stati Uniti

Usa. Le sanzioni di Joe Biden hanno generato un possente mercato dello Yuan.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2022-08-02.

 2022-08-01__ Rublo Yuan 001

«Joe Biden’s assertion that sanctions had turned the ruble into rubble»

«L’affermazione di Joe Biden secondo cui le sanzioni avrebbero ridotto il rublo in macerie»

si è rivelata essere una galattica cantonata.

L’effetto più vistoso ed importante è stata la generazione di un blocco euroasiatico politico, finanziario, economico e militare.

La Russia prosegue a vendere i propri prodotti energetici entro questo blocco, mentre l’enclave liberal occidentale soffre una severa penuria di materie prime.

Russia. 2022Q2. Export 153.1 miliardi. Annualizzato sarebbero 612.4 miliardi.

Tutta questa impresa ha gravato sui Contribuente Elettori americani, concorrendo potentemente alla generazione di una inflazione incontrollata.

Usa. Misurata in modo corretto l’inflazione è al 17.1% annualizzato. – Bloomberg.

Sequenziali gli aggiustamenti sui mercati internazionali.

Cina. Le riserve in dollari americani sono scese sotto il trilione.

Ma l’effetto di maggiore portata è stato sul mercato valutario

«The war in Ukraine has accelerated Russia’s pivot east and sent local demand for China’s yuan surging»

«They are actively shifting to currencies other than the dollar and the euro»

Nel blocco euroasiatico lo yuan è diventato la valuta di riferimento e di riserva, scalzando il dollaro americano.

Sta prendendo corpo una larga porzione di stati a livello mondiale che si avviano alla dedollarizzazione.

In pratica, tutto il modo libero si sta dollarizzando.

Brics Plus. Sono diventati la prima potenza mondiale e l’occidente liberal ne è escluso.

Joe Biden è diventato il becchino degli Stati  Uniti.

* * * * * * *

La guerra in Ucraina ha accelerato l’orientamento della Russia verso est e ha fatto impennare la domanda locale di yuan cinese, contribuendo a domare un rally del rublo durato quattro mesi che ha messo sotto pressione le imprese e il bilancio.

I volumi di scambio giornalieri della coppia yuan-rublo sono quasi raddoppiati questa settimana rispetto alla scorsa, raggiungendo mercoledì il massimo giornaliero di 7,82 miliardi di yuan (1,16 miliardi di dollari).

I volumi della coppia di valute yuan-rublo sono ora superiori a quelli della coppia euro-rublo. …. Si stanno spostando attivamente verso valute diverse dal dollaro e dall’euro. …. Il gigante dell’alluminio Rusal offre il primo bond locale russo in yuan.

Nonostante l’isolamento della Russia, la sua valuta ha registrato un’impennata da febbraio. Le aziende hanno continuato a convertire in rubli miliardi di dollari di entrate derivanti dalle esportazioni di energia, mentre i controlli valutari e il crollo delle importazioni hanno fatto sì che ci fosse poco appetito per il biglietto verde.

Ma l’appetito per lo yuan, così come il taglio dei tassi superiore alle previsioni della scorsa settimana, sembrano raffreddare un rally che ha minato l’affermazione del presidente statunitense Joe Biden secondo cui le sanzioni avrebbero trasformato il rublo in macerie.

Il volume degli scambi yuan-rublo ha raggiunto i 94 miliardi di yuan a luglio, rispetto ai 54 miliardi di giugno.

Prestate attenzione alla coppia yuan-rublo, e vedrete che la valuta cinese si è rafforzata in modo più significativo quando i volumi di scambio hanno raggiunto un record.

Il volume degli scambi è quasi raddoppiato nell’ultimo mese, mentre non si può ancora parlare di una ripresa così forte delle importazioni.

* * * * * * *

«The war in Ukraine has accelerated Russia’s pivot east and sent local demand for China’s yuan surging, helping tame a four-month ruble rally that’s piled pressure on companies and the budget»

«Daily trading volumes in the yuan-ruble pair are on track to almost double this week compared with last, hitting an all-time daily high of 7.82 billion yuan ($1.16 billion) on Wednesday»

«Volumes for the yuan-ruble currency pair are now higher than for the euro-ruble pair»

They are actively shifting to currencies other than the dollar and the euro ….     Aluminum Giant Rusal Offers Russia’s First Local Bond in Yuan»

«Despite Russia’s isolation, its currency had been on a tear since February. Companies continued to convert billions of dollars of revenue from energy exports into rubles, while currency controls and collapsing imports meant there was little appetite for the greenback»

«But appetite for the yuan, as well as a bigger-than-forecast rate cut last week, appear to be cooling a rally that undermined US President Joe Biden’s assertion that sanctions had turned the ruble into “rubble.”»

