Russia's New Weapons: Passports And Pipelines

Tyler Durden's picture




 

Submitted by Claude Salhani via OilPrice.com,

Following Russia’s annexation of Crimea and Sebastopol last month, Western leaders have been pondering how to get back at Moscow for its actions without starting a new world war. The situation is what the Brits may describe as a sticky wicket.  They want to get back at Russian President Vladimir Putin but at the same time they don’t want to upset him too much seeing that he controls much of the oil and natural gas that flows to Eastern and Western Europe via a number of pipelines.

The options available to punish Russia for its actions are really quite limited when you think about it. Direct militarily action is –thankfully-- out of the question and while economic sanctions will bother the Russians it is not going to bring about a change of mind, a change of heart or a change of policy any time soon.

A few Congressional leaders on Capitol Hill have suggested to start tapping into the US strategic oil reserves and help bail out a number of European countries that remain heavily dependent on Russia –such as Ukraine-- for much of their oil and/or natural gas.

While some of the petrochemical products needed to warm homes and businesses in Europe originate in Russia, much of the rest that originates in Central Asia and the Caspian region transit via pipelines in Russia and Ukraine as they make their way to markets in Western and Eastern Europe.

No doubt much of what Western leaders have suggested either publicly or privately is filled with good intentions, such as releasing some of the federal strategic reserves. That however remains highly unrealistic as it would take at least three to four years to transport enough energy needed to sustain Europe’s needs, by which time much of northern Europe would have frozen to death.

So what is the answer?  Where lies the solution? For the moment nobody really seems to have an answer, let alone the correct answer. Which of course gives Russia the advantage as for the moment Moscow holds all the cards and it knows this full well.

Indeed, it will take several years for Western nations and NATO to re-organize and adapt to the new threats posed by Russia’s new foreign policy. Since the end of World War II and into the Cold War that followed, until the fall of the Berlin Wall the North Atlantic Alliance had trained to counter an enemy in a conventional war in Europe. Today’s political reality offers a very different picture, and one where NATO is ill-prepared to deal with.

President Putin now has two new weapons which in some ways frightens some of the old Soviet republics and the Europeans even more than conventional and nuclear weapons: One of Putin’s new weapon is nothing more than a Russian passport which Moscow is so willingly delivering to those claiming Russian ancestry in the countries on Russia’s periphery.

Although it was not Russia that started the fight a few years ago, it was under the guise of coming to the rescue of ethnic Russians that Putin sent his troops into South Ossetia and Abkhazia, two break away republics in the former Soviet Republic of Georgia. And last month when the Russian president sent his forces into Crimea, It was again to protect the rights of Russian citizens living in that province.

And more recently there have been several reports that Russian consulates have been issuing hundreds of passports to Armenians living in Georgia.

Putin’s other weapon of course is his control over the flow of oil and gas.

Very likely it will be a number of years before any concrete action can be organized in such a manner that would force Moscow to reconsider its new policy. In the meantime however that will give Putin the time he needs to implement some of his new policies. Particularly as he holds onto the quasi monopoly on much of the natural gas deliveries to the West during which time the most damage that can be afflicted on Russia and President Putin’s new policies will be highly symbolic more than anything else.

Try as they may the best that Western leaders may end up resorting to this: imposing sanctions that would have little no effect on Russia. At the end of the day the West may have to content itself to such symbolic gestures such as the closing of McDonald’s restaurants in Crimea. Now that will really get Putin to reconsider.

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Wed, 04/09/2014 - 17:18 | 4640881 buzzsaw99
buzzsaw99's picture

vlad better watch his back is all i can say. those joo bankers are pure evil.

Wed, 04/09/2014 - 17:20 | 4640889 RaiZH
RaiZH's picture

I too fear Vlad will end up on the wrong end of a nail gun... somehow. 

Wed, 04/09/2014 - 17:33 | 4640933 813kml
813kml's picture

Too true, I hope he gets a popemobile soon.

Wed, 04/09/2014 - 23:06 | 4641960 zerozulu
zerozulu's picture

I fear Vlad may not turn out to be Hitler II

Thu, 04/10/2014 - 03:04 | 4642290 jeff montanye
jeff montanye's picture

he doesn't seem suicidal.

Wed, 04/09/2014 - 21:17 | 4641615 Tulpa
Tulpa's picture

Fear?  Your pal "Vlad" is a disgusting authoritarian of the worst sort.  I'd be celebrating.

