Warm Southern Breeze

"… there is no such thing as nothing."

Why Russian Oil Should Be Sold Worldwide

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, March 9, 2022

I’ve done a 180º on the matter of selling Russian Crude Oil & Natural Gas (NatGas), and placing economic sanctions upon that nation.

I think that President Biden (POTUS BIDEN) should even consider INCREASING importation of those Russian fossil fuels.

Further, I think that we should be pursuing “business as usual” within Russia.

Matter of fact, so should the peace-loving world, particularly and especially all European nations.

Why?

Number one, embargoes, economic sanctions and other physically non-violent means are ineffective against madmen like Putin, who merely laughs at such efforts.

Though Putin shows reserved authority, per se, yet WITHIN HIMSELF, he’s trembling in his boots because the Ukraine invasion isn’t going according to plan.

And, as I wrote,

Vladimir Putin sits at the end of a 40-foot-long table in the Kremlin for 2 reasons:

1.) So the men at the other end can’t smell the fear in his breath, and;

2.) So they can’t see the cowardice in his eyes.

Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev’s cry that “We will destroy you!” rings as hollow now, as it ever did.

In context, the then-Soviet leader addressed the United Nations on November 18, 1956 and stated in part, that “We will take America without firing a shot. We do not have to invade the U.S. We will destroy you from within.” It was NBC’s David Brinkley, of the Huntley-Brinkley Report, NBC’s “nightly news” program, who reported what Nikita Khrushchev had said earlier that day.

Globally, oil has increased in price. Some say that there’s no justification for price increases, and assert that it’s exclusively price-gouging because: 1.) Russian crude oil output has not diminished, and; 2.) Global crude oil supplies by OPEC & non-OPEC nations have NOT been production-limited, nor diminished. Here’s the most recent Short-Term Energy Outlook by the Energy Information Administration which was released March 8, 2022:

“The Russian invasion further into Ukraine on February 24 and the subsequent escalation of armed conflict, which had been preceded by increasing tensions in earlier weeks, contributed to rising crude oil prices. On February 28, the front-month Brent crude oil price settled at over $100/b for the first time since September 2014. The increase in crude oil prices reflects potential effects of the extensive sanctions levied by the United States, European Union, and others on Russian entities in response to Russia’s continued invasion of Ukraine, as well as the risk of potential disruptions to crude oil and energy production and infrastructure related to the conflict. The sanctions that have so far been announced have primarily targeted Russian individuals and financial institutions but avoided direct sanctions on Russia’s energy companies, including crude oil and natural gas production and exports. Although sanctions so far have generally avoided direct sanctions on Russia’s energy companies, there are trade press reports that sanctions targeting financial institutions have increased concerns among oil market participants about purchasing energy from Russia and about the potential for additional sanctions.”

Note the use of the word “potential effects,” and NOT real, or actual effects.

It’s ALL fear-based trading, and corporate profiteering, exclusively.

In principle, economic sanctions ought to work, at least for a nation that is interdependent and civil — that is, a nation that relies upon other nations, at least in part, to survive, and obtain revenue. And interdependency is the “name of the game” in a free market economy, an idea to which Russia has only relatively recently — at least in part — apparently subscribed, with the dissolution of the Soviet communist form of government.

The problem is, that Putin, and his governmental cronies, have ravaged/savaged/raped the nation’s abundant wealth of natural resoucres, all which previously had been under governmental control. By finagling and manipulating, a handful of Russian government insiders (including Putin) became phenomenally wealthy oligarchs, controlling much, if not most, of Russia’s natural resources, and related businesses. There’s simply no other explanation for how, in less than a dozen years, a select few men could become billionaires many times over, purchasing $600,000,000 super yachts, and globally living as large as they obviously do.

“Millions of dollars stolen in Moscow in one of the highest profile frauds in Russian history was spent in the UK.

“The Russian fraud features a group of corrupt government officials. In 2007 they and associated criminals embezzled $230m in taxes paid by the investment company Hermitage Capital Management. The Russian lawyer who uncovered the fraud, Sergei Magnitsky, was arrested. In 2009 he died in prison. The US and EU have sanctioned many of the officials involved.

“Law enforcement agencies across the EU spent six years investigating what happened to the money. They traced a network of offshore companies connected to Dmitry Klyuev, a convicted Russian gangster. The money was laundered via a sprawling web of corporate accounts in Lithuania.

“Some $30m of the stolen money ended up in Britain, Hermitage’s chief executive, Bill Browder, told the committee during a session on the proceeds of crime. The figure includes $2m linked directly to Klyuev. The money was wired to the UK between 2008 and 2013. Twelve British banks were involved.”

And by extension, it’s up to Putin to ensure that they all stay that way –and– that HE gets a slice of that pie, which he has, and still does.

He KNOWS that he has robbed the people, precisely because HE ENCOURAGED a law be written that would permanently shield him -and- his family, from any liability for wrong-doing,

On 22 December 2020, Reuters News Service published a story headlined “Russia’s Putin Signs Bill Giving Ex-Presidents Lifetime Immunity Bill gives former presidents and their families immunity from prosecution for crimes committed during their lifetime.

