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Russia Is Slowly Turning The NatGas Tap Off To Europe

Tyler Durden's picture


While Naftogaz (Ukraine's gas pipeline operator) states that all gas transportation from Russia to Europe is running normally, Bloomberg reports that Russian natgas exports to Europe are declining. Shipments are down over 4% from the prior week and also lower to Ukraine. This 'adjustment' follows increased sanctions by the West as Medvedev's notable statement this morning that Ukraine owes Russia $16bn.

NatGas output is tumbling

The good news:

Gazprom today said natgas transit to Europe via Ukraine, supplies for Ukrainian consumption  

But Pay Up...

Ukraine owes Russia $11b after collapse of 2010 deal, Russian Prime Minsiter Dmitry Medvedev says to President Vladimir Putin at Security Council meeting, according to transcript on Kremlin website.


Medvedev adds $3b Ukraine bonds bought in Dec., ~$2b debt to Gazprom for natgas supplies


NOTE: In 2010, Russia agreed to sell natgas at discount in exchange for extending lease to Black Sea naval port of Sevastopol in Crimea to 2042 from 2017

Or Else...

Russian natgas exports to Europe and Turkey, excl. former Soviet Union, declined to 405.3mcm as of March 22,  according to Bloomberg calculations based on preliminary data from Energy Ministry’s CDU-TEK unit.


Avg daily exports to region were ~457mcm in March, lower than yr earlier: calculations based on CDU-TEK data


Shipments March 16-22 were 3.04bcm, 4% decrease vs level in week ended March 15

It is too early to see a trend, but for now, the direction is not hopeful for Europe.

Furthermore, Gazprom has cut its Diesel output by the most in 7 months...


and then... (via NY Times),

Russia is now asking close to $500 for 1,000 cubic meters of gas, the standard unit for gas trade in Europe, which is a price about a third higher than what Russia’s gas company, Gazprom, charges clients elsewhere.


Russia says the increase is justified because it seized control of the Crimean Peninsula, where its Black Sea naval fleet is stationed, ending the need to pay rent for the Sevastopol base. The base rent had been paid in the form of a $100 per 1,000 cubic meter discount on natural gas for Ukraine’s national energy company, Naftogaz.

And if that's not clear enough...


Of course, not every country is as exposed as the chart above shows, however, as Reuters shows below, EU's eastern members depend very heavily on Russia...

Below are details of how some of the ex-Communist EU states are economically exposed to Russia:


Imports from Russia accounted for 18.5 percent of Bulgaria's total imports last year, worth about $6.6 billion. Russia is Bulgaria's biggest source of imports.

Energy is the main import from Russia. Bulgaria gets about 90 percent of its gas from Russian firm Gazprom. Its only oil refinery, controlled by Russia's LUKOIL, works on Russian crude and its only nuclear power plant, which provides over 40 percent of electricity, operates two 1,000 MW Soviet-built reactors that work on Russian nuclear fuel.

Last year some 700,000 Russians were among Bulgaria's 2.6 million tourists. Tourism revenue makes up about 13 percent of annual gross domestic product.


In 2012, the latest year for which figures are available, 66 percent of Czech imports of natural gas came from Russia.

Exports to Russia in 2013 were worth $5.83 billion, and represented 3.67 percent of total exports. Imports from Russia were worth $7.80 billion.

Russia's largest steelmaker Evraz has a plant in the Czech Republic.

A consortium including Russia's Atomstroyexport is competing in a multi-billion dollar tender to expand the Temelin nuclear power plant. Russian firm TVEL supplies CEZ nuclear power units with fuel.

In 2013, Russians accounted for the second largest group of tourists coming to the Czech Republic with 759,000 people, or 10.4 percent of total tourists.


Russia is Hungary's largest non-EU trading partner. Exports to Russia last year were worth 2.55 billion euros ($3.5 billion), of total exports worth 81.7 billion euros.

Hungary imports about 80 percent of its gas needs from Russia.

The government has signed an agreement with Russia's Rosatom to expand the Paks nuclear power plant that supplies about 40 percent of Hungary's electricity.

Russia is Hungarian drug maker Richter's biggest market. The company has warned first quarter profit will fall due to the rouble's slide.


About one fifth of Lithuanian exports go to Russia, though a large part of this is "re-exports," meaning that Lithuanians are importing the goods from a third country and then shipping them on to Russia.

* Lithuania and its industry are almost totally reliant on Russia for energy resources.


Russia accounts for 90 percent of Poland's oil imports and more than half of its gas.

Russia is Poland's second largest trade partner, with combined 2013 imports and exports accounting for 8.8 percent of foreign trade, worth $36 billion.ROMANIA

Romania's exports to Russia totalled 1.3 billion euros ($1.8 billion) in the first 11 months of 2013 or 2.8 percent of overall exports. Romanian imports from Russia were 2.1 billion euros in January-November 2013, representing 4.2 percent of total imports.