«The volume of yuan-ruble trading reached 94 billion yuan in July compared with 54 billion in June»

«Pay attention to the yuan-ruble pair, and you’ll see the Chinese currency strengthened more significantly when trading volumes were at a record»

«The trading volume almost doubled over the past month, while we can’t yet talk about such a strong recovery in imports»

* * * * * * *


Ruble Is Stumbling as Yuan Trading Volumes Soar to Record

(Bloomberg) — The war in Ukraine has accelerated Russia’s pivot east and sent local demand for China’s yuan surging, helping tame a four-month ruble rally that’s piled pressure on companies and the budget. 

Daily trading volumes in the yuan-ruble pair are on track to almost double this week compared with last, hitting an all-time daily high of 7.82 billion yuan ($1.16 billion) on Wednesday, according to Moscow Exchange data. Volumes for the yuan-ruble currency pair are now higher than for the euro-ruble pair, the figures show. The ruble is the worst performer against the dollar among emerging markets this month. 

Sweeping sanctions since the invasion of Ukraine have cut Russia off from global markets, making dollar and euro investments toxic for local investors. The government has suggested buying the currencies of so-called friendly nations to cool the ruble’s surge this year, but there’s no indication that the latest jump in yuan trading was due to coordinated interventions.  

“Not only Russia’s government, but also private and institutional investors, participants in foreign economic activity are interested in avoiding external infrastructure risks,” said George Vaschenko, the head of Russian stock-market operations at Freedom Finance LLC. “They are actively shifting to currencies other than the dollar and the euro.” 

Aluminum Giant Rusal Offers Russia’s First Local Bond in Yuan

The Bank of Russia didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. 

Despite Russia’s isolation, its currency had been on a tear since February. Companies continued to convert billions of dollars of revenue from energy exports into rubles, while currency controls and collapsing imports meant there was little appetite for the greenback. 

The ruble touched its strongest level in seven years years last month, stoking concern the gains would hinder companies’ competitiveness and reduce budget revenue from exports in local-currency terms. 

                         Ruble as Rubble? 

But appetite for the yuan, as well as a bigger-than-forecast rate cut last week, appear to be cooling a rally that undermined US President Joe Biden’s assertion that sanctions had turned the ruble into “rubble.”

The currency is down more than 16% in so far in July and is set to snap a four month run of losses against the dollar. The volume of yuan-ruble trading reached 94 billion yuan in July compared with 54 billion in June, according to Bloomberg calculations based on Moscow Exchange daily data as of the close Thursday. 

“The dollar gained through cross-currency effects,” said Egor Zhilnikov, chief analyst at Promsvyazbank PJSC. “Pay attention to the yuan-ruble pair, and you’ll see the Chinese currency strengthened more significantly when trading volumes were at a record.”

At the end of June, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said the government is considering reviving a version of its pre-war fiscal rule to divert energy earnings into foreign exchange, thus indirectly weakening the ruble. The new approach would target currencies not hit by sanctions. He didn’t specify what currencies might be considered.

Governor Elvira Nabiullina said last week that the Bank of Russia is ready to start purchases under the budget rule as early as this year.

Andrey Kochetkov, a dealer at Otkritie Bank FC in Moscow, suggested that the government may already be in the market. 

“The trading volume almost doubled over the past month, while we can’t yet talk about such a strong recovery in imports,” he said. “So it seems that the participation of the authorities in foreign exchange trading is the most likely reason” for the ruble’s weakness, he said.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

Pubblicato in: Devoluzione socialismo, Geopolitica Africa, Russia, Stati Uniti

Russia. Più della metà degli stati africani ha appoggiato la Russia in sede UN.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2022-08-02.

Lavron e Putin che ridono 001

Il problema è semplice.

«when the 193-member General Assembly voted on a resolution condemning the invasion of Ukraine, 35 countries — roughly half from Africa, including South Africa and Senegal — abstained …. Others, like Ethiopia and Morocco didn’t vote at all»

Più della metà degli stati africani ha appoggiato la Russia in sede UN.

