Russian Collusion On The Orient Express

A superpower is a cold war term. When people today say that Russia aspires to have this status, I interpret it in the following way: they want to undermine trust in Russia, to portray Russia as frightening, and create some kind of image of an enemy. … Russia is in favor of a multipolar world, a democratic world order, strengthening the system of international law, and for developing a legal system in which any small country, even a very small country, can feel itself secure, as if behind a stone wall. … Russia is ready to become part of this multipolar world and guarantee that the international community observes these rules. And not as a superpower with special rights, but rather as an equal among equals

Power through strength.

Strength through relationships.

Relationships through mutual interests.

There really is no “good” or “bad” in geo-politics, just a sliding scale of mutual interests and benefits…

The 1990s in Russia were a time of lawlessness and debauchery.

Putin, a former KBG Officer, growing tired of the disgusting status his country had been left in after the collapse of the Soviet Union, left his intelligence career.

As straight-forward as his ascension to the Presidency seems, it was fraught with much peril. During the Yeltsin years, the oligarchs owned the President. They also owned the State, and the Senate. Even the intelligence arm, once the KGB, was undone by Yeltsin in favor of the SVR. And in doing both, the oligarchs ensured their power would be flaunted over their corrupt seams so as to hide their bursting treachery.

Anatoly Chubais, Yeltsin’s prime minister, pushed to privatize Russian industries at all costs. The thinking behind that drastic proposal was that capitalism would come faster to Russia if the foundation was built accordingly. However, it was too fast, inorganic, and ultimately, missing the heart of what a capitalistic nation could become.

It was all style, no substance.

The Russian politic looked like a capitalist country, but sure didn’t function as one.

Indeed, Yeltsin received backlash and opposition from the State Duma (the Russian Federation’s legislature, also the Supreme Court). In a last-ditch attempt to retain power after the mass privatization scheme failed to spark interest in the masses, he put forth the candidacy of Primakov, a strong nationalist.

Unfortunately, due to the crisis of the US invasion of Yugoslavia, Yeltsin panicked. He replaced Primakov with an “oligarch yes man”. He didn’t want to risk his country to defend the Serbs, but the oligarchs were paying attention and felt Yeltsin’s presence was weak. Primakov, however, was angry at his abrupt dismissal over forces beyond his control, and decided to enter politics by forming his own party.

Yeltsin, angered at the “betrayal” decided to collude with the oligarchs to ensure Primakov would lose the race. Eventually however, the privatization scandal caught up with Yeltsin, and he resigned against the State Duma.

The people needed a new candidate, and the oligarchy had spoken. Commoners wanted no more of the corruption-laced Yeltsin years. With the dawn of a new millennium, they wanted a new outlook on life as well. Those of the Gorbachev era had hoped under glastnost that Russia would become a “transparent” country, a more “wholesome” nation – assuming their role as one of the largest countries on earth, with bountiful resources. A position they could have occupied had thet Revolution nearly a century ago not occurred. They’d believed that under perestroika, Russia could be rebuilt.

The Oligarchs put forth Putin, backed with pure vengeance by Yeltsin. With Putin being painted as “the only choice in the race” by a Yeltsin/oligarch team-up, Primakov lost. Yeltsin, realizing his re-election chances were destroyed with those he’d governed over, finalized the power transfer with an official resignation.

However, while Putin may have seemed weak, he most definitely was not. A former KGB staffer, he knew the destructive, depraved powers of the oligarchs and wasn’t going to be controlled by them.

 

Putin:

One of Vladimir’s first tasks then, was to call a general meeting with the Oligarchs of Russia. In that meeting, in no uncertain terms, the newly-elected President stated that he would rebuild Russia to its former glory, with or without their help. Denouncing any future plans for the continued existence of oligarchical nationalization of state industries, he gave them the option of being patriotic instead – or face his wrath in defying him.

The Elites, shocked at how their presumed “puppet” was treating them, decided to launch what would turn out to be a decades-long (and still ongoing) smear campaign. As a retort, Putin decided to lock them up.

Not necessarily on trumped-up charges fit for “political prisoners” (as that would have defeated the very insistence upon which his democratic rule was based), but for legitimate charges of corruption, bribery, and in some cases, murder, that the oligarchs absolutely were guilty of.

Putin’s tabled deal was moderately fair; he didn’t yank away the products of their labor (as it still is an achievement to profit within such a corrupt environment), he only asked that they provide a share of the wealth – to be funneled back in to Russia’s coffers. Some did, some did not.

The ones who did were left on a leash, at the beck and call of the Kremlin/FSB. The ones who did not were either jailed, heavily fined, or (if they could flee in time) permanently exiled. While the oligarchs were overwhelmingly Jewish, leading to fears of anti-Semitism in a new Russian age, that trait was merely incidental and had no resemblance to the anti-Jewish pogroms under the former Russian empire. Putin himself grew up around Jews, lived down the street from prominent Rabbis, and had the utmost respect for religious tolerance.

It was business, nothing personal.

