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

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...

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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...

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Chess vs Checkers...