I liberal democratici si domandano stupefatti come mai possa essere successo un fatto del genere.

Se i liberal non fossero liberal lo avrebbero capito più che bene.

«None of the stops feature high up in democratic rankings either, so it’s been less a triumph than a round of autocratic nations happy to get a boost from a like-minded government  …. The trouble is that’s been enough»

«It’s a resource-rich region that Europe sees as its backyard»

Si sono dati la risposta da soli.

I liberal occidentali hanno sempre visto i paesi americani come stati nei quali fare tutto ciò che volevano, imponendo sempre l’adesione alla ideologia liberal, dall’aborto agli lgbt e depredandoli delle loro risorse.

Nulla da stupirsi quindi del successo della Russia. L’articolo allegato è un capolavoro della mistica liberal.

* * * * * * *


Dall’invasione dell’Ucraina a febbraio, non c’è dubbio che la Russia abbia trovato nel Sud globale partner più amichevoli, o esteriormente neutrali, di quanto l’Occidente vorrebbe.

Quando l’Assemblea Generale dei 193 membri ha votato una risoluzione di condanna dell’invasione dell’Ucraina, 35 Paesi – circa la metà africani, tra cui Sudafrica e Senegal – si sono astenuti ….. Altri, come Etiopia e Marocco, non hanno votato affatto.

I legami anticoloniali di epoca sovietica giocano a favore di Mosca, insieme a una diffusa sfiducia nei confronti dell’Occidente …. Non meno cruciali sono i legami con la difesa e la sicurezza: ciò che manca al Cremlino in termini di capacità di investimento (e non si avvicina ai miliardi della Cina per le infrastrutture) è compensato dalla vendita di armi e da appaltatori militari privati, senza che vengano poste domande imbarazzanti. La Russia è anche un esportatore chiave di grano e fertilizzanti per una regione vulnerabile che ha bisogno di entrambi. Nazioni come l’Egitto, prima tappa del tour di Lavrov, non hanno bisogno di ricordare i pericoli dell’impennata dell’inflazione alimentare.

Non ci sono promesse di denaro vistose da parte di una nazione che sta lottando per espandere la propria economia sottoposta a sanzioni, e mentre l’Egitto è un partner commerciale importante – c’è un motivo per cui il suo leader ha fatto un’apparizione virtuale al raduno Davos-lite del presidente Vladimir Putin a giugno – gli altri lo sono meno.

Nessuno degli scali si trova in cima alle classifiche democratiche, quindi non si è trattato tanto di un trionfo quanto di una serie di nazioni autocratiche felici di ricevere una spinta da un governo che la pensa come loro.

Il problema è che questo è stato sufficiente. Per aiutare l’Africa e schiacciare la Russia, questa situazione deve cambiare.

È una regione ricca di risorse che l’Europa vede come il suo cortile di casa, con governi spesso deboli che rendono relativamente poco costoso portare avanti gli interessi di Mosca (e quelli di stretti collaboratori del Cremlino che beneficiano di accordi sulle risorse e sulla sicurezza).

La Russia ha rappresentato il 44% delle vendite di armi all’Africa nel periodo 2017-21.

Non basta torcere le mani a Bruxelles e Washington quando il capo dell’Unione Africana fa commenti fuorvianti sulle sanzioni occidentali e si presta ai giochi della fame di Putin. A quel punto, è troppo tardi.

* * * * * * *

 «Since its invasion of Ukraine in February, there’s no question that Russia has found more friendly, or outwardly neutral, partners in the Global South than the West would like»

«when the 193-member General Assembly voted on a resolution condemning the invasion of Ukraine, 35 countries — roughly half from Africa, including South Africa and Senegal — abstained …. Others, like Ethiopia and Morocco didn’t vote at all»

«Soviet-era, anti-colonial ties work to Moscow’s advantage here, along with a widespread distrust of the West ….

«No less crucially, there are defense and security links — what the Kremlin lacks in investment capacity (and it doesn’t come near China’s billions for infrastructure) it makes up for in weapons sales and private military contractors, no awkward questions asked. Russia is also a key exporter of grain and fertilizer to a vulnerable region badly in need of both. Nations like Egypt, the first stop on Lavrov’s tour, need little reminding of the dangers of soaring food inflation.»

