Russia Loses Leverage with China on Gas Deal

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Russian President Vladimir Putin obviously thinks that preventing Ukraine from moving closer to the West is a strategic interest and one that is important enough to risk international condemnation. Seizing Crimea has led to negative international opinion, capital flight, deteriorating relations with Europe, and a potential enormous toll to the Russian economy. It has also threatened to permanently damage the commercial relationship Russia has with its largest energy customer – Western Europe.

That has clearly accelerated the deal that Russia is trying to finalize with China on natural gas. It may seem odd that the two countries have let a gas deal go undone for so long – they are some of the largest energy producers and consumers in the world, respectively, and are close neighbors. But with very few interconnections and a dispute over pricing, Russia hasn't been able to sell much natural gas to its neighbor. To get gas flowing into China, Russia will need to build a $22 billion pipeline – the Power of Siberia pipeline – that traverses Siberia and runs all the way to Vladivostok on the Pacific Coast. Along the way, the pipeline will have three interconnecting points on the Chinese border, allowing China to offload natural gas in a variety of places. Once completed in 2018, Gazprom could send 38 billion cubic meters per year to China, which is equivalent to about 24% of the total that Russia sells to Europe.

But Russia has lost leverage in the negotiations with China as it has become more eager to seal the deal on the prospect that Europe will increasingly shift away from Russian gas. Russia's Deputy Prime Minister appeared in China April 9 and made news by saying that the two nations are zeroing in on a deal. He said that he hoped a deal could be signed in May ahead of Putin's visit to Beijing.

"We're working now to sign a gas contract in May," said Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich, according to ITAR-TASS. "Consultations are continuing and Gazprom's leaders are holding talks with Chinese partners on the contract terms. We hope to conclude the contract in May and believe it should come into effect by the year end. Base price is the only problem to be solved," Dvorkovich said at a session of a Russia-China intergovernmental commission on energy co-operation, co-chaired by Chinese Vice-Premier Zhang Gaoli. Also, Gazprom said on April 10 that its Asian customers may be willing to pay for their shipments in Euros, a strategy the company is likely seeking to avoid being trapped by U.S. sanctions.

Dvorkovich seems to have downplayed the importance of the base price, which has been a sticking point holding up the deal for years. With a newly determined European Union seeking to improve its energy security, Russia has few other options but to give in on pricing. China has been seeking a price for natural gas below that which Europe receives, around $10.50 per million Btu. Bloomberg notes that Gazprom needs to sell at a price of around $13.50 per million Btu to make the yet-to-be-developed pipeline and natural gas fields profitable. But, it appears Russia may be willing to eat the costs to get the deal done.

Vladimir Putin would like the world to think that the deal would be a coup for Russia. It would demonstrate to Europe that Russia has other customers hungry for its energy resources, and that Russia does not fear a confrontation with the West over Ukraine. And if Russia's Asian customers pay in Euros, Russia is also showing that it does not fear even the heaviest of moves that the U.S. would be able to muster. Still, Russia getting the deal done by caving to China on price would not actually be a show of strength, it would demonstrate Russia negotiating from a position of weakness.

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  • Report this Comment On April 13, 2014, at 6:00 PM, censordeeznuutz wrote:

    China isn't stupid..once Russia goes to war with Ukraine...Russia will need hard money..and China will be there with it...but at a bargain price.

    Idiot Russians...

  • Report this Comment On April 13, 2014, at 7:13 PM, KGB111 wrote:

    @censordeeznuutz, you wrote(China isn't stupid..once Russia goes to war with Ukraine...Russia will need hard money..and China will be there with it...but at a bargain price).

    You are wrong... a war with Ukraine will coast nothing, Russia has money, don't worry about us..

    and BTW, Russian aren't idiots, it you, the US leaders and the EU leaders are the IDIOTS.

  • Report this Comment On April 13, 2014, at 7:32 PM, Richmond wrote:

    Does the Motely Fool have NSA moles working for them? It's quite clear who the Russians see as a greater threat to their national security. But somehow Americans think they can manipulate the Russians into submitting losing Ukraine because gas prices to China is the greater threat?

  • Report this Comment On April 13, 2014, at 9:06 PM, skyhigh44 wrote:

    Yeah, because war never costs anything.......

  • Report this Comment On April 13, 2014, at 9:14 PM, GuitarJim wrote:

    @KGB111, how much will a war with Ukraine cost if the US is funding Ukraine? How about if the US is providing arms to Ukraine?

