And of course, chorus better chorus ...
The other day the EU-US Summit was held in Brussels, but not simple. B. H. Obama himself visited it. If we are not mistaken, he visited Brussels for the first time since his first presidential inauguration in January 2009. It can be said that only now, after the Crimea, did he realize that he was a true friend (more precisely, an ally) of Europe. After all, before the United States and the EU loomed the old new enemy - Russia. The Bolsheviks are coming! The covers of the reset reset, the "hegemon" again openly preaching the cold war and looking for allies.
Of course, Obama did not come to Brussels empty-handed. Brought full hands of overseas promises. He even promised to almost squeeze out Gazprom from Europe and provide fraternal eurobonds being robbed by Miller and Putin, with penny shale gas from America itself. There this gas has nowhere to go. President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy and head of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso cheered up Obama happily.
Bearing in mind the coming sanctions against Moscow, B.H. Obama enthusiastically stated: “We understand that the strengthening of sanctions will affect the different countries in different ways, including the EU countries. The United States can already supply more gas than Europe requires. We need to agree on the verification of this process, and we intend to do that. ”
At the summit, the American president made it clear to the world community that the EU and the US are already "agreeing on possible sanctions against the Russian Federation, which can be taken if Russia moves further into Ukraine." Obama also said that “sanctions against the energy sector” of Russia could become part of the planned measures. The European Union does not need to fear the consequences of such measures: Obama will simply fill up the EU with gas (see above).
Former disagreements that existed between the EU and the US due to the exposure of NSA activities by Comrade Snowden were not even mentioned at the summit. Moreover, the cunning Obama was able to resolve the conflict with wiretapping and peeping, bringing him into a constructive direction. If last year negotiations on the creation of a single free trade zone between the EU and the USA, that is, the conclusion of the Transatlantic Trade Pact, were suspended due to scandals with the NSA, now B.H. Obama said in Brussels that the Transatlantic Pact will facilitate delivery American gas to Europe. The US President said: “As soon as we conclude a trade agreement, the process of issuing licenses for the export of liquefied gas to Europe will be greatly facilitated. Obviously, this is in keeping with today's geopolitical situation. ”
Of course, it is difficult to call this statement of Mr. Obama a good geopolitical (and economic) course, for these are just words, and the words of Obama and his administrators, as you know, are not worth a penny. In addition, according to experts, American shale gas will arrive in Europe not earlier than the end of 2016. And the price of this gas will hardly be lower than the Russian pipeline due to high transportation costs. In addition, American companies are more likely to enter the market of the Asia-Pacific countries than the European ones. The economy is primary, the policy is secondary. Obama may make some noise in Brussels, but no one has canceled the profit institution in the capitalist economy (liberal, by the way), and Mr. President will not be able to change anything here. Yes, and will not try, God forbid.
Nevertheless, the West needs this kind of consolidating propaganda. Obama has to show that America is still omnipotent, and to defeat the Russians - these invaders and gas barges - the united West is quite capable. Such is the friendship of Western nations, directed against the sworn foreign enemy - Russia.
European gas diversification plans are as follows. Mr Barroso explained that the European Union would organize the internal energy market, build pipeline connections between member countries, and also conduct the so-called Southern Gas Corridor from the Caspian (through Turkey).
Apparently, Ankara will wait for the green light to go to the EU ...
At the same summit, Europe and the United States fully agreed on the fraternal Ukraine, seeking integration with the friendly West. Obama and K supported "the desire of the people of Ukraine for a better life" and once again choir condemned the entry of the Crimea into Russia. From here, the “friends” again flexibly turned to the topic of “stability of transatlantic relations”. Mr. Van Rompuy spoke on this topic, noting that the stability of transatlantic relations was “verified history". In short, the star-and-rider rider saddled the European blue horse.
Further, the American promise was given to "help" Ukraine politically, that is, with the elections, and to restore its crisis economy. Mr. Van Rompuy, who is prepared to make efforts to “stabilize the Ukrainian economy” and “comprehensively support Ukraine,” assented Obama. It turns out that under the IMF program, the Europeans are ready to give Ukraine a lot of money!
Summit decisions - in life!
April 1 (but this is not a joke) The US House of Representatives supported the economic aid package for Ukraine. Now the document must be signed by President Obama. The proposal to give Ukraine a billion dollars was supported by members of the House of Representatives 378, and only 34 voted against. This is how congressmen hand out public money in a crisis! ..
After the vote, the results of which were predicted by many, a written statement hastened to make public the White House spokesman Jay Carney. It seems to us, he composed it before the vote. Carney wrote that “the president welcomes today's congressional move aimed at completing the preparation of an aid package for Ukraine.” Thus, it is clear that Obama is about to sign the paper.
In addition to the aforementioned billion, Washington is ready to give Kiev more 50 million dollars. This money will go, according to the bill, on "various needs". Here is their short list: "... improving democratic governance, transparency, accountability, ensuring the rule of law, fighting corruption, as well as holding free and fair elections and strengthening democratic institutions and civil society organizations in Ukraine."
Finally, it is reported in the press and about one hundred million dollars spelled out in the same bill. This money will be used to expand US cooperation with their Eastern European security partners. Of course, something from here should fall all the same to Ukraine.
By the way, at the same time the congressmen held another bill concerning the intensification of propaganda. The House of Representatives of 1 of April adopted a document allowing to expand funding for Voice of America and Freedom / Free Europe radio stations. This includes support for the activities of these broadcasters in Eastern Europe and Ukraine.
