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One Health: what is it and why is it important?

One Health is being embedded into the WHO’s International Health Regulations (IHRs) and Pandemic Treaty/Accord

By Meryl Nass | December 5, 2022

First, what is One Health? It is essentially a meaningless concept that is important to the WHO, CDC and the new pandemic regulations being negotiated, as I heard it mentioned several times by country representatives discussing the new IHR amendments. My best guess is that One Health will be invoked as the justification to move people off the land in certain rural communities. The authors of a June 2019 article titled “The One Health Approach—Why Is It So Important?” provide 3 definitions and a graphic to try and explain the term:

The most commonly used definition shared by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the One Health Commission is: ‘One Health is defined as a collaborative, multisectoral, and transdisciplinary approach—working at the local, regional, national, and global levels—with the goal of achieving optimal health outcomes recognizing the interconnection between people, animals, plants, and their shared environment’. A definition suggested by the One Health Global Network is: ‘One Health recognizes that the health of humans, animals and ecosystems are interconnected. It involves applying a coordinated, collaborative, multidisciplinary and cross-sectoral approach to address potential or existing risks that originate at the animal-human-ecosystems interface’. A much simpler version of these two definitions is provided by the One Health Institute of the University of California at Davis: ‘One Health is an approach to ensure the well-being of people, animals and the environment through collaborative problem solving—locally, nationally, and globally’. Others have a much broader view, as encapsulated in Figure 1.

I hope you agree that these definitions shed no light on the meaningfulness of this concept, nor how it might be relevant to public health. However, the definitions seem to rope a lot of other things into a consideration of “health” which I fear is its main objective—eventually to justify social engineering under the rubric of health, or rather ‘One Health.’

The authors of the piece cited above note that they have not gotten buy-in from the medical community:

“Interdisciplinary collaboration is at the heart of the One Health concept, but while the veterinarian community has embraced the One Health concept, the medical community has been much slower to fully engage, despite support for One Health from bodies such as the American Medical Association, Public Health England, and WHO. Engaging the medical community more fully in the future may require the incorporation of the One Health concept into the medical school curricula so that medical students see it as an essential component in the context of public health and infectious diseases.”

And so cheap fixes are being applied. November 3 has been designated “One Health Day” since 2016 by the One Health Commission, the One Health Platform Foundation, and the One Health Initiative. One Health Day is celebrated through One Health educational and awareness events held around the world. Students are especially encouraged to envision and implement One Health projects, and to enter them into an annual competition for the best student-led initiatives in each of four global regions.

After titling their article as if it was going to explain why One Health is important, in the end all we get is a spurious sentence asserting that it is so:

Today’s health problems are frequently complex, transboundary, multifactorial, and across species, and if approached from a purely medical, veterinary, or ecological standpoint, it is unlikely that sustainable mitigation strategies will be produced.

I went to the WHO website to see if I could get a more satisfying explanation of this concept, but was left with the same sense—that it was simply an attempt to throw every living thing, plus every ‘ecosystem’ on the planet into the One Health basket, where pretty much everything might in future be manipulated under the guise of public health. See if you get a different take:

One Health is an integrated, unifying approach that aims to sustainably balance and optimize the health of people, animals and ecosystems.

It recognizes that the health of humans, domestic and wild animalsplants, and the wider environment (including ecosystems) are closely linked and interdependent.

While health, food, water, energy and environment are all wider topics with sector-specific concerns, the collaboration across sectors and disciplines contributes to protect health, address health challenges such as the emergence of infectious diseases, antimicrobial resistance, and food safety and promote the health and integrity of our ecosystems.

By linking humans, animals and the environment, One Health can help to address the full spectrum of disease control – from prevention to detection, preparedness, response and management – and contribute to global health security.

The approach can be applied at the community, subnational, national, regional and global levels, and relies on shared and effective governance, communication, collaboration and coordination. Having the One Health approach in place makes it easier for people to better understand the co-benefits, risks, trade-offs and opportunities to advance equitable and holistic solutions.