    The Russian Federation has a per capita GDP about 1/4 of the US, and a total GDP about 1/8 of the US. How long could Russia last in a standoff with Ukraine if US capital is behind Ukraine?

  • Report this Comment On April 13, 2014, at 10:01 PM, scorp88 wrote:

    It's very commendable that many Russian speaking fellas comment in fairly good English. Having seen that, it's a bit puzzling how people can unanimously believe to such an example of shameless propaganda and misinformation that comes out or Kremlin. Please read other independent (well more independent then Russian) news sources and form informed opinion. And who is going to benefit from war between Russia and Ukraine? Russian people? Ukrainians? Americans? I doubt it. Putin is trying to protect his own interests at the cost of lives and well being of his own people.

    As for who is a bigger idiot I "say" this:

    America (USA in one form or another) existed since before Peter the Great and seen dozen Russian czars come and go. And half a dozen political powers in USSR come and go, and post soviet regimes come and go. Current Russian "democracy" was conceived and executed by ex KGB trainee that is trying to become yet another ruthless ruler of 1/6 of the dry land. Russian news media being raided and sensored by the dictator, practically no "good" business can survive, nothing being invested in science and education, and so on. Not to mention that Russain capital is not even quarter century old. With all equal between US and Russia, there is no contest.... US has convertable currency, Russia not even close. GDP is 4 times, population is twice as much. Business experience and entrepreneurship is not even comparable at any scale. What else? Natural resources? Almost equal. Gold reserves? Almost 250:1. Army? Contract vs draft with exponential higher budget even with the cuts. US leadership is somewhat stagnant right now, but that is not whole US. Most of US is business and free enterprise and those are super resilient and survived much worth times. Intellect, IQ? Best scientist from all over the world come to US, not Russia, most of latest Patent held by US inventors and companies. Most advanced drugs and medical treatments - US. The health care system is not the best, but that doesn't change the fact that science behind it is the most advanced. I can continue, but hope you get the point. Stop listening to propaganda and start thinking for yourself. Ask: what's in it for you? One of the Russian classics once said (I don't remember which one, my bad, but am sure it was Russian) When in-powers start preaching patriotism, it means that they have nothing else to steal from people... think about that!!

  • Report this Comment On April 13, 2014, at 10:19 PM, Joefacc2244 wrote:

    China and Russia don't like the US, so they are both motivated to work together.

  • Report this Comment On April 13, 2014, at 11:16 PM, aguila wrote:

    Well, scorp 88, your information is way outdated. Russians invest a lot in their education, though not across the board, mostly in big cities. And here is the difference between two countries. Here, in the USA< suburban and rural schools are much better than city those in big cities, and everybody knows why.

    The main problem in Russia is corruption that is rusting society from top to bottom. However, in a country with long conservative traditions, where it's not just money that talks, it's way easier to galvanize the bulk of the population around the leader and to crack down on it. I guess it's Putin's next step. And even though he is a cynical politician, he is also a professional diplomat with more than 17-year-long experience (he didn't demonstrate his KGB rank while serving in Germany), and he has a very strong team of not just loyal but professionally fit people. That is where Russia still ahead of us.

  • Report this Comment On April 13, 2014, at 11:22 PM, bingkrosby wrote:

    Scorp88 comment is absolutely true, but it fails to mention the ugly side of the US, namely, its foreign policy, its special interest controlled media, imperialist and its opportunist attitude.

    During its 300 hundred years of history, it was the biggest slavery country! it did not grant women the equal right till the fist part of last century and it invaded many countries for the last and this century. When it comes to foreign policy, US is not Angel. It killed millions of Korean and Vietnamese people under the anti-communist flag. It is still the biggest arms dealer and employs the biggest killing machine on earth.

    When it comes to respecting territorial integrity of each country, US talks on both side of its mouth. One one hand it broke apart former Yugoslavia but suddenly show respect for Ukrainian territory integrity. Just who are they trying to fool baffles me.

  • Report this Comment On April 13, 2014, at 11:33 PM, rocket7777 wrote:

    If russia give back 4 tiny island back to japan, Japan will buy gas at $15.

  • Report this Comment On April 13, 2014, at 11:50 PM, ocpw wrote:

    Russia is a has been state. China is up and coming and on Russia's boarder. Russia is to the Ukraine as China is to Russia...

  • Report this Comment On April 14, 2014, at 12:14 AM, kabella wrote:

    @KGB111. So, you say Russia has money, well Putin and his rich friends have money. I'm originally from Russia and here are my thoughts and millions of regular Russian's thoughts.Putin and his cronies, could be you also, are a pack of greedy, arrogant money and power hungry Baboon butts.