However, that was merely the second order of business…

The first was the utter ruthlessness in which the Dagestan War was conducted upon by the Russians (which bled into the Second Chechen War). With a no holds barred approaches, Putin showed that radical Islamic terrorism would not be acceptable in Russia, period. Part of this involved the restructuring of the SVR into the FSB, the repair of the Kremlin, and the streamlining of jobs to answer directly to Putin himself.

The wars were a matter of national security. After all, the people had just experienced the Russian version of 9/11 against their people with the 1999 Russian Apartment Bombings… two narratives developed.

According to Akhmed Zakayev Foreign Minister of the Ichkerian government, appointed by Aslan Maskhadov in 1997, and accused of being the mastermind behind the Chechnya wars):

As soon as Putin became FSB director and then secretary of the Security Council, contact between the Chechen government and the Russians abruptly stopped. Instead, kidnappings increased and the Russians started to finance Saudi Wahhabi groups as a counter-measure. The Arab world had been under Soviet control, and when Putin came to power, old contacts were revived.

Through these contacts, the Sunni Arabs gave money to gangs of religious Chechen fanatics to destroy the government.

The anti-Kremlin oligarchs (Boris Berezovsky – the same person who backed Yeltsin, Yuriy Felshtinsky, Alexander Litvinenko, American writer David Satter, political scientist Vladimir Pribylovsky, Russian Duma lawmaker Sergei Yushenkov, film maker Andrei Nekrasov, and investigator Mikhail Trepashkin), however, paint a different false narrative – one of Russia’s, nay, Putin’s involvement:

“With Yeltsin and his family facing possible criminal prosecution, however, a plan was put into motion to put in place a successor who would guarantee that Yeltsin and his family would be safe from prosecution and the criminal division of property in the country would not be subject to reexamination. For “Operation Successor” to succeed, however, it was necessary to have a massive provocation. In my view, this provocation was the bombing in September, 1999 of the apartment building bombings in Moscow, Buinaksk, and Volgodonsk. In the aftermath of these attacks, which claimed 300 lives, a new war was launched against Chechnya. Putin, the newly appointed prime minister who was put in charge of that war, achieved overnight popularity. Yeltsin resigned early. Putin was elected president and his first act was to guarantee Yeltsin immunity from prosecution.”

But were these narratives, parroted around the world, certifiably true? Or was it all a pack of lies, designed to dispose of any resistance wanting to Making Russia Great Again?

And this is where the importance of the table-deal comes in.

 

Khodorkovsky:

Khodorkovsky was an oligarch in Siberian oil and gas (head honcho of Yukos – a company forcibly broken up over alleged unpaid taxes, and a small-town murder). Before his arrest, he attempted to establish the 4th largest oil/gas company in the world.

Also being one of Putin’s most ardent opponents, “he had financed two liberal opposition parties, Yabloko and the Union of Right Forces, upsetting Putin’s dominance in the Russian parliament”.

In fact, it wasn’t so much the wheeling and dealing that Putin minded, but rather the vocal opposition to Russia’s patriotism in the long run. After all, a state with no natural resources has no leverage on the geopolitical stage.

So Khodorkovsky was jailed. At that time, being the richest man in Russia, his wealth was $15 Billion. A mere one to two years later, he was worth $2.2 Billion. The notable thing here is that he “lost” his money in either 2005 or 2006, rather than during the Great Recession (when everyone else, Russian and otherwise, lost their money as well).

Ten years later in 2014, he was freed and granted amnesty by Putin. However, what remained in place was a $500 Million fine, effectively ensuring a bittersweet victory – Khodorkovsky would never be allowed to return to Russia (he now lives in Switzerland). He would also be, officially on paper, broke. In any event, there’s a reason why Russia so ardently opposed the Global Magnitsky Act, which would have penalized nations and given power to those like Khodorkovsky. While the act itself freezes American assets and bars entry for those accused of human rights violations, the relevant assets to be frozen (while seemingly on an unrelated tangent) would freeze commodities owned by accused Russians overseas

The Magnitsky Act of 2012 has become global, and with it Russia’s worst fears – untethered sanctions upon any state actor that doesn’t conform with American Foreign Policy.:

The Magnitsky Act—or the “Majinsky” Act, as the president’s lawyer and his recently departed press secretary tended to pronounce it—is named for Sergei Magnitsky, a lawyer and auditor. One of his clients, William Browder, was once the largest foreign investor in Russia, until the Russian authorities kicked him out of the country and allegedly began pilfering his investment fund, Hermitage Capital. Magnitsky uncovered what he alleged to be a complicated scheme by which officials from the Russian Interior Ministry and the courts used forged Hermitage documents to claim ownership of Browder’s fund, and then sued the Russian government, saying that they, the new pseudo-owners of Hermitage, had overpaid their taxes by $230 million. The courts and the Russian tax system, by Magnitsky’s account, speedily obliged, shelling out $230 million to the new owners, who then invested in luxury apartments in Moscow and abroad.”

“Net Neutrality” as an argument, call-to-action, or protest, is largely redundant. It was never about “Neutrality” of any kind.