It matters because One Health appears to be a necessary part of the globalist, WEF plan to corral the earth’s people, akin to vaccine passports. Please help educate those who have ears to hear and eyes to see. This needs to be stopped. The best way is by exiting the WHO. Trump started the process, which was immediately reversed by the Biden administration. We can do it again. Or they will keep coming up with cockamamie programs designed to control us under the guise of health.

December 6, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception, Malthusian Ideology, Phony Scarcity | , , | 1 Comment

World Health Organization meets to discuss granting of increased surveillance powers under pandemic treaty

By Tom Parker | Reclaim The Net | December 6, 2022

The unelected global health agency the World Health Organization (WHO) is currently meeting to consider a draft version of a controversial international pandemic treaty that will give the WHO increased surveillance powers.

The new surveillance powers are detailed in Article 10 (“Strengthening and sustaining capacities for pandemic prevention, preparedness, response and recovery of health systems”) and Article 17 (“One Health”) of the draft treaty. They include requirements for the WHO’s member states to “build and reinforce surveillance systems” across both the public and private sector and to strengthen the WHO’s “One Health surveillance systems.”

In its fact sheet on One Health, the WHO cites Covid-19 as one of the main drivers for expanding its One Health approach and notes that the COVID-19 pandemic “put a spotlight on the need for a global framework for improved surveillance and a more holistic, integrated system.”

While the draft treaty doesn’t mention contact tracing and testing, these were two of the main surveillance tools that were used to track the spread of Covid-19 during the pandemic and create a mass surveillance dragnet. Not only did this result in many citizens being forced to use surveillance apps and devices but the data was often abused by governments and third parties.

Not only does this treaty grant the WHO new surveillance powers but it also recognizes “the central role of WHO” and deems it to be “the directing and coordinating authority on international health work.”

We obtained a copy of the draft international pandemic treaty for you here.

The three-day meeting to discuss this draft treaty began on Monday (December 5) and ends Wednesday (December 7). Members of an intergovernmental negotiating body (INB) that was created by the WHO’s decision-making body, the World Health Assembly (WHA), are in attendance and have been tasked with drafting and negotiating this international pandemic treaty.

The INB is projecting that it will finalize this international pandemic treaty by May 2024 and present a final report to the seventy-seventh WHA meeting.

We obtained a copy of the INB’s current proposed timeline for you here.

If it passes, the treaty will be adopted under Article 19 of the WHO Constitution. This provision allows the WHA to impose legally binding conventions or agreements on the WHO’s 194 member states (which represent 98% of all the countries in the world) if two-thirds of the WHA vote for them.

Unlike the lawmaking process within many democratic nations, where officials are elected to implement national laws that reflect the will of the people in the country and voted out if they fail to achieve this goal, the WHO empowers a small number of global representatives, who are often unelected diplomats, to decide on international laws that are imposed on the WHO’s 194 member states.

Before these meetings took place, the WHO demonstrated its love of mass surveillance. It has publicly supported vaccine passports multiple times. The WHO also initially commended China’s response to Covid, which relies heavily on digital surveillance, and only recently changed its stance to criticize China’s zero-Covid policy.

Many powerful nations support this WHO power grab including the United States (US),  (UK), Canada, , New Zealand, and the European Council (EC) (which represents 27  (EU) member states).

While some politicians in these countries have opposed this treaty, the pushback has so far failed to stop or slow down the progress of this international pandemic treaty and the May 2024 finalization is still very much in play.

December 6, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , | Leave a comment

Responses to FOIA requests reveal shocking disregard for children

Masking children was a political decision that was not risk-assessed for 17 months

UsForThem | Broken Custodians | December 5, 2022

In August 2020, as schools prepared for the return of pupils — many for the first time in six months — No 10 performed a succession of u-turns on the wearing of masks in schools.

The initial advice was that masks could impede communication between teachers and staff and have little health benefit”, but with teaching unions piling on pressure and the Scottish government deciding to recommend masks in their classrooms, the advice changed at the end of August. Masks became recommended in communal areas but not in classrooms because, in the words of then PM, Boris Johnson, that is clearly nonsensical – you can’t teach with face coverings; you can’t expect people to learn with face-coverings.”