Romania is much less dependent on imported gas than other countries in the region. Romanian gas fields provide about 80 percent of domestic needs, and President Traian Basescu said that if Russia cuts gas deliveries, the effects will not be substantial.


Exports to Russia in 2013 were worth 2.55 billion euros ($3.5 billion), or 3.96 percent of total exports. Imports from Russia were worth 6.15 billion euros ($8.5 billion)

Fuel for two nuclear power plants is imported from Russia. Russian firm Rosatom has been in talks to take part in constructing new nuclear power units in Slovakia.

Slovakia is nearly 100 percent reliant on Russian gas, and its budget revenues depend on the tariffs it charges for Russian gas crossing its territory.


Slovenia is among the EU countries with the largest surplus in trade with Russia. It exports some 1 billion euros of goods and services to Russia per year, about 4.6 pct of total exports.

For Slovenia's largest listed company, pharmaceutical firm Krka, Russia is the biggest single market. Krka has a factory in Russia and last year sold products worth 300 million euros ($413.5 million) to Russia, a quarter of its total sales.



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Mon, 03/24/2014 - 17:28 | 4587309 Zymurguy
Zymurguy's picture

Crimea must be worth about, what... 11B?  So we call it even eh, Comrade?

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 17:32 | 4587323 Vampyroteuthis ...
Vampyroteuthis infernalis's picture

The Natgas won't bite until next year's winter that much. Diesel will bring Europe to its knees, quickly. Prepare for price pain.

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 17:34 | 4587337 WayBehind
WayBehind's picture

Obama will be happy to pickup the tap. The printer is already running so just give a call to Yellen to print some extra and everything is ALL RIGHT

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 17:36 | 4587354 icanhasbailout
icanhasbailout's picture

Oh dear. Seems supply is a good deal more elastic than demand.

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 17:41 | 4587383 johnQpublic
johnQpublic's picture

never saw that coming

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 17:48 | 4587425 kaiserhoff
kaiserhoff's picture

Or maybe it's Spring in Europe too.

Did Bloomy consult a calendar?

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 18:01 | 4587477 zaphod
zaphod's picture

Good thing Germany essentially abandoned the nuclear industry after the disaster in Japan. Taking those steps to remove a cost effective and stable source of energy sure looks smart now.  /s

When I was in Korea, they had around 80% of all electricity generated by next generation nuclear plants, and I think it's even higher now. Nations become surprisingly free to pursue their own direction when they don't have to grovel to states like Russia every month for unstable energy supplies. 

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 18:45 | 4587662 Keyser
Keyser's picture

Yet another stroke of foreign policy genius for the Kenyan boy-messiah. I wonder what he will phuck up next. 


Mon, 03/24/2014 - 18:36 | 4587667 Latina Lover
Latina Lover's picture

Merkel claims she is willing to make Russia suffer even if it hurts Germany.... Lets see if Germans  will give up their hot bratwurst and cold beer....counting down to the reversal of sanctions.....3....2....1..

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 19:18 | 4587834 eurogold
eurogold's picture

I love your avatar ! Totally my thing!

Germany is just "towing the line" that Obama wants to project. And we are not happy about Angie doing this either!

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 18:41 | 4587680 Kirk2NCC1701
Kirk2NCC1701's picture

"No soup for you" tonight, Frau Merkel.

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 18:46 | 4587710 Debugas
Debugas's picture

Germany will be supplied via NordStream

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 22:04 | 4588493 Independent
Independent's picture

Tell that to the people living around and downstream and downwind from Fukushima.  One nuclear mishap like that and you end up with large parts of your country uninhabitable for thousands of years.  No thanks.  Rather have cleand food and water than play dumb geopolitical games.  Besides Germany is an export economy they are vulnerable because of that also.

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 23:23 | 4588759 Totentänzerlied
Totentänzerlied's picture

"cleand food and water"

Right, the act of burning hydrocarbons doesn't constitute pollution.

Looks like beggars are still able to be choosers, for now.

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 17:51 | 4587437 Volkodav
Volkodav's picture

Unusual warm weather in Russia. Russians normally have more holiday than west.

Decided take some more time off and work harder later...

Nevermind what Europe think.. or can understand anything at top levels

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 20:05 | 4588037 Jack Burton
Jack Burton's picture

Russia may see record heat this summer. The odds are looking like El Nino year, and Siberia is already in second week of a heat wave. Kara sea ice breaking up already. Worst case for Russia is a repeat of tiga fires or even fires like a few years back in European Russia. Good luck, I see potential for record heat dome forming over Russia this year. 65% is my best guess. No such thing as positive, but trending towards record heat.

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 17:39 | 4587375 Occident Mortal
Occident Mortal's picture

Time for Draghi to print diesel.

Get to work Mr Chairman...

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 18:17 | 4587569 Boris Alatovkrap
Boris Alatovkrap's picture

Barry is busy picking wood or iron.

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 18:23 | 4587596 kaiserhoff
kaiserhoff's picture

At least the cherries are safe around him.

