Moscow: Russian President Vladimir Putin has backed the establishment of an airbase in neighbouring Belarus, the latest move by Moscow to project its military power abroad.
The announcement, which comes at a time of tension with the West over Russian involvement in Ukraine and Syria, may also signal the Kremlin’s interest in keeping unpredictable Belarus within its geopolitical orbit.
The plan is not expected to face major obstacles. Continue reading
(Reuters) – Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed on Friday creating a regional currency union with Belarus and Kazakhstan, Russia’s main partners in a union of ex-Soviet states facing growing economic challenges.
Putin made his proposal at a meeting with the Belarussian and Kazakh presidents, who did not respond in public but have been lukewarm about such proposals.
BNP Paribas says Russia no longer has enough reserves to cover external debt and enters this crisis ‘twice as levered’ as it was before the Lehman crash
Central bank data show that a blitz of currency intervention depleted reserves by $26bn in the two weeks to December 26, the fastest pace of erosion since the crisis in Ukraine erupted early last year.
Credit defaults swaps (CDS) measuring bankruptcy risk for Russia spiked violently on Tuesday, surging by 100 basis points to 630, before falling back slightly.
Markit says this implies a 32pc expectation of a sovereign default over the next five years, the highest since Western sanctions and crumbling oil prices combined to cripple the Russian economy.
Belarus is a puppet regime of Russia, today’s neo-Soviet Union. Cyber attack units and other state-sponsored units of terrorism are outsourced here (among other neighboring countries), in order to keep blame off the Soviet regime. As we see from a previous post, nuclear weapons might get the green light to be stored there, as in the past. One can only wonder why Belerusians were sourced in the development of ACA software. They might have planted an ability to shut down hospitals in the futue.
U.S. intelligence agencies last week urged the Obama administration to check its new healthcare network for malicious software after learning that developers linked to the Belarus government helped produce the website, raising fresh concerns that private data posted by millions of Americans will be compromised.
The intelligence agencies notified the Department of Health and Human Services, the agency in charge of the Healthcare.gov network, about their concerns last week. Specifically, officials warned that programmers in Belarus, a former Soviet republic closely allied with Russia, were suspected of inserting malicious code that could be used for cyber attacks, according to U.S. officials familiar with the concerns.
The software links the millions of Americans who signed up for Obamacare to the federal government and more than 300 medical institutions and healthcare providers.
“The U.S. Affordable Care Act software was written in part in Belarus by software developers under state control, and that makes the software a potential target for cyber attacks,” one official said. Continue reading
Putin’s ability to ‘outfox’ the West also comes from strong-arm tactics and both a combination of an incompetent American leadership, as well as arguably complicit — hence, more ‘flexibility’ from Obama in his second term.
In one of his many foreign-policy successes this year, Russian President Vladimir Putin has used power politics and blackmail to bring Ukraine back into Russia’s sphere of influence. But what is the Kremlin leader’s secret to success?
“We know,” Kirill said, launching into a hymn of praise for Putin, “that you, more than anyone else since the end of the 20th century, are helping Russia become more powerful and regain its old positions, as a country that respects itself and enjoys the respect of all others.” Continue reading
Russia will open its first military airbase in Belarus before the end of this year, air force commander Lieutenant General Vladimir Bondarev said Tuesday. Continue reading