Russia, China Playing Major Role in Keeping Venezuela Afloat

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro / Getty Images

 

The countries ‘have provided capital, goods, services, and political backing’

Russia and China have played a major role in keeping the dictatorial Maduro regime in Venezuela afloat, according to expert testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Committee Wednesday.

Evan Ellis, a senior associate at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and a professor at the U.S. Army War College, appeared before the Western Hemisphere subcommittee of the Foreign Affairs Committee for a hearing on the malicious influence of state and criminal actors in the Latin American nation’s ongoing breakdown.

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The REAL Russia Scandal

MELISSA BARREIRO/TRUMPET

 

Is Vladimir Putin trying to strengthen the Trump presidency—or weaken it?

Claims that United States President Donald Trump secretly cooperated with Russia to steal the 2016 United States presidential election have been making headlines for over a year. New allegations seem to come out every week, but none of them are backed up by proof against the president.

WikiLeaks published 19,252 e-mails hacked from the accounts of seven key Democratic National Committee staff members on July 22, 2016. These staff members are chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, chief executive officer Amy Dacey, chief financial officer Brad Marshall, communications director Luis Miranda, press secretary Mark Paustenbach, broadcast media director Pablo Manriquez and finance director Jordan Kaplan.

The e-mails revealed that under Schultz’s leadership, key officials within the Democratic Party worked to sabotage the presidential campaign of Sen. Bernie Sanders so Hillary Clinton would win the party nomination. Many Sanders supporters were outraged. Schultz apologized and resigned in disgrace. Continue reading

German-Russian Oil Cooperation

BERLIN/MOSCOW (Own report) – The Russian petroleum company, Rosneft, is expanding its activities in Germany, thereby reducing Germany’s dependence on the transatlantic oil industry. While public discussion is focused on ex-Chancellor Gerhard Schröder’s candidacy for the chair of Rosneft’s board of directors, the company has increased its share to 25 percent of Germany’s crude oil imports, and has become the third largest oil processing enterprise in Germany. It has plans to further strengthen its position in the country, inspired by the close German-Russian natural gas cooperation, which provides Germany significant influence over Western Europe’s supply of Russian gas. Achieving predominant influence over the EU’s supply and a growing independence vis-à-vis the energy giants of the transatlantic era, facilitates Berlin’s pursuit of an independent German-EU global policy.

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Report: Democrats colluded with Russians to defeat Trump, damage his administration

Democrat Rep. Adam Schiff read from the discredited Christopher Steele dossier extensively at a March hearing of the House Intelligence Committee.

 

While the major media continues to hunt for the tiniest scrap of evidence of Trump-Russia collusion, Democrats openly tried to derail Donald Trump’s campaign and, when that proved unsuccessful, his agenda as president, using a phony dossier whose author got his disinformation from – Russia.

Democrats have widely circulated the discredited dossier by ex-British intelligence agent Christopher Steele, who was paid by the Democrat-funded opposition research firm Fusion GPS with money from a Hillary Clinton supporter.

“If anyone colluded with the Russians, it was the Democrats,” a former Trump campaign adviser who asked not to be identified because of the pending investigations, told Rowan Scarborough in a July 11 report for The Washington Times. Continue reading

Is A Russian-Iranian Energy Pact In The Making?

Oil Rigs

 

In the lead-up to President Rouhani’s visit to Moscow, expected to take place in late March, a plethora of news regarding joint Russo-Iranian energy projects has been circulating on the Internet. A three-year long negotiation process regarding a 100,000 barrels-per-day swap contract is believed to be agreed upon, premised on Iran providing Russia (most likely, Rosneft) oil from Kharg Island or other hubs in the Persian Gulf in return for cash and Russian goods that Iran would “require”. Teheran also woos LUKOIL, currently Russia’s only major oil producer in the Caspian, to participate in swap deals bound for Iran’s Neka Port (in return for Iranian crude provided from Kharg Island or other Persian Gulf hubs), albeit on a much smaller scale at 4000 to 5000 barrels per day. To top it all up, numerous Russian oil companies have committed themselves to developing Iran’s hydrocarbon fields. Continue reading

Russia’s Arctic Dreams Have Chinese Characteristics

The most significant geophysical event on our planet since the end of the ice age is taking place today—the opening of the Arctic. As the High North maritime environment warms, the Arctic Ocean’s abundant energy, minerals, fish stocks, and other natural resources are becoming increasingly accessible, while new potential maritime routes promise to reduce shipping times and costs and accelerate ties between major commercial centers. These new opportunities for energy development, natural resources extraction, and shipping suggest that the region risks becoming an arena of intense competition, tension, and potentially even confrontation, not only between the United States and its two near-peer strategic competitors—China and Russia—but also among other Asia-Pacific states with observer status in the Arctic Council. Continue reading

Putin Grooms a New Generation of Leaders

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Featured in Bloomberg Businessweek, Sept. 12-18, 2016. Photographer: Jeremy Liebman for Bloomberg Businessweek

 

The Russian president is removing old allies and replacing them with young loyalists, likely ensuring his leadership will continue until 2024.