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 18:03 | 4587488 eurogold
eurogold's picture

You must be joking. E.U. will find other sources and Russia will suffer from the losses. Russia is more dependent on the E.U than E.U. is upon Russia

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 18:13 | 4587533 CrashisOptimistic
CrashisOptimistic's picture

You don't seem to have been paying attention.

China is drinking all that any other source can pump.  All of it, and they still want more.

There IS no other source.

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 18:20 | 4587586 eurogold
eurogold's picture

OK, you might be right. I may not be paying attention. All I know living here in the E.U. is that no one I know is worried about heating their home for next winter. Germany atleast is well prepared -sorry

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 18:50 | 4587723 css1971
css1971's picture

And they won't be worried for a while. Russia will just keep incrementing the prices and next year or the year after it'll start to hurt, but never too much. Just a constant nagging increase in the cost of fuel.

p.s. I don't know anyone who claims they are living in the E.U. They always state the country.

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 19:19 | 4587842 Berspankme
Berspankme's picture

Must be a Brussels dude. Is that you Von Rumpboy?

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 19:20 | 4587846 eurogold
eurogold's picture

Then maybe you don't understand the concept of "the E.U." ?

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 20:59 | 4588229 angel_of_joy
angel_of_joy's picture

Just another clown pretending to be "the world".

What PART of EU are you living, you moron ?

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 18:51 | 4587726 Keyser
Keyser's picture

Really, where is Germany's alternate source of petrol, diesel, benzine and kerosene? Some have very short memories.


Mon, 03/24/2014 - 19:05 | 4587781 css1971
css1971's picture

Coal to Liquids if they start getting desperate enough.

All of the alternative options are years away though.

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 18:51 | 4587730 RafterManFMJ
RafterManFMJ's picture

The European peasantry are so unaware the Eloi are embarrassed to be seen with them.

And that said, the American Booberati are even worse.

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 19:02 | 4587776 eurogold
eurogold's picture

I do so love "European peasantry" have you noticed the homeless on every corner in the U.S. lately?  I have, when I go to Florida on vacation every 6 months for 4 weeks to visit my Condo.

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 21:17 | 4588287 HyperinflatmyNutts
HyperinflatmyNutts's picture

how do you arrive at that? some facts pease?

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 18:04 | 4587496 Freddie
Freddie's picture

Dual citizen and evil scumbag Victoria Nuland aka Nudelman - "F the EU!"

Mission accomplished!

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 18:05 | 4587500 kchrisc
kchrisc's picture


I wonder if they saw that one coming?!


Europe to Russia: "Please turn our diesel back on so we can fuel our tanks. Thanks."

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 18:16 | 4587557 eurogold
eurogold's picture

Kchrisc, you have no clue- sorry

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 18:39 | 4587681 waterwitch
waterwitch's picture

When Russia ceases to be an exporter due to internal needs, then you know the SHtF.  cf Mexico's oil output, or Norway, or ????

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 18:21 | 4587592 eurogold
eurogold's picture

Dream on.... there is more going on here in the E.U than "diesel" primative.

Tue, 03/25/2014 - 00:55 | 4588938 Joe A
Joe A's picture

A tacky song comes to mind: "it's gonna be a cold and lonely Christmas without you".

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 17:34 | 4587339 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

Within every crisis there is an opportunity, ask anyone who knows written Mandarin.  But, Europe could start a grand new project to unhook themselves from unreliable and prickly supplier Russia and start getting its gas (and other energy) from many other suppliers and places.

Does Europe have the guts to do this?  Is it even possible?

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 17:47 | 4587413 Volkodav
Volkodav's picture

It is already grand new project of Europe (and other) that cause the trouble, not Russia.

Russia never started this crap and always patient..even when gas stolen and never paid for.

get real

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 18:03 | 4587487 john39
john39's picture

heard on the radio the other day (NPR-national propaganda radio) that Germany was working towards a solution of renewable energy to replace what Russia supplies...  you know, wind and solar...  after all the rosy talk about green energy, even the propagandists had to admit that Germany has been increasing its coal consumption....  gasp!

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 18:06 | 4587504 eurogold
eurogold's picture

Excuse Me for having to defend Germany but Germany actually exports 25% more energy than it uses. Ask France who is selling electricity into the french market ( and making french atomic powerplants lose money) 

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 18:15 | 4587553 CrashisOptimistic
CrashisOptimistic's picture

You don't seem to know very much about oil and where it comes from.

Germany has none.

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 19:02 | 4587770 css1971
css1971's picture

Has a vague understanding of the word "energy".

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 19:05 | 4587785 eurogold
eurogold's picture

You might be right, maybe Germany will consider fracking to make it "energy independent" like the U.S. thinks it is .

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 18:06 | 4587506 Freddie
Freddie's picture

NPR - filled wiith lots of leftist dual citizens and NeoCons.