It already exists, rooted in the corporate-brainwashing, government-propaganda, cultural-marxism that is “political correctness” and “safe spaces”.

The economic sanctions imposed by the United States and European Union on Russia are having a crippling effect. The economic sanctions are focused on Russia’s key defense, energy, and financial service sectors, and include asset freezes, controls on financing, restrictions on access to capital markets, controls on dual-use items, and controls on goods and services for the Russian military. The sanctions’ impact is exacerbated by the near 50% slide in crude oil prices, as Russia is the world’s second-biggest exporter of crude oil and it relies on oil sales for almost half of its domestic budget. Severely impacted by the one-two punch of sanctions and sliding oil prices, the Russian economy shrank 0.5% in November 2014, the first contraction in five years.

But I digress (for now).

In 2016,  Khodorkovsky applauded “the decision of the Dublin District Court to grant his Section 19 application under the Criminal Justice (Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing) Act 2010 to unfreeze assets in an investment fund, worth in excess of $100 million“, of which he was a beneficiary.

Today, he is worth $100 Million. However, there is reason to believe that Khodorkovsky has “hidden” his net worth (and that it still hovers around $2 Billion).

So where did $14.9 Billion (or more specifically, $12.9 Billion) go? To an offshore company, akin to the one his company Yukos attempted? To his family and friends to hold on to? Probably, but we can get more specific than that. He was caught once before pulling that stunt, so it reasons he would try a different tactic instead.

First, let’s calculate the 5% commission fee of $15 Billion, as is per standard practice ($745 Million).

Now you’re left with $14.2 Billion. You still need to drop $10 Billion somehow to explain the “loss”…

Enter Yuri Milner, Khodorkovsky’s by-the-books protégé, and you’re left with (assuming his $12 Billion assets in two years – “officially” starting in 2009 – is not legitimate), $2.2 Billion (give or take a few hundred thousand dollars).

 

Milner:

To understand a man like Milner, you have to realize what drives him. He is a master at understanding technological trends – and for contrasting purposes, let’s use American Billionaire George Soros as an example.

George Soros makes money by “shorting” foreign currencies. That is, he bets against the markets. Incidentally, the reason why George Soros is so successful is because he also happens to destabilize the regions to ensure the proper market fluctuation. For proof of practice, ask the United Kingdom, and the entire Asian Hemisphere, in the 1990s. To Soros, he revels in the beauty of the mere mathematical motion of the markets. Being an incredibly analytical man, his sociopathic appreciation of fiat currencies and the market shares is unparalleled.

Milner, on the other hand, sees optimism in the undiscovered markets where Soros does not.

His theory holds that the Internet is an advertising medium where users themselves create the vast amount of content. In other words, as Milner understands it, the same ocean of advertising revenues that have gone to traditional media might now go to the Internet, but without the offsetting costs of having to actually create content. Voilá…

From margin standpoint,” Milner notes, “this is very magical.”

Although Milner seems to have made a chump’s deal without all the protections that early-stage money is usually entitled to, for a period of time he has gotten one thing: a right of first refusal on any other Facebook stock that changes hands…

The dumb money has just bought itself potentially unlimited access to arguably the most important company to hit the Internet in a decade. One of the fastest accelerations in digital history has just begun…

Further down, even, we see the purpose for these seemingly odd acquisitions:

His phone rings. Conversation ends. I read the answer to my question in the paper a day or so later. Google has reportedly made a $3 billion bid for Twitter, which was countered by a bid for a stake in the company from Kleiner Perkins that valued the business at $3.7 billion, which in turn was countered by a bid from Milner that valued the company at $4.2 billion. Twitter takes the Kleiner money at nearer the Milner valuation—until eight months later, when it takes the Milner money, too, although this time at an amount that values the company at $8.4 billion.

It’s the new reality of social media: Wherever something is happening you now find Zelig-like Milner. He will keep buying. Money for him is no object.”

And it’s never been about money. Back in 2003, Khodorkovsky had all the money in the world – $15 Billion – and it didn’t save him from losing ten years of his life. Where Khodorkovsky failed is in not having enough… influence.

Milner, however, “in mid-2009, launched DST Global as the primary vehicle for international Internet investments. Under his leadership, DST Global invested in Facebook, the world’s largest social network, in Zynga, a leading social gaming company and in Groupon, a leading social e-commerce company.”

Of the $12 Billion he’s made, he’s worth $3 Billion now. This, of course, doesn’t include the kickbacks in percentage rates, or residual differentials he’s sent to Khodorkovsky. The $3 Billion is also largely non-liquid assets – it can’t be spent as easily as selling something immediately for cold, hard cash.

Yuri’s also dabbled in wanting to reach Alpha Centauri, creating “the Oscars of Science“, searching for Extra-Terrestrial life,  attempting to build a “social media hive mind”, and in doing so, he’s ingratiated himself among Dr. Stephen Hawking, Sergei Brin, Mark Zuckerberg, etc. And while that’s just one man, wanting a stronghold control of American influence, what about Russia’s influence?