    You may think you have a handle on things in Russia but..you better start looking over your shoulders..you don't and you may be in for surprises you don't won't to hear and see.

    Go Ukraine!

  • Report this Comment On April 14, 2014, at 12:16 AM, kabella wrote:

    China has moved ahead of Russia as a more modern society and also with much better technology. And too, China is playing Putin for a fool and you will see that in the end.

  • Report this Comment On April 14, 2014, at 12:22 AM, RobLipton wrote:

    bingkrosby and Scrop88, two points to correct. First off all U.S. GDP is 8x Russias. 2.1 trillion vs. 16.5 trillion.

    Secondly, it is not true that the U.S. was the largest slavery country. In fact of the 8-10 million slaves that were taken from Africa only 400,000- 500,000 were brought to the U.S. By far the largest slave using country was Brasil with about 40% of the total with Argentina and Chile not far behind. Other South American and European countries received all the rest. So the U.S. received only about 5% of the total slaves that were taken from Africa yet the world likes to not mention all the other countries, especially in South America that took many more.

    Another point about Russia vs. U.S. Over the history of both countries Russia has killed far more people than the U.S. even if you add all the wars up of each. It's not even close in fact. Between Russias adventures in Afghanistan, Chechnya, the Pograms in Russia, years of Stalin and all the military adventures in old Soviet Union (including the starving of 6-8 million Ukrainians) the Russians are responsible for more deaths than any other single country on earth except for perhaps Germany.

  • Report this Comment On April 14, 2014, at 12:45 AM, luckyagain wrote:

    I once knew an engineer who visited Russian and Chinese nuclear plants. He was surprised at how poor was the maintenance in the Russian plants compared to the Chinese plants. This was despite the fact that the Russians had designed and built the Chinese plants. His conclusion that the Chinese knew how to run a nuclear power plant and the Russians seemed to do the bare minimum.

    Russia is one of the few countries in the world were the average life span has been going down for years. This is by far one of the best indicators to the overall health of a country. The US is ranked 51st, China is 100th and Russia is 151st. This is according to the CIA factbook.

  • Report this Comment On April 14, 2014, at 12:47 AM, anrbfan wrote:

    Russians ARE idiots. They can push until they really upset everyone, and so have to back down-losing face-rather than go to war against the world, and lose all of their international trade in the process...or they can go to war, against the world, and lose that, and so become a fourth world nation poorer than Eritrea. Either way-fight to the end, or back down,and bend over, Russia ultimately loses. The USA / NATO can supply all the energy Europe needs.

    Look at the US 'Civil War' (War Of Southern Aggression). The Confederate States Of America were sure that Europe would send it arms, money, food, etc, rather than lose out on Southern cotton. In reality, Europe bought cotton from Egypt, rather than go to war with the USA to save the CSA. Jefferson Davis, and company, believed their own lying propaganda, and so over-estimated the Confederacy's importance to Europe, and so started a war they couldn't possibly win. Russia may make the same mistake. The only hope for avoiding it is to surrender now, back away, bend over, and beg for forgiveness. No matter what Russia does, it loses in the long run. Only idiots put themselves into such situations willingly.

  • Report this Comment On April 14, 2014, at 1:52 AM, Joefacc2244 wrote:

    Russia can invade and take Ukraine in about a week. The world is not going to do anything about it except add more sanctions. Sanctions haven't worked with Cuba, Iran, and just about every other place they have been used (except maybe South Africa). It's just a way for the US to save face and look like they are doing something. Russia is holding all the cards right now.

  • Report this Comment On April 14, 2014, at 2:25 AM, ronhat2004 wrote:

    You know that the world is all wacked and everyone is out for themselves. As long as there is no co-operation among the world's citizens, we are all doomed. No country is stupid and they look for ways to better themselves instead of working together and solving real issues. The USA is so full of money mongers as well as the rest of the world. This is at the expense of the common man. Everyone is slaves in one way or other. There is no freedom just what you can purchase for the day. It is a finite world and we are waiting until it all collapses. Then the cockroaches will inherit the earth.

  • Report this Comment On April 14, 2014, at 2:33 AM, Alyex wrote:

    Russia invested over 50 Billion USD to organize the Olympics in Sochy plus ca. 30 Billions USD to prepare the venue for the Asian-Pacific Summit in 2012 (including the construction of a modern bridge between an ocean island and the continent). All these enormous amounts did not do a thing to the Russian economy. So do not try to scare us with lower prices for China. Besides, if you are not aware, Russia has been subsidizing Ukraine for the total amount of 34,5 Billion USD for the past 15 years. No dent on Russian economy. So Russia will start slowly with low prices to finally hit the jackpot - the entire Asia-Pacific regions becoming our addicted clientele for gas and oil. Have you ever studied economics?

