Russia's Modest Proposal To Greece: "Exit Europe And We Will Lift The Food Import Ban"

Tyler Durden's picture


It has not been a good week for Greece: first we learned that its treasury has run dry as Greece have stop paying all taxes ahead of the elections (and likely after), making further reforms virtually impossible as the government simply does not have the cash to promote economic changes; then we found out that first two then all four of the largest Greek banks have submitted Emergency Liquidity Assistance requests to the ECB to preserve liquidity in light of a deposit run that is picking up pace. And yesterday, adding insult to injury, Spiegel leaked that while seeking preapproval from Merkel for his QE program to be announced next week, Draghi told the Germans that Greek bonds won't be among the securities monetized by the ECB.

It almost makes the Greeks wonder what's the point of staying in the Eurozone and keeping the Euro if all it leads to is 50% youth unemployment, 25% total unemployment, and unprecedented pain and suffering as a result of the internal devaluation that will continue indefinitely since Greece, courtesy of the Euro, is unable to engage in an external one.

Of course, the Greek population will be able to voice its opinion next Sunday when it holds general elections, which will almost surely be won by Tsipras who has threatened on numerous occasions to renegotiate the Greek bailout, something Germany has made quite clear is not a topic for debate, and that a Grexit is assured if Greece thinks it can hold Europe hostage with threats of Eurozone collapse.

And just to make things interesting, overnight Russia told a beleaguered Greece, and specifically its hurting farmers, that it "may lift its ban on food imports from Greece in the event it quits the European Union" according to Russian Minister of Agriculture Nikolai Fyodorov who spoke in Berlin on Friday.

If Greece has to leave the European Union, we will build our own relations with it, the food ban will not be applicable to it,” Fyodorov said as reported by Tass.

In other words, Russia has casually thrown out feelers to Greece (and any other peripheral European country) and given it the option of joining the greater Russian sphere of influence (because the USSR 2.0 and satellites is still not trademarked), should it decide that 5 years after the first Greek "bailout" things for the country caught in an endless depression are as good as they will get with a bunch of Goldman bankers in charge.

Fyodorov also said that European Union countries, which felt discomfort from the slump in proceeds from exports of foods to Russia, were asking Russia to cushion the impacts of the Russian food import ban by expanding other types of imports. “We are looking at such possibility,” he said, adding that these countries offer new formats of cooperation in those areas that are not covered by the Russian food sanctions.

One such format apparently is the "hint" that should the European Union finally implode after years of kicking the can, then Russia will be more than happy to pick up the pieces.

Insanity? Perhaps, but just 48 hours ago crazier things happened, when a central bank which until Monday telegraphed the rock solid determination of its monetary policy not to mention the Swiss Franc's floor, shocked the world when it became the first western bank to admit defeat in currency wars which have cost it a balance sheet the size of its GDP.

The ball is now in Greece's court.

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Sat, 01/17/2015 - 11:17 | 5673590 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

  The Russians definitely read Zero Hedge. ;-D

Sat, 01/17/2015 - 11:25 | 5673603 Clint Liquor
Clint Liquor's picture

The Russians definitely read Zero Hedge

If that's true, their next step should be to buy up Gold and Silver futures and make the COMEX deliver.

Sat, 01/17/2015 - 11:31 | 5673620 Haus-Targaryen
Haus-Targaryen's picture

Would be interesting to see Russia step in to prevent a Greek fallout, and then when the Italians and Spanish see the Greek economy rebound -- 

Oh I am turning myself on with the thought.  

Sat, 01/17/2015 - 11:47 | 5673628 Renfield
Renfield's picture

Vlad's on fire this month. Gotta hand it to him.

Poor 'western' oligarchs had their media thunder stolen by the SNB this week. Now they can't ramp up MOAR WOAR over pipelines and Turkey. Too busy attending to domestic markets and the economy, the stuff that's supposed to be their usual focus.

More turmoil, please. Our oligarchs and media have had far too much time on their hands, and their idle hands are the devil's playground. How nice that they've finally found something in their own backyard that requires their full attention.

Sat, 01/17/2015 - 12:05 | 5673669 Wolferl
Wolferl's picture

Lol, as if the Greeks are able to run an agriculture industry. Greece is a net food IMPORTER. Germany will gladly give Greece to the Russians, but, it´s sad, i don´t think the Russians are stupid enough to take them.

Sat, 01/17/2015 - 12:16 | 5673757 agent default
agent default's picture

So why doesn't Germany cut Greece off and tell them to go to hell then.  Could it be hydrocarbon deposits in the Aegean? Greece has many trump cards but just like any other country in the West their political leadership is sold out.  Same with SYRIZA.  If the Left was any threat to the NWO there would have been zero tolerance to leftist parties.

