Checkers Vs Chess: The Reason Europe Is Imploding On "Russian" Sanctions

Tyler Durden's picture

The West's leaders are full of lawyers, Putin is ex-KGB. If ever there was an example of him playing chess while the West plays checkers, the following chart is it. Despite Western protestations that its sanctions will hurt Russia more than Europe this morning, one look at Europe's huge net trade balance with Russia for food and it's clear who is really going to feel the pain. As Martin Armstrong noted previously, "Putin has responded to [Western] sanctions as any really smart chess-player would - you get the supporters of your adversary to jump-ship." What better way to crack the 'stop-Putin' alliance than to force Europe into trade deficits and squeeze their economies (especially Germany)?


Chart h/t S.M.

Source: Eurostat


Russia is by far Europe's largest net export partner for food.. and that highlighted column is about to disappear through Russian sanctions, likely pressing Europe into a trade deficit.

Chess vs Checkers indeed...

*  *  *

As an aside, it is not just Europe that Putin is pressuring, he is trying to turn US industry against President Obama also...

Following the sanctions against Dobrolet - the budget Russian airline - Putin has responded by making a 16-plane deal with Boeing for the airline.

Russian flag carrier Aeroflot's low-cost arm Dobrolet has signed a contract with America’s Boeing to deliver 16 new planes, despite suspending flights due to Western sanctions.


Beginning in 2017 the company will receive 16 Boeing 737-800 airliners, after a leasing deal for two similar aircraft fell through due to sanctions, Russian media reported Wednesday.


"From 2017 on there will be deliveries directly from the factory in Seattle. Yesterday we signed an agreement for the delivery of 16 new aircraft in 2017-2018 and paid a deposit," Dobrolet CEO Andrei Kalmykov said in an interview with


On August 3, Dobrolet announced it was suspending flights after it was sanctioned by the EU because it flew between Crimea and Russia.

Of course, we are sure Ex-Im Bank will also help - but wait until President Obama tries to stall Boeing from delivering...

*  *  *

Chess vs Checkers...

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cowdiddly's picture

And he has not even gotten around to the, how you guys gonna cook the food part.

knukles's picture

...ah, in exchange for gold or rubles....

nidaar's picture

"What better way to crack the 'stop-Putin' alliance than to force Europe into trade deficits and squeeze their economies (especially Germany)?"

Just wait for the winter EU, then you'll be squeezed by the balls...

Ignatius's picture

<---More Paul Craig Roberts

<---Less Martin Armstrong

Fight club.  Imagine we're in Lou's basement and this is a editorial meeting with Tyler.

Me, bleeding badly, "But Tyler, we really like ZH, man. We like this place."

ZerOhead's picture

I say "More of both"



Ignatius's picture

If by both you mean Martin can sniff Paul's ass to check the wind direction.

ZerOhead's picture

Martin launches more turds this way to be sure yet he still hits the occassional one out of the park.

I say "Send it ALL this way" and let 'Fight Club' separate the wheat from the chaff.

ZerOhead's picture

Plus eventually you would sorely miss the humorous and exfoliating retorts...

0b1knob's picture

"Putin has responded to [Western] sanctions as any really smart chess-player would - you get the supporters of your adversary to jump-ship."

Chess is a team sport?   A metaphor from somebody how probably can't play chess at all.

ZerOhead's picture

While everybody has their 'shorts in a bunch' with sanctions over the Russian annexation of Crimea and it's naval bases I read an article from 2013 that indicated BRITAIN of all countries was considering declaring the land around it's Trident sub bases in Scotland as...

Wait for it...

Sovereign British Territory in the event that the Scottish vote for independance succeeds.

You can't just make this shit up.


Elvis the Pelvis's picture

Putin's a pole-smoker.  He'll break and eventually cry like a girl.  Bitchez.

Latina Lover's picture

You must be confusing Barry Bath House Obama  with Putin.  Unlike the pervert in the WH who would rather suck Reggies Pole, Putin LOVES the challenge.

barre-de-rire's picture

elvis, putin is not the black playing golf, he is the other guy.... the white one

logicalman's picture

If the world we live in was presented as a work of fiction, nobody would take it seriously.

I try not to take the world seriously. When I do, I start to drink - then I don't take the world seriously.

Thank fuck for ethanol!


Two dogs's picture

If the Scots do vote for independence they'll be labeled rebels.

Ghordius's picture

so? Americans were labeled so by the British. and?

laomei's picture

Yes, Chess is a team sport.

Escrava Isaura's picture

Unfortunately, many of you don’t get it!

By AnAnonymous,

It is somehow different. 'American' lieutnants(european countries) to the 'american' ganglord(the US) can no longer make the job of keeping outsiders like Russia, China and India outside the turves perimeter, so the ganglord must step in and take charge.

Indeed, as lieutnants are relieved of their charge because of their unproficiency, they also lose their privileged access to their former turves.

logicalman's picture

Humans should have stayed hunter-gatherers.

Thieving elites only became possible with agriculture.


Escrava Isaura's picture

You get rethink that thought... You ought to know it's too simplistic.

ZerOhead's picture

Bonus points for you my friend.

It is also when land was cleared for agriculture and raising livestock. Then boundary lines were created and territory was OWNED by individuals with power rather than the people of the tribe.