  • Report this Comment On April 14, 2014, at 2:44 AM, duudaa wrote:

    Russia won't go to war with the Ukraine. The US is trying to dupe NATO and Ukraine to go to war with Russia. If the Ukraine would just pay their gas bill this would not have happened. Now they owe 16 billion, ouch! Of course the IMF and Ketchup head offered to loan them a billion.

    Seem these days we are trying to start wars in every country.

    People are going to want to immigrate to the US just so we don't bomb them in their own countries. What a sad mess.

  • Report this Comment On April 14, 2014, at 4:58 AM, M1k3G wrote:

    If they build pipelines to Vladivostock, they can add Japan and Korea to their list of customers as well.

  • Report this Comment On April 14, 2014, at 5:22 AM, MoneyOrBust wrote:

    For those who have studied history, it is clear that Vladimir Putin is following the same course as Hitler. If the world does not confront Russia militarily, then Putin will keep going. Hitler attacked several countries. Appeasement was tried, but failed miserably. Hitler kept going and was only stopped by the force of the world's armies. Learn from history. Putin's goal appears to re-acquire all of the former territory of the Soviet Union. If we do not at least supply arms and military advisors, then Russia will keep going and the advanced countries of the world will be at least partially responsible. Every moment that is delayed could lead to the deaths of millions of people later.

  • Report this Comment On April 14, 2014, at 6:06 AM, Mnxlptcx wrote:

    It is obvious that Russia is more concerned about another Western invasion thans selling gas to the Chinese at a lower price. On the long run it would prove less costly than allowing NATO and the CIA to operate freely right on their borders.

    Russia has been playing the rope-a-dope for some time now, appeasing the West in many areas such as watching how we bombed their allies (Yugoeslavia and Iraq), cooperating w/ the West in Afghanistan etc. It is a well known fact that the policies of appeasement lead to further expansion; as the "West" has been continuously and systematically doing since the collapse of the USSR.

    I guess they have drawn the line in the sand in Ukraine and fight a war now or fight it in the future.

  • Report this Comment On April 14, 2014, at 6:50 AM, Mnxlptcx wrote:

    Those who regurgitate the West's propaganda that Putin is a Hitler etc, etc are just not looking at the facts and should go and study history.

    Russia has been invaded 3 times by the West and all the invasions came thru Ukraine. Maybe if you look at the whole situation with Russia's glasses it will become a little clearer who the Hitlers are and who are the aggressors.

    Patton wanted to invade Russia and the Cold War that we started against Russia (yes, we started the hate the Commies theme w/ the Dulles brothers at the helm) was relentless. The constant harassment that we carried out in terms of starting uprisings in East Europe, sending spy planes over Russia etc. was not a muse. NATO was formed to counteract the USSR. However, after its collapse NATO did not dissolve. NATO has been expanding eastward and has been expanding their role from a defender to an aggressor such as in Afghanistan and Iraq. Carrying out military drills on a continuous basis.

    Does anybody think that Russia is looking at this w/ the same rosy, creamy peachy glasses that we use?

    Dont be naive. The Ukranian situation was created by us and has the same colors as the all the revolutions that we started in Iran, Guatemala, Indonesia etc. Depose a freely elected leader thru a coup and install a government that will allow our big companies in and suck the country dry.

  • Report this Comment On April 14, 2014, at 8:16 AM, odonnet2 wrote:

    Russian media blitz of misinformation is thriving, such as, this one that depicts Russia is allegedly losing its price deal with its rogue partner China. Nothing is farther from the truth. It is to China's interest that Russia rumps up its challenge to the West to preoccupy them on Ukraine and forget China's advances in taking over territories disputed by its Asian neighbors. Even before the Crimean crisis started, Russia and China could have already inked a "scratch my back while I scratch your back deal" to ruin the western powers

    as common enemies to make Russia and China the conquerors of Europe and Asia, respectively.

  • Report this Comment On April 14, 2014, at 8:16 AM, SeniorMoment wrote:

    The Ukraine is one of China's biggest suppliers of raw materials such as grain. They will be watching this with concern

  • Report this Comment On April 14, 2014, at 8:54 AM, juanlucas wrote:

    International condemnation? Truly, this is a repeat of Mar Twain's idea: innocents abroad.