It is curious that the bill on assistance to Ukraine does not indicate specific dates for receiving sums constituting 1,05 billion dollars. Probably, there will be a link with reform programs from the IMF: as soon as the Fund gives its go-ahead and allocates the first tranche of its credit, so will the American money . Without promises of Ukrainian politicians to go for reforms, most likely, money will not go to Kiev. But promises, of course, will be given. Some analysts believe that this month the Americans will not transfer money, but will wait for the May elections, more precisely, their results. Well, we remember that the United States made a bet on Yatsenyuk, and Europe (in the shape of Germany) put on Klitschko. Now, after the conclusion of the “pact” on gas friendship, the candidate Klitschko is likely to be oblivious.
In parallel with America of money, Ukraine was promised by the European Union. It was about 16,5 billion dollars (11,6 billion euros). The first part of this huge amount should go to Kiev in May-June (and only a billion euros). The second part, already ten billion, will come only next year. Here it’s clear that the EU is waiting for the elections and their results.
In general, at the same time Ukraine does not shine big money from a friendly West. The reason is both in the elections and in the fact that in the West there is an economic crisis. Well, no, the West has so much money at once!
By the way, the US bill to support Ukraine, approved by the Congress, contains sanctions against Russian officials. Convenient: two in one, like shampoo and conditioner.
About two trunks and bank cards
The "trunks" were sent to Russia by both Americans and Europeans.
According to the document sent to Obama for signature, visa and economic sanctions should be imposed on Russian officials - those who were guilty of "undermining the territorial integrity of Ukraine." The persons associated with them (that is, relatives) must suffer.
The European Union has previously introduced individual sanctions: froze assets and banned the issuance of visas for certain individuals from Russia.
The economic sanctions, however, that from the EU, that from the United States, are only at the level of conversations. But the conversations persist ... Our government also said something.
On Wednesday this week, speaking at an international scientific conference at the Higher School of Economics, Dmitry Medvedev said:
“We all - I mean both Russia and our partners in all countries - must act pragmatically. Economic interests should not be sacrificed to political ambitions, prejudices, and generally political positions, even if our approaches to one or another international problem differ. ”
Can Europe and the United States act "pragmatically"? Yes they can. And all their possible "non-pragmatic" actions are nothing more than propaganda (see above about shale gas). Therefore, Russian citizens should not be afraid that Western bankers will take money from their Visa cards.
Marat Seleznyov (RBC) notes that the US and EU sanctions for the first time touched ordinary Russians. Speech about sensational problems with the cards "Visa" and "MasterCard". However, nothing directly threatens the welfare of the population.
Last week, the owners of several domestic banks turned out to be on the black list of the US Treasury, and these payment systems blocked the operations on the cards issued by these banks. But now customers can pay again with cards.
Alexey Podshivalov, the head of the risk management department of the Bank for settlements and savings, explains that the client’s money in a bank account belongs only to the client. To the account can be tied card. The payment system decides to limit card transactions? .. Well, in this case, the money remains the property of the client: they can be withdrawn from the account through the bank's cash office. And even if the account is issued in a bank with foreign participation, these credit organizations are still subject to Russian law. The license for banking activities is issued by the Central Bank of the Russian Federation.
Roman Cherlenyak, a senior lawyer at the UST law firm, whose opinion is also quoted at RBC, notes the following: “The imposition of sanctions on customers can only be affected indirectly, for example, if the value of foreign assets of banks frozen by a US decision will be critical for the financial condition of a credit institution. " However, the expert believes that the Russian banking market is a tasty morsel for foreign participants, and the latter are not interested in targeted actions against domestic investors.
But the head of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, Alexander Shokhin, said: RIA News".
A number of the largest European and American companies, including Siemens, Alcoa, Procter & Gamble and large oil-producing corporations, have made multi-billion dollar investments in Russia. Sanctions will become a punishment for them too: “What will they do? Who will these assets be sold to? They will have serious problems. " According to Shokhin, European and American manufacturers will lose an important sales market. Companies from the US and the EU will not be able to participate in tenders for the supply of equipment to Russia, and the market will be occupied, say, by the Chinese. In this case, the fate of joint ventures created with the participation of American / European and Russian capital is also incomprehensible.
A few final words
We are witnessing that acute clinical case when a politician tries to put a spell in the wheels of a market economy. In fact, there will be no real stick; there will be only a threat to insert it. The masters of the West are not Obama at all and not Barroso with Rompuy. And not even Angela Merkel. The owners are those who keep these important ladies and gentlemen for very high taxes. First of all, these are corporations, industrial enterprises and the largest banks. And many of them are associated with business in Russia.
Given the open world economy in which Russia has long been integrated, Western capitalists, including bankers, will not agree to future losses. Applying serious economic sanctions against Russia will also be hindered by Europe’s current dependence on Russian gas and oil supplies.
In addition, Russia is not going to invade the territory of Ukraine at all, bomb Latvia and fight the Finns, as American journalists write about it. Russia is going to trade and behave pragmatically, as D. Medvedev clearly said.
As for Obama's shale promises (in the second term, the president is called a “lame duck” in the US), he distributes them easily because he was replaced by someone else in the Oval Office at the end of 2016. So let him (she) fulfill the promises of Brussels!