 

Kerimov:

Suleiman Kerimov, another exampled oligarch, “has made a career of investing in distressed companies. He started a diversified investment company, Nafta Moskva, in 1992. Just before the country’s financial meltdown in 2008, he sold nearly all of his Russian assets, including shares in Gazprom, government-owned Sberbank and a massive housing development in suburban Moscow. Kerimov borrowed heavily to buy stakes in Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank and others. He soon lost billions, but began investing again in the Russian market with the help of loans from VTB Bank.”

According to the Financial Times:

Between the end of 2003 and the beginning of 2008, associates say he made $21bn investing in two Russian blue chips, Gazprom, the giant gas monopoly, and Sberbank, the biggest state bank, mainly funded by $4bn in loans from Sberbank, as Gazprom shares surged six-fold and Sberbank’s as much as ten-fold. After the losses he sustained in the financial crisis of 2008, his latest acquisition, Uralkali, a potash fertiliser giant, was also funded with the help of sizeable loans from VTB, the number two state bank. Kerimov’s net worth was estimated by Forbes early last year to have recovered to $7.8bn, making him Russia’s 19th richest man, and 118th in the world…

But even as the banking system began to teeter, Kerimov and his colleagues still saw opportunity in the western banks. Believing the crisis would hit Russian markets harder, they reduced their Gazprom and Sberbank positions and started buying stakes in western companies. After they first acquired big stakes in the likes of BP, E.on, Deutsche Telekom and Eni, as part of a big diversification play, their western banking counterparts stepped up pitches to sell them a slew of banks’ rights offerings.

The pitches became a kind of two-way street, several bankers said. One said Kerimov and his associates had an audacious plan. They proposed to deploy part of the $21bn they had made from Russian stocks to try to defend the banks from attacks by short-selling hedge funds, who would try to make money from driving stock prices down.

They were telling [the banks], ‘We’ll help you fight off the shorts and stabilise your stock,’” the banker said. In return, Kerimov’s group would seek to win favourable lending terms for more loans. “It was like a pyramid. It was crazy.”

The opacity of the investment figures exemplifies the veiled, ever-shifting world of Kerimov, where there is even talk of phone calls from the US Treasury after the collapse of Lehman Brothers, exhorting the Kerimov group and lender banks not to sell their stakes. “It was a big amount of money. It was in the banking system and it was a problem for the US Treasury,” said one banker with knowledge of the situation. The acting deputy assistant secretary of the US Treasury for Europe and Eurasia at the time, Eric Meyer, said he was unaware of these “specific circumstances”.

So in two examples of Russian oligarchs, you have one man who is invested in Silicon Valley (with ties to Khodorkovsky), and another man who is invested in Wall Street Banks; Oligarchs whom despise their working relationship under Putin (because he made it so they couldn’t destroy Russia any longer). While the mainstream media will attempt to portray Milner as an agent of Putin, the opposite is true. Milner is an Oligarch, underling of Khodorkovsky, and conteporary of Soros. His wish is for the destruction of everything Putin has worked to create.

According to /u/AkoTehPanda, the views of the Banks heavily (attempted to) influence the candidate of choice in this previous Presidential Election:

Goldman SachsBanned employees from donating to Trump

Deutsche Bank – Sued by Trump as I mentioned earlier but apparently they still do business with him (source) and even favoured him which is actually a pretty interesting situation. Not sure what to make of it, they didn’t donate much to any particular party. However this link makes me wonder WTF is going on Deutsche Bank. Needs more investigation.

Morgan Stanley – Top 2 recipients of donations are Hillary Clinton and the DNC, of course than didn’t stop them from riding Trump’s market rally.

JP Morgan – Donated heavily to Hillary Clinton and the DNC.

And of course during her time as senator Hillary Clinton’s top contributors of All of the above also included Lehman Brothers and Merrill Lynch. Merrill Lynch is now owned by the Bank of America. Merrill Lynch is relevant because thats where Kerimov favourite advisor – Allen Vine – comes from. And he was apparently even invited to the Whitehouse. I can’t find much on him…

Bank of America – Donated to Hillary Clinton.

Citigroup – Where Sandy Weill originally made his money also donated to Hillary Clinton not to mention that the CEO is the one who told Obama to put her in as SoS.

All the “fake news” from (formerly) legitimate news channels are mostly because of the ingratiation of the Russian oligarchs in various private sectors of the American economy. It’s not that there are oligarchs loyal to Putin, but that he simply gives them a sandbox to play in, so long as they don’t disturb the other children on the playground.

It’s also much easier to pay an interested-backed “loan” via company shares worth an equivalent amount than it is to find the liquid assets to do so – it’s effectively how all Billionaire operate.

So in his short time in America’s Silicon Valley, not only has Yuri Milner established himself as an “Angel Investor” with influence, he’s also essentially “laundered” Khodorkovsky’s money. It’ll never be found because it was never placed in a financial instrument, but in a person instead.

 

Rybolovlev and the 19.5% Steele Dossier Deal:

So why did Dmitry Rybolovlev meet with Trump on the tarmac, as the press alleges?