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 22:12 | 4588526 Independent
Independent's picture

Right on the money even PBS, I was watching news hour and was like what is with all the dual citizens on here as guests day in and day out, and what is it with Judy Woodruff that lady is about to keel over, hasnt she made enough money, she can retire, lets get a younger person in there that can ask some provocative questions

PBS is toeing the main govt line as much as the big media.  Bunch of sellouts

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 18:08 | 4587512 kchrisc
kchrisc's picture

Any one that has lived or spent some time in Germany will laugh at the use of "solar" and "Germany" in the same sentence or even paragraph.

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 18:13 | 4587535 eurogold
eurogold's picture

Really ? You seem to know about energy politics in Germany. Tell me how it is that Germany produces 25% more energy than it uses? Germany then sells this energy to it's neighbors. This pisses them off as it is cheaper than the energy they themselves produce. F.Y.

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 18:19 | 4587579 sessinpo
sessinpo's picture

eurogold   Tell me how it is that Germany produces 25% more energy than it uses? Germany then sells this energy to it's neighbors.


Get in line. Many countries actually produce enough energy for their own needs, yet they export that oil in the international market to get higher prices, thus the domestic prices seems higher then it should be. And it always pisses off the domestic population.


Mon, 03/24/2014 - 18:27 | 4587623 eurogold
eurogold's picture

I really am not here to argue. I am just amazed by the expert knowledge of some posters who think the E.U. is in some way dependent upon Russia for energy. This is not the case - sorry

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 18:34 | 4587652 Matt
Matt's picture

Where do they get their oil, gas, nuclear fuel, rare earths from? If they do not produce all of it themselves, they are to some extent dependent on someone else.

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 18:37 | 4587670 sessinpo
sessinpo's picture

eurogold   I really am not here to argue. I am just amazed by the expert knowledge of some posters who think the E.U. is in some way dependent upon Russia for energy.


Yet, you are here to debate. Which is why you are responded to by facts that you can't seem to refute.

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 18:28 | 4587631 kchrisc
kchrisc's picture

Whoa dude!

Having lived in Germany and experienced the shitty weather, I was just poking fun at the idea of "solar" there. We used to count the days without sun. The record was 47. 47 days without sun!

I was making no statement on German politics or energy "policy."

And, despite the weather, Germany and the Germans are wonderful.

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 19:11 | 4587803 eurogold
eurogold's picture

Please excuse Me for appearing perhaps brusque towards you. All I wanted to say is that Germany (the Country I know best in Europe) is well situated and structured Energy-wise. Germany has many energy sources to draw from, and not in any way dependent upon Russia for their energy needs. Hope this clears things up.

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 18:43 | 4587694 css1971
css1971's picture

1. German electricity is 4 times more expensive than Russian gas.

2. Electricity is produced from a fuel. Gas is a fuel. German electricity is produced from Russian Gas, as well as coal with supplements from wind and solar.

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 19:15 | 4587818 eurogold
eurogold's picture

Yes, energy costs here are higher, as are all costs compared to the U.S.. I drive a BMW with a V-8 and pay 8 $ dollares a gallon so believe Me when I say Europe is expensive. Yet, Europe is actually doing better than what is reported in the U.S Media. Europe is prepared for anything Putin throws at us.

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 19:35 | 4587898 Osmium
Osmium's picture

Just curious where in the EU you purchase gas in gallons, or did you convert it from litres for us?

Tue, 03/25/2014 - 02:46 | 4589057 StychoKiller
StychoKiller's picture

The Internet water army is not infallible!

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 19:51 | 4587968 Volkodav
Volkodav's picture

So Germany mines a lot of coal, then convert to electric...?

And buy (nothing produced here) a lot of gas from Russia to convert to electric some and resell some?

How any think this means surplus of energy production?

Fact is Germans produce (make) auto and sell (exchange) to best customer Russians...who car a lot now..

produce is make something

produce like in livestock raising, garden, fruit

produce music, art

coal or gas to elect is conversion process and is net energy loss


Mon, 03/24/2014 - 19:24 | 4587862 Volkodav
Volkodav's picture

produces or converts? just what exactly is beginning source of this vaunted German energy you speak of come from?

I never heard this before and right now too lazey now to research..


Mon, 03/24/2014 - 18:13 | 4587536 john39
john39's picture

yeah, I agree.  just think its rather entertaining how they paint the utopian new world order as a green paradise with equality for all (TM); mandated by the state of course....    in other words, you will be green and like it, even if you freeze to death or pay 1000% higher energy costs.... 

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 18:35 | 4587658 Matt
Matt's picture

If there was no state, you would either have to pay real market prices for energy, or freeze to death. Not so different, really.

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 19:19 | 4587841 Volkodav
Volkodav's picture

yeh...not much Germans complain of global warming

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 19:18 | 4587831 Volkodav
Volkodav's picture

Germany is not sunniest place in world by long shot..nor windy either


Mon, 03/24/2014 - 19:31 | 4587884 eurogold
eurogold's picture

And yet Germany has developed the greatest technological efforts to harness wind and solar power of any developed Country. Due to these efforts Germany has evolved into an example for other Countries, and now exports it's excess energy (25%) . Despite the fact that it is not a sunny or windy Country. How can anyone fault this ?

