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Biden Says Weakened Russia Will Bend to U.S.

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posted on Jul, 28 2009 @ 03:27 AM
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Originally posted by maloy

One decade after the economic collapse, Russia managed to double its GDP, repay all federal debt, and accumulate enough government surplus to last through the current crisis.


Russia's Energy Rethink


Tough times force Prime Minister Putin to turn to foreign oil companies he once spurned, starting with Shell.

The collapse in energy prices has left Russia in a tough position: On the one hand it needs higher production to keep the cash coming in, but on the other hand, it's struggling for sources of money. Russia built huge surpluses during the 2003-2008 oil boom but is worried that the reserves won't last as its economy struggles.


[edit on 28-7-2009 by SLAYER69]




posted on Jul, 28 2009 @ 03:36 AM
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Originally posted by Persicoana
I think Biden needs to come over to Europe and see how much power Russia has over here. Russia can cut off Europe's supply of oil/gas as it did temporarily this year in January with Ukraine; the effects being felt as far away as France and Italy.




BP reveals Azerbaijan deal to explore Caspian Sea

The MOU was signed in London in the presence of Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev and Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

A mainly Muslim country wedged between Russia and Iran, Azerbaijan is a key partner in projects to deliver Caspian Sea energy reserves to the West through oil and gas pipelines to Turkey that bypass Russia.

"BP and SOCAR (the State Oil Company of the Republic of Azerbaijan) announced today they have signed a memorandum of understanding to jointly explore and develop the Shafag and Asiman structures in the Azerbaijan sector of the Caspian Sea," said a statement issued by the group.



posted on Jul, 28 2009 @ 09:25 AM
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reply to post by breakingdradles
 


A funny assertion on Bidens part. Russia is the new Saudi and has HUGE cash reserves of late. Granted, the reduced oil prices have hurt them, they are still more financially viable than the US, ATM. The US is near solvency while Russia becomes the largest exporter in fossil fuels to Europe. All they need to do is turn the switch off and Europe shuts down.

[edit on 28-7-2009 by Bearack]



posted on Jul, 28 2009 @ 10:03 AM
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Originally posted by plumranch
Perhaps you are right and everyone wants to go there now. I was there many years ago when everything was falling apart and you couldn't safely walk under the buildings. Things change.


Russia was undergoing a serious social and economic crisis in the 90's, which is probably when you were there. That Russia can no longer be compared to Russia today - the changes in the last decade were dramatic. Just for reference - in 1998 the Russian economy suffered an almost total collapse, and the country was at its lowest point in recent history (possibly since WWII). Since then there was a resurgence with about 10% annual GDP growth for the next 10 years. The federal budget in the same time grew exponentially, and so did spending on social services and infrastructure.

And that is the problem with many in the West - that people still believe Russia to be the same country as it was in the 90's. That is simply incorrect.



Originally posted by plumranch
You don't agree with Biden's assessment of Russia.


No I don't. As I said in another post - the current economic crisis is not that severe compared to the one Russia suffered in late 90's. Since Russia was able to overcome that crisis, it should be able to hold out while this one blows over. In addition to this Russia has the capability to be completely self-reliant, which means that if worst comes to worst it can survive without depending on outside trade.

Russia bending to US is not realistic and a rather arrogant assesment. There is no way the current Russian administration will allow that tp happen. Plus even if Biden believed himself to be correct, a top-level political figure should never talk like that publically about a country with which you are trying to improve relations. His speech seriously undermined Obama's earlier visit to Moscow.



Originally posted by plumranch
What do you think of our aspiring new President, Obama? Do you like him?