Sat, 01/17/2015 - 12:21 | 5673778 BaBaBouy
BaBaBouy's picture

GrrrrEXIT, GEt The Fuck EU Out, Go With The Feckin Russians At Least You Have A Life To Live...

Sat, 01/17/2015 - 12:39 | 5673802 Wolferl
Wolferl's picture

@ agent default

Greece is and has to be part of the EU simply because our Anglo-American overlords want it that way. And not because anybody in the EU really wants them. All this is part of the `Murican longing for total world domination.

Sat, 01/17/2015 - 12:39 | 5673839 Slave
Slave's picture

Rush and Beck were doing hit job after hit job on Russia this week. The neo(zio)cons must be getting nervous.

Or thristy for war...

Sat, 01/17/2015 - 13:09 | 5673888 Headbanger
Headbanger's picture

Remember, it was the RUSSIANS who liberated Greece from the Nazis in WW II

And so it's no surprise the Russians are doing the same thing today basically!

Greece and Russia have had good relations since:

The Russians even use the Greek alphabet.. more or less..!


And the Russians would love to vacation in sunny Greece and enjoy some really good food!

I'm going out to shoot my 1952 Tula SKS in hopes for the second Greek liberation from Germany

Sat, 01/17/2015 - 15:32 | 5674306 Miss Expectations
Miss Expectations's picture

The orthodox churches are simpatico, too.

Sat, 01/17/2015 - 16:14 | 5674410 Manthong
Manthong's picture

Why shouldn’t Greece get the aid and support that Ukraine foolishly declined?


Sat, 01/17/2015 - 16:18 | 5674420 Publicus
Publicus's picture

Tyler Durden is Putin himself.

Sat, 01/17/2015 - 18:09 | 5674701 11b40
11b40's picture

....and Greece is just a short sail across the Med to the Soviet base in Syria.  I bet the Russians would love to have another Mediterranean base under the belly of Europe.

Which round of the chess match is this, anyway?

Sat, 01/17/2015 - 13:02 | 5673894 GCT
GCT's picture

It boggles my mind when these two ENTERTAINER's move so many people.  Both and for that matter any main media type pander to their following.

Sat, 01/17/2015 - 13:35 | 5673972 the phantom
the phantom's picture

The problem is what does Greece do after they leave the EU?  The only thing keeping that country running are the handouts from the EU... so what happens when it stops?  Is selling fruits to the Russians going to replace that?  Years of corrupt politicians enriching thier own bank accounts, Goldman cooking of the books with a wink and a nudge from Germany to loan money that there was no way they were going to be able to pay back.  The Greeks are in a black hole, there is no way they can grow to pay back their debts to the West.  Stop paying and default and they get cut off completely with the "aid".  The West already took their gold and sold off the country's profitable assets... game over. The thinking from Greeks I talk to is "the devil you know is better than the devil you don't". 

The chickens have come home to roost... there are no good options.

Sat, 01/17/2015 - 14:10 | 5674067 NoDecaf
NoDecaf's picture

Did you read the article? That was the external devaluation they were talking about. In other words, exit the EU and put everything on sale. Labor, goods and services... you know....compete.

Sat, 01/17/2015 - 15:39 | 5674323 the phantom
the phantom's picture

No, I got it.

Labor, goods and services... you know....compete. ----  Sounds good, you  make it sound as if Greece actually makes something other than olive oil or revenue from tourism.  Did you catch my point about the gold being gone and profitable gov't assets already sold off?  They will be cut off from capital markets in the West, and have no valuable collateral if they move to Eastern creditors.

Not quite that easy as "you know... compete".


Sat, 01/17/2015 - 20:33 | 5674991 Real Estate Geek
Real Estate Geek's picture

edited to add:  Never mind.  Payne said it down thread, earlier.


Because Nord Stream and Yamal can't satisfy all of the EU's needs, Greece has a real opportunity to start earning some sweet gas transit fees.  It's the perfect 'job,' even for a country with a stereotypically Mediterranean attitude towards work; just sit there and let the payments roll in.

Sat, 01/17/2015 - 22:14 | 5675333 NoDecaf
NoDecaf's picture

Ok, point taken.

However, sticking it out with the EU will lead to a slow ruin. They are at the end of that road already. Striking out on their own without much in the way of hard assets doesn't mean they don't have some cards to play. They do have a strategic location that would be very appealing to the Chinese/Russians. Weren't the Greeks big into shipping not too long ago? whatever became of that? They could revive that industry for example....They don't necessarily have to produce goods. They can transport them, similar to what Turkey is doing with energy from the east. The Netherlands makes cheese and wooden clogs, but that is not what made them what they are today. They are a transit hub for Northwestern Europe. They got shit for land, but a good location and they made the best of it over the centuries.