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 20:05 | 4588031 Volkodav
Volkodav's picture

No problem that Germany is most productive..

But what percentage of German elect is actually from solar?


Tue, 03/25/2014 - 08:37 | 4589446 Wolferl
Wolferl's picture

More than 100% of Germany´s demand gets produced by wind and solar on some sunny and windy days.

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 20:04 | 4588027 eurogold
eurogold's picture

+1000 so true !

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 17:57 | 4587457 Loucleve
Loucleve's picture

I believe the whole point is, nat gas from qatar, through syria, through turkey, to europe.

thats is why destabilization of syria.

but i dont have a map handy, so i am not +.  sounds right though.  definitely qatari nat gas to europe is the end game, route questionable.

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 18:24 | 4587602 sessinpo
sessinpo's picture

Loucleve    I believe the whole point is, nat gas from qatar, through syria, through turkey, to europe.

thats is why destabilization of syria.

but i dont have a map handy, so i am not +.  sounds right though.  definitely qatari nat gas to europe is the end game, route questionable.


You're joking right? Qatar has less natural gas then Russia and is further away from Europe then Russia.

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 18:37 | 4587671 Matt
Matt's picture

First, no it is not a joke, look it up.

Second, where do you think that natural gas from Russia is coming from, the Moscow sewers? Just because the borders are so close, does not mean the total distance the resources travel is short. Russia is huge.

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 20:18 | 4588094 Volkodav
Volkodav's picture

Look map. Quatar to Europe is how will ever be stable secure route?

Russia is secure, except for Ukraine screwing around...and Nord and South largely avoid that...

Eurokraines can mess with some countries supply, which is likely to backfire against them several ways.

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 21:24 | 4588318 Matt
Matt's picture

That sounds kind of racist. Are you saying Arabs are incapable of ever having stable governments and secure nations, but Eastern Europe is totally safe and secure?

Tue, 03/25/2014 - 18:37 | 4592015 victor82
victor82's picture

You're kidding, right?

What's going on in the Don Bend is the Periclean Age compared to the usual goings on in the Arab League states.

Tue, 03/25/2014 - 07:26 | 4589283 the tower
the tower's picture

Who needs pipelines anymore? Liquified gas transported by ship is where it's going.

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 18:17 | 4587572 eurogold
eurogold's picture

It's happening already. I don't know why anyone is worrying about it.

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 18:37 | 4587669 css1971
css1971's picture

1. Europe is not a country. It is a collection of somewhat independent states.

2. Yes, the "project" is already underway in Germany at least, with research funding for passive houses, heat pumps, solar, wind etc. buit there is 100 years of housing stock which is built to historical standards and would have to be rebuilt or retrofitted. The timescale is decades and the capital costs are large.

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 19:37 | 4587906 eurogold
eurogold's picture

My family has a house in Germany that is over 450 years old and is still lived in. Why? because it has been renovated over and over again to the most modern standards. Yes one can preserve / retrofit well built houses.  Heat pumps, solar etc. are technologies which are actively implimented. Is that wrong ?

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 19:51 | 4587966 TheReplacement
TheReplacement's picture

Is possible.  Guts?  To be seen.  The real question is, can they do it fast enough?  Spidey-sense says nyet.

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 17:35 | 4587342 TideFighter
TideFighter's picture

Opulence, I haz it. Gaz, I haz it. I jump in it, bitchez (kisses miniature giraffe). 

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 17:51 | 4587438 sessinpo
sessinpo's picture

Zymurguy   Crimea must be worth about, what... 11B?  So we call it even eh, Comrade?


Compared to a bankrupt Ukraine that owes billions to Russia and China? And now Ukraine is dependent on begging for aid. Obummer is willing to give a mere $1 billion so far.


Meanwhile, Putin has embarrased the US and Europe (NATO). Putin has gained a stronger foothold to the Black Sea. That's means stronger influence in nations surrounding the Black Sea such as Turkey, Romania, Georgia, Bulgaria, Moldova, and of course the rest of Ukraine.

The countries of Romainia, Moldova and Bulgaria are doorways to Europe. In Chess, pieces are taking one move at a time.

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 18:54 | 4587743 Poundsand
Poundsand's picture

That's the beauty of what the Russians just pulled off.  They got the Crimea for FREE!  The new Ukraine government now is stuck with the least valuable parts, but still owe's Russia the cash as well.  Sure, Ukraine still gets to charge for the passage of that gas, but if they raise it, their new European masters will get pissed.

Let's sumarize:

1. Russia just got the Crimea without really firing a shot. (win)

2. Russia doesn't have to pay rent for their new base on the Black Sea. (win)

3. Russia will make the West pay for the money Ukraine currently owes them or they shut off the gas.  (win as Ukraine never would have paid on their own)

4. Russia can raise the price of the nat gas up to real market levels and basically starve what's left of the economy of the Ukraine and who will pay?  The West.  (win)

5. Bulgaria et al will watch what happens as the western bankers inslave the Ukrainians with debt (to pay for the gas) while at the same time their quality of life goes down as their economy shrivels.  (win on the propaganda front)

Now the real question.  Is this the flexibility that Obama was talking about before the election?  Did Obama just give Russia Eastern Europe on a platter?  What other flexibility do you think Obama had in mind?

