Russia, China, India Unveil New Gold Trading Network

Deputy Governors of the People’s Bank of China and Bank of Russia sign Memorandum on Gold Trading, Sochi, September 2017. Photo: Bank of Russia

 

One of the most notable events in Russia’s precious metals market calendar is the annual “Russian Bullion Market” conference. Formerly known as the Russian Bullion Awards, this conference, now in its 10th year, took place this year on Friday 24 November in Moscow. Among the speakers lined up, the most notable inclusion was probably Sergey Shvetsov, First Deputy Chairman of Russia’s central bank, the Bank of Russia.

In his speech, Shvetsov provided an update on an important development involving the Russian central bank in the worldwide gold market, and gave further insight into the continued importance of physical gold to the long term economic and strategic interests of the Russian Federation.

Firstly, in his speech Shvetsov confirmed that the BRICS group of countries are now in discussions to establish their own gold trading system. As a reminder, the 5 BRICS countries comprise the Russian Federation, China, India, South Africa and Brazil. Continue reading

Turkey’s Nuclear Ambitions

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (then Prime Minister) meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin on July 18, 2012. Their meeting focused on nuclear cooperation, among other things. (Image source: kremlin.ru)

 

  • Russia’s ROSATOM already has nuclear cooperation deals with Iran, Jordan and Saudi Arabia, among others. Turkey is just the latest to benefit — possibly along with Iran and North Korea, both of which have been openly threatening to destroy America — from Moscow’s play for power in the Middle East and the Mediterranean.
  • The West would also do well not to feel secure in the knowledge that Turkey is a party to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
  • Nuclear reactors in the hands of a repressive Islamist authoritarian such as Erdogan could be turned into weapons factories with little effort.

Turkey’s announcement over the summer that it had signed a deal with Russia’s State Atomic Energy Corporation (ROSATOM) — of Hillary Clinton’s Uranium One stardom — to begin building three nuclear power plants in the near future is cause for concern. The $20 billion deal, which has been in the works since 2010, involves the construction in Mersin of the Akkuyu nuclear power plant — Turkey’s first-ever such plant— will be operational in 2023. Continue reading

Saudi Arabia says to buy Russia S-400 defence systems, other arms

 

Saudi Arabia signed on Thursday preliminary agreements to buy S-400 air defence systems and receive “cutting edge technologies” from Russia during King Salman’s landmark visit to Moscow, the Saudi military industries firm said.

The agreement was announced as King Salman, who is on the first official trip to Russia by a Saudi monarch, and Russian President Vladimir Putin held talks at the Kremlin. Continue reading

State Department Waging “Open War” on White House

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson (left) and President Donald J. Trump (right) on February 1, 2017. (Image source: Michael Reynolds-Pool/Getty Images)

 

  • “It’s not clear to me why the Secretary of State wishes to at once usurp the powers of the Congress and then to derail his boss’s rapprochement with the Israeli government.” — Foreign policy operative, quoted in the Washington Free Beacon.
  • Since he was sworn in as Secretary of State on February 1, Rex Tillerson and his advisors at the State Department have made a number of statements and policy decisions that contradict President Trump’s key campaign promises on foreign policy, especially regarding Israel and Iran.
  • “Tillerson was supposed to clean house, but he left half of them in place and he hid the other half in powerful positions all over the building. These are career staffers committed to preventing Trump from reversing what they created.” — Veteran foreign policy analyst, quoted in the Free Beacon.

The U.S. State Department has backed away from a demand that Israel return $75 million in military aid which was allocated to it by the U.S. Congress. Continue reading

Iran’s deal expanding military cooperation with Iraq boosts regional clout

Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi. / Michael Reynolds / epa

 

Iran and Iraq have signed an agreement to boost military cooperation and counter “terrorism and extremism,” a deal likely to trigger concerns in the United States.

Iranian news agencies reported that the memorandum of understanding signed by the two countries’ defense ministers on July 23 also covers border security, technical and military support, and logistics and training. Continue reading

China and Saudi Arabia Strengthening Ties

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China and Saudi Arabia Strengthening Ties Saudi Arabia’s Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (L) is welcomed upon arrival in Beijing, China August 29, 2016. – See more at: http://www.trunews.com/article/china-and-saudi-arabia-strengthening-ties#sthash.yC6hcArW.dpuf

 

(BEIJING) – Saudi Arabia signed 15 preliminary agreements with China on Tuesday in sectors from energy to housing on a trip headed by Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman aimed at bolstering relations with a top energy customer and trade partner.