    For Washington, Franklin, Hamilton, Lincoln and, more generally, the Lincoln camp and the supporters of the American Revolution, Russia was an ally and England, the enemy.

    Suddenly, all that was unceremoniously set aside by Winston Churchill, with his "Iron Curtain speech." Suddenly, history went in the garbage can. "A decent respect for the opini0on of Mankind no longer mattered. People going through college were told and, specifically, by Prof. Henry Steele Commager, that the wanton killing of Alexander Hamilton was "justified.,: etc.

    Other lies made their round last century. Take it from Pancho Villa" "A line is more to be feared than a bullet." How many Americans died because their government told them that it was opposing Communism? That should be sufficient to avoid current nonsensical reporting by people who have no sense of their own history, in that our Founding Fathers do not talk to them, let alone important histories of Europe, Egypt, Syria, India - an enormous storehouse of ideas, systems, medicine - beginning with the decimal number system and it symbols 0, 1, 2 , 3, etc, which are used in Eastern and Western Europe, Japan, Africa, the Americas etc.

    Churchill knew what he was talking about: "I was not appointed PM to preside over the liquidation of the British Empire." That means, opium and endless war - with Americans being killed for nothing -- like Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan.. while the opium trade flourishes.. Churchill knew what he was talking about..

  • Report this Comment On April 14, 2014, at 8:54 AM, juanlucas wrote:

    International condemnation? Truly, this is a repeat of Mar Twain's idea: innocents abroad.

    For Washington, Franklin, Hamilton, Lincoln and, more generally, the Lincoln camp and the supporters of the American Revolution, Russia was an ally and England, the enemy.

    Suddenly, all that was unceremoniously set aside by Winston Churchill, with his "Iron Curtain speech." Suddenly, history went in the garbage can. "A decent respect for the opini0on of Mankind no longer mattered. People going through college were told and, specifically, by Prof. Henry Steele Commager, that the wanton killing of Alexander Hamilton was "justified.,: etc.

    Other lies made their round last century. Take it from Pancho Villa" "A line is more to be feared than a bullet." How many Americans died because their government told them that it was opposing Communism? That should be sufficient to avoid current nonsensical reporting by people who have no sense of their own history, in that our Founding Fathers do not talk to them, let alone important histories of Europe, Egypt, Syria, India - an enormous storehouse of ideas, systems, medicine - beginning with the decimal number system and it symbols 0, 1, 2 , 3, etc, which are used in Eastern and Western Europe, Japan, Africa, the Americas etc.

    Churchill knew what he was talking about: "I was not appointed PM to preside over the liquidation of the British Empire." That means, opium and endless war - with Americans being killed for nothing -- like Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan.. while the opium trade flourishes.. Churchill knew what he was talking about..

  • Report this Comment On April 14, 2014, at 8:57 AM, juanlucas wrote:

    A Russian media blitz? Who covered up for 9/11? Was it Russia, or was it Cheney, Obama, etc.

    This cover-up, including the 28 pages Obama won't release, is nothing but complicity with 9/11 perpetrators..

  • Report this Comment On April 14, 2014, at 10:57 AM, Gordan1980 wrote:

    The enemy of my enemy is my friend

  • Report this Comment On April 14, 2014, at 11:06 AM, tty wrote:

    @kgb111

    Wars do carry a cost, or try telling that to the families of victims that that are killed, those injured. Tell that to those who's lives are destroyed. Wars are expensive for all involved not only the combatants!

    @joeface2244

    China and Russia don't like The US, so they are both motivated to work together.

    US and Russia don't like China, so they are both motivated to work together.

    China and US don't like Russia, so they are both motivated to work together.

    See joe- All these terms are interchangeable and can be used multiple of ways!!

  • Report this Comment On April 14, 2014, at 11:08 AM, SLTom992 wrote:

    Whether or not Putin is correct if the west had kept their noses out of the politics of the Ukraine this corruption of the Ukraine would never have happened.

    Exactly what would be the US's reaction to Russia installing a puppet government in Mexico?

    It's far past time to eliminate at a bare minimum HALF of the US government. It's time for the FBI to hunt out EVERY source of corruption in all US levels of government at to place these bums behind bars. The US is safer with car thieves on the street than corrupt politicians.