«There are no flashy cash promises from a nation struggling to expand its own sanctioned economy, and while Egypt is a significant trade partner — there’s a reason its leader made a virtual appearance at President Vladimir Putin’s Davos-lite gathering in June — others are less so»

«None of the stops feature high up in democratic rankings either, so it’s been less a triumph than a round of autocratic nations happy to get a boost from a like-minded government»

«The trouble is that’s been enough»

«To help Africa and squeeze Russia, that must change.»

«It’s a resource-rich region that Europe sees as its backyard, with often-weak governments that make it relatively inexpensive to advance Moscow’s interests (and those of close Kremlin associates benefitting from resource and security deals).»

«Russia accounted for 44% of weapons sales to Africa in 2017-21»

«It isn’t enough to wring hands in Brussels and Washington when the head of the African Union makes misleading comments on Western sanctions and plays into Putin’s hunger games. By then, it’s far too late»

* * * * * * *


Is Russia Winning the Battle for African Support?

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov’s charm offensive in Africa this week, part of efforts to rally support in the face of growing isolation, has prompted fresh Western hand-wringing. Is Moscow gaining ground in the emerging world? Why can’t African nations see that Russia is waging a war of conquest? On the other side, predictably, it fed propaganda bombast. “Russia is winning the fight for Africa,” one state television presenter told viewers. “The tour has turned out to be a triumphal march.”

Both are wide of the mark.

Since its invasion of Ukraine in February, there’s no question that Russia has found more friendly, or outwardly neutral, partners in the Global South than the West would like. Kenya gave a rousing speech at the Security Council laying out the dangerous implications of Russian irredentism, but when the 193-member General Assembly voted on a resolution condemning the invasion of Ukraine, 35 countries — roughly half from Africa, including South Africa and Senegal — abstained. Others, like Ethiopia and Morocco didn’t vote at all.

Soviet-era, anti-colonial ties work to Moscow’s advantage here, along with a widespread distrust of the West, nurtured by expanding Russian disinformation campaigns framing the war as the rich world against the rest. No less crucially, there are defense and security links — what the Kremlin lacks in investment capacity (and it doesn’t come near China’s billions for infrastructure) it makes up for in weapons sales and private military contractors, no awkward questions asked. Russia is also a key exporter of grain and fertilizer to a vulnerable region badly in need of both. Nations like Egypt, the first stop on Lavrov’s tour, need little reminding of the dangers of soaring food inflation.

Still, his destinations — Egypt, Uganda, Republic of Congo and Ethiopia — say a lot about the limits of the Kremlin’s endeavor. Russia’s constrained means (and Africa’s patchwork of political systems) force it to take a selective approach. There are no flashy cash promises from a nation struggling to expand its own sanctioned economy, and while Egypt is a significant trade partner — there’s a reason its leader made a virtual appearance at President Vladimir Putin’s Davos-lite gathering in June — others are less so. None of the stops feature high up in democratic rankings either, so it’s been less a triumph than a round of autocratic nations happy to get a boost from a like-minded government.

The trouble is that’s been enough. Too few African nations have seen the benefit of getting off the fence, and that’s as much about nonaligned traditions and Russia’s historic might as it is about Western disengagement. It’s not that Europe and the United States are absent — French President Emmanuel Macron has just completed a tour of Cameroon, Benin and Guinea-Bissau — but they have proven easily distracted by other demands. They tend to portray Africa as a geopolitical battleground, and their investment priorities do not always align with the continent’s own. After a diplomatic retreat during the Trump years, US embassies remain understaffed, and a US-Africa leaders summit announced last year (the second, after a first in 2014) has only just been scheduled for the end of 2022. Not to mention the blunder of attempting to portray the crisis in Ukraine as a war of values to a continent that has seen plenty of evidence of Western hypocrisy.

To help Africa and squeeze Russia, that must change.

It’s clear what Russia, in need of friends and trading partners, gets out of Africa. It’s a resource-rich region that Europe sees as its backyard, with often-weak governments that make it relatively inexpensive to advance Moscow’s interests (and those of close Kremlin associates benefitting from resource and security deals).