Donald wants to figure out what Putin is like behind closed doors – from an oligarch that would have experienced it. And why would Trump care about Russian motivations? Because of the suspicious 19.5% Rosneft sale the mainstream media is attributing to him (without evidence). In addition to this being unproven, it’s also not a very good deal. Why?

Russia is a major player in oil and gas production worldwide. It is the second largest producer of natural gas and the third largest producer of oil, sitting on 80 billion barrels of proven oil reserves and a staggering 1688 trillion cubic feet of natural gas reserves—the largest natural gas reserves in the world. Given the size of Russia’s oil and gas assets and its position in world production, there is little doubt that oil and gas prices have a large impact on its economy… On the whole, low oil prices are bad news for the Russian economy. Unlike the United States where dependence on oil is consumption driven, the Russian economy depends on the profitable production of oil to pay for the costs of government, prop up the ruble, and provide a majority of its exports. In short, the Russian economy grows or shrinks with the price of oil.

Given the duty of the Secretary of State to advance American interests abroad, it does make sense that an oil-businessman would receive the job. This also means that the deal wasn’t meant for Trump, because Trump already has Tillerson confirmed.

However, the real reason the 19.5% deal isn’t meant for Trump is because the power is leveraged by Russia instead. As a state controlled company, Rosneft provides several advantages for Exxon, a company that has serious problems in replacing its reserves. These include Rosneft’s privileged, and exclusive right to reserves in the Arctic. Only Gazprom, the other state controlled energy giant, has similar exclusive rights, and is also likely to benefit from the Tillerson appointment.

So where did the 19.5% deal actually fund? A suretyship, a trilateral trade deal meant to be secret from the American eyes. To understand the rationality behind what would normally be considered duplicitous, we need to go back to the era before Putin’s ascension to the Presidency.

 

Primakov:

Primakov was a man owed nothing by the oligarchs, and whom owned them nothing in return. Primakov also believed in the honest, nationalist development of the Russian State. A multi-polar world not controlled by US hegemony. In that regard, he is probably considered one of Putin’s most worthy rivals for the Presidency. His legacy lives on in smoothing the path for economic reform in Putin’s Presidency:

An early proponent of the principal of multilateralism opposed to US global hegemony, Primakov became known in the West as an opponent of NATO’s eastward expansion, while focusing Russian diplomacy on the improvement of relations with the states of the former Soviet Union and the Middle East. While falling short of his demands, the NATO-Russia Founding Act on Mutual Relations, Cooperation and Security, signed in 1997, eventually led to the formation of the Russia-NATO council, charged with handling joint projects and relations between Moscow and the defense Bloc.

In August 1998, Russia, already struggling with a severe economic setback following the collapse of the Soviet Union, was hit by financial crisis, which resulted in the devaluation of the ruble, spiraling inflation, a freeze in the payment of wages and the collapse of state subsidies to Russia’s regions. Ultimately, the crisis also led to the country defaulting on its foreign debt.

Restoring political stability by inviting members of the leading parliamentary factions into his Cabinet, Primakov’s interest rate and monetary easing policies assisted Russian producers with an infusion of cash, allowing enterprises to pay backlogged wages, pay off their debts, and begin to pay taxes, while hiring new workers and reducing unemployment for the first time in years. With more money in Russians’ pockets, consumer demand stabilized. The resolution of the 1998 crisis is considered to have laid the foundations for Russia’s economic recovery in the 2000s.

[Primakov] was “a phenomenon not only in our foreign policy, but in the Russian state, because after he was invited to head the Russian government he made the decisive contribution to overcoming the effects of the 1998 default and crisis. His government patched a large hole and made it possible to restore the country to stability.”

It is with an ironic twist that he was fundamental to the restructuring of Russia since the catalyst for all this was that he’d been fired from Yeltin’s cabinet due to the (unfortunate) timing of the US interventionism to bomb Yugoslavia:

Together with the one in Bosnia, the US would later use these ‘humanitarian pretexts’ to ‘legitimize’ its 1999 War on Yugoslavia and the 2011 War on Libya. Worse still, Kozyrev’s Foreign Ministry ignored the expansion of US military bases into formerly inaccessible areas recently opened up by the end of the Cold War. The end result of such neglect is that tens of thousands of US troops are now based in 74 countries all across the world.

Accordingly, two of Primakov’s legacies remain BRICS and the SCO.

BRICS:

The Russia-India-China trilateral partnership and the trust developed therein formed the institutional basis for the BRICS organization. Goldman Sachs, popularly attributed with ‘creating’ BRIC, simply coined a moniker to describe what Primakov had already built, and in fact, actually motivated the existing members to reach out to Brazil and include it in their existing format. Over a decade since its ‘official’ inception, BRIC has expanded to South Africa, launched a $100 billion New Development Bank and an equally large currency reserve pool, and have become a global force for de-dollarization.