Thu, 04/10/2014 - 03:24 | 4642306 jeff montanye
jeff montanye's picture

imo there is something about "vlad" that makes it hard to envision him as one's "pal".

however, as i understand it, that was the secret to the rise to power of both george w. bush and barack obama (if, by "pal", one includes "boyfriend", broadly defined).

Wed, 04/09/2014 - 17:22 | 4640894 VD
VD's picture

u really want to get banned for bigotry buzzsaw99 ¿¿¿

Thu, 04/10/2014 - 02:55 | 4642283 The_Prisoner
The_Prisoner's picture

Have you got sand in your vagina?

Speaking of sand, your tribe's own historian Schlomo Sand proven there is not such thing as a Jewish race.

"When one looks at Jewish history, though, the whole picture becomes quite muddled. It appears that, contrary to popular belief (even among Jews), Judaism was for many hundreds of years a very actively proselytizing religion, and a very successful one at that. It has been known for some years that we Ashkenazim (the Yiddish speaking people) are the descendants not of the Hebrews but of the citizens of the Khazarian Empire, which was converted to Judaism back in the 8th Century AD. And due to the efforts of an Israeli historian by the name of Shlomo Sand we discover that many of the Sephardim (from Spain and Portugal) and most of the Mizrahim (Middle Eastern and Asian Jews, mostly North African) are descended from Berber people who were converted by a warrior Queen."

http://vineyardsaker.blogspot.in/2008/12/saker-interviews-roger-tucker-author-of.html

So ban that, cunt.

Wed, 04/09/2014 - 17:33 | 4640934 Snidley Whipsnae
Snidley Whipsnae's picture

Putin has one weakness that could be exploited now but it would require bloodshed.

If Western NGOs and Ukranian thugs began killing Russians living in the Ukraine and it made the press big time. 

Putin has stated that he will only invade to protect Russians living in the Ukraine. He doesn't want to invade but he could be forced to with enough violence against Ukranian Russians. Putin is polling very high at home and doesn't want to lose the backing of Russians living in Russia...and, he has his tough guy image to think about.

Of course this is a rotten thing to do by US NGOs, Eastern Ukranian thugs or anyone but it's a possibility.

It could also backfire very big...and given recent history of US strategy... well.

Personally, I hope no one gets hurt. It's time to leave the bear alone...and time to retire some neo cons.

Wed, 04/09/2014 - 18:06 | 4641027 Uncle Remus
Uncle Remus's picture

.

this is a rotten thing to do

That's not been a hinderance here of late.

Wed, 04/09/2014 - 18:15 | 4641056 logicalman
logicalman's picture

Seems to make it more likely, not less, given the record of US.

 

Wed, 04/09/2014 - 18:16 | 4641045 socalbeach
socalbeach's picture

The neo-cons or whatever you want to call them aren't going to give up. They'll try something else I can guarantee it.

.

LISTEN: In Private Speech, Dick Cheney Talks Bombing Iran and GOP Donors Applaud

"What do former Vice President Dick Cheney, billionaire megadonor Sheldon Adelson, and Republican activists and funders talk about—and applaud—when they're behind closed doors at a Las Vegas hotel? Bombing Iran.

This past weekend, the Republican Jewish Coalition held its spring leadership meeting at Adelson's Venetian hotel, where several possible 2016 contenders, including ex-Gov. Jeb Bush and current Govs. Chris Christie, Scott Walker, and John Kasich, showed up to kiss the ring of the casino magnate, who's looking to bankroll a viable Republican presidential candidate... But Mother Jones has obtained a recording of Cheney's talk, during which he once again derided President Barack Obama on foreign policy, blasted the isolationists within his own party, assailed critics of the National Security Agency, and seemingly endorsed the idea of an Israeli strike against Iran..."

Wed, 04/09/2014 - 17:44 | 4640964 Iocosus
Iocosus's picture

What makes you think this isn't pure theater for the undiscerning masses?

Both villains receive wire transfers from the same bank account.

Wed, 04/09/2014 - 18:15 | 4641055 Uncle Remus
Uncle Remus's picture

No doubt he is on the short list, with extreme prejudice and all that.

Wed, 04/09/2014 - 19:04 | 4641190 CH1
CH1's picture

those joo bankers are pure evil.

If I haven't told you recently, go fuck yourself.