Continue reading

National Geographic gets paid to promote Chinese culture

China’s State Council Information Office (SCIO) on Wednesday signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the US National Geographic Society (NGS) and venture capital organization International Data Group (IDG) to promote Chinese culture and cultural exchanges between the two countries. Continue reading

Four things you need to know about ‘China’s World Bank’

In fact, many commentators say the AIIB is less about anything wrong with the ADB or the World Bank and more about China’s efforts to increase its voice in global development and financial governance, and even to reshape the financial world order itself.

With Tuesday marking the deadline for nations wishing to join as “founding members” of the new multinational lender, here are the four things you need know about the AIIB… Continue reading

Russia and Turkey sign eight joint cooperation documents

ANKARA, December 1 /TASS/. Russia and Turkey have signed eight joint documents on cooperation in various branches of economy as part of President Vladimir Putin’s state visit to Turkey.

Gazprom and Turkey’s BOTAS Petroleum Corporation signed a memorandum of understanding while the Russian and Turkish energy ministers put their signatures under the protocol of the 13th mixed inter-governmental Russian-Turkish commission for trade and economic cooperation. Continue reading

Eurasian Economic Union to boost ties with South America’s largest trade bloc

BUENOS AIRES, November 26. /TASS/. The Eurasian Economic Union, which is due to go into effect in 2015, and the Southern Common Market (Mercosur) have almost agreed on a memorandum of understanding, a minister for trade of the Eurasian Economic Commission told TASS in an interview on Wednesday.

“We have in fact completed the work on the memorandum of cooperation in the economic sphere between the two integration associations,” said Andrey Slepnev, who leads talks with Argentina, the current chair of the Mercosur trade group. Continue reading

China and 20 other countries sign MOU on regional bank

BEIJING, China, Oct 24 – China and 20 other countries moved forward on Friday towards setting up an Asian infrastructure lender seen as a counterweight to Western-backed international development banks.

The signatories put their names to a memorandum of understanding to establish the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) at a ceremony in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.

The institution, whose development has been driven by China and which is widely expected to have initial capital of $50 billion, it intended to address the region’s burgeoning demand for transportation, dams, ports and other facilities, officials say.

Continue reading

Bundesbank, PBOC in Pact to Turn Frankfurt Into Renminbi Hub

The central banks signed a memorandum of understanding in Berlin today, when Chinese President Xi Jinping met German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the Frankfurt-based Bundesbank said in an e-mailed statement.

Germany’s financial capital prevailed over Paris and Luxembourg in a euro-area race to win trade in renminbi, which overtook the euro to become the second-most used currency in global trade finance in October, according to the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication. The U.K. Treasury said on March 26 that the Bank of England would sign an initial agreement with the PBOC on March 31 to clear and settle yuan transactions in London.

“Frankfurt is one of Europe’s foremost financial centers and home to two central banks, making it a particularly suitable location,” said Joachim Nagel, a member of the Bundesbank’s executive board. “Renminbi clearing will strengthen the close economic and financial ties between Germany and the People’s Republic of China.” Continue reading

Official: Iranian Gov’t Mulling Resumption of Direct Flights to US

“This issue is currently under study by the government and the results of their assessments will be announced once their studies are complete,” Jahangirian told reporters on Sunday.

Yet, he said that he cannot give an exact date for declaring the decision of the government.

In November, Jahangirian said everything is ready for the resumption of direct flights between Iran and the US, and that the CAO “is just waiting for the Iranian government’s final approval”. Continue reading

The Great Gas Game over Syria

Even as much has been written about the regional and global actors pursuing their pitiless agendas in Syria, one sub-plot in the vicious drama has remained relatively unexplored. And that is the gas resource and its routes from production to the market.

The past five years have seen discoveries of immense energy reserves in the Eastern Mediterranean; both the Levant Basin located along the shores of Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Gaza and Cyprus and the Nile Basin north of Egypt. According to preliminary geological surveys, the Levant Basin contains 3.5 trillion cubic meters (tcm) of gas and 1.7 billion barrels (bb) of oil. The Nile Basin contains 6 tcm of gas and 1.8 bb of oil. Continue reading

Cyprus, Israel and Greece sign MoU on energy and water

Meet your new economic foundations of the European Union: Cyprus and Greece. From this point, it seems they are not likely to be kicked out of the union and could become part of the upcoming United States of Europe.

Cyprus, Israel and Greece have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on cooperation in the fields of energy and water.

Speaking after the signing of the MoU, Cyprus Minister of Energy, Commerce, Industry and Tourism Yiorgos Lakkotrypis said “this is a monumental moment for the cooperation among the three countries”.

“The MoU is a framework which will determine the number of activities that the countries have agreed to jointly pursue, such as energy security supply, environmental concerns and a number of other issues which are common for us three”, he added. Continue reading