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Thread: Obama, Merkel threaten new Russia sanctions

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    Re: Obama, Merkel threaten new Russia sanctions

    Quote Originally Posted by jmotivator View Post
    Well, history tends to show that economic warfare only works when the opposition also sees you are a superior and willing military foe as well. So military strength and a perception of a willingness to use it is a prerequisite for economic warfare.

    For instance, Putin will put the screws to the EU through cutting back oil and gas exports because he feels both militarily superior and knows the EU is unlikely to use military force against him.
    Is that why we are involved and being used as a counter-balance in this matter? Putin may believe that Obama is inept, and he may be correct, but he also knows our military is NOT! Will we get dragged into a war over this? A p***ing contest between two men?

    Greetings, jmotivator.

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    Re: Obama, Merkel threaten new Russia sanctions

    The EU and Russia are going to have to figure this out. They are codependent on each other.
    Russia and the European Union: Joined at the hip

    The 28-member European Union's (EU) gross domestic product (GDP) is essentially equal to that of the United States - about $17 trillion. The European Union is the world's second largest energy consumer, using about 75 percent as much as the United States. However, the EU harbors only about 2 percent of the globe's proven crude oil resources and just 4 percent of its conventional natural gas.

    The EU imports more than 50 percent of its annual energy requirements. About one-fourth of its combined oil and gas supplies come from Russia - including 40 percent of its natural gas. While the EU's easternmost countries (e.g. Poland, Finland, Bulgaria, the Baltic States) are most vulnerable to Russian mischief, strong economies are at risk too. Germany, the world's fourth largest economy, depends on Russia for one-third of its natural gas needs.

    Russia has a recent history of using energy as a big stick. In 2008, it threatened to cut off gas exports to the Czech Republic when the Prague government agreed to base a U.S. missile defense system on Czech soil (the Czechs subsequently bowed to Russian demands). In 2008 and 2009, Russia cut off natural gas deliveries to Ukraine over prices and alleged Ukrainian corruption.

    But, an energy shutdown to Western Europe is clearly not in Russia's best interest. Oil and natural gas sales are Russia's cash cow. (Russia's $2 trillion+ GDP ranks eighth, behind Brazil and ahead of Italy.) According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), those exports account for more than 50 percent of the country's federal budget. The EU buys almost 80 percent of Russia's oil exports and more than 60 percent of its natural gas. Using energy to hold Europe hostage could be a bad idea.
    European shale oil: Huge potential, huge challenges : Energy News

    Now if some of the EU countries start fracking their shale to make up for the Russian LPG imports, that would be very useful leverage. Figures that France has already banned that, but then, I think that particular government is the least strategic thinking of the EU countries. IMHO.
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    Re: Obama, Merkel threaten new Russia sanctions

    Quote Originally Posted by polgara View Post
    Is that why we are involved and being used as a counter-balance in this matter? Putin may believe that Obama is inept, and he may be correct, but he also knows our military is NOT! Will we get dragged into a war over this? A p***ing contest between two men?

    Greetings, jmotivator.
    That is sort of what it is. But it is more that one side is so out of their depth that they have mistaken the time honored march to war to be purposeful steps to avoid it.

    It's like some who convinces themselves that the best way to avoid falling off a cliff is to take smaller steps towards it.
    Give a man a fish and he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish and he stops voting for the Free Fish party.

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    Re: Obama, Merkel threaten new Russia sanctions

    Quote Originally Posted by jmotivator View Post
    That is sort of what it is. But it is more that one side is so out of their depth that they have mistaken the time honored march to war to be purposeful steps to avoid it.

    It's like some who convinces themselves that the best way to avoid falling off a cliff is to take smaller steps towards it.
    Very well said! It can only be hoped that more experienced voices will be listened to!

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    Re: Obama, Merkel threaten new Russia sanctions

    Quote Originally Posted by polgara View Post
    Let's not forget that Merkel's first priority is Germany's well being. She is a level-headed woman from all indications, but being so close geographically must make her feel like she's walking a tightrope. I still don't understand why we are involved in this at all, since this all started because the Crimean people, who are Russian, wanted to re-join Russia, and they voted overwhelmingly to do so. Borders seem to change all the time, whether or not we agree, so I feel we should take a "wait and see" attitude, instead of attempting to decide for other countries what we feel they should do!

