Russia Will Only Get Worse. Maybe.

Putin is on the horns of a dilemna. For the first time since the dismantling of the Soviet Union, Russia faces a severe economic crisis – after enjoying years of relative prosperity – and she has a warmongering chief executive. This is a nexus of events that will shape and define Russia for at least the next decade.

Today, it just got worse:

LONDON — An international tribunal in The Hague has awarded the shareholders of the now-defunct Yukos oil company about $50 billion, in ruling on claims that the Russian government illegally seized the company from one of the country’s most powerful oligarchs.

“We are thrilled with this decision, although we know it is not the end of the road,” said Tim Osborne, director of GML, the holding company created by the Yukos founder Mikhail B. Khodorkovsky.

[…] The verdict could increase pressure on Russia at a time when its economy is already under threat after the United States and the European Union imposed sanctions on a selection of Russian individuals and companies over its support for separatists in Ukraine.

There could also be implications for Rosneft, the state-controlled Russian oil company that acquired the most important Yukos oil assets in 2007, and for the British oil giant BP, which owns close to 20 percent of Rosneft.

Now, of course, Putin is free to ignore The Hague ruling and it’s business as usual. Except Russia’s credit rating will be at risk. And it gives the West leverage over Putin and Russia at a time when he can afford neither.

You’ll notice that, while Putin pardoned Khodorovsky, there was no attempt made to restore the company to private control.

And Rosneft itself, while reporting higher earnings, has seen its oil production start to slip. There’s not $50 billion in cash reserves, I’m sure.

Politically, what does this mean? It could mean that Putin will turn his gimlet eye towards former Soviet states that produce oil and gas, and invasion and insurrections the kind that we’ve seen in Ukraine.

This would include, presumably, Uzbekistan (which has the 11th largest natural gas reserves in the world), Turkmenistan (the world’s second largest gas fields), and even Estonia, which while it doesn’t have significant energy reserves per se, does have large shale deposits, which could mean fracking, in which case, Estonia is fracked.

Conversely, if Putin is approached by cooler heads – you know, like the guy in the Oval Office – and delicately offered a way out of the problem, then the Ukraine situation itself might be resolved quietly and more important, quickly.

20 Replies to “Russia Will Only Get Worse. Maybe.”

  1. “…and she has a warmongering chief executive.” “It could mean that Putin will turn his gimlet eye towards former Soviet states that produce oil and gas, and invasion and insurrections the kind that we’ve seen in Ukraine.”

    You’ve been drinking too much koolaid, absorbing the modern version of the “domino theory” first used regarding Korea and then reduxed for Vietnam. It is even sillier now than it was then, and it was pretty silly then.

    You are going to be warning us about “precious bodily fluids” pretty soon.

  2. Agreed. This is backwards Obamabot crazy talk. Versailles on the Potomac can pursue all the drumhead court rulings it wants. We’ll see what their meaningless credit ratings and leverage look like when Europe is looking at a winter without natural gas and a Mayfair real estate implosion. What are they going to do if the BRICs create an alternative World Bank and IMF, with all international transactions conducted with a currency based on rubles and renminbi? What are they going to do if Putin invades eastern Ukraine? Start World War III? Over that?

    Fucking Crazy Talk from People Who Are Accustomed to Getting What They Want All the Time.


  3. If I remember correctly, Actor 212 was the one who called Obama the so-called adult, which I disposed of in a comment. He is still depositing System dribble. Recall that Yukos founded in 1993 was one of the oligarch companies that during the Yeltsin regime, was able to steal resources from Russia in the first place.

  4.    If members wish to take issue with the contents of a post/comment or with the poster’s interpretation of cited articles or with the validity or pertinence of the cited articles, they are encouraged to present their views and justify their objections.

       They are not free to engage in ad hominem attacks against other members. This is not a mud-wrestling arena.

    1. Is than not an insult to the honorable sport of mud wrestling?

      My view of ad-hominem attack is a dispute between five year olds.

  5. Russia isn’t going anywhere any time soon and more than likely won’t and shouldn’t pay. Yukos was a small private owned company before being stolen by this clown with approval coming the Amerikans in Russia during yeltsin days. Sorry can’t find the link.

    Then once he had control he started a relationship with the devil Carlyle Group not a friendly investor at all and at the same time bribing many in the dumas to change election laws to unseat Putin. There was no way the election laws were going to be changed and a cia front company Carlyle wasn’t going to control oil in Russia.

  6. For 3 days I watched the homecoming of all the bodies on Dutch television. It was quite emotional. However, it’s not fair to demand that the Dutch families of the victims direct their anger at Brussels rather than at Putin. (I read the excellent Counterpunch article on another thread). Most people don’t know anything about the intricacies of international politics. All they know is that there loved-one is dead. Their emotions are entangled with and caught in the false truths presented to them by the powers that be.

    1. True but the average Amerika knows almost nothing about the world other what’s feed to them were I’m sure Dutch citizens know their neighbors and their history.

      Then at lest the Dutch have the black boxes so there is a good chance we might learn the truth.

  7. Russia is in a fight for her survival. But it’s unfair to portray her as the aggressor when Europe and the US are so aggressively pursuing those same resources.

    I still don’t know who shot down the Malaysian airliner.

    We (the west) immediately assessed blame on separatists and Putin and then (once again) failed to provide credible evidence to back our assertions.

    Of course, Putin blamed Kiev (and failed to provide credible evidence…)

    I am seeing a polarization similar to that which put Italy, Germany and Japan together in WWII.

    It’s about power and control of the world’s resources and the truth gets lost in the fray.

    I am goddamned tired of liars.

    1. Paul Craig Roberts: Was Is Coming

      As reported by Tyler Durden of Zero Hedge, the Russian response to the extra-legal ruling of a corrupt court in the Netherlands, which had no jurisdiction over the case on which it ruled, awarding $50 billion dollars from the Russian government to shareholders of Yukos, a corrupt entity that was looting Russia and evading taxes, is telling. Asked what Russia would do about the ruling, an advisor to President Putin replied, “There is a war coming in Europe.” Do you really think this ruling matters?”

  8. I just read in a Dutch newspaper that the Ukrainian army is preventing Dutch and Australian policemen and investigators from reaching the crash area. The headline reads: “Who is our friend?”

  9. This is a truly terrible post. It inhabits the upside down spin-world of the DC bubble, shows a complete lack of critical thinking skills, and the inability to discern propaganda from reality. This is the sort of drivel I’d expect to read at Balloon Juice.

    Actor, your “democrats=good, republicans=evil” schtick is wearing very, very thin. For the rest of the billions of people on this planet it’s pretty obvious that both American parties are filled with warmongers to a man. Obama, like Bush before him, is an abject failure that uses the military as a first resort and has greatly increased the amount of human suffering in the world. To call Russia a warmonger, with it’s back to the wall, and trying to keep the US from putting a NATO puppet on it’s border shows such a willful ignorance of how the west butchered Russia after the cold war that whatever little credibility you had left is well and truly gone.

    I’m not going to bother even skimming your posts any further.

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