eastwind journals 11 – RUSSIA DUMPS DOLLARS

eastwind journals 11
eastwind journals are the personal journalistic writings of Bernie Lopez, and are not part of the healing ministry. Any views or comments are his own and does not reflect those of the ministry.
As the US wallows in unemployment and EU nations begin to have debt problems one by one, Russia and China are taking advantage of the vacuum to move in, even though they are not themselves exempt from the global economic decline. China has established the biggest mining ventures in Afghanistan, and is moving into the Latin American countries. Russia has its own shopping spree with former satellites, buying a bank in Austria and another soon in Czechoslovakia. And Gazprom is rapidly expanding its energy clientele.
The goal is to get rid of dollars before it soon implodes. The new Russian and Chinese strategy is to convert their dollars into assets.
Whereas Russia’s investments in former satellites in Eastern Europe totaled $2.4 billion from 1991 to 2008, according to UNCTAD reports, new investments in the last three years have soared to $2.8 billion. Old grudges of satellites against Russia are being shelved in favor of new economic partnerships. The fear of the US and Europe is for the Russia-China tandem, with Iran as a protégé on the side to form an energy triumvirate, to dominate the global energy sector. Russian global energy giant Gazprom supplies 25% of gas to Western Europe. The percentage in Eastern Europe is even higher. Bulgaria and Slovakia gets 90% of its gas from Gazprom. With climate change yielding harsher winters, the supply-demand curve starts to wobble in favor of Russia and Iran, the second big gas supplier.
Russia’s largest state-run bank Sberbank bought out the Eastern European division of an Austrian Bank. Another state-run bank is courting Czech magnate Petr Kellner to buy 10% into Czech credit agencies. Bloomberg reports that Russia is eyeing rail-cargo businesses in Poland and Slovakia. Russia is also looking into buying into a Baltic refinery in Gdansk. The shopping spree are moves which can make or break Russian economics. With a global recession looming, will the expansions of Russia and China give growth or will they become giant disasters? Nobody knows.
Political science has a principle that a balance of power breeds peace and a lone superior force breeds wars. The US, being the sole superpower in terms of arms superiority, is still the greatest destabilizer of global peace through energy wars in the Middle East, and the arming of allies like Israel. The China-Russia economic partnership, however, acts as a second force that somewhat moves towards a balance of power. But it may be an uneasy kind of peace as China and Russia are frantically bridging the weapons gap, towards a future major confrontation after all the escalation.
bernie lopez
eastwind journals
Opinyon Magazine, Dec 5, 2011
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