“President Vladimir Putin has signed a law granting former Russian presidents expanded immunity from prosecution and allowing them to become senators for life in the upper house of Parliament once they leave the Kremlin.

“The new law follows sweeping reforms of Russia’s political system initiated by Putin this year. Among other things, it allows him to run for two more six-year terms in the Kremlin if he chooses.

“Former presidents were already entitled to immunity from prosecution for crimes committed while in office, but the new law grants them lifelong immunity and says they cannot be arrested, searched, questioned or prosecuted.

“The new legislation also makes it harder to revoke a former president’s immunity. …”

So then, knowing also the atrocities which Putin’s government has undertaken, successful assassinations or attempted assassinations (many by poisoning), of known critics of the existing Russian government under Putin’s iron fist, such as,

The deaths of:

• Alexander Litvinenko, a Putin critic, and Russian defector to England, and former member of the FSB, which is the successor agency to the feared KGB, who was poisoned by radioactive polonium-210, believed to have been administered in a cup of tea;

• Alexander Perepilichny, another Russian defector who fled to England after assisting with an international investigation into Russian-based money laundering;

• Vladimir Kara-Murza, a Russian political opposition activist;

• Viktor Yushchenko who lives after being poisoned in 2004 with dioxin because he was a Ukrainian presidential candidate friendly to the West and campaigned against Yulia Tymoshenko, a Pro-Russian candidate;

• Karinna Moskalenko, a Russian residing in England, who was poisoned by mercury pellets in order to prevent her from testifying in a Moscow murder trial of

• Anna Politkovskaya, a journalist who covered Russia’s invasion of Chechnya, was poisoned by drinking poisoned tea, and lived, but was later murdered in an elevator of her apartment building.

There are others too numerous to mention.

Even Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has had assassination attempts made upon his life — by last count, at least 13, according to Mikhail Podolyak, head of the Office for the President of Ukraine, who also said that “Western intelligence is right to say that the main target for Putin was Mr. Zelensky in terms of attacking the government quarter and trying to kill the country’s key manager.”

Putin’s practice is to eliminate (kill) anyone who opposes him.

Former CIA covert operative Mike Baker said he and others in the intelligence community are certain that Putin’s political enemies are on a “kill list,” stating that, “Look, it’s real. Any dictator … anybody like Putin has an enemies list and Putin has just shown his willingness over the years to act on it,” which is complicated by the difficulty of proving that Putin or the Kremlin were responsible for the deaths of political opposition leaders.

But there’s no doubt that each of the poisoned people were Putin’s political opponents.

Andrij Dobriansky, Communications Director for the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America, said Putin’s pattern is to kill his perceived political opponents, and that “he has done political killings since right before he became president. So his manner of dealing with the world has been quite not just pronouncedly immoral but this is something that he has always done.”

But back to the oil.

Earlier, in an article entitled “Five Takeaways on Five Takeaways -and- Russian Oil in America” published Wednesday, March 2, 2022 I had written that data from the Energy Information Agency shows that “the amount of imported Russian oil as a percentage of domestically-produced oil, and that’s 4.78%, while as a percentage of ALL oil, imported -&- produced domestically, it’s only 2.82%.”

So Russian oil accounts for only about 3% of ALL oil produced in, or consumed by, the United States.

While it’s arguably a small amount, the greater concern from the majority of the American public on the matter, is that the tactic of imposing economic sanctions exclusively to defeat one’s enemy is NOT all what it’s cracked up to be, and is primarily endorsed and supported by those who value their word as bond.

Russia, under iron-fisted Putin, is not such a nation.

The presumed outcome of economic sanctions is, through the use of physically non-violent means, to make one’s enemy kowtow through exercising economic violence. Human lives are NOT expendable, whereas the things that money can buy are expendable, and can all be replaced.

It is
WHAT
is done with the money
that makes the use
“consistent”
with the imposition of
such efforts.

But
WHAT IF
we changed that presupposed route,
the trajectory, path, purpose,
or destination,
of the money obtained as proceeds of oil sales, etc.?

What if we CONTINUED to import Russian oil, other economic or material goods, or services, and then

MANDATED ALL
that money be
REDIRECTED
to
purchase
ALL THINGS
necessary
for
Ukrainian opposition
,

including their relocations

— however temporary they may be —

and to rebuild those things destroyed by,

and through,

Russian military violence?

In other words, Russian oil, and other fiscal interests in Russia, would be used for at least three fiduciary purposes;

To:

1.) Supply materiel to Ukraine for their defense;

2.) Rebuild Ukraine after the war, and;

3.) Make reparations to ALL affected Ukrainian citizens.

By so doing, it will be and have the net effect of imposing international punishment upon Russia, and forcing Russia to make a moral decision for themselves. That decision being, whether, or not, they should continue to sell to nations that uphold such a value by that effort, in effect forcing Russia to be working AGAINST their own efforts by funding their enemy. By such an economic reuse, and global economic isolation, It could thereby very well have the effect of motivating Russia to increase sales to non-NATO nations, such as China, or North Korea.