Thu, 04/10/2014 - 00:02 | 4642111 angel_of_joy
angel_of_joy's picture

How many KGB bosses that have been assasinated do you know ?

It's worse that trying to assasinate the top CIA director...

Wed, 04/09/2014 - 17:20 | 4640886 jefferson32
jefferson32's picture

Can I mix in the fray to get a russian passport too?

Wed, 04/09/2014 - 17:22 | 4640888 Soul Glow
Soul Glow's picture

LOOOOOUUUUUUD NOISES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Brick Tamland playing a US Congressman -

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7pdWAcK6Eh8

Wed, 04/09/2014 - 17:20 | 4640891 yogibear
yogibear's picture

Russia,

Just demand payment of natural gas by Europe in gold. Watch how fast it would make the Federal Reserve spin when it has to immediately give Germany's gold back and blow up it's naked gold shorts. 

Wed, 04/09/2014 - 17:30 | 4640919 Soul Glow
Soul Glow's picture

Has to give Germany its gold back?  Yellen will just write them a check payable to "Fuck the EU".

Wed, 04/09/2014 - 17:57 | 4640994 Urban Redneck
Urban Redneck's picture

Not likely, Yellen is more likely to write a check payable to "Fuck the US (Debt Serfs)" as the farce must be maintained at all costs, if FRBNY doesn't have States' gold, the USD dollar is dead, and imported goods in the US will experience hyperinflation.

Wed, 04/09/2014 - 19:33 | 4641257 zorba THE GREEK
zorba THE GREEK's picture

Yogi...I think you are on to something. Somebody send Vlad a tweet..asap.

Wed, 04/09/2014 - 17:22 | 4640896 Billy Sol Estes
Billy Sol Estes's picture

Or win the World Cup. We all know losing in soccer is every red blooded american's achilies heel.

Thu, 04/10/2014 - 08:00 | 4642544 shovelhead
shovelhead's picture

Soccers a girls game around these parts.

Wed, 04/09/2014 - 17:27 | 4640910 wmbz
wmbz's picture

I think Vlad is playing his hand very well. He/they have been working on this for a long time. The set up is as good as gets for his moves. The USA is on the downslope. It is governed by a weak selfsevering hate America crowd. Obozo is the perfect spineless whimp to slap around. Time will tell, but I see this time as very big tipping point.

Wed, 04/09/2014 - 17:35 | 4640931 Ifigenia
Ifigenia's picture

"Johannes Kerry, minister rebus exteris Civitatum Americae Unitarum, aperte collegae suo Russo Sergio Lavrov dixit, non sine effectu Russiam discordiam adaucturam esse; interea Donescae, in urbe Ucrainae orientalis, iam tres victimae in dimicationibus oppositarum partium computantur."

 

In this news, we see that Kerry had pressed Sergio for a russian passport, because Johannes want to be a dual citizen.

Nullan already has a russian passport and she planned to sell cookies in Red Square.

 

Those damned 1% of America are emigrating to Russia, just like the rats abandoning ship.

Wed, 04/09/2014 - 17:44 | 4640965 nortie
nortie's picture

Laudetur Ifigenia.

Wed, 04/09/2014 - 17:51 | 4640982 NOTaREALmerican
NOTaREALmerican's picture

Re:  Those damned 1%

That's 3 mil people.   Snowdon's gonna have to put some cots in the living room.

Wed, 04/09/2014 - 18:03 | 4641015 Ifigenia
Ifigenia's picture

Those 1%, 3 mil., could apply for Birobidzhan residence.

Wed, 04/09/2014 - 17:35 | 4640941 KarlGDenninger
KarlGDenninger's picture

. Back during the finicial crisis of 2007 I was one of the top men on walstreet. After losing everything and pretty much almost killing myself an angel of god appeared to me his name was biff. He instructed me to preach the word of god and he gave me 19 scrolls which would predict the course of the future in the next 248 months. we have now been to scroll 13. Biff reappeared to me in 2011 and instructed me to dig a whole to the center of the earth. My fellowship was non existent at the time but we are growing now to the strength of almost 20. We have acquired several large diggers last fall and began operations. After some legal issues, we proceeded and now we have hit the 500ft depth. The city, which Biff has instructed me to call Jericho will be fully operation before 2017. At that time I shall open the 19th scroll and end shall come and it will come from Russian hands. Salvation lies within....I must save as many people as i can. Follow Jesus and I as we create a new Zion.