SCO:

The Shanghai Five incorporated Uzbekistan in 2001 and became the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, initially dedicated towards defending against the dangers of separatism, terrorism, and extremism. It’s since evolved into an economic and strategic integrational platform between its members, and has notably attracted the interest of India and Pakistan, both of which are expected to formally join next week. Considering the observer status of Iran and the dialogue partner relationship with Turkey, among others, it’s fair to say that the SCO might be turning into a concert of Great Eurasian Powers sometime in the near future.

 

Altering the deal farther:

A world without NAFTA or NATO (both Donald Trump has wanted to repeal for a long time now) means a world that goes back to bilateral trade agreements. Of all the bilateral trade agreements currently in place, one is suspiciously missing:

This section highlights some of Russia’s most significant trade agreements.  Russia formally joined the WTO on August 22, 2012, and gained permanent normal trade relations (PNTR) on December 20, 2012.

Russia currently participates in a free trade agreement with the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS FTA), which provides for the free movement of goods within the territory of the CIS FTA member states.  Participants include Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan.   Russia suspended Ukraine’s status beginning on January 1, 2016.

On January 1, 2015, the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) was launched, which incorporates the regulations previously set forth in the Russia-Kazakhstan-Belarus Customs Union (CU) formed in 2010, and expands the tariff provisions to cover services and establishes unified technical regulations and labeling requirements.  Armenia’s accession into the EAEU came into force on January 2, 2015, while Kyrgyzstan’s accession came into effect on August 6, 2015.

In May 2016, Russia ratified the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) and Vietnam signed in May 2015.  As of May 2016, only Armenia and Vietnam still need to ratify the treaty before it enters into force.

Do you see it? Iran:

Joining the WTO would help it do so by lowering tariffs on many of its goods, which would allow exports such as textiles and manufactured goods to become more competitive on the global market. Additionally, it would facilitate the development of mechanical engineering, manufacturing, and other sectors, and could catalyze international investment in Iran’s energy sector, which is in dire need of capital investment and modernization. Expanded trade could also strengthen the middle class by creating jobs, and would likely catalyze Iran’s membership in other trade agreements in order to reap additional economic benefits.

However, while membership could provide Iran with large economic gains, the transition may be rocky.

For starters:

Iranian production peaked at 6 million barrels per day (950×103 m3/d) in 1974, but it has been unable to produce at that rate since the 1979 Iranian Revolution due to a combination of political unrest, war with Iraq, limited investment, US sanctions, and a high rate of natural decline. Iran’s mature oil fields are in need of enhanced oil recovery (EOR) techniques such as gas injection to maintain production, which is declining at an annual rate of approximately 8% onshore and 10% offshore. With current technology it is only possible to extract 20% to 25% of the oil in place from Iran’s fractured carbonate reservoirs, 10% less than the world average. It is estimated that 400,000-700,001 bbl/d of crude production is lost annually due to declines in the mature oil fields.

In addition to potentially painful economic restructuring, Iran could be sued anytime after it joins. While some countries are not sued for many years after accession, others are sued shortly thereafter. This could present a problem, as Iran likely would have little resources with which to respond to such a suit.”

While the Rosneft Deal may officially be a Russia/Qatar split, they already have oil relationships preconditions among them.

Iran is currently not part of the WTO, and Russia is. However, Russia is allies with Iran regardless for strategic geo-political reasons, Putin is pro-Islam (as long as they’re not radical), and the current events have been leading up to something called a “Russo-Islamic Pact”. The idea is that, in convincing Turkey to move away from NATO membership / globalism, and in partnering with the Islamic nations, the oil pipelines will become much more concentrated in the Eastern Hemisphere, and accordingly, the consolidation of political power.

With the impending collapse of the weakened EU, membered Nation States are relying more than ever on their US-Backed trade deals and bilateral agreements. Iran, however, is hoping to use the influx of assets from the Iran Deal to not only stimulate their economy and raise the standard of living, but to also stay afloat long-term in the aftermath.

Their disastrous Ayatollian hardline religious rhetoric has all but “secretly” destroyed their country, and now Iran is attempting to collaborate with Russia to ensure their survival at all costs. After all, with the collapse of the EU (by the member states’ own accord), Russia will need to find a new trade replacement. Russia’s exports pertain to “raw materials, in particular, oil (crude and refined) and gas… it is estimated that up to 75% of Foreign Direct Investment stocks in Russia come from EU Member States.” Russia will need a better trade partner, one they have influence over, whose natural resources (while similar in nature) can be monitored and ultimately subverted. While the best thing for Russia would be an (unrelated) war with Iran, such economical gains are short-term as trade partners can avail upon each other all sorts of useful benefits in that regard. As well, Russia prefers to not deal with currency-manipulator China, as a deal is only ever as good as the opposite side keeping their promises.

Iran has no trade-agreements with the countries that matter to them (non-WTO), so to join up with Russia provides a lifeline of sorts.

The best scenario for Russia would be to inflame a US/Iran proxy war (either directly or by omission), and then once Iran has been weakened, partner with them while claiming vast amounts of oil in the deal.

Things could have been different though.

