- Europe bends the knee: European Commission allows payment for Russian gas in rubles, but under certain conditions.
EU companies may be able to work around Russia’s demand to receive gas payments in rubles without breaching sanctions, if they pay in euros or dollars which are then converted into the Russian currency
That’s… that’s literally what Russia said the plan was!
- UK waives sanctions on Gazprombank so that it can get gas.
- The European Union currently has no plans of introducing a collective ban on Russian oil supplies because several EU members threatened to veto it.
- Ukraine claims the conflict with Russia has caused $550 billion in damages, demands $7 billion a month from the West.
- UK ministers expect first trade deals with individual US states to be secured ‘within weeks’
- UK consumer confidence even lower than in 2008 financial crisis
- UK Risks ‘Worst of All Worlds’ on Inflation, IMF Official Says
- Boris Johnson vows to stop UK exports to India ending up in Russia
- Advertisments in Poland for abandoning personal transport and instead choosing public transport or a bicycle, explicitly framed against Putin.
- EU asks people to use less air conditioning, drive slower, and work from home to help reduce reliance on Russian energy
- Bundesbank warns Russian gas embargo would cost Germany 5 per cent in lost output
- Russia unveils plans for digital ruble, domestic payment system
Asia and Oceania:
- The West froze Russia’s foreign reserves. Should Asia—with its even larger dollar hoard—be worried?
In any future conflict, will the region be forced to take sides? If tensions between the U.S. and China really accelerate, what will Asia do—and will it be ready to incur the wrath of either the U.S. or China in the process?
- India’s Coal Supply Shock Causes Major Power Outages
India relies on coal for approximately 70% of its electricity generation and often struggles with power outages and even blackouts; however, this summer experts are expecting a more severe crisis in what is shaping up to be the hottest March in a century.
- Will Algeria Increase Gas Supplies to Europe?
Algerian economic expert Hussein Boukara said that the PDRA could not replace energy from Russia on the grounds that domestic production was insufficient to cover the entire supply. “Russian pipelines supplying gas to Europe have a large throughput capacity. In addition, production rates in Russian fields are much higher than in Algeria,”
- Biden announces a ban on Russian ships entering US ports.
- ExxonMobil is considering a complete withdrawal from Russia by June 24
- Cuts to unemployment benefits didn’t spur jobs, says report
- The US Forces Its Flawed Food System on the World
- Uruguay and Ecuador discuss possible bilateral trade agreement
- US Oil Companies Seek To Restart Crude Extraction In Venezuela
U.S. oil companies Schlumberger, Halliburton, Baker Hughes, and Weatherford International, whose operations in Venezuela were frozen by economic sanctions, appealed to the U.S. Treasury Department to authorize them to re-start oil drilling in this South American country.
- Has The War In Ukraine Changed Oil Markets Forever?
- Nakedcapitalism: The Energy Transition Has A Major Metals Problem
- Long-term container rates plummet on key US to Far East routes
“This is a very interesting shift,” notes Xeneta CEO Patrik Berglund. “I think it’s fair to say that the comparative weakness of US exports versus US imports from the Far East is taking effect.
Diplomatically and Politically:
In/between Ukraine or Russia:
- Russia announces that they’ve stopped an ISIS terrorist attack on a railway in Crimea.
- Central Research Institute of the Aerospace Defense Forces in Russia catches fire, killing 7 people; Russia says cause is apparently a ‘short circuit failure’.
- Head of the temporary civil administration of Russian-occupied Kharkiv:
The possibility of holding a referendum on the further political status of the Kharkiv region is not ruled out, but the residents have not yet taken the appropriate initiative
- New Mass Grave Site Spotted Outside Mariupol. Russia might, potentially, based on satellite imagery, be burying civilians in a fucking graveyard. What despicable monsters could do such an unholy act?
The mass grave site is located next to an existing cemetery on the edge of Manhush, a small town about 12 miles west of Mariupol.
- Russia will be involved in the signing of peace between Armenia and Azerbaijan.
- Russia establishes a new government in Oleshki, Kherson region.
- Russian telegram claims that Russian TV will be broadcasted soon to Mariupol and some parts of Zaporozhye region.