But what’s in it for the vast majority of Africans? Russia amounts to a sliver of foreign direct investment into Africa, less than 1% in 2020, and its stagnant economy is not going to thrive any time soon, as the Kremlin prioritizes Putin’s imperial delusions over growth. Import restrictions, Moscow’s removal from international payment systems, a lack of innovation and research make it an unlikely partner in anything other than resources, which have long accounted for the bulk of Russian greenfield investment into the continent, when Africa needs technology instead. Russia accounted for 44% of weapons sales to Africa in 2017-21, but even that will pull back as import restrictions bite, and Russia scrambles to resupply its own armed forces.

Allied governments, eager to sustain support for Ukraine as the war drags, should seize the moment. First, they must recognize today’s food-security concerns, particularly with generous financial and logistical support for nations dependent on food and fertilizer imports and generously support the Food and Agriculture Organization’s Food Import Financing Facility and other mechanisms. 

Europe and the United States must also recognize that compounding crises — climate, fuel, security, agriculture — demand long-term solutions that include a dramatic increase in renewable-energy generation, more sustainable fertilizer production and use, more resilient crops, plus improved infrastructure to limit the amount of food wasted. Private companies can and must be crowded in.

Then, there’s the need for long-term diplomatic engagement and communication. Staff embassies and invest in the sort of media and education partnerships that China has used to good effect. It isn’t enough to wring hands in Brussels and Washington when the head of the African Union makes misleading comments on Western sanctions and plays into Putin’s hunger games. By then, it’s far too late.

Pubblicato in: Devoluzione socialismo, Russia

Russia. Cosa ne pensano i fu liberal ancora abbarbicati ai media di regime.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2022-08-01.

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Conosco la Russia per esserci stato a lavorare e per i continui rapporti amicali che intrattengo tuttora con molti russi.

Leggendo l’articolo di Marta Allevato mi è sorta spontanea la domanda:

‘Ma di cosa e di chi sta parlando costei’?

Marta Allevato riporta con accurata puntigliosità quello che i liberal si crederebbero fosse la realtà russa.

Se questo sciorinamento di deliri coatti è sicuramente qualcosa di più che tedioso nella sua stridente irrealtà, occorre riconoscere che svolge un ruolo anche molto positivo.

Se i liberal fossero onesti, non sarebbero liberal.

È grazie ai giornalisti quali la Marta Allevato che Macron ha perso il controllo della Assemblea Nazionale, diventando il fantasma dell’Eliseo, totalmente ininfluente sia in patria sia nel Consiglio Europeo. Johnson è stato cacciato via proprio da una rivolta dei deputati del suo stesso partito, così come Mario Draghi in Italia.

Nel breve volgere di due mesi coloro che si ritenevano essere i grandi leader liberal nazionali ed europei sono stati annientati. La gente, i Consumatori ed Elettori, li hanno fatti fuori ed in modo definitivo.

Certamente detengono ancora posti di potere, disponendo del braccio armato della magistratura di sinistra, ma sono storicamente battuti. È solo questione di tempo.

Tra tre mesi negli Stati Uniti si terranno le elezioni di midterm ed i sondaggi disponibili suggerirebbero che Joe Biden dovrebbe perdere il controllo sia del Congresso sia del Senato. Biden andrebbe a tenere compagnia al fido Macron, nel limbo della irrilevanza.

* * *

Usa. Misurata in modo corretto l’inflazione è al 17.1% annualizzato. – Bloomberg.

Russia. 2022Q2. Export 153.1 miliardi. Annualizzato sarebbero 612.4 miliardi.

Lituania. Dopo il discorso di Mr Lavrov rimuove in fretta e furia le sanzioni alla Russia.

Brics Plus. Sono diventati la prima potenza mondiale e l’occidente liberal ne è escluso.

* * *

La Marta Allevato riporta orripilata che in Russia l’inflazione sarebbe al 15.9%, ma omette di ricordare come negli Stati Uniti sia al 17.1%.

Codesta giornalista è in gramaglie che in Russia molti brand globali, come Nike, Uniqlo e Zara, abbiano chiuso le attività ed i russi siano privi di Zara o H&M. Orribile punizione aver privato i russi dei prodotti della Dior.

Intanto l’enclave liberal occidentale è priva degli energetici russI al punto tale che

Biden. The Washington Post lo distrugge per essere in ginocchio da chi aveva definito un ‘pariah’.

Gas Naturale. Sale del 700% e diventa l’arma della nuova guerra, per il momento, fredda.