He seems like a decent person, but I think he is inexperienced and overly ambitious. He wants to accomplish too many things at once and get the credit for them - and as it often happens he will likely do a half-assed job on all of them. For example - he wants to improve relations with Russia, while also improving relations with anti-Russian Georgian and Ukrainian governments, while continuing to expand NATO towards Russia. Same with Middle East - he wants to look like everyone's friend, but the friendship is only on the surface.



posted on Jul, 28 2009 @ 10:17 AM
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reply to post by SLAYER69
 


Regarding Russian arms and defense exports to India:

Indian own contractors as well as US-industry lobbyists are the reason why India is gradually shifting focus in where it acquires its weapons and technologies. Military experts say that they have strong reasons to doubt the rumors of defective missiles - most likely it is an excuse by India to start purchasing more weapons from domestic companies. Many Indian contractors and industries have long tried to lobby their government to buy locally produced technology instead of Russian - even if it is of lower quality. India thus became concerned about how much money they are spending in Russia, and held back. Also the US no doubt many some connections there.

If India has the money to buy more expensive US hardware - then all the better for them. Lets see where they turn to when the money run out. India still continues to export much of its defense technology from Russia. And India is far from the only client of Russia's defense industry. In just the past few years Russian arms sales to Latin American countries grew exponentially, and hold much future potential.

As for the space industry - no one comes close to the total tonnage launched and total number of successful launches into space by Russia, much of which is for clients from other countries. Russia is currently constructing 2 new large space launch centers in order to meet demand for its inexpensive and efficient space industry.



And regarding the federal surpluses from oil/gas sales - yes they are dwindling, but the Russian government still has almost no debt (compare that to the US). The surplus that the Russian government has accumulated over the last decade - was enought to last through almost all of the crisis. And consider that much of it went to similar corporate bailouts as in the US. Almost everyone now predicts that as the global economy rebounds, gas and oil prices have nowhere to go but up. That is especially relevant when you look at demand in Asia, which is where Russia is hoping to export much of its energy in the future.



posted on Jul, 28 2009 @ 10:27 AM
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reply to post by maloy
 


I dont doubt any of that. Never did. I'm just pointing out that not everything in Russia is perfect as you have alluded to. Yes things are bad in the US for now. We have also seen tough times. I think Bidens words have been blown way out of proportion.


"They have a shrinking population base, they have a withering economy, they have a banking sector and structure that is not likely to be able to withstand the next 15 years, they're in a situation where the world is changing before them and they're clinging to something in the past that is not sustainable,"


What part of that does it mention "Bending" to the US? It seems like a fair assessment of the situation to me.





posted on Jul, 28 2009 @ 10:30 AM
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Originally posted by maloy
[And regarding the federal surpluses from oil/gas sales - yes they are dwindling, but the Russian government still has almost no debt (compare that to the US). The surplus that the Russian government has accumulated over the last decade - was enought to last through almost all of the crisis. And consider that much of it went to similar corporate bailouts as in the US. Almost everyone now predicts that as the global economy rebounds, gas and oil prices have nowhere to go but up. That is especially relevant when you look at demand in Asia, which is where Russia is hoping to export much of its energy in the future.


This a I agree 110%. Russia is probably (next to China) in the best position to over come this recent hardship. And to be candid, I think one of the primary reasons for the West to all of a sudden become "green" is that mcuh of the energy resources come from Russia and China is gobbling up huge amounts of resources across the globe. I honestly think the "green" movement is in defiance of these two nations.....at least that is my take on it.



posted on Jul, 28 2009 @ 10:38 AM
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Turkey doesn't rule out Iran, Russia in Nabucco

Turkey's energy minister on Saturday said Iran and Russia may supply gas to an EU- and US-backed gas pipeline project in the future, even though the project is designed to reduce Europe's reliance on Russian energy and Iran is not a favored source.

Taner Yildiz made the comments during an interview with private NTV television, ahead of a ceremony on Monday when Turkey, Austria, Bulgaria, Romania and Hungary will sign an intergovernmental deal to allow the pipeline to pass their territory



posted on Jul, 28 2009 @ 11:02 AM
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Ok lets take this one by one:


Originally posted by SLAYER69

"They have a shrinking population base


Not acording to 2008 and innitial 2009 statistics. Why not get with the times? Also if the population is slightly shrinking, how exactly is that a negative aspect? Especially in a bad economy, less population for the government to support (assuming they are unemployed) may be a good thing. Also the Russian demographic changes are mostly an auto adjustment - from socialist to capitalist society. During the Soviet era people were not affraid to have children, because the government and society would take care of them. Now it is mostly the parent's expense. So one could say that during USSR Russia had unnaturally large population due to the benefits of a socialist system.



