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Wheels

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Wheels

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Since Elizabeth Warren is an Indian, I wonder if Biden is considering her for SCOTUS.
 

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It’s a beautiful thing what’s happening and it took a group of truckers to unite this country! The convoy is over 70km long now and growing with every town it passes through. It’s a shame it’s not getting the media coverage it deserves. I couldn’t be more proud be Canadian then I am now.
 

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This guy ....... :unsure: :oops:

We are spinning into a crisis with Russia, and this guy has the football.

God help our servicemen and women. This idiot doesn’t even know what he’s leading them toward.
 

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Hardly anyone here in Germany is afraid of Putin, only the official sides and the mainstream media with their brainwashing doctrine.
Why should he be here?
He urgently needs our money and Europe needs his gas.
He is worried about Nato's rapprochement.In the former 2+4 talks it was said at the time that no Nato troops would be sent to East Germany.
We can now argue about whether the NATO troops that are stationed in East Germany in order to reach the Russian border via our neighbouring countries to the east fall under this clause in the legal sense, but they are always contrary to the spirit of the agreement.
Our Foreign Minister Genscher said in 1990 "There will be no eastward enlargement of NATO".
And the reality-it looks different.The fact that he took back the Crimea, everyone here finds okay (except those above).
He has corrected the stupidity of Crustschow who gave it away to Ukraine in 1957.
The Crimea is much more Russian than South Tyrol is Italian.
Ukraine needs to think carefully about what kind of conditions it wants to maintain, because in the event of an emergency, no significant help can be expected from the Europeans, and what do the Americans want there,10.000 kilometers from home ?
Whatever happens in Europe and Russia is none of our business. The US should distance itself totally and let the affected parties sort it out. We have more than enough on our plate here at home with no apparent solutions. The US has to get over the silly idea we have to fight everyone else's battles. The rest of the world must learn to stand on their own two feet and take care of business.

I know this is going to garner a lot of hand wringing and postulating that the US has to help every poor soul in the world. Really? And just what has it gained us? An obscene amount of taxpayer money squandered in places that couldn't care less and nothing productive has resulted. Wouldn't it be more prudent--and politically helpful-- to use those funds to improve conditions here at home? There is a plethora of places that are in desperate need of revitalizing, rehabilitating, and modernizing.
 

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I'll just quote Lavrov, he recently reported in Parliament:
"First, we seek to reduce dependence on the dollar, and the Americans are actively "help" us in this, because doing almost everything possible to undermine confidence in the currency and make it risky for the General international settlements, not only with the Russian Federation, and any other country in the world.
...
Second, we strongly encourage the transition to settlements in national currencies. And this is already beginning to cause such disturbing discussions among political scientists and economists in the West.
...
Thirdly, we are sharply reducing our foreign exchange reserves, which are stored in dollars, and this process does not go unnoticed in the West, where real problems will begin for them.
...
How much faster should it go? I do not know, I am not an expert in these matters, but it is very important not to upset the economy."
 

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Red Leg

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I'll just quote Lavrov, he recently reported in Parliament:
"First, we seek to reduce dependence on the dollar, and the Americans are actively "help" us in this, because doing almost everything possible to undermine confidence in the currency and make it risky for the General international settlements, not only with the Russian Federation, and any other country in the world.
...
Second, we strongly encourage the transition to settlements in national currencies. And this is already beginning to cause such disturbing discussions among political scientists and economists in the West.
...
Thirdly, we are sharply reducing our foreign exchange reserves, which are stored in dollars, and this process does not go unnoticed in the West, where real problems will begin for them.
...
How much faster should it go? I do not know, I am not an expert in these matters, but it is very important not to upset the economy."
Always good when another old soldier joins this discussion. We need to have a vodka sometime and decide if we were looking at each other across the Fulda Gap a long time ago.

Let me provide some Western perspective.

Russia does indeed have a bit of leverage with its natural gas exports. However, it is a double edged sword - one I'll come back to in a bit.

Lavrov sounds like he is making either veiled economic threats, or perhaps, he implies that the US and perhaps Europe should be concerned in some way by Russian economic desires.

However, a little perspective is useful.

Russia has an annual GDP of approximately 1.7 trillion USD. That is seemingly a large number. However, France has a GDP of 2.7 trillion USD. Just the state of Texas has a GDP of 1.6 trillion - about the same as Russia. California's economy, with a GDP of 2.6 trillion USD, is an economy the size of France. The combined economies of the G7 (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK, and the US) have a GDP of 38.6 trillion USD. To be blunt, the western powers are only mildly interested in Russia's economic wishes and demands.