Next came the chieftains, priests and kings.

Then the bankers and politicians....

Escrava Isaura's picture

That's right!

And all is about to collapse. And some misinformed commentators here are worried about details.

How counterproductive and stupid!

Lea's picture

logicalman, that's simply not true. In America (the real one, the one before whiteys knew it even existed), you had Sioux hunting territory, Apache hunting territory, Iroquois hunting territory, and so forth. And then, wars to defend territories.

Humans are territorial animals.

Ignatius's picture

The Russian expert, I presume.

Goddamn, Spitz, we actually agree on something.  Spooky.

smlbizman's picture

when i was in high school....there was this little guy....some how he got into a beef with this big guy....the big guy kicked his ass......the next day the little guy went and kicked the big guys little brothers ass.....the big guy didnt fuck with him again......

El Vaquero's picture

Or even Euros.  So long as it isn't dollars.  If Putin wants to turn Europe, he will do so more easily if he is somewhat accommodative.  If I were him, I wouldn't even outright bar USD sales of energy.  I would just jack up the dollar price and settle in other currencies at a discount over the dollar.  The illusion of choice would make it easier to swallow.  

cro_maat's picture

El Vac - I have been thinking this is the strategy for the coming winter.

I am putting together a small farm with a couple of Hungarians and was thinking the other day that any excess produce, meat or cheese would be priced very high in fiat but very cheap in silver coin. Will be interesting to see how many customers I can get to purchase silver in order to take advantage of the deep discounts.

Escrava Isaura's picture


Forget silver. You're already doing the right thing. Just make sure your land has plenty of underground water.

Check the post below. I think you will find it interesting.

Walter Haugen Says:
September 26th, 2013 at 6:13 pm

Check out Joseph Tainter’s “The Collapse of Complex Societies” or my book “The Laws of Physics Are On My Side.” Tainter introduces marginal returns as the basis of his argument and it is relevant to your own. If the marginal returns fall below 1:1, it doesn’t matter if you have a high throughput (American empire today) or a relatively low throughput (Rome circa 100 AD). It is still relative to your input/output.

Per my book, what we are doing now is replacing cultural behavior with massive doses of fossil fuel energy. Once we run short of cheap oil energy (either by price or supply) we have to constrict our energy use. If we don’t we get dieoff.

Your solar business is still dependent on cheap oil, whether in the embedded energy of the infrastructure or just getting the workers to the jobsite and factory. My farming is also slightly dependent on fossil fuel energy, as I use 10 gallons of gasoline and my labor to grow 10,000 pounds of food per year. However, in my case I am 25-35 times more efficient than industrial agriculture, measured by input/output analysis.

I am no fan of Greer, as I find him arrogant and wordy. However, he did hit on a winner with catabolic collapse. As for Diamond, he is the only one I have heard who understands the role of the 1st and 2nd derivative in plotting the inflection point where marginal returns change sign. Tainter alludes to this but doesn’t even use the term “inflection point” in his analysis. As for Kunstler, he has looked at the problem in depth and his “World Made by Hand” books look at the sociological effects – and are a good read too.

BlindMonkey's picture

I like the link. Solid concepts. Thanks!

Escrava Isaura's picture

Glad that helped.

El Vaquero's picture

Back in the 1880s, a packet of seed cost one silver dime.  If you have the food and if you have seeds that will germinate and you have the means to hold onto it, the silver will come to you.

Zirpedge's picture

Outrage as Russian hackers put on racist lazer light show on US embassy in Moscow.

knukles's picture

Datz razzizt... and funny shit, too.
Was it the Iranians who, when he first got into office called him a house n*##^r? 

Diplomatic speak for we only kinda like you.

ZerOhead's picture

< Obama is performing felatio on a banana

< Obama is just getting a banana for his birthday

Are they trying to portray Obama as being gay and performing simulated felatio on the banana or are they trying to say Happy Birthday here's a nice banana for the monkey?

Either way that shit is nasty (yet slightly hillarious) as Obama's finger slowly moves over the flashing red 'fire' button.

Urban Redneck's picture

If the display was intended to mean Obama was actually eating a banana, the image would be reversed and he would be eating it from the other end...

lasvegaspersona's picture

While the banana implies racism, swallowing the banana...das homophobic.

WillyGroper's picture

Who's outraged?

I permanently bookmarked it for shits & giggles I tells ya.

Hackers? Really?

Freddie's picture

Why would they buy Boeing planes?   They are filled with spyware and drone ware so they can be flown to Diego Garcia or hijacked for false flags by MIC.  Junk aerospace crap.

doctor10's picture

Fatuous Ivy League girly men sending out their women, and poofters in the state dept to negotiate deals with adversaries and allies.  Definitley the conduct and bearing of an empire.  What could go wrong?

knukles's picture

Jen Paski and John Kerry?

Miss Expectations's picture

The girly men bother me...but so do the State Dept spokesmodels...Marie Harf and Jen Psaki...I stare at them and listen...stunned by their outrageous lying, truth dodging ways.


El Vaquero's picture

The first thing that pops into my head every single time I see Psaki is "sorority slut."  She just looks the part.


Marie Harf is a disingenuous fucking cow.