  • Report this Comment On April 14, 2014, at 11:44 AM, dennisc wrote:

    I looked at the comments and found them very interesting and enjoyable to read but lets look at the cause of this crisis in the Ukraine a little closer.This was not planned by Putin as some may think because he was caught by surprise.The Government under the person who wanted to do business with Putin was a Democratically elected Government to begin with and was overthrown in an orchestrated coup brought on by the west and shouldn't be recognized by any country that claims to be Democratic.Russia was in danger of being cornered and to look trivial in the eyes of the world.Putin is only doing what he has to do to avoid NATO on his door step with possible missile shields on his boarders.As a responsible leader he could not allow this to happen.In 1962 I was a US Marine on the verge of invading Cuba for the same reasons,missiles in our hemisphere,should we expect anything different from Putin having a shield on his boarder?

  • Report this Comment On April 14, 2014, at 11:54 AM, ryucasta1 wrote:

    What goes around comes around today Russia is annexing the Crimea by claiming some historical right. So whats to stop the Chinese from reclaiming the lands it lost to Czarist Russia (Now part of the Russian Federation) with the Treaty of Aigun? As Chinese military and financial might increase I would not put it past them to start making claims on those parts of eastern Russia in the future (China effectively lost more than one million square kilometers of territory by way of this treaty).

  • Report this Comment On April 14, 2014, at 2:47 PM, cheryl wrote:

    I don't think Putin is thinking about what could happen---what if you make unrest for Ukraine and they destroy your pipelines--all of them. You lose your sales to Ukraine and the EU. The idea you want to protect the Russian speaking population and destroy everyone else doesn't make much sense when you want to sell to the EU. China will never trust you and if you get your pipelines to Europe destroyed-- the EU wants to inflate out of their problems and debt and increasing the prices of gas --helps them. They would rather have inflation than defation. Their win is your lost. Getting less than market value from China to lose the EU makes no sense--Ukraine isn't worth it. If you gave all of the Ukraine to the EU and made it pay the same rate as the EU for gas --it would be better. Now if you think there is more gas under Ukraine then you have in Russia and don't want Ukraine to sell that gas and are ready to destroy your own pipelines and the country for that gas--that is a different story. There is a question of who takes Ukraine if you destroy the pipelines. Russia could lose the Ukraine completely if NATO moves in. Don't see it unless the pipelines are destroyed but can't see Russia getting control of Ukraine peacefully.

  • Report this Comment On April 14, 2014, at 5:02 PM, Bobbox1980 wrote:

    The sad thing here is Ukraine is the big loser in all of this.

    Alternet.org did a great piece on CIA backed coups in our nations history. The Ukraine is our most recent victim. The Ukraine rejected a free trade agreement by the west for good reasons and this brought about the coup by the west against the leader of the Ukraine

    "The agreement would have opened Ukraine's borders to Western exports and investment without a reciprocal opening of the EU's borders. Ukraine, a major producer of cheese and poultry, would have been allowed to export only 5% of its cheese and 1% of its poultry to the EU. Meanwhile Western firms could have used Ukraine as a gateway to flood Russia with cheap products from Asia. This would have forced Russia to close its borders to Ukraine, shattering the industrial economy of Eastern Ukraine."

    Unfortunately Russia's handling of the situation has been poor, amassing troops on the border of Ukraine but fundamentally I see nothing wrong with the people of Crimea choosing to leave the Ukraine and joining Russia.

    If New Hampshire wanted to secede from the U.S. and join Canada that should be up to the people of New Hampshire same as the people of Crimea.

    If the U.S. had just left the Ukrainian leadership alone instead of fomenting this coup none of this would be happening right now.

  • Report this Comment On April 14, 2014, at 6:44 PM, ochairman wrote:

    White folks know how to take land from other

    people: N America, S America, New Zealand,

    Australia, parts of Africa,..............West Bank.

    China lost a few chunks of land to Russia so did

    Japan. A few more protests by Ukranian, it

    will lose the whote country.

  • Report this Comment On April 14, 2014, at 7:30 PM, Hibiscusanole wrote:

    If Russia had not charged Ukraine more for gas than Europe in the first place, the problem would not be nearly as bad. It just repeated the abuse they have suffered for 100 yrs. since Stalin robbed them of even the smallest grain of wheat. It is a lunatic way of treating a neighboring country. The Ukrainians have suffered more poverty than any of the other former satellite countries.

    If Russia must beat on its neighbor for whatever bizarre reason, it must fail. If Russia also suffers the masochistic remnants of Soviet thinking, it must also recover from its bizarre thinking that enterpreneurship is bad, then it must recover along with Ukraine. It is a ghetto mentality that stealing is getting over. I'm satisfied to see Putin in a slum, but not Ukraine.