Originally posted by SLAYER69

they have a withering economy


And everyone else doesn't? Everyone is pretty much in the same boat when it comes to economy. US isn't exactly in a position to mention this about others, considering its own troubles.


they have a banking sector and structure that is not likely to be able to withstand the next 15 years


Ah - so Biden is now a finance and banking expert who can make predictions on the solvency of a country's banking sector for the next 15 years. God damn - where was this genius economist 5 and 10 years ago - when US needed a gloom prediction like that in order to start making corrections to its own banking sector (which is currently fighting to remain from being flushed down the crapper).

What basis does Biden have for saying that about the Russian banking system? The best financial experts can't make predictions about even 10 years into the future, knowing that economy, credit situation, monetary policy and energy prices are unpredictable factors and make any such prediction a load of bull****.

Biden is not likely to be able to withstand the next 15 years in politics, if he retains his habit of making idiot speeches.




they're in a situation where the world is changing before them and they're clinging to something in the past that is not sustainable,"


And what is that "something" that is not sustainable? How are they clinging on to that "something"? How does one define "sustainable". Does Biden really think that the Russian government isn't aware of the economic situation, and isn't making the necessary reforms? US is in the same boat as Russia, and arguably faces much more serious concerns than Russia (consider just the national debt for instance). is the US banking and credit system sustainable? Are the companies being bailed out sustainable. How is the US in any position to comment on the economic situation in Russia, when it didn't properly anticipate its own crisis and is now having difficult time dealing with it?

Sorry, but I think Biden's speech is a load of horse crap. It may sound nice and arouse passionate applause from Georgian audience, but it is absolute rubish. It makes Biden look like an idiot who doesn't know what he is talking about, and it raises questions as to why the Obama administration chose this joker to be their spokesman in Ukraine/NATO trip.



Originally posted by SLAYER69
What part of that does it mention "Bending" to the US? It seems like a fair assessment of the situation to me.


Even if all these things were accurate, what political message is Biden and Obama administration trying to send by making a public speech like that? Russia knows about its problems more than anyone else, and if anything Russia sees this as a display of arrogance if not of bad intentions. Obama was in Moscow just a few weeks ago - seemingly working hard to revive good relations that suffered during Bush's term. And now Biden in on a tour promoting the idea that Russia is a weak state that will fall apart and US will come out victorious. I believe he did mention "bend" in his speech.

So much for the reset button. The aggressive and domineering American foreign policy rambles on just like it did under Bush. I guess Obama's "change" policy doesn't stretch beyond US borders.

[edit on 28-7-2009 by maloy]



posted on Jul, 28 2009 @ 11:13 AM
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reply to post by SLAYER69
 


Nabucco is a paper pipeline, which is unlikely to be realized anytime soon. The idea has been floating around for a decade, yet it is still not finalized (meanwhile Russian Nord Stream is being constructed now, and South Stream has been approved). Untill US and EU can find reliable suppliers for Nabucco's gas/oil - the project will not start. And no - Russia is not a potential supplier, as it has its own rival South Stream project which will meet its export capacity. Azerbaijan has been shying away from the deal lately, and Turkmenistan/Kazakhstan already have export and transport contracts with Rusia.

Like it or not, Russia will remain the main source for imported energy for Europe. As such, Russia will remain politically and economically relevant on the global stage. The sooner US realizes the fact that Russia is an energy superpower, the sooner it can focus on actually mending relations rather than playing Cold War games with expanding NATO. Also Russia has immense influence over the resource-rich Caspian basin, and one cannoy deny that spheres of influence are still relevant.



posted on Jul, 28 2009 @ 11:20 AM
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Originally posted by maloy
reply to post by SLAYER69
 


Nabucco is a paper pipeline, which is unlikely to be realized anytime soon. The idea has been floating around for a decade, yet it is still not finalized (meanwhile Russian Nord Stream is being constructed now, and South Stream has been approved). Untill US and EU can find reliable suppliers for Nabucco's gas/oil - the project will not start. And no - Russia is not a potential supplier, as it has its own rival South Stream project which will meet its export capacity. Azerbaijan has been shying away from the deal lately, and Turkmenistan/Kazakhstan already have export and transport contracts with Rusia.

