Cross-posted from RT
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Whatever Russia does, doubt does not even enter the equation. The answer is sanctions. So here we go again. The US Treasury-EU latest sanction package targets Russian banking, the energy industry and the defense industry.
The sanctions are mean. The sanctions are nasty. And there's no euphemism to describe them; they amount to a declaration of economic war.
Sberbank, Russia's largest won't be able to access Western capital for long-term funding, including every kind of borrowing over 30 days. And the current 90-day lending bans affecting six other large Russian banks -- a previous sanctions package - will also be reduced to 30 days.
On the energy front, what the US-EU want is to shut down new Russian exploration projects in Siberia and the Arctic, barring Western Big Oil from selling equipment and technology to offshore, deepwater or shale gas projects.
This means Exxon and Shell, for instance, are frozen in their operations with five top Russian oil/gas/pipeline companies: Gazprom, Gazprom Neft, Lukoil, Surgutneftegaz, and Rosneft.
No one ever lost money betting on the stupidity of the usual, unknown "senior US officials" -- who are now spinning the latest sanction package is to force Moscow to "respect international law and state sovereignty." A cursory examination of the historical record allows this paragraph to be accompanied by roaring laughter.
And then there's the US Treasury's Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, David Cohen, who insists the package will further "isolate" Russia from the global financial system.
As for Russia's "isolation," companies are barred from, in Washington-Wall Street newspeak, "important dollar-denominated funding sources." Or, euphemistically, "Western capital." This means the US dollar and the euro. Anyone following superimposed moves towards a multipolar world knows Russia does not need more US dollars and euro.
Moscow might use both to cross-purchase goods and services in the US and the EU. Yet these goods and services may be bought elsewhere around the world. For that, you don't need "Western capital" -- as Moscow is fast advancing the use of national currencies with other trade partners. The Atlanticist gang assumes Moscow needs goods and services from the US and the EU much more than the other way around. That's a fallacy.
Russia can sell its abundant energy resources in any currency apart from US dollars and euro. Russia can buy all the clothing it needs from Asia and South America. On the electronics and high-tech front, most of it is made in China anyway.
Crucially, on the energy front, it would be no less than thrilling to watch the EU -- which still does not even have a common energy policy -- trying to come up with alternative suppliers. Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan and Qatar, for a number of complex reasons -- ranging from insufficient gas to be committed, to an absence of pipelines -- are out of the picture.
The Obama administration, for its part, simply won't allow the EU to start importing energy from Iran like, virtually, tomorrow. Even with a now quite wobbly nuclear deal reached before the end of 2014 - presumably opening the way to an end to sanctions.
The "irrational" markets see what's really goin' on; they are not "irrational" but are moved by profit derived from realpolitik.
And all this while Moscow has not even counterpunched. And that could be quite lethal -- targeting EU exporters to Russia and even energy supplies from Russia. Then the EU will retaliate. And Russia will counter-counterpunch. That's exactly what Washington wants: a trade/economic war ravaging and splitting up Eurasia.