Wed, 04/09/2014 - 17:44 | 4640963 McMolotov
McMolotov's picture

Did Angel Biff keep saying, "What are you looking at, butt-head?"

Wed, 04/09/2014 - 18:46 | 4641136 RafterManFMJ
RafterManFMJ's picture

Naw he said, "Let's make like a tree and get the flock out of here."

Wed, 04/09/2014 - 17:49 | 4640976 NOTaREALmerican
NOTaREALmerican's picture

If the scrolls aren't invisible I don't believe you!  

Wed, 04/09/2014 - 18:10 | 4641040 Uncle Remus
Uncle Remus's picture

[sound of respirator]

biff, I am your father.

[sound of respirator]

[sound of bif denial]

[sound of music]

[roll credits]

Wed, 04/09/2014 - 17:59 | 4640942 socalbeach
socalbeach's picture

Even the McDonald's exit from Crimea will be nullified.

.

Fast move: Burger King to enter Crimea after McDonald’s quit

Wed, 04/09/2014 - 17:38 | 4640950 Debugas
Debugas's picture

i see one big difference

Putin does not hate ukranians

new ukrainian leadership hates russians

Wed, 04/09/2014 - 17:39 | 4640956 socalbeach
socalbeach's picture

Correct answer to the questions posed in this article: Do nothing in this instance, and stop supporting the overthrow of elected governments, especially those on the other side of the world.

"The options available to punish Russia for its actions are really quite limited... So what is the answer?  Where lies the solution? For the moment nobody really seems to have an answer, let alone the correct answer..."

Wed, 04/09/2014 - 17:52 | 4640985 Ifigenia
Ifigenia's picture

Perhaps could send meretrix Vitoria Nulland to do some extra services for Vlad the impaler to calm him down. The romans said: Parva Leves capiunt animas

Wed, 04/09/2014 - 17:45 | 4640966 Ifigenia
Ifigenia's picture

John McCain got a Vietnamese passport for the services he did during the stay in Hanoi Hilton

Wed, 04/09/2014 - 17:57 | 4640996 All is chosen
All is chosen's picture

A passport? Just for McCain's Oven Ready Chips? - I thought they were a UK-only thing.

Wed, 04/09/2014 - 18:08 | 4641034 Ifigenia
Ifigenia's picture

Naturally, McCain also has a kind of O.B.E. from King Abdullah bin of Saudi Arabia.

Wed, 04/09/2014 - 18:12 | 4641046 Uncle Remus
Uncle Remus's picture

Old Bastard Entertainment?

[flaps T-Rex arms]

Wed, 04/09/2014 - 18:17 | 4641060 Ifigenia
Ifigenia's picture

Pentagon secret. They keep it with the tapes.

Wed, 04/09/2014 - 17:48 | 4640977 Joe A
Joe A's picture

You would think that leaders in the EU learned a lesson after the events of Georgia in 2008 and the gas shortages of 2009 when Ukraine did not receive gas from Russia and tapped off gas destined for Western Europe. You would think that the EU would develop alternatives. Well, they did but not fast and rigurous enough.

Wed, 04/09/2014 - 17:56 | 4640990 Ifigenia
Ifigenia's picture

The problem is not Europe, but USA and petrodollar. There is no problem for us to buy gas and oil from russiians. USA want us to use dollar, that is the real problem.

Thu, 04/10/2014 - 02:18 | 4642264 Joe A
Joe A's picture

That is right. The US dollar hegomony keeps the world from developing and using renewables and nuclear fusion. Meanhwile the plant goes bust.

Wed, 04/09/2014 - 17:57 | 4640987 Gaurden
Gaurden's picture

Im still not convinced that he is on the level. I hope he is, but lets face it, we are in the age of deception and lies and some of the lies are so epic, like 9/11 or even WW2, that this could be the mother of all set-ups.

Im not completely sure the "soviets" ever truely left Russia. I feel like they are still there plotting humanities demise in the background. 

I truely do hope the people of Russia have a leadership that really cares about the Russian people and have no hidden agenda. I think this world has had enough evil and the whole world is counting on this man to not betray them.

 

 

Wed, 04/09/2014 - 18:52 | 4641154 MoneyThimbles
MoneyThimbles's picture

WW2 was *staged*?

 

OMG!!!

 

Wed, 04/09/2014 - 20:45 | 4641512 logicalman
logicalman's picture

I think he meant 'based on lies'

@ Gaurden - correct me if I'm wrong. please.

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