There is precedent for such an effort.

As reported by Ukrainian News Agency on UkraNews, Mr. Oleksandr V. Danylyuk, Head of the Centre of Defense Reforms, is the official coordinator of the “interdepartmental platform on hybrid threat countermeasures, which operates in the context of Ukraine-NATO cooperation,” and recently stated that,

“It is quite clear that the sanctions imposed on the Russian Federation are unable to stop the invasion. Therefore, the “oil and gas in exchange for medical and food supplies” regime should be brought into action. Energy commodities are one of the key export articles that supply the Russian state budget during the war. While it is relatively possible to introduce an embargo for Russian oil, the EU can”t easily reject the import of Russian gas from a technical perspective. Thus, the most preferable measure is to limit the use of gas sales revenue.”

“A special settlement account should be set up under the UN control and should be used by Russia only for humanitarian assistance to Ukraine, in particular for the purchase of food and medical supplies. There should be no way that Russian Federation utilizes these funds to purchase military technologies or any other settlements.”

There is at least ONE international oil company doing precisely such a thing — placing ALL profits from Russian oil sales into a humanitarian-only “beneficence” fund (no military use) for Ukraine.

Shell Oil To Put Profits From Russian Oil Trade Into Ukraine Aid Fund
https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/shell-put-profits-russian-oil-trade-into-ukraine-aid-fund-2022-03-05/

LONDON, March 5 (Reuters) – Oil major Royal Dutch Shell (SHEL.L) will put profits from any Russian oil it purchases into a fund that will go towards humanitarian aid to Ukraine, the company said on Saturday.

Shell had on Friday bought a cargo of Russian crude oil at a record low discount, the first such trade since Russia invaded Ukraine last week.

The deal, which did not violate Western sanctions on Moscow, was criticized by Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba.

“I am told Shell discreetly bought some Russian oil yesterday. One question to @Shell: doesn’t Russian oil smell (of) Ukrainian blood for you?,” Kuleba wrote in a tweet.

In a statement published shortly afterwards, Shell defended the purchase and said it would choose alternatives to Russian oil wherever possible, but this could not happen overnight because of how significant Russia is to global supply.

It added: “We didn’t take this decision lightly and we understand the strength of feeling around it.”

Shell said it would give any profits from the limited amount of Russian oil it has to purchase to a dedicated fund, and together with aid agencies would determine where those funds would best be used to help alleviate hardship suffered by the people of Ukraine.

Russian exporters have in recent days faced severe problems with credit lines, shipping and insurance, resulting in delays and cancellations to their attempts to find buyers for Russian crude.

And last year, the World Bank coordinated humanitarian aid to 39 million Afghan citizens in that nation, stating that “$500 million from a frozen Afghanistan aid fund to humanitarian agencies” was a jointly coordinated effort with U.S. and U.N. officials, which sought redirect the funds from the Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund (ARTF), which had a total of $1.5 billion.

Recently, POTUS BIDEN announced from the Roosevelt Room on March 8, 2022, that,

“Today I’m announcing the United States is targeting the main artery of Russia’s economy.

“We’re banning all imports of Russian oil and gas and energy.

“That means Russian oil will no longer be acceptable at U.S. ports, and the American people will deal another powerful blow to Putin’s war machine.

“This is a move that has strong bipartisan support in the Congress and, I believe, in the country.

“Americans have rallied support — have rallied to support the Ukrainian people and made it clear we will not be part of subsidizing Putin’s war.

“This made — we made this decision in close consultation with our Allies and our partners around the world, particularly in Europe, because a united response to Putin’s aggression has been my overriding focus, to keep all NATO and all of the EU and our allies totally united.

“We’re moving forward on this ban, understanding that many of our European Allies and partners may not be in a position to join us.

“The United States produces far more oil domestically than all of European — all the European countries combined. In fact, we’re a net exporter of energy. So we can take this step when others cannot. …”

His entire announcement may be found at the White House website:
https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/speeches-remarks/2022/03/08/remarks-by-president-biden-announcing-u-s-ban-on-imports-of-russian-oil-liquefied-natural-gas-and-coal/

Before his statement, on March 2 this year, I wrote in part, that,

“The amount of imported Russian oil as a percentage of domestically-produced oil, is 4.78%, while as a percentage of ALL oil, imported -and- produced domestically, it’s only 2.82%.

To be clear, we import LESS THAN what we produce
(we produce MORE THAN we import),
and that figure represents
the fractional portion of imports
IN COMPARISON TO
domestic production.”

As a net exporter of crude oil, the United States IS ENERGY INDEPENDENT.

We CAN, and SHOULD, turn the tide and the tables on Putin by
requiring peaceable nations
to
place in reserves
ALL MONIES
from the sale of Russian Oil/NatGas,
thereby
FORCING him to
pay for Ukrainian opposition.

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