  • Report this Comment On April 14, 2014, at 7:32 PM, Richmond wrote:

    I notice everyone of you trying to declare to Russia that Ukraine is not worth all this trouble forget that it means the US will be at its door. Like the US isn't pulling the strings that started this all in the first place? Ever since the Arab Spring Obama has it in his mind that he change governments he don't like any where he wishes. There's something sociopathic about that when you just have to look at how he abandoned the Syrian rebels. So more people die off of Obama's whims and false support. Working against Russia in Ukraine isn't the last time the US will be working against Russia.

  • Report this Comment On April 14, 2014, at 8:52 PM, Hibiscusanole wrote:

    Russia is not allowing free trade in Ukraine. It forced them to freeze a 2008 energy contract with Sweden for electricity by nuclear. The contract lasts until 2020. When you add the restriction to the higher costs they are charged for gas, you have an intolerable squeeze on Ukraine.

    Putin wrote his book, "First Person", stating that it would be beneficial to return to the cold war era sphere of influence for Russia. He has been building large numbers of troops up on Estonia's border, as well. He wants to be the "guardian of Russia." In other words, he just wants to tread with cold communist tyrannical dictator boots on whatever he can subdue and crush.

  • Report this Comment On April 14, 2014, at 9:57 PM, Ksvision wrote:

    Guitar Jim,

    Please remember that USA is always running a deficit even without wars. Can imagine what it would be if there is a war? We need to go to China with a begging bowl. At least Russia is able to give them oil in return & USA...?

  • Report this Comment On April 15, 2014, at 12:06 AM, lelacornel wrote:

    I try to be short. The Capitalism has exposed in the past 15 years its wekness and inabilities to offer viable solutions to the world's problems. It has been evidenciated especially the US liberal and neo-liberal capitalism model which has been deeepening for good 35 years the inequality between the "1%" and the rest of "99%".

    China and Russia are proposing, not for now, but for good some time, new socio-economical and political models for nowadays human society.

    Unfortunately the legacies of the national comunism and of the totalitarism and of the secret-police controlled state ideology are distorting and affecting negatively the efforts of the both contries' societies in finding a "New Deal". Interesting is the role played by the EU in this confrontation between US, on one side, and China-Russia, on the the other side. The Europe has played the role of the "prostitute" in all this game. The mightiness of China Military Power has been built up more than 80% by the Europen High Technological Transfer, a condition of signing off generous contracts between the Greedy European Corporations and the Versatile Chinese Government, throughout the all years of "Chinese Opening". Starting immediately after 1979, Germany, especially, France and UK have been the main providers of High-Tech for China PLA. In almost the same order, the flag-carrier countries of EC have encouraged the economical, political and military revival of Russia, through the conclusions of a multitude of commercial deals between the 2 parties, related to Energy Sector. Gazprom " case"is one example. The powerful controlled-by-Kremlin company has become the tool and the weapon of penetrating the EC structures. But not the only one. The Russian New Tycoons (most part of them former KGB Officers), belonging to the Kremlin "Antourage", have deposited their fortunes in the European Countries' banks, opening and financing new business in the name of "Mother Russia". The most significative example is UK, which is literally invaded by the Rusian capital and has became, therefore, the "Money Laundry" of the Bound-To-Kremlin "Interlops". It is sad, but the truth is, therefore, that the Putin's last revisionist actions in Ukraine are not a result of only a visceral hate towards the Western values (which is one characteristic of the all former-faithful KGB officers), or of a resurrected pan-slavianism ideology . These ones have been existing always as an indestructible part of the “Most Powerful Man Of the World”. It is a very well planned and assessed manoeuvre, based on a deeper awareness of the western world’s economical and political realities and its incapacity to coagulate a common front against new assertive and aggressive actions of China – in The East and South China Sea – and Russia – in Ukraine and Caucaz Region.

  • Report this Comment On April 15, 2014, at 1:23 AM, DZPM wrote:

    West Ukrainians did the same things while ago they overturn the legitimate government now is time for the east of the country to do the same West & USA hungry capitalist start that and now all Ukrainians have to suffer

    Double Standard >USA & WETS Baloney High Schools bullies

    Obama tack nonsense He can’t push out Russia with force out the Crimea because Russia can spray his but with atomic dust that why. Russia is not Serbia, Iraq etc.

    Who care about G7 Russia China and India are bigger and more important than G7

    West Ukraine’s top Diplomat are CIA Spy. Tymoshenko sale Ukraine for money when she was Premier to USA >CIA and West for money and here on interest she must be mad.

    China dislike> disspy USA regardless of economic trades USA are arming Taiwan and hinder Taiwan unification with mother land China for USA own Interest.