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 20:04 | 4588024 TheReplacement
TheReplacement's picture

All seem correct except for the last.  Just how great is the quality of live in Ukraine?  Was it so great that thousands of people, including old and young, men and women, turned out to throw out the old boss out?

These little countries like Ukraine that are stuck between east and west are really hosed.  If they go east they get a Yankabitch style kleptocrat.  If they go west they get IMF'ed.

The best option for them would be to just write off the debt and be completely independent, if terribly poor.  Of course they will need to find a source of fuel but that is a price one might have to pay to be free.  Since Russia was able to arbitrarily cancel the Crimea base deal then Ukraine can cancel the deal that allows Russia to send fuel through Ukraine and charge more for access.  Both Russia and Europe would either have to invade or pay.  Screw 'em both.

While they are at it, they should charge Putin with theft.  He has taken Ukrainian ships and other military equipment.  Place charges against him so as to make him not able to travel outside his own sphere of influence without facing arrest and trial. A gold backed currency would be great but who knows if they still have any gold?


Tue, 03/25/2014 - 02:55 | 4589066 StychoKiller
StychoKiller's picture

What good is a corsair to Ukraine if there's no access to the black sea?  Russia is STILL dealing from a position of strength, even if they simply lop off some of the debt Ukraine owes them in exchange for the obsolete ships.

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 20:08 | 4588043 eurogold
eurogold's picture

Way to go ! poundsand ! There is intelligent life on ZH !

Tue, 03/25/2014 - 18:41 | 4592032 victor82
victor82's picture

Watching one of Obama's foreign policy mouthpieces go on Jon Stewart and explain how Putin had lost this because no one would trust him anymore was the most entertaining thing to watch on TV in years.

Awful. Absolutely awful!

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 17:29 | 4587311 Stoploss
Stoploss's picture


Mon, 03/24/2014 - 17:29 | 4587312 eurogold
eurogold's picture

Good ! They should turn off the Gas to the E.U.

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 17:30 | 4587317 eurogold
eurogold's picture

Russia might be surprised to find out how little Russian Gas the E.U. needs from them.

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 17:34 | 4587334 taraxias
taraxias's picture

So would you it looks like.

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 17:38 | 4587363 Lore
Lore's picture

@ eurogold: Are you just being glib, or are you cornucopian?

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 17:44 | 4587387 eurogold
eurogold's picture

Actually I live, earn my living, and pay my bills in the E.U. but I disagree with the current U.S./E.U. posturing, which...... let's be honest will accomplish nothing.

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 17:54 | 4587448 sessinpo
sessinpo's picture

eurogold     Actually I live, earn my living, and pay my bills in the E.U. but I disagree with the current U.S./E.U. posturing, which...... let's be honest will accomplish nothing.


 let's be honest will accomplish nothing."

So will misunderstanding the implications of Europe's dependency on Russian energy.

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 18:29 | 4587640 eurogold
eurogold's picture

Surprise ! E.U. is not dependent upon Russian Gas + Oil. Nice try !

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 18:43 | 4587691 sessinpo
sessinpo's picture

eurogold   Surprise ! E.U. is not dependent upon Russian Gas + Oil. Nice try !


Yet you have been presented by fact you have yet to refute other then your own local personal experience.

Russia is the largest exporter of energy to Europe.

The largest importers of Russian gas in the European Union are Germany and Italy, accounting together for almost half of the EU gas imports from Russia.

Other larger Russian gas importers (over 5 billion cubic meter per year) in the European Union are France, Hungary, Czech Republic, Poland, Austria and Slovakia. The largest non-EU importers of Russian natural gas are Ukraine, Turkey and Belarus.

Note the country Ukraine in that last paragraph!

Now allow me to return your snarky attitude. Nice Try!

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 19:42 | 4587927 eurogold
eurogold's picture

Thanks for your insight. I never meant to be "snarky". I am well aware of the only bargaining chip of the UKRAINE Being the pipelines running through it. If it gets "hairy" then the E.U. has other options. Thats all I am saying

Tue, 03/25/2014 - 17:53 | 4591892 Lore
Lore's picture

Those options won't roll out overnight.

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 17:57 | 4587458 ebworthen
ebworthen's picture

Not in March so much; how about next Winter?

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 18:07 | 4587510 eurogold
eurogold's picture

Maybe, lets see what happens

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 18:00 | 4587475 eurogold
eurogold's picture


There are alternatives for the E.U. to Russian Gas and Oil imports. Let's let Russia sell to China. What's stopping them ? Maybe an infrustructure ? Good luck Russia building one over the next few years

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 18:05 | 4587502 css1971
css1971's picture

So, you gonna come pay my gas bill, or retrofit some alternative central heating system to my house for me?