Like it or not, Russia will remain the main source for imported energy for Europe. As such, Russia will remain politically and economically relevant on the global stage. The sooner US realizes the fact that Russia is an energy superpower, the sooner it can focus on actually mending relations rather than playing Cold War games with expanding NATO. Also Russia has immense influence over the resource-rich Caspian basin, and one cannoy deny that spheres of influence are still relevant.



Nothing is written in stone.

The southern pipeline will go through. The EU doesn't want another fiasco like they have had in the past. Yes Russia supplies fuel for now.



[edit on 28-7-2009 by SLAYER69]



posted on Jul, 28 2009 @ 11:23 AM
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Turkey, EU Nations Sign Landmark Gas Pipeline Agreement


www.voanews.com

Turkey and four European countries have signed a landmark deal aimed at reducing Europe's dependence on Russian natural gas.

The prime ministers of Turkey, Bulgaria, Austria, Romania and Hungary met in Ankara Monday to approve the deal, which envisions a gas pipeline stretching from the Caspian Sea region to Western Europe.

The U.S. State Department hailed the agreement, calling it a "significant milestone" in achieving the U.S.-European shared vision of a new energy corridor.
(visit the link for the full news article)



posted on Jul, 28 2009 @ 11:31 AM
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Originally posted by SLAYER69
The southern pipeline will go through. The EU doesn't want another fiasco like they have had in the past. Yes Russia supplies fuel for now.


The "fiasco" you are talking about will be avoided in the future thanks to Nord Stream and South Stream pipelines. Transport disputes with Ukraine are the main reason why Russia and its European partners started those projects. Once Nord Stream is finished, this should not be a factor in Europe's energy needs again.

And even if Nabucco project is given a go ahead - Azerbaijan and Turkey will not fullfill Europe's growing energy demand. Iran so far is out of the question because of its political upheaval and questionable relations with Europe. As for countries on the other side of the Caspian Sea - nobody has made any contracts including them in the Nabucco deal yet. So unless US or NATO are planning to "liberate" some other oil/gas producer in the Caspian region anytime soon, Nabucco will only have partial capacity realized.


Besides - Russia could just as well sell oil and gas to China and other Asian countries. The infrastructure for transport is being constructed there as well.



posted on Jul, 28 2009 @ 11:39 AM
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Originally posted by maloy


Besides - Russia could just as well sell oil and gas to China and other Asian countries. The infrastructure for transport is being constructed there as well.


Bad link cant figure out why.

Suf their page its there
=35157&tx_ttnews[backPid]=7&cHash=ca9f54c0cc]LINK

Meanwhile, for Russia the threat of the SCO becoming a Chinese Trojan horse is ever-present. On the sidelines of the summit Chinese President Hu Jintao met with the leaders of Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. The Chinese government has pledged up to $10 billion in loans to the five nations of Central Asia that are struggling through the economic crisis (The Times, June 17). Apart from a $2 billion loan to Kyrgyzstan (which some suggest is a bribe to expel the U.S. base from Manas), Russia has been AWOL to many of the states in the region that are looking for leadership amidst the crisis.



posted on Jul, 28 2009 @ 11:41 AM
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Originally posted by SLAYER69


The prime ministers of Turkey, Bulgaria, Austria, Romania and Hungary met in Ankara Monday to approve the deal, which envisions a gas pipeline stretching from the Caspian Sea region to Western Europe.


Great - we have Turkey, Bulgaria, Austria, Romania, and Hungary. Now if there were only some actual major oil/gas exporters there, you could truly have a party. Europeans getting behind Nabucco is all great and everything, but untill there is a firm contract with Azerbaijan and at least one other major exporter, this isn't going anywhere. Think about this - tomorrow Russia can come to Azerbaijan with a better proposal, and Azerbaijan could start transporting through Russia instead. It has happened before (Turkmenistan).