In the immediate aftermath of bailing from the EU, they'd have to get creative and do something like the SU-24 deal with Argentina. Who knows what kind of deals they would/could make, but I am sure that they will be fine, or at least they will do much better than what they are stuck with now.

Sat, 01/17/2015 - 15:49 | 5674354 N2OJoe
N2OJoe's picture

You say that if they default, then they get "cut off" like that's a bad thing.

A government that can't borrow money is one with a balanced budget. The only one, I might add.

Sat, 01/17/2015 - 14:13 | 5674075 schadenfreude
schadenfreude's picture

230bn EUR debt taken over by Russia? This is just a distraction.

Sat, 01/17/2015 - 21:37 | 5675260 Balkan
Balkan's picture

You're not right. There are no handouts from EU. In reality this "equality" unprotects national economies and finances. You can see the outcome - strong become lords and weak become slaves. Billions to "bailout" debt suffering Countries end up in the banks of the Creditors. Vicious circle.

Sat, 01/17/2015 - 14:18 | 5674098 Volkodav
Volkodav's picture

Germany need kick Merkel to hell...


Sat, 01/17/2015 - 12:23 | 5673771 BaBaBouy
BaBaBouy's picture


Sat, 01/17/2015 - 12:35 | 5673817 king leon
king leon's picture

I am sure that Russia would love another Naval base in the Med  just to piss off NATO and the US and If Russia dangled the carrot, cheap gas,export opportunities and tourism , it would give Greece the chance to break away from the clutches of the Banksters.

Sat, 01/17/2015 - 12:42 | 5673847 Payne
Payne's picture

Nat Gas from Gasprom is supposed to terminate at the Border of Greece and Turkey for redistribution to Europe.  Military base would be nice sure.  Pipelines better ?

Sat, 01/17/2015 - 13:22 | 5673944 joeyman9
joeyman9's picture

But what about the US Navy Base on Crete at Souda Bay?

Will the Russians set up right next door?

And what about Greece's Nato Membership, will they be kicked out of the club?

Sat, 01/17/2015 - 14:13 | 5674082 schadenfreude
schadenfreude's picture

I agree. But with regards to Nato mebership you should ask why Turkey is still in.

Sat, 01/17/2015 - 14:15 | 5674083 WOAR
WOAR's picture

To answer your question, joey...

What about them?

Sat, 01/17/2015 - 13:21 | 5673946 joeyman9
joeyman9's picture

But what about the US Navy Base on Crete at Souda Bay?

Will the Russians set up right next door?

And what about Greece's Nato Membership, will they be kicked out of the club?

Sat, 01/17/2015 - 13:22 | 5673947 joeyman9
joeyman9's picture

But what about the US Navy Base on Crete at Souda Bay?

Will the Russians set up right next door?

And what about Greece's Nato Membership, will they be kicked out of the club?

Sat, 01/17/2015 - 15:02 | 5674232 Escapedgoat
Escapedgoat's picture

Old Right Wingers, anti-communists and assorted middle class in Greece have changed their tune.

When they saw the Russian tourists, they were surprised at their appearance. The russians did not look as they were painted by the old Oligarchy Propaganda, as  Anti Christian and such like. Actually they saw them enter their churces as Orthodox faithful and NOT as tourists. That was a game changer. They do see though the other Westerners as Pure tourists and nothing else.

Souda Bay can be closed very quickly, the Cretans do not need other Greeks to come to help, they are awash with guns and they have the S300 on Crete.  They are helping the other Greeks though.

Sat, 01/17/2015 - 16:27 | 5674439 IronForge
IronForge's picture

It WOULD be funny if GRE and TRK - BOTH Leave NATO thanks to RUS' Business Deals.

Sat, 01/17/2015 - 14:35 | 5674142 MS7
MS7's picture


Sat, 01/17/2015 - 14:53 | 5674199 Escapedgoat
Escapedgoat's picture

You Moron, If the Greeks have enough olive oil , and they do, they can keep for ages. No need for sick Beef from Germany Holland and Belgium or sick milk.

No need for German cars. The Koreans are cheaper. Not to mention the Japanese.

White goods also Koreans. The Italians are just biting at the bit, to get the fuck out of the Euro.

If the Greeks have enough fuel, Here comes Russia they can fish (Net Exporter, look it up) all day long to feed themselves. For 4 months in the summer, you only need tomatoes and Feta cheese and olive oil.