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 18:08 | 4587513 eurogold
eurogold's picture

Where do you live ? Maybe I will.

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 22:24 | 4588589 Volkodav
Volkodav's picture

Get a woodstove...

central heat sucks

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 18:12 | 4587532 Freddie
Freddie's picture

Russia did not start this. The EU and USSA did.  Remember the "F the EU!" from NeoCon Victoria Nudelman?   Europeans should be furious and complaining to their politicians but Brussels doesn;t give a shit what you think.

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 20:12 | 4587935 eurogold
eurogold's picture

Freddie ! You are totally right ! Keep Rock'in Bud ! Europe has to project solidarity with the U.S. (even though this "act " is just that) - appeasement to look good. Everyone in Europe knows the score and is pissed off about it.

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 17:31 | 4587320 WMM II
WMM II's picture

"NOTE: In 2010, Russia agreed to sell natgas at discount in exchange for extending lease to Black Sea naval port of Sevastopol in Crimea to 2042 from 2017"


looks like a good reason to have invaded crimea.




Mon, 03/24/2014 - 18:38 | 4587432 eurogold
eurogold's picture

Russia recognized the  romance of the Ukraine towards the EU / Nato( aswell as  the U.S. funded overthrow of the legit Ukraine Government ) so now everyone acts surprised that Russia pre-empted this "Theatre" by taking Crimea ? Please ..........

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 21:27 | 4588329 WMM II
WMM II's picture

no...not are accurate...i'm just suggesting that there are more than one reason for putin to rationalize (or even 'calculate') that then was the time to take crimea. he must, however, be a tad tired of gettin as new russian citizens those ex-crook elected president kings who then gifted out their people's treasury, ... and wait until ol' syria mass murdering 'god'-man hisself flees to the safety of mother russia.




Mon, 03/24/2014 - 18:14 | 4587542 Freddie
Freddie's picture

I think there is supposedly nat gas and maybe oil in the Black Sea off Crimea as well.  Chevron wanted it.

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 17:33 | 4587324 ronron
ronron's picture

rooke takes marble.

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 17:42 | 4587389 johnQpublic
johnQpublic's picture




Mon, 03/24/2014 - 17:55 | 4587453 sessinpo
sessinpo's picture

ronron     rooke takes marble.


You give Obama to much credit. Right now Putin is using Pawns to corner the King Obama.

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 17:33 | 4587325 taraxias
taraxias's picture

Now, if they would only ask to be paid in can always hope.

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 17:36 | 4587352 Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

I suspect that would be like trying to collect the payment for a water bill from a Detroit resident.

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 18:32 | 4587648 eurogold
eurogold's picture

I am with I too stack on !

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 18:47 | 4587711 Kirk2NCC1701
Kirk2NCC1701's picture

As long as you make it COD.  Or GOD (Gold On Delivery), in this case.

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 17:33 | 4587329 Atomizer
Atomizer's picture

Force Majeure bitchez.

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 17:35 | 4587341 Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

Did you ever get the feeling that WWWIII is well underway in every way except for the shooting?

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 17:43 | 4587392 johnQpublic
johnQpublic's picture

has been for years

i put the start back about 1990

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 18:33 | 4587651 eurogold
eurogold's picture

Who needs shooting when one has other options ? like U.S Treasuries to dump, etc.

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 18:48 | 4587718 Matt
Matt's picture

Don't worry, Belgium seems capable of purchasing all US Treasuries as fast as they can be sold to them.

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 19:47 | 4587951 eurogold
eurogold's picture

Belgium is a joke acting as a "strawman" for someone else doing the buying.

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 19:36 | 4587904 RaceToTheBottom
RaceToTheBottom's picture

Or Phone calls to publicize

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 18:45 | 4587705 waterwitch
waterwitch's picture

like on the nightly news?

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 17:37 | 4587360 Al Huxley
Al Huxley's picture

It's probably the weather, or some new magic energy supply coming online that the MSM will inform us about shortly in the event anybody in Europe starts complaining.

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 17:47 | 4587415 trader1
trader1's picture

that or the IMF will start getting to work very soon. 

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 18:15 | 4587551 Karl von Bahnhof
Karl von Bahnhof's picture

Well, bcause the fuckerz diverted all the arctic cold air via HAARP to north murica.
1. Fill the pockets
2. Keep the shale ponzi run
3. Fleece the sheeple
4. Show gayropeans their POOWWWR
5. Cut russian income
6. Heat the Putins lympiade success to ski on water ( didnt work)

Now is the rooski turn. Beware next winter. They have this tools also ( they invented it)

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 18:37 | 4587673 eurogold
eurogold's picture

The "magic " energy supply is inplace already. Who cares about the weather ? In Europe we laugh at the nieve idea of others about our energy supply. The reality is that the E.U. will be just fine. E.U. is well prepared.

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 17:43 | 4587390 Wile-E-Coyote
Wile-E-Coyote's picture

BS the weather has been really mild here in Europe, 4% in nothing.