* * *

Come si constata, anche Marta Allevato è servita a qualcosa.

Letto nella ottica corretta, l’articolo che alleghiamo potrebbe essere considerato essere il manuale del perfetto liberal.

Nota.

Il 18 Brumaio i cannoni di Napoleone spararono ad alzo zero scariche di mitraglia sui sanculotti, braccio armato dei giacobini.

Ma questo fu nulla a confronto della successiva caccia ai giacobini, che furono sic et simpliciter ammazzati tutti, gli uni dopo gli altri. I rari sopravissuti furono quindi deportati. La Francia aveva risolto una volta per tutte il problema dei giacobini.

Adesso siamo seduti, mangiando popcorn, nella paziente attesa che arrivi il momento dei liberal.

Per loro nessuna pietà, ma proprio nessuna.

* * * * * * *


A Mosca le sanzioni occidentali si scontrano con il fatalismo russo 

Nella capitale non si avvertono tracce dell”operazione speciale’ in Ucraina, ma l’economia mostra segnali di una trasformazione della società, che si adatta alla carenza di materie prime, all’aumento dei prezzi e a una regressione tecnologica.

AGI – Più la Russia è in difficoltà, più la sua capitale risplende: nel 2012, le massicce proteste anti-governative di piazza Bolotnaya avevano portato con sé anche una radicale ristrutturazione dei parchi cittadini “per distrarre”, si diceva all’epoca, “la classe creativa”, cuore di quel movimento.

Oggi a Mosca non vi è segno dell'”operazione militare speciale” in Ucraina, strade e marciapiedi sono tirati a lucido, rigogliose aiuole sulla piazza Rossa tentano di far passare inosservate le vetrine vuote di Cartier.

A settembre ci saranno le elezioni municipali: 125 su 146 circoscrizioni scelgono i propri deputati dopo che nel 2017 la consultazione aveva registrato un inaspettato successo dell’opposizione.

Il sindaco, Serghei Sobyanin, prova ad essere associato il meno possibile a quanto sta accadendo in Ucraina, anche perché la capitale è dove i sociologi registrano la maggiore opposizione (circa il 30%) all’iniziativa del Cremlino di inviare truppe oltre confine.

Tra ristoranti e bar strapieni, complice un sole e una temperatura perfetti, Mosca sembra la capitale di un qualunque Paese in pace, che si gode l’estate.

Per ora le sanzioni occidentali, varate dopo il 24 febbraio, si riflettono solo in modo parziale sulla popolazione, anche se un generale senso di incertezza per il futuro pervade tutti.

                         L’inflazione al 15,9%

I prezzi delle auto sono raddoppiati, nei rivenditori si sperimenta un deficit dei veicoli occidentali, i cui pezzi di ricambio sono schizzati alle stelle; la produzione di auto – ormai affidata solo a case nazionali, dopo l’uscita dei partner occidentali come Renault – è al palo e ormai è costretta a tornare a modelli sovietici; l’inflazione, per mesi intorno al 17% (ma il trend è di graduale discesa, ora il dato è al 15,9%), ha comportato un notevole aumento dei prezzi al dettaglio, mentre l’esclusione del Paese dallo Swift – la rete internazionale attraverso cui si parlano le banche – e le sanzioni su diversi istituti di credito hanno reso impossibile effettuare i più banali trasferimenti di denaro all’estero. 

“Finora non è cambiato molto” è il refrain che ostentano in tanti a Mosca, al quinto mese di vita sotto quelle che sono state definite le più massicce sanzioni economiche mai varate contro un Paese.

Molti brand globali, come Nike, Uniqlo e Zara, hanno chiuso le attività, mentre le sanzioni hanno limitato l’accesso delle aziende alle catene di approvvigionamento mondiale, già sotto pressione per gli effetti della pandemia.

                         La fuga dei grandi brand

Intere aree dei centri commerciali, come l’Okean a Slavyansky Bulvar, hanno le saracinesche abbassate, ma nessuno si lamenta dell’assenza di Zara o H&M, tanto più che molti stanno già rientrando nel mercato sotto altro nome: nel mall Aviapark, Levi’s ha riaperto come JNS, con proprietà russo-turca; sempre una società turca, la Fiba Retail, avrebbe invece acquistato il franchising di Mango e intenderebbe riaprire il primo negozio nel centro commerciale Gagarinsky, secondo il quotidiano Vedomosti.

