On the heels of yesterday's comments from Poland's Sikorski, NATO has confirmed there's a risk of Russia sending troops into Ukraineunder the 'pretext' of a humanitarian or peacekeeping mission. "We're not going to guess what’s on Russia’s mind, but we can see what Russia is doing on the ground - and that is of great concern," a NATO spokesperson warned, adding, "this is a dangerous situation." Then US SecDef Hagel added, "the threat of Russian incursion in Ukraine is a reality." Russia's response to this warmongering (as Ukraine appears desperate to instigate something before the money runs out) is to blast the disinformation, "reports of troop buildups near the Ukraine border are groundless." It appears we are going to need more YouTube clips...
US Secretary of Defense Hagel is chiming in...
And as Bloomberg reports, NATO sees incursion risk on apparent troop buildup...
NATO said there’s a risk of Russia sending troops into Ukraine under the “pretext” of a humanitarian or peacekeeping mission after President Vladimir Putin massed soldiers on his country’s western border.
“We’re not going to guess what’s on Russia’s mind, but we can see what Russia is doing on the ground -- and that is of great concern,” Oana Lungescu, a spokeswoman for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, said by e-mail today. “The latest Russian military buildup further escalates the situation and undermines efforts aimed at finding a diplomatic solution to the crisis. This is a dangerous situation.”
“Putin will likely aim at a fig leaf policy with an incursion under the guise of a peacekeeping operation,” Amanda Paul, an analyst at the European Policy Centre in Brussels, wrote in an e-mail. “As other conflicts in the former Soviet Union have shown, once there is a Russian military presence it usually never leaves.”
On the heels of yesterday's comments from Poland...
Poland has “reason to believe” that the risk of an incursion is “greater than a few days ago,” Prime Minister Donald Tusk told reporters in Warsaw today. His foreign minister, Radoslaw Sikorski, yesterday said that any incursion would be under the guise of a peacekeeping operation.
The Germans are not buying NATO's perspective...
“I cannot believe Russia would attack Ukraine, which would worsen the situation further and deepen the conflict with the West,” Meister said by phone today. “I don’t see signs for invasion. In fact, Russia has tried to bring in some distance from the separatists.”
Putin Orders Ban On All Food Imports From Sanctioning Countries For A Year
this morning Vladimir Putin has come out swinging by signing 'a decree on countermeasures to Western sanctions':
So trade wars escalate externally and price controls internally. It appears the US (and Europe) will indeed feel "tangible losses" despite Jack Lew's promises.
President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday signed a decree on countermeasures to Western sanctions.
The document entitled “On the Application of Certain Special Economic Measures to Ensure the Security of the Russian Federation” prohibits or restricts, for one year, the import of certain kinds of agricultural products, raw materials and food originating in a country that has imposed economic sanctions against Russian companies and (or) individuals or has joined such sanctions.
In addition, local analysts consider all the possibilities:
“Russia’s response to Western sanctions may vary from country to country. In relations with the United States Russia may raise the question of banning US fast food outlets, which treat their customers to products harmful to health. The same applies to the marketing of PepsiCo products and genetically modified goods from the US,” the expert said.
“Some claim that tens of thousands of Russians may lose jobs in US fast food chains, while others argue that Russian businessmen are quite capable of opening a chain of domestic fast food joints selling natural fried potatoes, and not of Brazilian flour,” Delyagin said.
“In relations with the United States the most sensitive measures may be taken in the banking sphere. Also, there is a possibility of replacing Microsoft software being used at Russia’s government structures with alternative substitutes,” the analyst said.
“Also, Russia may stop letting NASA use its rockets as a means of delivering cargoes to the International Space Station, a service the United States is so much interested in. Or, if asked to go ahead with space cooperation, Moscow may address Washington with its own conditions,” Delyagin said.
“As far as Germany as Russia’s main economic partner in the European Union is concerned, the two countries have strong bonds in power engineering and the automobile industry. But Russia may as well import high precision machine tools from advanced countries in the Asia-Pacific Region, which will surely result in direct losses for German manufacturers,” the analyst said.
I think we have to face reality. The war cycle is expanding now faster than ever and our assets better be protected from the possibility of economic warfare globally. Stay close to your InsidersPower Newsletter and Wealth Preserver subscriptions.
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Livio S. Nespoli has been a broker, registered investment advisor, and financial publisher since 1985.