After 16 years in charge, Vladimir Putin is shaking up his team to cement his control into the next decade. The 63-year-old leader is pushing aside some longtime allies and grooming young lieutenants—many of whom share his background in the security services and aren’t old enough to have worked under any other leader—to form a new generation of Kremlin leadership. One of them could even become his successor one day. Continue reading

Kremlin strategy does not change

On the last day of 2015, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree approving an updated national security strategy of the Russian Federation. This document is Russia’s main plan and the program of the country’s foreign and domestic policy as Moscow is crazed up solely on own security, the search for external and internal enemies, and ways to neutralize them, as well as for the survival recipes in a “besieged fortress” mode.

So, what is the plan Putin and his entourage have prepared for Russia and the rest of the world in 2016? Since the Strategy is the basis for the formation and implementation of state policy on national security, it makes sense to look at the goals of the Russian government in this field. Continue reading

Oil War Comes To Europe

With oil exports to Europe having slipped from 13 percent of Saudi’s total to just 10 percent in the last six months, The FT reports, the de facto leader of OPEC has slashed its Official Selling Price (OSP) to Europe in an effort to regain market share. Saudi lowered its OSP for its Arab light crude grade in Europe by $1.30 a barrel for December, taking its discount to the weighted average of the North Sea Brent benchmark to $4.75 a barrel – the largest discount since February 2009.

The move, as we detailed previously, is basically going after Russia’s customer base, and has raised heckles in Moscow, with Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin complaining last month about Saudi “dumping” after he revealed the kingdom was selling oil to refineries in Poland. Continue reading

Arctic Oil On Life Support

Keep in mind that this will mostly be a problem for the West and not Russia, who insisted it will forge ahead with developing Arctic oil and gas despite sinking prices and sanctions.

 

Oil companies have eyed the Arctic for years. With an estimated 90 billion barrels of oil lying north of the Arctic Circle, the circumpolar north is arguably the last corner of the globe that is still almost entirely unexplored.

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Foreign Firm Funding U.S. Green Groups Tied to State-Owned Russian Oil Company

Ever wonder who’s behind the drive to sabotage oil independence in America under the guise of radical environmentalism? Look no further than Russia — and they’ve been doing it for decades. It didn’t just start with fracking.

Read the full article only if you can stomach seeing how strong of an undetected stranglehold Russia has on America.

 

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A shadowy Bermudan company that has funneled tens of millions of dollars to anti-fracking environmentalist groups in the United States is run by executives with deep ties to Russian oil interests and offshore money laundering schemes involving members of President Vladimir Putin’s inner circle.One of those executives, Nicholas Hoskins, is a director at a hedge fund management firm that has invested heavily in Russian oil and gas. He is also senior counsel at the Bermudan law firm Wakefield Quin and the vice president of a London-based investment firm whose president until recently chaired the board of the state-owned Russian oil company Rosneft.

In addition to those roles, Hoskins is a director at a company called Klein Ltd. No one knows where that firm’s money comes from. Its only publicly documented activities have been transfers of $23 million to U.S. environmentalist groups that push policies that would hamstring surging American oil and gas production, which has hurt Russia’s energy-reliant economy. Continue reading

Russia’s Most Powerful Oil Official Says Oil Could Fall Below $60 In The Next Few Months

An economic war against American shale oil is what’s going on. They want to see the price so low that it’s no longer profitable for American oil firms, therefore they will close up shop and bring consumer dependence back to the Middle East. That’s why OPEC along with Russia agreed to let prices fall.

 

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia’s most powerful oil official Igor Sechin said in an interview with an Austrian newspaper that oil prices could fall below $60 by mid-way through next year.

Sechin, chief executive of Rosneft, Russia’s largest oil producer, also said U.S. oil production would fall after 2025 and that an oil market council should be created to monitor prices, the same day the OPEC cartel met in Vienna and left its output targets unchanged. Continue reading

China reaps harvest from Russia sanctions

China is gaining an edge in energy deals with Russia as Moscow faces sanctions pressure from the conflict in Ukraine.

The latest energy accords announced in Beijing on the sidelines of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit suggest that China is increasing its access to Russian resources while resisting demands for more favorable financial terms.

At a signing ceremony on November 9, Presidents Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin sealed a memorandum of understanding for a second Siberian gas pipeline on a western route that Russia has promoted unsuccessfully for years.

The preliminary commitment to the project known as the Altai pipeline, named for a remote Russian border region, follows an agreement in May on an eastern Siberian gas line to supply China’s coastal cities and industrial northeast. Continue reading

Russia and China strengthen oil and gas deals

Chinese and Russian oil companies signed several deals during the recent Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation annual meeting in Beijing, indicating that the two countries have entered a honeymoon period in the area of energy cooperation, Guangzhou’s 21st Century Business Herald reports.

China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) signed framework deals with Russian oil company Rosneft and gas supplier Gazprom Nov. 9 for buying a stake in an oilfield in Russia and in gas supplies.

The deals came as Moscow saw a further drop in oil prices and in its currency, the rouble, since July, which has hurt the Russian economy, the newspaper noted. Continue reading

Russia, China to sign government agreement on gas supplies via eastern route

Russia’s gas producer Gazprom and China National Petroleum Corporation agreed in May that Russia will supply China with 38 billion cubic meters of gas starting from 2018-2019

The intergovernmental agreement to seal the deal to supply Russian natural gas to China via an eastern route will be signed during a meeting of the two countries’ prime ministers, Dmitry Medvedev and Li Keqiang, in Moscow, the source said. Continue reading