And what is with the U.S. State Department voicing its ever present opinion? I don't see U.S. anywhere near Nabucco on the map. But of course, it is there lurking behind the curtains and waving its majic wand or whatever. I recall less than a year ago when Dick Cheney visited Azerbaijan to finalize the Nabucco deal, and Azerbaijan send him packing rejecting his proposal. The poor bastard was so pissed off he didn't attend a state dinner in honor of his visit.



posted on Jul, 28 2009 @ 11:49 AM
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Not Everything appears to be rosy between the BRIC nations. China seems to be dictating to Russia.


Russia complains about Chinese border river project


MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia complained about a major Chinese river project on Monday which it says will harm the Russian environment, the latest sign of strained relations between the two countries.

China and Russia are members, along with Brazil and India, of the BRIC alliance of major developing economies and want closer economic and diplomatic ties. Beijing agreed this year to lend Russian oil firms $25 billion in exchange for 20 years of oil supplies at below market rates.



posted on Jul, 28 2009 @ 11:50 AM
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reply to post by SLAYER69
 


You are right about China. But Russia surely wouldn't make itself over reliant on exporting to China. It will continue to export to Europe, and will likely look for new clients in Asia. China is only part of the Russian diversification objective as far as energy export goes.

As for China's growing influence in Central Asia - that was only to be expected. I don't think it will compromise Russia's energy sector too much. Kazakhstan for instance, is very closely knit with Russia - and the countries has far more in common with Russia than China economically and politically. It will be hard for China to get Kazakhstan under its sphere of influence - even considering the China's wealth.

Consider this - all of these Central Asian countries are also scared of China. If anything they have a common interest with Russia in that China is a possible threat to them. So I don't see them willingly going under China's sphere of influence, whereas they have a more trusting relationship with Russia.



posted on Jul, 28 2009 @ 11:54 AM
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Azerbaijan, Iraq, Egypt, Turkmenistan are Nabucco’s first potential suppliers: Faymann


The Nabucco project worth 7.9 billion euro will deliver Azerbaijani and Central Asian gas to the EU. Nabucco shareholders are the Austrian OMV, Hungarian MOL, Bulgarian Bulgargaz, Romanian Transgaz, Turkish Botas and German RWE with 16.67 percent each

Construction of the pipeline is expected to begin in 2011 and the first supplies - in 2014. Its maximum capacity will be 31 billion cubic meters per year. An investment solution on the project will be made in the first quarter of 2010.



posted on Jul, 28 2009 @ 11:57 AM
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Originally posted by maloy

Consider this - all of these Central Asian countries are also scared of China. If anything they have a common interest with Russia in that China is a possible threat to them. So I don't see them willingly going under China's sphere of influence, whereas they have a more trusting relationship with Russia.


Oh I agree with the mistrust about China.
No offense but...

They also have misgivings about Russia. They have been Russian neighbors and Soviet republics. They are gun shy so to speak about Mother Russia. America has a bad reputation around the world for our actions over the past few decades or so especially under Bush. These countries have been dealing with Russia for a lot longer period of time. You cant blame them for their concerns.



posted on Jul, 28 2009 @ 12:08 PM
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reply to post by SLAYER69
 


Yes, they have reasons to be cautious of Russia. But I don't think any of them are afraid of being actually taken over by Russia. On the other hand they are wary of China's territorial advances and growing demographic spread (Tibet, Nepal, India, Vietnam, Mongolia, Siberia). Kazakhstan is now on the verge of forming a military defense pact with Russia.

Either way, Russia didn't interfere when the Central Asian countries decided to cooperate with US during the start of the Afghanistan War. They were free to map out their own course in foreign politics and relations. Right now it works like this - whoever comes to them (countries like Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan) with the best deal (be it loans, arms sales, political support, "bribes"), gets them in their sphere of influence - be it Russia, China or US. Call it "sugar daddy" diplomacy if you will. So it remains to be seen what deals they get and where they lean, but it too early to say now.


And I think we shouldn't derail this thread any further with energy sector talk. I am sure there will be another thread on the matter in a short while.



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