By March 2021, though, the Department for Education had recommended that all secondary school pupils wear a mask in class. As Matt Hancock (then Health Secretary) later pointed out when justifying his own infringements of Covid regulations, this was guidance not law, but most schools understood it to be a requirement and headteachers refusing to comply with the ‘guidance’ were pressured to conform. Consequently for most students the implementation occurred as if it were a legal requirement.

Astonishingly for someone who professed to ‘follow the science’ at all times, Matt Hancock has now suggested in his serialised diary extracts that the introduction of masks in classrooms was driven exclusively  by crude political considerations, and to have had no grounding in assessments of risk, efficacy or safety.

“Nicola Sturgeon blindsided us by suddenly announcing that when schools in Scotland reopen, all secondary school pupils will have to wear masks in classrooms. In one of her most egregious attempts at one-upmanship to date, she didn’t consult us. The problem is that our original guidance on face coverings specifically excluded schools. Cue much tortured debate between myself, education secretary Gavin Williamson and No 10 about how to respond. Much as Sturgeon would relish it, nobody here wants a big spat with the Scots. So, U-turn it is.”

Given the scale and speed of this u-turn, and in view of the Government’s dogmatic insistence on following the science, one might reasonably assume that once forced into this decision there would have been a concerted effort to establish the evidence and to assess the science-based health risk.

UsForThem asked repeatedly through this period for the DfE to confirm the evidence basis for its policies on masks in schools, and latterly for the Department to produce any evidence that it had carried out a risk assessment prior to those decisions, or for confirmation simply that someone somewhere in government had evaluated the harms and benefits of the policy for the millions of children it had impacted. Our requests were variously ignored or avoided.

In October of 2022, however, after repeated FOI challenges by our team and after the DfE had claimed that its paper trail could not be disclosed because to do so would constrain future policy-making processes, DfE officials have now finally provided access to some of their paperwork. Despite heavy redactions across the documents revealed by the DfE, the picture that emerges, and seemingly now confirmed by Matt Hancock’s diaries, is both astounding and deeply concerning.

There was no assessment of harms for masks in schools under Sir Gavin Williamson

The first notable revelation is that the first time an evaluation of the masks in class policy was provided to the Education Minister, at that time Nadhim Zahawi, appears to have been on the 30th December 2021. That is seventeen months after schools had first been advised by his department to require children to wear masks in schools.

Any harms to children appear to have been of subsidiary importance to making adults feel safe

The second notable revelation is that more than one third of the DfE’s evaluation document supporting its briefing to the Minister was given over to concerns about the risk of teaching unions encouraging their teachers to walk out of schools on the insidious grounds that schools had become dangerous places to work. Those concerns were given materially greater airtime in that December 2021 briefing document than the few paragraphs devoted to the risks of harm for schoolchildren.

It is evident that the adversarial approach of teaching unions had a material influence on the DfE’s advice to the Minister. The evaluation document notes that mandating the wearing of masks in school “could help reduce the risk of some teachers invoking sec[tion] 44 of [the] Employment Rights Act” (a statutory provision that allows employees, exceptionally, to decline to work in materially unsafe conditions), a provision the NEU and Unison had apparently flagged to their members in January 2021.  It also cited surveys recording that 71% of Unison members had reported in March 2021 that masks in class were thought to be “an important safety measure”, and 79% of respondents to a private schools survey around the same time had “noted benefits of wearing face coverings in the classroom”.

The deeply troubling implication of this limited and largely-redacted paper trail is that policy-making within the DfE was led not by a rational evaluation of scientific evidence or after a weighing-up of actual and potential risks and harms for children against known or perceived benefits. Rather, the motivation for the August 2020 policy appears to have been a direct response to union-led pressures, and perhaps also to incitements from some elements of the mainstream media, who seemed intent on shutting down schools in order to ‘protect’ teachers and other adults.

