Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Dealing with Russia Harshly

Growth in the Russian economy in the first quarter of the year has taken a major hit and experts blame it on international pressure over Croatia and the Ukraine.
by Charlie Leck
There are ways besides war or military confrontation.
Senator McCain, take note!
The Russian Economic Minister, Alexei Ulyukayev, addressed the Russian parliament with the news that growth in the economy of the nation fell below one percent, which is less than a third of his earlier predictions of growth. He made it clear what caused the shortage – “the acute international situation of the past two months.”
Ulyukayev told the ministers that the situation had caused a “serious capital flight.” The ruble has lost 9 percent of its value against the dollar in the first three months of 2014.
There is growing fear in Russia that America and the European Union might escalate sanctions against President Vladimir Putin and the Russian nation and that might instigate an even more serious economic downturn.
Let’s hope all the major columnists in America and Europe keep calling for the screws to be tightened against the Russian bear until it removes the military units it has put on the Ukrainian border.

UPDATE 17 April 2014
Talks are due to open in Geneva today (Thursday, 17 April 2014) between European and American interests about further actions against Russia. Secretary of State, John Kerry, will be involved in the talks, as will Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov and the top foreign ministers from the European Union. One EU official predicted what would happen if Russia doesn't begin to relent in Ukraine: "The costs are going to go up for Russia!"

Update: 18 April 2014 (Geneva)
It appears that conversations and negotiations yesterday, yielded some results. Russia claims it will cooperate in getting pro-Russian militants in eastern Ukraine to return government sites to their “rightful owners.” A signed agreement actually came out of the day’s negotiating work and, as a result, if there is compliance, further planned sanctions against Russia will be postponed. Frankly, those of you who read this will be skeptical, but so are the U.S. and European negotiators. Secretary of State John Kerry indicated that no one left the Geneva sessions “with a sense that the job is done because of words on a paper.” We need now to see if Russia will comply. The last several days have actually produced some incidents of gunfire between Russian military forces and Ukrainian troops.


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