 Hanno più effetto psicologico che altro, le vetrine vuote di boutique come Chanel o Louis Vuitton nel tempio dello shopping moscovita, i Magazzini Gum sulla Piazza Rossa. Riportano tutte lo stesso avviso: “Chiuso per problemi tecnici”.

L’Unione europea ha vietato l’esportazione in Russia di beni di lusso con un valore superiore a 300 euro, ma si tratta di prodotti destinati a una ristretta fascia di popolazione, che per ora può contare in parte sui cosiddetti ‘canali grigi’ doganali, dove le merci sanzionate vengono dichiarate con valori ribassati.

Sempre al Gum, altri brand stranieri come Max Mara non hanno invece mai abbassato le saracinesche, perché lavorano in franchising con partner russi, sulla base di contratti che rendono legalmente impossibile imporre la chiusura anche se la casa madre volesse.

Come è successo per esempio a Burger King, che non ha mai interrotto le sue attività, a differenza di McDonald’s, di cui però i consumatori non percepiscono l’assenza.

La catena di fast food americana è stata comprata da un businessman siberiano e rinominata ‘Buono e basta’: continua a servire quasi lo stesso menù, con identiche materie prime e all’esterno dei suoi ristoranti non vi è alcun richiamo al nuovo logo (due patatine fritte e un hamburger stilizzati), nel tentativo di sottolineare il meno possibile il cambio.

“Dopo un periodo in cui avevano semplicemente congelato gli investimenti e ridotto la produzione, in attesa di capire come si evolvesse la situazione in Ucraina, la tendenza, almeno tra le società dei Paesi del G7, è uscire dal mercato russo”, spiega all’AGI Oksana Antonenko di Control Risk, compagnia con base a Londra e che si occupa di consulenza alle imprese e ai governi nella regione.

Secondo un recente studio della scuola di management di Yale, il 58% delle società estere censite in Russia – equivalente a 1.200 imprese – hanno finora lasciato questo mercato.

“E’ una tendenza destinata a crescere, anche per via del forte aumento del costo della logistica e della mancanza di materie prime per la produzione locale”, continua l’analista. “Oggi, però, è molto difficile vendere un’azienda a condizioni convenienti”, sottolinea Antonenko, mentre il governo sta per varare una legge sulla nazionalizzazione delle imprese che lasciano il Paese.

Al momento, tranne indiani e turchi, gli analisti non registrano un particolare interesse da parte di nuovi investitori stranieri, data l’incertezza sulle prospettive del mercato, già alle prese con segnali di deflazione.

Si tratta di un fattore preoccupante, perché quando i prezzi scendono, le imprese non guadagnano e non investono, con conseguente flessione dell’attività economica. Ne stanno approfittando per ora turchi (il produttore di birra Anadolu Efes è in trattative per rilevare Bud) e gli indiani (che si apprestano ad aprire una catena di supermercati) ma soprattutto i russi stessi: con la diffusa formula del management buyout, che prevede la vendita al proprio management locale, stanno acquistando aziende straniere a prezzi ridotti del 20-30% rispetto a quelli di mercato, soprattutto in settori come consulenza, studi legali e servizi.

“In questo modo”, sottolinea l’analista di Control Risk, “le società straniere diminuiscono i rischi e non si fermano i rapporti col Paese, facilitando un eventuale rientro”.

                         L’import parallelo

Per scongiurare lo spettro di un deficit di merci e il conseguente panico tra i consumatori, il governo russo ha legalizzato l”import parallelo’ di alcune categorie di prodotti: dai ricambi auto ai materiali edilizi, passando per cosmetica e apparecchiature elettroniche.

Lo schema permette a una societ russa di comprare beni, senza nessun rapporto con la casa madre, da qualsiasi società estera di Paesi che non hanno aderito alle sanzioni; si tratta per lo più di Kazakistan, Georgia, Armenia e Turchia.

“Questo”, spiega Antonenko, “sta ricreando la figura dell’intermediario nel commercio estero e delineando la possibilità di sviluppo, nella logistica e nella distribuzione, per le compagnie di provincia, perché si sono aperti nuovi corridoi commerciali”.

L’import parallelo non è sufficiente a rifornire il mercato dei dispositivi elettronici: la domanda di smartphone usati è piu’ che raddoppiata a giugno, su base annua, con un aumento medio delle vendite del 50%, stando ai dati dell’operatore Megafon. Allo stesso tempo, le vendite di nuovi dispositivi sono diminuite del 35%.