As noted above, Russia does have some leverage through natural gas. However, it is hardly the only source. Texas, for instance, with an economy the size of Russia and no massive military expenditures dragging on it, would be delighted to increase its natural gas output and reap those profits. So, whose economy would be damaged more by closing those exports? Such an action would be inconvenient to the Eurozone, but would devastating to Russia's economy.

I frankly do not understand Putin's foreign policy goals. Yes, he does control the USSR's nuclear stockpile. It is what makes issues like the Ukraine so potentially dangerous. But to what end? Russia, were it embrace the vision of Peter the Great, and work to fully integrating itself into Europe, would have, economically, a strong voice in European affairs. It would not have to worry about buffer zones made up of client states; nations that today, are now largely suspicious if not actually hostile to Russian stated security interests.

And Putin is smart enough to know that no real alliance is possible with China other than a periodic and very temporary marriage of convenience. China's GDP is 23 trillion USD; second only to the US. Xi really isn't very concerned about what Russia thinks on any meaningful subject unless it directly supports Chinese national interests - most of which are not in Russia's.

Sadly, I am afraid no fundamental change in the relationship with Europe is possible as long as the current generation is in power in Russia. They, and people like you and me, are burdened with too much history. Until then, we are going to continue to see these periodic crises, and Russia will continue to be on the outside rattling its rusting saber looking in on the most significant international issues.

Instead, we should all be warily focused on China.

And to be fair, I should also note that the dangers of the current situation are compounded by the leadership vacuum that currently exists in the US. It is an environment where mistakes can be made..


Всегда хорошо, когда к этой дискуссии присоединяется еще один старый солдат. Нам нужно как-нибудь выпить водки и решить, смотрели ли мы друг на друга через Фульдский ущелье давным-давно.

Позвольте мне представить некоторые западные точки зрения.

Россия действительно имеет некоторое влияние на экспорт природного газа. Тем не менее, это палка о двух концах, к которой я еще вернусь.

Лавров звучит так, будто он либо делает завуалированные экономические угрозы, либо, возможно, намекает на то, что США и, возможно, Европа должны быть каким-то образом обеспокоены экономическими устремлениями России.

Тем не менее, немного перспективы полезно.

Годовой ВВП России составляет около 1,7 трлн долларов США. Казалось бы, это большое число. Однако ВВП Франции составляет 2,7 трлн долларов США. Только у штата Техас ВВП 1,6 трлн - примерно столько же, сколько у России. Экономика Калифорнии с ВВП в 2,6 трлн долларов США имеет размер экономики Франции. Совокупная экономика G7 (Канада, Франция, Германия, Италия, Япония, Великобритания и США) имеет ВВП в размере 38,6 трлн долларов США. Откровенно говоря, западные державы лишь слегка интересуются экономическими желаниями и требованиями России.

Как отмечалось выше, у России есть определенные рычаги влияния за счет природного газа. Однако вряд ли это единственный источник. Техас, например, с экономикой размером с Россию и без огромных военных расходов, тянущих его за собой, был бы рад увеличить добычу природного газа и получить эту прибыль. Итак, чьей экономике больше повредит закрытие этого экспорта? Такая акция была бы неудобна для еврозоны, но разрушительна для экономики России.

Я откровенно не понимаю внешнеполитических целей Путина. Да, он контролирует ядерный арсенал СССР. Именно это делает такие вопросы, как Украина, потенциально опасными. Но с какой целью? Россия, если бы она приняла видение Петра Великого и стремилась полностью интегрироваться в Европу, в экономическом отношении она имела бы сильный голос в европейских делах. Ему не нужно было бы беспокоиться о буферных зонах, состоящих из клиентских состояний; страны, которые сегодня в значительной степени подозрительны, если не враждебны, по отношению к заявленным Россией интересам безопасности.

А Путин достаточно умен, чтобы понимать, что никакой реальный союз с Китаем невозможен, кроме периодического и очень временного брака по расчету. ВВП Китая составляет 23 триллиона долларов США; уступает только США. Си на самом деле не очень беспокоит, что Россия думает по какому-либо значимому вопросу, если только она напрямую не поддерживает национальные интересы Китая, большинство из которых выражены не на русском языке.

К сожалению, я боюсь, что коренные изменения в отношениях с Европой невозможны, пока у власти в России находится нынешнее поколение. Они и такие люди, как вы и я, обременены слишком большой историей. А до тех пор мы будем продолжать сталкиваться с этими периодическими кризисами, а Россия будет по-прежнему находиться в стороне, бряцая своей ржавой саблей, глядя на самые важные международные проблемы.

Вместо этого мы все должны с осторожностью сосредоточиться на Китае.

И справедливости ради, я должен также отметить, что опасности нынешней ситуации усугубляются вакуумом лидерства, который в настоящее время существует в США. Это среда, в которой можно совершать ошибки.
 
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