The evidence on which the decisions were based was shallow, inconclusive and tardy

Also notable from DfE’s disclosures is the imbalance in the scant and woefully tardy risk-benefit analysis that had been done, and despite which the Minister had been encouraged to press ahead with the masking of schoolchildren.

The evidence provided in DfE’s briefing papers for the efficacy of masks is heavily caveated with benefits expressed in “can”, “potentially”, “tentatively” and “may” terms, rather than “will”. And the most substantial pieces of evidence referenced in support of masking children were an observational study of 123 schools carried out by the DfE over a period of 2-3 weeks in Autumn 2021 (a year after masks had first been imposed on schoolchildren), and a study carried out in the US in Spring 2021, from which had been extrapolated a tentative prediction that between 26,000 and 210,000 children might have been saved from missing school if they had been masked.

At the same time, however, the DfE’s document acknowledges that its study had not established a causative connection between masking in classrooms and a reduction of missed school days; nor could that study do anything to take account of the impact of other society-wide interventions, including interventions applied to the broader adult population, which had been implemented over the same observational period.

In any event, and crucially, none of the reports or studies relied on for Nadhim Zahawi’s briefing in December 2021 had been carried out in August 2020 when DfE made its first u-turn policy decision to introduce masks in classrooms in England and Wales. So the DfE appears to have been flying blind from August 2020 until late 2021 – with no idea about the risks and harms to which it was exposing kids by introducing what amounted to a nationwide mandate for masking schoolchildren for up to eight hours a day; something, incidentally, that the Government never ultimately demanded of the general population, or indeed of its own ministerial teams.

In contrast, the evidence on “downsides” (i.e. harms) of masking pupils is couched in definitive terms, referencing impacts on communication, cognition, educational performance, confidence; and the fact that “Masks will become highly contaminated with upper respiratory tract and skin micro-organisms”, such that used masks could become a source of viral transmission. Even at the start of 2021, it was already clear and indeed had been referenced by the Prime Minister, and later union leaders who had acknowledged that wearing masks in class would impact communication. DfE surveys carried out in March 2021 and cited in the newly-revealed December 2021 briefing for Nadhim Zahawi had confirmed that 94% of teachers believed communication would be harder with a mask, emphatically reinforcing what everyone, including the Prime Minister and the Education Minister, already knew. DfE also noted at that time that BAME and children in deprived areas were expected to struggle most with masks – adding to the stress of pandemic strictures for those children.

Of the gravest concern then, and potentially of legal significance, the evidence revealed in these briefing documents lays bare that DfE officials, and latterly the Minister, knew that wearing masks in class would impact children’s educational performance, cognitive abilities and attention as well as communication.

The evidence cited in December 2021 also raised concerns about the safety and hygiene for children of wearing masks, the need to dispose of them safely, and that children would need to be able to increase their hygiene if they were to avoid increasing the risk of transmission via masks – or to put it another way, DfE officials had evidence that mandating masks in class could in certain circumstances increase transmission rates in school settings if at the same time hand-washing and other associated sanitary measures could not be guaranteed; yet they appeared rather more concerned by the belligerence of teaching unions. This by itself is quite an astonishing revelation.

Were masks introduced in schools to make union officials, teachers and other adults feel safer?

On the basis of the documents now revealed by the DfE, buttressed by Matt Hancock’s more recent disclosures, it appears that science played no meaningful part in this pernicious episode of policy-making, and that no health risk analysis was carried out before the DfE required schoolchildren to wear masks for up to eight hours a day. Of grave concern for parents, this implies that masking schoolchildren was a politically-driven decision reacting to pressure from teaching unions and mainstream media, and seeking to avoid unhelpful comparisons to the earlier decision of the Scottish government to mask schoolchildren in Scotland.

It is hard not to draw the conclusion from this wafer-thin paper trail that DfE’s decision to mask children in classrooms was yet another instance during the pandemic when the best interests of children were subordinated or ignored for the appearance of safety for adults, or worse still for reasons of political expediency and in particular to avoid the embarrassment of a walk out by teaching staff at the behest of union leaders.