Secondo gli esperti, il fenomeno è dovuto alla continua carenza di dispositivi che, dopo il 24 febbraio, non vengono più venduti ufficialmente in Russia, e al volume insufficiente di apparecchiature che arrivano con il ‘parallelny import’.

                         L’industrializzazione inversa

I maggiori problemi economici a lungo termine per la Russia sono legati al bando sull’export di alta tecnologia occidentale: dall’oil & gas, all’automotive, fino all’aviazione civile e alla sanità.

Le autorità hanno già parlato di “industrializzazione inversa”, vale a dire un’industrializzazione basata sullo sviluppo di tecnologie meno avanzate. Il settore auto è quello che ha risentito finora più di tutti: secondo l’associazione del Business europeo in Russa (Aeb), le vendita di veicoli nuovi a giugno è crollata dell’82%, su base annua, mentre il Comitato statale per la statistica ha registrato una caduta della produzione del 97% a maggio, rispetto allo stesso periodo del 2021.

La maggior parte delle case straniere ha abbandonato il mercato o ceduto gli stabilimenti e l’interruzione dell’export dai “Paesi ostili” ha creato un vero e proprio deficit. 

La significativa carenza di componentistica, inoltre, ha portato il governo ad allentare gli standard di sicurezza per l’omologazione dei veicoli made in Russia, autorizzando auto senza sistemi elementari di sicurezza come gli airbag o l’Abs.

                         Il tasso di disoccupazione al 4%

Il settore impiega migliaia di persone e secondo le stime della società per la gestione delle risorse umane Ancor, sarà tra i più colpiti dall’aumento della disoccupazione. Il ministero dello Sviluppo economico sostiene che la situazione è stabile e il tasso di disoccupazione è al minimo storico del 4%.

Tuttavia, lo stesso ministro Maksim Reshetnikov ha osservato che le aziende potrebbero iniziare a licenziare i dipendenti, se la crisi della domanda si trascinerà. Le stime di Ancor parlano di un aumento della disoccupazione fino al 7,8% entro fine anno.

Complici anche gli interventi, più o meno ortodossi, della Banca centrale per difendere il rublo con misure di controllo dei capitali, alle sanzioni per ora non è seguito un crollo dell’economia che ha, però, iniziato un processo di degradazione, di cui ancora non sono chiari i tempi.

La fase è quella che la stessa Bank Rossii ha definito di “adattamento” e che vede il governo alle prese con una politica di sostituzione delle importazioni, la cosiddetta ‘importzameshenie’, che dovrebbe portare a diminuire la dipendenza dall’Occidente.

Realizzare questo ambizioso progetto di autarchia – su cui lavorano in prima fila il vicepremier e ministro dell’Industria, Denis Manturov, e una delle figlie del presidente Vladimir Putin, Katerina Tikhonova – sarà difficile per una serie di caratteristiche della Russia: carenza di specialisti e know-how, scarsa libertà del mercato ed eccessiva presenza dello Stato che controlla quasi il 70% dell’economia.

Se l’operazione militare si prolunga, Putin potrebbe essere costretto a dividere il potere e intorno a lui sono rimasti solo generali e rappresentanti degli apparati di forza, i cosiddetti siloviki. Per gli esperti, uno dei rischi per lo sviluppo del Paese è che questa categoria prenda il controllo anche dell’economia.

                         Aggirare le sanzioni

Su tutto, aleggia il proverbiale fatalismo russo e la grande capacità di adattamento di un popolo che già dal 2014, per via della Crimea, ha iniziato a sperimentare le prime sanzioni occidentali.

Per aggirare l’esclusione dal sistema Swift e le restrizioni su alcune banche russe, che impediscono i più banali pagamenti o trasferimenti di denaro all’estero, è ormai diffusa la pratica di aprire un conto in Paesi come Israele, Uzbekistan o Armenia, da usare per le operazioni con l’estero.

Il bando ai voli diretti con le capitali europee, tra le mete preferite del turismo dalla Russia, ha riflessi dolorosi solo su una piccola parte della classe media: secondo i dati ufficiali più recenti, che risalgono al 2016, quasi l’80% dei russi non possiede nemmeno il passaporto.