    Greetings, JoG.
    Hello there polgara

    There may be more than meets the eye, but this certainly didn't start with or get triggered by the Crimean people demanding independence. The trigger was trying to bind the Ukraine into the West militarily via a clause hidden in a trade contract. That did not amuse Putin and he acted as we have seen him do before.
    The slide began to get going, when the demonstrations in Kiew were supported by the EU that was, however not prepared to follow up and let the thing go out of control. When the EU bungled this too, Obama let himself be pushed to the fore. This was bad. He had to stand by our allies. But it was a European bungle and should remain their game and responsibility to cure.
    The problem is that their largest country hasn't yet realized that it isn't in Kansas anymore.
    Last edited by joG; 05-03-14 at 05:33 PM.

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    Re: Obama, Merkel threaten new Russia sanctions

    Quote Originally Posted by joG View Post
    Hello there polgara

    There may be more than meets the eye, but this certainly didn't start with or get triggered by the Crimean people demanding independence. The trigger was trying to bind the Ukraine into the West via a clause hidden in a trade contract. The slide began to get going, when the demonstrations in Kiew were supported by the EU. When the EU bungled this too, Obama let himself be pushed to the fore. This was bad. He had to stand by our allies. But it was a European bungle and should remain their game and responsibility to cure.
    The problem is that their largest country hasn't yet realized that it isn't in Kansas anymore.
    It bothers me that it looks like we are being outplayed by Putin once again. Are we supposed to think that, and hate Russia, or is this a real problem that we never should have been involved in at all? What the EU does about this is something they need to handle, IMO. They're the ones that opted to get their heating fuels from Russia. Is it our fault that they can't pay their debts? It looks like someone is trying to make it our responsibility, and that's ridiculous. I agree that there is more here than meets the eye. My first thought is "whose agenda is this?" Is it Putin or someone else? And who gets the billions of dollars that we are sending to the Ukraine? Will that money be used to pay Putin what they owe him? Interesting...

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    Re: Obama, Merkel threaten new Russia sanctions

    Quote Originally Posted by polgara View Post
    It bothers me that it looks like we are being outplayed by Putin once again. Are we supposed to think that, and hate Russia, or is this a real problem that we never should have been involved in at all? What the EU does about this is something they need to handle, IMO. They're the ones that opted to get their heating fuels from Russia. Is it our fault that they can't pay their debts? It looks like someone is trying to make it our responsibility, and that's ridiculous. I agree that there is more here than meets the eye. My first thought is "whose agenda is this?" Is it Putin or someone else? And who gets the billions of dollars that we are sending to the Ukraine? Will that money be used to pay Putin what they owe him? Interesting...
    Doncha' mean Obama being out played, once again, by Putin? That's really what's going on there.

    Obama has no global politics context in which to build a strategy, if he is even a strategic thinker at all, something by the global stage, and he just ain't got it.
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    Re: Obama, Merkel threaten new Russia sanctions

    Quote Originally Posted by DDD View Post
    -snip.

    Obama, Merkel threaten new Russia sanctions

    I think the speech is great. Calm, in control, civil, smart, and cooperative. Just like what we are trying to build in EU and USA.

    I just wish the backward mentality in Russia do not see this as weakness. Why must we change to their level and yell tough, beat chest like Gorilla's, in order to be taken seriously from them?

    From what I can discern on the talk news shows, Putin is really not in his right mind. Anyone else hear that?
    "I like to tell people when the final history is written on Iraq, it will look like just a comma because there is -- my point is, there's a strong will for democracy." --George W. Bush, interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer, Sept. 24, 2006

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    Re: Obama, Merkel threaten new Russia sanctions

    Quote Originally Posted by Mercer View Post
    From what I can discern on the talk news shows, Putin is really not in his right mind. Anyone else hear that?
    Shades of Hitler, syphillis and drug addition?

    Well, the tactics used so far are the pretty much the same. Complete with Chamberlain / Kerry complaining when the aggressor doesn't live up to the deal struck by diplomatic means.
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    Re: Obama, Merkel threaten new Russia sanctions

    Quote Originally Posted by DDD View Post
    -snip.

    http://news.yahoo.com/obama-merkel-t...-politics.html

    I think the speech is great. Calm, in control, civil, smart, and cooperative. Just like what we are trying to build in EU and USA.

    I just wish the backward mentality in Russia do not see this as weakness. Why must we change to their level and yell tough, beat chest like Gorilla's, in order to be taken seriously from them?
    Because that's just the way it is. The bad part, is that Western leaders can't seem to accept that reality. Wishful thinking isn't going to accomplish anything.
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    At least Bill saved his transgressions for grown women. Not suggesting what he did was OK. But he didn't chase 14 year olds.

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