The Covid Inquiry has an opportunity to review the adequacy of the Government’s risk assessment activity for pandemic intervention measures, and more broadly the governance processes around significant decision-points such as occurred in relation to masks in class in August 2020. It should not be controversial now for the Inquiry to probe why the only risk assessment for what has been one of the most significant interventions in the educational life, and health and wellbeing, of our nation’s schoolchildren appears to have been prepared an astonishing 17 months after masks were first recommended; and to ask how public health policy-making of this magnitude could have been better informed and more impervious to inappropriate politicised influences.

Though it is not yet a matter of investigation within the domain of the Covid Inquiry, if in time serious health or developmental impacts are revealed in the generation of young children most affected by the masks in class policy such that questions of legal accountability may need to be assessed, we hope that the information revealed by our FOI team’s efforts will provide a basis for evidencing what DfE, union officials, and crucially the Ministers who made the key decisions, knew of the risk of harms and the limited benefits of masking schoolchildren; and of their motives for imposing this damaging intervention on our children.

December 6, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Science and Pseudo-Science | , , | Leave a comment

European firms ‘invest’ $171 billion in Israel’s illegal settlements: Report

The Cradle | December 6, 2022

According to a report published on 5 December by the advocacy group Don’t Buy into Occupation, investments by European firms in Israel’s illegal settlements increased by more than $30 billion since last year.

Almost 24 Palestinian, regional, and European organizations have joined forces to form the group, which aims to investigate and disclose any connections between European financial institutions and companies involved in illegal Israeli settlements.

In their second report, “Exposing the financial flows into illegal Israeli settlements,” the group discovered that between January 2019 and August 2022, 725 European financial institutions, including banks, asset managers, insurance companies, and pension funds, had financial ties to 50 firms that are directly associated with Israeli settlements. International law prohibits all squatters and settlements in Israel.

Loans and underwriting totaled $171.4 billion over the three years covered by the report. The figure represents a $30 billion increase over last year when European firms invested $141 billion in illegal settlements. European investors are also said to hold $115.5 billion in shares and bonds of companies benefiting from the settlements as of August 2022.

According to the advocacy organization, businesses directly or indirectly associated with Israeli settlements run a significant danger of being complicit in serious violations of international humanitarian law, war crimes, and crimes against humanity, as well as contributing to other human rights violations.

Meanwhile, on 8 November, the ‘Elad’ settlement association in occupied East Jerusalem received roughly $7.9 million to support illegal settlements in the Palestinian town of Silwan.

The Elad group pursues the declared objective of “Judaizing” East Jerusalem, including Silwan, as a part of its mission to expand a Jewish presence across the occupied city and to uproot the indigenous Palestinian population under the guise of archeological and touristic endeavors.

Israel has illegally expanded its territory since the 1967 Arab-Israeli war and built settlements in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem for over 700,000 settlers, in clear violation of international law.

Israel’s occupation of East Jerusalem is not recognized by most countries and is considered one of the biggest obstacles to peace, as Palestinians consider East Jerusalem the capital of their future state.

December 6, 2022 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, War Crimes | , , , | Leave a comment

Oil tanker clears Turkiye shipping logjam with Russian insurance letter

MEMO | December 6, 2022

A letter provided by Russian insurer, Ingosstrakh, enabled the first oil tanker to sail through Turkish waters in recent days after tougher regulations were imposed by Turkish authorities, a document showed, Reuters reports.

This has led already at least 20 oil tankers backed up in the Turkish Straits as they do not have the right paperwork.

Turkish authorities introduced new requirements, which came into effect on 1 December, in which every ship must have insurance cover in place for all circumstances when sailing through Turkish waters or when calling at ports.

Ingosstrakh provided the requirements for the Liberia flagged “Vladimir Tikhonov” tanker, which included insurance for pollution risks throughout the period in Turkish waters, according to a letter issued to the authorities on 29 November by the insurer and seen by Reuters.