Before the Syrian Civil War, thanks to the destabilization of the region from the Arab Spring, Iran, Iraq, and Syria had signed a $10 Billion dollar deal.

According to the New York Times, the “Arab Spring had started in Iraq”. The Iraq War, of course, was not only based on falsified cables from the CIA, but also from American imperialist forces ousting Saddam Hussein.

AMMAN, Jordan—The oil ministers of Iraq, Iran and Syria Monday signed a preliminary agreement for a $10 billion natural-gas-pipeline deal, the official Iranian News Agency IRNA and other Iranian media reported.

And then it all went to shit.

 

Saudi Arabia:

Up until now, it’s always seemed as if Russia and Saudi Arabia were adamant opponents. This is largely not the case. Geopolitics is a minefield of interests, and everyone mingles with everyone else – should the need arise.

The reason for the recent “coup” (or shall we say, “modernization drive”) is because Prince Alwaleed was recently arrested yesterday. This too is nothing personal, just business.

From a Saudi citizen on the ground:

Saudi here, forgive me for any bad explanation as I’m not that good in English.

Well, to break it down, there are 3 kinds of prince/princess. There are royal prince/princess which are directly related to the first king by blood, basically his kids and grandkids. Usually called “His/Her royal highness”.

Then you have the first king’s relatives, children of his siblings. Those are not his kids basically but related to him. Usually called just prince/princess.

Lastly, you have those who married into the family. You can say, if I could find better words, the lowest grade of prince/princess. They also are just called prince/princess.

Those 4 in the list are considered royal princes. However, this is not a power struggle as many suggest here. This is an actual movement toward improving the country. Corruption has long been going since I can ever remember, and I basically gave up seeing anything done to combat in my lifetime. This came shocking to me, in a very good way. Some of them have caused deaths due to delays and terrible work on projects that were supposed to improve cities and have gotten away with it. Others have forced people into poverty and have also robbed others from well deserved money and jobs.

I can assure you this is the biggest change in the history of the country right now and everyone is celebrating it.

It is officially done by the king’s orders. That is all what I know. It could be his son doing that or king, but I have no way of confirming that, as I’m pretty many others as well. So, all what you hear of arguments and discussions are mostly speculations.

The following is mostly based on my own humble experience and the info we get locally by social media sources.

To be clear on power, Being a king does not give you full control. Without actual support from the top royal family members, a king have no actual power. King’s decree is not just the king said this will happen and you will obey, it happens when members support it. You also need to keep in mind, the royal family understands that a dispute among them will not help them but rather ruin everything that they’ve worked for over generations and in return chaos will happen as a result of that due to the fact of the actual powers in Saudi which are the tribes that helped the first king. The royal family work together to keep the balance and to make sure they stay in power as that what would actually be more beneficial for them, rather than having a power struggle amongst themselves.”

Prince Alwaleed specifically wanted ARAMCO to go IPO on the NYSE. This would have meant a surge in petroleum and natural gas orders, something very beneficial for both the Saudi Kingdom and America.

And notice the duality expressed in Trump’s tweets:

Remembering that Iran and Saudi Arabia are natural enemies (beyond the religious sectarianism), the US (and the CIA-backed historical coups) is the entire reason these Islamic governments exist in the first place.

What’s currently occurring in the Saudi Arabian Kingdom is a coup worthy of Putin’s playbook from the 90s.

Iran’s influence must be contained by the US (with regards to Donald reneging on Obama’s Iran Deal), or by Russia (with the offer of a “partnership”) because Saudi Arabia cannot afford to be threatened at this time. The coup we saw today was essentially a proxy pre-emptive strike on securing oil futures.

Instability and volatility in Saudi Arabia could cause the whole house of cards that is their social contract to collapse and turn the place into chaos. Furthermore, if Iran blockaded the Saudis at the Strait of Hormuz (and now also at the Bab al Mandeb), the world oil market would crash and send all of Iran’s opponents, including Americans, into economic crisis.

The ARAMCO IPO event (economically beneficial or otherwise) would have become a historical expanded on a global scale, akin to the Ukranian Gas Disputes (ratified pre-Putin, with former Soviet blocs refusing to pay increasing billion-dollar gas bills for years), that partly led to the dissolution of Yukos (Oil and Gas, remember), the jailing of Khodorkovsky, the introduction of George Soros as the enemy of Putin (over how the breakup was treated). America would have eventually become like the historical position of Ukraine.

To ensure the Gas Disputes wouldn’t happen again, Putin both ended the Dispute, and annexed Crimea:

The Russia–Ukraine gas disputes refer to a number of disputes between Ukrainian oil and gas company Naftohaz Ukrayiny and Russian gas supplier Gazprom over natural gas supplies, prices, and debts. These disputes have grown beyond simple business disputes into transnational political issues—involving political leaders from several countries—that threaten natural gas supplies in numerous European countries dependent on natural gas imports from Russian suppliers, which are transported through Ukraine. Russia provides approximately a quarter of the natural gas consumed in the European Union; approximately 80% of those exports travel through pipelines across Ukrainian soil prior to arriving in the EU.”