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 17:48 | 4587427 trader1
trader1's picture

yep, it was like early summer in many parts of western europe last week.  

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 18:02 | 4587473 Volkodav
Volkodav's picture

dup  Volga region is very mild...usually navigated rivers bombed in May to get ice moving..looks might be near month earlier this year

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 18:03 | 4587492 css1971
css1971's picture

Just now the your national reserves should be getting refilled for next year.


Mon, 03/24/2014 - 18:24 | 4587603 Karl von Bahnhof
Karl von Bahnhof's picture

Mild? This was year without winter! No snow here. Sun shining all jan - feb- mar.
10 fcking celsius where used to be -5 to 0 from xmas to march ( middle middle gayrope)

This isuz crayzeee. Di deutsche sayz Nicht Normal!

Climatic war in full swing!

I am only afraid of climacteric war, b cause I heard murica is now deeply in love with this new young smart and strong guy russlan and olde post-climatocteric brutannia is veeeery envy!
She even sacked his old fucki-friend boy Izreal.

Damn the times!

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 17:44 | 4587394 sixsigma cygnus...
sixsigma cygnusatratus's picture

Reminiscent of a 70s style OPEC embargo...didn't work out so well for either side.

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 17:50 | 4587434 PLira
PLira's picture


Russia's economy is currently thought to be in a recession and according to some, these sanctions will probably cement that recession to a deeper level. Russia has many social problems as well.

They need to sell gas and oil to prop up the economy. If they raise the prices prohibitively, less income will increase the effects of the recession.

All in all, lose-lose for all involved.

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 18:09 | 4587517 Karl von Bahnhof
Karl von Bahnhof's picture

Social problems? You mean like crashing cities? Or 150 trillions of unfounded liabilities?
I guess they are scared!

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 18:57 | 4587759 Lux Fiat
Lux Fiat's picture

They need to sell gas and oil to prop up the economy.

I have wondered if oil prices are going to move down a lot more.  It would certainly put a dent in Russia's pocketbook.

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 17:44 | 4587397 Aussie V
Aussie V's picture

Norway has heaps of oil maybe gas as well?? I'm not sure about the gas.

This has all the hallmarks of a situation that will quickly get out of control. As long as the tentacles of the squid are active there will be trouble!

One wonders though if the imbeciles in charge have the intelligence to control the reactions??

Spain, Egypt, Somalia, Ukraine, Libya, Syria, Greece, Iraq, Italy, are either already burning or, tinderboxes.

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 18:15 | 4587547 kchrisc
kchrisc's picture

DC US invasion of Norway in 3...2...

"It was reported today that the missing WMDs from Iraq are in Norway. Obama as brought Colin Powell out of retirement and is sending him to the UN with the same props as in 2003..."

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 18:26 | 4587619 CrashisOptimistic
CrashisOptimistic's picture

Norway's oil production is in terminal decline.  Peaked at about 3 million bpd about 2001 and is now under 2 million bpd.

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 18:44 | 4587700 eurogold
eurogold's picture

So true ! In 5 Years they will nolonger be an energy player. Norway is in decline. Then they will then beg to become part of the E.U.

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 21:30 | 4588340 Kirk2NCC1701
Kirk2NCC1701's picture

Ah, but they were smart... they foresaw all this and invested their fiat into other forms of fiat: stocks and Funds.

;-)  ;-)

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 17:47 | 4587412 Cornholiovanderbilt
Cornholiovanderbilt's picture

They are putting a lot of stock in the chinese willingness and ability to'buy' ruskie gas. 

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 17:54 | 4587451 ebworthen
ebworthen's picture

Why would they want to provide diesel that fuels tanks and APC's or the heat for the neo-Nazi putsch?

Payback's a bitch.


Mon, 03/24/2014 - 17:55 | 4587454 mendolover
mendolover's picture

Look at lil' Ireland!  They're adorable!

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 17:59 | 4587469 besnook
besnook's picture

i think putin is smart enough to know he needs to encourage eu citizens to side with russia over ukraine. i don't think he would intentionally create the scenario that would give eu citizens reason to divert their opposition to the eu into opposition for russia. he would likely do a chavez thing and supply free gas to starving freezing europeeps suffering under austerity for the people and not the banks and .gov euro programs.

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 18:48 | 4587715 eurogold
eurogold's picture

The miscalculation on the part of Putin is that he thinks the E.U.  is dependent upon his Gas. This is just not true. The E.U. has prepared to remain as independent as possible ( with many options ).

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 19:19 | 4587838 EconomicGenocide
EconomicGenocide's picture

Yeah right!!! I suppose Germany could crank up the ovens that were used in 1940. Hopefully they go with the same fuel source!!

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 19:54 | 4587980 eurogold
eurogold's picture

I think you have a problem with yourself. Please inform yourself better about the state of energy policy in Germany before you try to sabotage this thread into something anti-semetic. You are pathetic !

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 17:59 | 4587474 Z_End
Z_End's picture

"And so it begins..."

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!