- State Duma deputy Dmitry Belik:
The Crimean Federal District may be formed after a special operation in Ukraine, citizens of the liberated territories will become its residents
- Putin will receive UN Secretary General Guterres, who will arrive in Moscow on April 26
Asia and Oceania:
- China reveals new ‘Global Security Initiative’
[Xi] underlined that international security is “indivisible” and therefore respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries, non-interference in each other’s internal affairs and cooperation for the sake of common peace and security should form the basis of the international security framework.
- For the first time since 2003, Japan has designated the southern Kuriles as “illegally occupied” by Russia.
- European Commission President to visit India next week in order to restart negotiations on a proposed free trade agreement.
- Sri Lanka President Calls in Army Ahead of Protester’s Funeral
- Central African Republic is interested in increasing the number of its Russian instructors:
What Russian instructors have done for our country in a year is what the Western military, the Americans or the French, could not do in ten years.
- The US is launching a program for accepting refugees from Ukraine.
- Protests sweeping Peru strand tourists and close copper mines.
Thousands of Peruvians joined a two-day strike in the Cusco region on Monday and Tuesday over the soaring cost of fuel, fertiliser and food, caused in part by the war in Ukraine.
- Romania and Slovakia donate 40 T-72 tanks to Ukraine each.
- The US will supply Ukraine with drones designed specifically for the country. Not sure what that means.
- Three more Russian battalion tactical groups arrived in Ukraine today, and 20 in the last week, for a total of 85.
- Deputy Commander of the Central Military District:
During the second phase of the special operation, the Russian army plans to establish full control over the Donbass and southern Ukraine Russian rocket troops and artillery completed 1,285 fire missions during the night.
- Boris Johnson admits ‘realistic possibility’ that Russia could win the war in Ukraine, and that it may last until the end of 2023
- Ukrainian tanks attempt to break into Russia through the Nekhoteevka checkpoint near Kharkov. Most were destroyed, the rest turned back. Still, this represents a fairly substantial push by Ukraine outwards from Kharkov while Russia is busy in Donbass.
- Powerful explosion in a fortified Ukrainain position near Kharkov.
- Three missile strikes on railway infrastructure near Dnipro. These may have been on a train transporting Ukrainian soldiers, according to Russian telegram.
- Russia captures massive Ukrainian arsenal in Balakliya, near Kharkov, which contains thousands of tons of ammunition.
- One missile strike on a railway bridge in Zaporozhye.
- Explosions in Mykolaiv.
- Ukraine once again rejects Russia’s offer of surrender to the Azovstal Nazis. Fascists really seem to have an affinity for dying in bunkers.
Dipshittery and Cope:
- US Deputy Secretary of State:
Beijing is seeking to undermine the very system that they benefited from to return instead to a system where might-makes-right and big nations can coerce smaller countries into acting against their own interests
- Putin’s Struggles in Ukraine May Embolden Xi on Taiwan. Man, I really do just hate-read Bloomberg at this point. I swear they write shit for the sole purpose of trying to give me an aneurysm.
Western observers hope that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s faltering invasion of Ukraine will convince China to go slow — that it will discourage President Xi Jinping from undertaking an invasion of Taiwan. Yet there’s a real possibility that it could actually induce Beijing to go fast — to use force more harshly and decisively in hopes of avoiding the type of quagmire into which Moscow has stumbled.
Xi must also be stunned by the performance of U.S. intelligence …
And maybe, in Xi’s view, Putin’s mistake was not his decision to invade Ukraine — it was that he conducted the invasion in such a bumbling, indecisive manner, giving the Ukrainians the chance to fight back and Washington and its allies the opportunity to make Moscow pay.
- Ukraine now has more tanks on the ground than Russia does, US defense official says
- Too Few Troops, Not Enough Supplies—Russia’s Eastern Offensive Could Be Doomed. Here we go again…
- Zelensky and Rep. Liz Cheney named JFK ‘Profile in Courage’ award recipients for ‘defending democracy’
- Acknowledging the Limits of Sanctions
It is undeniable that the United States and its allies were — and still are — right to use sanctions to try to end this war.
Of course. Obviously. That’s just true.
Here’s the issue: Sanctions historically have not been particularly effective in changing regimes, and their record at changing dictators’ behavior is mixed at best. Sanctions can have other unintended consequences as well. They can actually end up strengthening a dictator’s grip on power by tightening state control over the economy.
Awesome! So why do it, then?