And to permanently ensue it would ever happen again, the Saudi King (officially convinced by the tribes that keep him in power, and unofficially by the Chinese-Russian-Iranian coalition) underwent an “energy” purge… thanks to the Chinese?

Wait, what?!

 

Belt and Road:

The Russian economy is currently dependent on oil exportation. Russia, with Saudi Arabia as a close second, is the number one oil / gas exporter to China. In ratifying a deal that would force former soviet bloc countries, and arguably, a majority of Asia, to pay prices deemed “fair” to the Russians, the Russian economy would receive a massive influx of cash and capital. While an all-out war / sanctions against Iran is one way of achieving such a goal, that mainly benefits the Americans (and their NATO allies).

“China calls it the project of the century – a massive roll-out of Chinese-built infrastructure to remake the map of the global economy with China at its heart.”

At the same time, Russia would ensure that the Chinese economy, which is currently undergoing infamous inflationary cycles, would be curbed dramatically. Of course, China would never agree to such terms, unless they were to receive something else of value. From an outside perspective, this gives China an excuse to start engaging their army and influence to become an interventionist superpower in the name of securing trade-routes (if they want it). It also allows them to compete against South Korean, the EU’s, and the Japanese versions of “Belt and Road”.

China’s economy is presently a “paper tiger”. Their entire economy is based on intellectual theft (which is why many Silicon Valley companies refuse to deal with the nation). It’s why everyday objects are “Made in China” – it’s cheaper to produce, export, import, and frankly, steal – something Donald Trump is putting an end to with overseas American manufacturing back to its native shores (in an attempt to curb Chinese market access restrictions and industrial policies).

And now, Europe is to become China’s first trade partner in the coming years. While it is presently because America has withdrawn from global trade partnerships, China and Germany picking up the slack publicly, eventually Germany (and the EU pact) will fail (for all the EU’s billions-of-dollars investments in Chinese goods), while the Russo-Chinese pact thrives. For the EU pact is about exporting goods (meat, lumber, fish, cars), and thus has a finite cap under pressure, whereas China’s power extends across connecting boards  and oil, ensuring cooperation transcending their goods. On this front, China benefits twice, publicly and privately.

The WTO will become ineffective (at least, that’s the idea).

So far, 65 countries have joined the “Belt and Road” initiative.

The countries are also jointly building the Power of Siberia gas pipeline, and a liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility on the Yamal Peninsula in the Russian Arctic.

China is building a new transport corridor to Europe as part of the Belt and Road Initiative (also known as the New Silk Road), which goes through Kazakhstan and Russia to Europe.

Notice how Kazakhstan serves as a major transit country for gas exports from Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan destined to Russia and China? The most critical part of this initiative runs through incredibly hostile regions of the Islamic world.

Primakov gave confidence to all of those who believed that an alternative, non-American-dominated world was possible even when ‘conventional wisdom’ (i.e. globally dominating American news agencies) said it wasn’t. He not only inspired Russians, but through his initiatives in crafting the precursors to BRICS and the SCO, he showed all of the non-West that multipolarity was indeed doable, and that all they had to do was take tangible steps together to achieve it.

This is what everyone wanted, the US to stop being world police and for a multi-polar world. We all wanted it..didn’t we? Until Trump did it.. now it’s bad

Welcome to the New World Order:

https://walizahid.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/One-Belt-One-Road-OBOR-China-countries-1280x912.jpg

UPDATE:

The Paradise Papers have been released. This is the follow-up to the Panama Papers.

The Paradise Papers are unfairly targeting Donald, the Panama Papers unfairly targeted Putin.

With regards to /u/JamesVien:

Here is my reaction- A big Sigh and Yawn

There is a new massive leak by ICIJ ( International Consortium of Investigative Journalists ) claiming to expose the business dealings of the “elites”

Some points to note in this, as per the site itself

This has come after Swamp has been drained in saudi arabia

This has come after heat is on Podesta inc and Donna brazille was revealing all

As per the site, There is nothing illegal about doing business offshore, There is nothing to suggest that any investments are illegal. Now comes the real problem

They are selectively releasing information about ONLY Trump and his associates, all legal business dealings. I cannot find the original source, but it is clear that they are selectively picking information politically damaging to trump and that attacks Russia . Again there is nothing illegal in doing business with off shore parties.

Who funds ICIJ? https://www.icij.org/about/our-supporters/

a) Ford Foundation- Which funded anti trump resistance movement, whose current president Darren walker worked for as vice president for foundation initiatives at the Rockefeller Foundation, He also served New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s November 2013 Transition Advisory Team

B) Open Society Foundation – George Soros

This is where the 18 Billion have gone. After all we know about Soros, Clinton, The democrats, The Rinos and the swamp, who here believes that in these 13 million page/ document treasure trove, there is nothing about their business dealings. It is the swamp using these “investigative journalists” to put a political attack on trump. I cannot find the original document, but it will be interesting to look into that to see what they are hiding. This is selective reporting and MSM and the usual actors are fawning over it.

 

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