You Moron The Greeks do not need you, YOU Need THEM.

Sat, 01/17/2015 - 15:31 | 5674305 Yttrium Gold Ni...
Yttrium Gold Nitrogen's picture

Maybe they are, but economy isn't just about exports. It is mathematically impossible to make every country an exporter. If Greeks can grow some fruits more efficiently than everyone else, then they can exchange some of their fruit for something else. So, while they would be a net importer of food, some of the food they produce would be exchanged for goods that can not be produced locally. If they were to abandon the euro, their new currency, assuming Greek central bank does not interfere, would reach such an exchange rate so it would represent Greek's economy efficiency relative to other economies. Actually, being a southern country, Greece needs much less energy than northern countries. They do have a problem with fresh water. They could cut taxes to a minimum, cut socialist policies so as to lessen the overhead on businesses, finance the budget deficit on a loan from Russia until Greek's economy recovers. It could be a barter scheme - Russia gives Greece a loan, Greece gives Russia an island for a nice naval base (assuming Russia needs one). No one needs to take Greece, Greece can handle itself, it only needs to get out of EU's tight hands around her neck, and do trade with other countries that benefit both parties.

Sat, 01/17/2015 - 14:02 | 5674042 noben
noben's picture

"Vlad's on fire this month."

Vlad: "I'm baaack!"

Sat, 01/17/2015 - 16:23 | 5674433 EscapingProgress
EscapingProgress's picture

Vlad never left.

Putin 2016!!!

Sat, 01/17/2015 - 11:42 | 5673652 SickDollar
SickDollar's picture

and you honestly think this will happen without a war ?

Sat, 01/17/2015 - 12:06 | 5673725 fudge
fudge's picture

Who would fight this war ? You think NATO would make war on Greece ? .. nope won't happen.


Sat, 01/17/2015 - 15:10 | 5674249 noben
noben's picture

ISIS vs. 300 Spartans.

Bring it on!

Sat, 01/17/2015 - 14:06 | 5674059 agent default
agent default's picture

This will not happen because the Greek political system is sold out.  Unless Russia decides to play dirty like the US, blatantly stirring unrest, it is not happening.  Not that I would mind the KGB/FSB giving the CIA a dose of heir own medicine in their own turf.

Sat, 01/17/2015 - 14:54 | 5674208 Chad_the_short_...
Chad_the_short_seller's picture

Wouldn't that be awesome? To hire rebels to overthrow greece's jew mafia political system? What would it take for the people of america to gain control again of their country? Real simple answer....... JUST LET THEM KNOW THE FUCKING TRUTH of who has completely hijacked our country and destroyed it on purpose. Yes, Israel did 911 to help the greater israel project. They wanted war on muslims and everyone around them but they couldn't do that without the full support of america so how to get that? Stage a false flag huge event to change every american's perception in favor of jews and israel. Just like the holo to exploit. Same thing. 42 million people died in ww2 yet only the jews matter? US Liberty.... Lavon affair. Jews DOMINATED the slave trade and then erased themselves from the history books and blamed it ALL on white american's and then exploited to the max with slavery movies..... covering up all the thousands of black on white murders, crimes..... you get the picture. Well, the jew is behind 100% of that. All America needs is to be told the truth but it's kinda hard when the jew has hijacked 100% of our media and everything else that gives information, which is all false information.

Sat, 01/17/2015 - 11:50 | 5673679 red1chief
red1chief's picture

Russia doesn't have the money to support all these people. However, what they can offer is trade that might result in modest improvement for them. However, the empire and its Vampire Squid lackeys would not take this lightly. Very chaotic outcome, likely war if enough of the periphery join them.

Sat, 01/17/2015 - 11:37 | 5673644 Jam
Jam's picture

The best thing they could do is use their Foreign reserves for that purpose.

Sat, 01/17/2015 - 11:40 | 5673647 screw face
screw face's picture

#China is the one whom has direct access to the FED discount window...that's their Job, while #Russia and the remaining #Briiics runs interference.

Sat, 01/17/2015 - 11:45 | 5673663 red1chief
red1chief's picture

Unfortunately per the fine print the COMEX can deliver in fiat.

Sat, 01/17/2015 - 12:37 | 5673822 indygo55
indygo55's picture

True the COMEX can deliver in cash but a large delivery request that gets settled in cash and then advertized loudly in the world press is against the COMEX and the west's interests. It will bring attention to the default of the REQUEST. 

Sat, 01/17/2015 - 13:07 | 5673911 _ConanTheLibert...
_ConanTheLibertarian_'s picture

But the world press is controled by the elite so no loud advertizing?

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