Tuesday, 19 July 2022 — Geopolitics And Climate Change
“He [Putin] has weaponised food, energy and refugees, spreading economic and political pain across the continent. Sanctions don’t work, a land for peace deal would be a disaster. Only the military route remains”
Simon Tisdall, The Observer, July 17th 2022.
As the reality of Russian victory is becoming harder to cover up by the day, the UK post-Empire desperation to “take Russia on” is shown by Mr. Tisdall above in a statement full of lies from start to finish. It’s like a corgi barking at a bear; the bulldog having being put down long ago. Coming from a pseudo-left newspaper (Gurdian/Observer) fully neutered and leashed by the British establishment after the Snowden affair.
Food and Energy
The reason for possible food shortages is because of Western sanctions causing issues for Belarus and Russia in exporting both grains and fertilizers, together with the rising price of natural gas (the main feedstock into the Haber-Bosch process to produce nitrogen fertilizers). As oil is also involved in every aspect of food production and distribution, its rising price also increases food prices.
Russia accounts for approximately one quarter of all global wheat exports and has had a bumper harvest this year. Ukraine accounts for only 9% of such exports, which the Russian bumper crop together with exports from Russian controlled areas of Ukraine can pretty much offset. In addition, Russia has repeatedly stated that it will allow for the export of Ukrainian grains through the Black Sea – it is the refusal to demine the Ukrainian ports by the Ukrainian government that has stopped such exports. There have also been significant Ukrainian exports of grains by road, significantly reducing the amount held up by the mining of Ukrainian ports.
Russia is also the largest global exporter of fertilizers, with 15% of the total, Ukraine has less than 1%. Belarus is also the third largest potash (a mined rock which provides potassium fertilizers) producing nation.
The refusal of Germany to utilize the completed Nordstream 2 natural gas pipeline, the general refusal of European nations to agree on long-term supply contracts with Russia and to not properly refill their natural gas storage (or not to put adequate storage in place as with the UK), put European nations at extreme price risk if supply tightened. Without long-term contracts, and the general antipathy of Europe toward Gazprom supplies, Russia had no obligations to make up shortfalls – especially when it could make more money with less volume and higher prices. The theft of Russia’s foreign exchange reserves and other sanctions have also reduced gas supplies as a number of nations refused to pay in Rubles (rather than the worthless Euros that could be stolen at any time). With European nations explicitly stating that they want to reduce Russian gas dependency, it is also not in Russia’s interests to make this easy and very much in its interests to supply its gas to more reliable and growing customers such as China. The resulting incredibly high European natural gas prices then create a conundrum for the mass of European citizens to choose between more expensive food, more expensive electricity and heating, and more expensive everything else driven by supply bottlenecks and higher energy prices.
Due to a long-term lack of investment in the oil industry stemming from a decade of low prices, oil supplies are constrained in at least the medium term. This supply crisis has been exacerbated by the large financial losses is the US shale oil industry tending to restrain new investment decisions and previous Western actions against oil producing nations; the sanctioning of both Iran and Venezuela and the destruction of Libya. As economies recovered from COVID these supply constraints have become evident in rising prices well before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Western sanctions have made it more difficult for Russia to export its oil, leading to further constraints on supply. The EU’s position that it will cease all imports of Russian oil will only make these constraints worse, as well as creating serious issues for European refineries optimized to process the chemical structures of Russian oil (oil supplies can vary greatly in chemical structure between oil basins).
One incredibly stupid decision of the German elites is the decision to close probably the safest nuclear power stations in the world that at one time were providing 20% of German electricity. Even in the face of soaring gas prices and Russian sanctions, the German government decided to continue with the closing of the last remaining German nuclear power stations – while bringing coal-fired power stations out of retirement, fully supported by the German Green Party; it seems that Russia is seen as a greater ecological threat than carbon dioxide emissions!
The answer to the food and energy crisis is in the West’s hands; remove the sanctions which constrain Russian and Belarus grain, fertilizer, natural gas and oil supplies and order Ukraine to demine its ports and any food crisis will be greatly lessened. Instead the West is happy to fight Russia to the last Ukrainian and the last people of poor food deficit countries (food deficits much produced by IMF and World Bank policies to remove food sovereignty in favour of cash crops). But of course, the Western elites can’t state this, so they blindly lie, as through their representative Mr. Tisdall.
Economic and Political Pain Across the Continent (i.e. Europe)
The only thing causing such pain is Western, and specifically European, sanctions against Belarus and Russia. Throughout the Cold War, the Soviet Union never used food and energy as a weapon; it has been Europe and the US that has repeatedly used this weapon in attempts to weaken energy exporters who do not bow down to the Western dominated so-called “Liberal International Order” or the “Rules Based Order” where the rules are set by the West.
There will be much economic and political pain across Europe due to the actions of the European elites, and very much as is happening in the US attempts to blame “Putin” will increasingly fall on deaf ears.
Sanctions Don’t Work
Correct Mr. Tisdall, so why not repeal them and greatly reduce the suffering of Europe and the poorer food deficit nations? That would be a recognition of the utter incompetence of Western elites and therefore cannot be walked back – as EU leaders are already stating that the sanctions will remain even after a peace deal between Russia and Ukraine.
A Land for Peace Deal Would Be a Disaster?
For whom? Would it not be better than outright Ukrainian defeat, occupation and dismemberment? Would it not be better for all those Ukrainian men and women who would not die or be injured? Would it not be better for the millions of Ukrainians that could return home? It would be a defeat for the Western elites who have bet everything on defeating Russia and opening it up once again for Western exploitation – a Yeltsin reprise, so that they can then focus on defeating China. Those elites would also have to come to terms with that defeat and their lesser role in the world, and that their liberal capitalism may not be the peak of human society.
Only the Military Route Remains?
LMFAO, the little nation off the coast of the European peninsular whose only “glory” is now far in the past and whose army has shrunk to all of 80,000, and from which the Scots and Northern Irish Catholics are attempting to escape from wants to send its corgi against the Russian military? With who else, the pathetic European militaries and what the US has in Europe? In the Cold War the Western plans for a Russian attack always ended up with an option called “incinerate Europe”, which would naturally end up with “incinerate the Northern Hemisphere”. The Russian military has already shown what it can do against a NATO-quality Ukrainian army fighting on its own soil while using only about a fifth of its strength.
The worry is that Mr. Tisdall’s delusional psychotic break is representative of the UK elite and perhaps some of the US elite. The Europeans who will be the ones to experience the, “Incinerate Europe” option, are not so hot and heavy for the military route. Tisdall continues his cries for immediate medication when he claims that the military option can be done without risking the start of WW3. He should go back to playing battleships.
Unquestionably Repeating Ukrainian Propaganda
Then there is the Ukrainian propaganda ministry, greatly aided by UK, US and European senior military and political leaders and the Western mainstream media, continually bleating about “massive civilian casualties” and “Russia intentionally aiming at civilians”. Again, and again, the pictures show the reality of dead people in uniform and destroyed military vehicles and exploding ordinance, together with other uniformed people staggering away from the rubble and others swarming over the rubble. The United Nations has noted the predilection for the Ukrainian army to mix with the civilian population, which makes the low number of civilian deaths reported by that U.N. a pointer to the great care Russia has taken to reduce civilian deaths. Any comparison between the deaths in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya etc. will show the real war criminals who indiscriminately target civilians, and civilian infrastructure. It is notable that the electric, water and even mobile phone infrastructures have not been destroyed by the Russians.
A good example of the above propagandist trash is below, even still trying to claim that Russian morale is falling! If this is falling, I would love my personal wealth to be falling in such a fashion!
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