    US Invaded Grenada, Panama, Iraq, Kosovo, Afghanistan non US citizen was there and this country's are thousands of miles away from US and no mutual border this is absolute valuation of UN chapter Russia is absolutely right to intervene in Ukraine, Russian minority in danger mutual border and Russia is taking her land back Peninsula that belong to Russia prior 1945 USA and West are arrogant bulls everybody know history and people’s rights even if they don't you have internet to find the truth and have your own and right opinion.

    * Liberal brainwashing propaganda machine don't work in twentieth century any more.

    *Bill Clinton established the precedent when he cut Kosovo loose from Serbia using the same mechanism. Putin is diabolical and the liberal West's foreign policy establishments are complete idiots.

    With irresolute current administration, I am calling on President Clinton to get involved.

    President Clinton had shown unparalleled bravery ordering bombing of Yugoslavia

    (Serbia) to support secessionist forces in Kosovo Even Kosovo is historically Serbian Creamier is historically Russian not Ukraine.

    What we need to do now is to bomb Ukraine to support Crimea independence movement to make aspirations of all local nationalities (Russians, Armenians, Greeks, Tatars, Jews, etc.) a

    reality. Also, we need to offer a job to any Russian soldier disguised as a

    freedom fighter to become a legitimate member of armed forces of Independent

    Crimea.

    *What about England do they have to give back north Ireland they took away and split the country in half or Granada they stole from Spain (What a double standard?)

    * What happened to the U.S. position of furthering democracy? If the people vote what is the problem? The reason is this is really about money and Wall Street. If the EU comes in billions can be made by the bankers in another debt laden market. If Russia gives its aid package and controls the purse strings Wall Street and the EU make zip. After the debt is refinanced a couple times then the EU can take over and install its banker prime minister in the bailout like it did in Greece, Italy and Cypress. The EU and the bankers usurp democracy and take control of countries without firing a shot!

    Obama speaks, what a crock.......The narrative is, the truth is, that the breakaway republics have been under assault by influence from outside the country since 2004. The new leader of Ukraine was being paid, and paid well, to destabilize the region by the globalist financier #$%$, That statement is well rooted in truth. Putin saw through all the deception long ago.

    We support most oppressive regime in the world Regime that support terrorist that operate in Syria, Iraq, Libya, Russia country without a single Church country that hate Christianity Country that rule buy Middle Ages principle. USA & Obama Government are pathetic.

    Steven Segal is not brain wash like 75% off American Steven Segal is smart educated he travel the world & develop his own opinion and can't be brain wash by Washington bureaucrat.

  • Report this Comment On April 15, 2014, at 2:35 AM, amvet wrote:

    This scenario is a farce. We have a massive trade deficit and a massive household deficit. Our true unemployment rate is around 23%. Our solution, start a trade war. My suspicion is that our NEW AMERICAN CENTURY group wants to use sanctions to damage both the EU and Russia. I suspect that the f**k the EU opinion of Victoria Nuland represents the US government´s foreign policyl.

  • Report this Comment On April 15, 2014, at 8:11 AM, Tyeward wrote:

    This article isn´t really fourth coming with all the facts concerning Russia.

    1. Russia is the worlds largest oil producer.

    2. Russia is not dependent on imports for survival.

    3. Russia has a self sustaining economy (they mostly produce what they consume).

    4. Russia is a world leader also in natural gas.

    5. They have their own aerospace industry.

    And this is the kicker

    6. They have survived for decades without outside influence before.

    This article is also biased towards just the perspective peddled by our media for us to buy into without all the facts on the table regarding Crimea. You have to take into consideration that Crimea hosts the largest southern Naval installation that Russia has. We need to think logically about this. There was absolutely no way in the world Russia was going to just let it´s most important southern naval installation end up in EU territory. Sorry, but only a fool would think otherwise. It just wasn´t gonna happen. Crimea was also apart of Russia. It was given to Ukraine during the Soviet era. I don´t think the Soviet Union was doing that under the assumption that it would fall later on in the future. That would be equivalent to Virginia giving it´s part of the Delmarva peninsula to Maryland for administrative purposes in the US. I don´t understand how people just thought that Russia was going to be alright with Ukraine getting cozy with Brussels and just bow out gracefully and give their state owned property (regardless of what country it was in) over and surrender that strategic edge. Seriously. Who really would have been that crazy to have done that? I know we wouldn´t have and we probably would have done the same thing. We kind of sort of did when it came to Kosovo (I was deployed there). Sometimes we all need to back up and check our own history before we start hurling stones. Our history isn´t all that benevolent either.

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