The world’s leading Western ship insurers say they are unable to provide cover for all circumstances, arguing they cannot be liable for payouts if, for instance, there are sanctions breaches with a ship’s cargo.

“Vladimir Tikhonov” completed sailing through the Bosphorus on 3 December, ship tracking data showed.

Supply Disruption From Russia Price Cap Is Here: Tanker Jam Forms Off Turkey

By Tyler Durden | Zero Hedge | December 6, 2022

The EU and G7 price cap on Russian oil went into effect on Monday, but it’s already causing disruptions in global supply chains. The first manifestation comes from Turkey, where the Financial Times reports that a tanker traffic jam is stacking up in Turkish waters and blocking some 18 million barrels of oil from passage, as the country’s authorities demand proof that the vessels have insurance coverage:

“Around 19 crude oil tankers were waiting to cross Turkish waters on Monday, according to ship brokers, oil traders and satellite tracking services. The vessels had dropped anchor near the Bosphorus and Dardanelles, the two straits linking Russia’s Black Sea ports to international markets.”

In a striking demonstration of the price cap’s potential to disrupt markets, most of the oil in the delayed ships isn’t even subject to the sanction regime: It’s from Kazakhstan and has merely transited Russian ports after arriving there via pipeline.

One oil industry insider said Russian shippers have transited with relative ease — it’s shippers covered by western insurers that are anchored and now destined to deliver their cargo late. … Full article

December 6, 2022 Posted by | Economics, Environmentalism | , , | Leave a comment

Argentina convicts vice-president of corruption

RT | December 6, 2022

Argentina’s sitting Vice President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner was found guilty of corruption on Tuesday and sentenced to six years in prison, along with a lifelong ban on holding public office going forward. She will remain free until the end of her term, however, due to immunity.

The federal court in Buenos Aires rendered the verdict after three and a half years of proceedings involving more than 100 witnesses. Kirchner, 69, was accused of taking bribes and having an “illicit association” with a construction magnate during her 2007-2015 presidency. Prosecutors had sought a 12-year sentence.

Kirchner has been vice president and head of the Argentinian senate since December 2019, and can only be stripped of immunity with an unlikely two-thirds vote in the chamber. She also has the option to appeal the verdict to the supreme court.

Tuesday’s verdict is the first time a sitting vice president in Argentina was sentenced for wrongdoing while in office. Kirchner’s Vice President Amado Boudou, as well as Presidents Carlos Menem and Fernando de la Rua, had all been convicted after leaving their posts.

Kirchner had denied all charges and called the process politically charged and ridden with irregularities. Within minutes of the verdict, she said it went beyond “lawfare.”

“This is a parallel state and judicial mafia, and the confirmation of a parastatal system where decisions are made about the life, patrimony and freedom of all Argentines outside the electoral results,” she said.

Kirchner succeeded her late husband Neastor (2003-2007) as president, and was suspected of directing millions in public works funds to Lázaro Baez, a businessman who was a friend of the couple.

After Kirchner left office in 2015, she was also charged with setting a fraudulently low price for dollar-denominated futures, but later acquitted. Another indictment charged her with treason, but was later dropped, while a claim that she had made a secret pact with Iran to protect the alleged perpetrators of a 1994 terrorist bombing was thrown out by another federal court in October 2021.

President Alberto Fernandez backed Kirchner, calling the investigation into her “political” in nature. The next presidential election in Argentina is in 11 months, and it was widely believed Kirchner would run for the post again, though no official announcements have been made.

Kirchner is seen as the most influential figure inside Argentina’s ruling Justicialist Party, founded by Juan and Eva Peron in 1946. Her son Maximo leads the ruling majority bloc in the Chamber of Deputies, the lower house of the Argentinian parliament.

December 6, 2022 Posted by | Aletho News | | Leave a comment

Russia responds to Macron’s security guarantees offer

RT | December 6, 2022

The subject of security guarantees can be raised again if the West is serious about it, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov told reporters on Tuesday. Until then, he added, Moscow will continue to respond appropriately to any further NATO expansion.

Talks could begin “when they confirm that they are ready for some kind of more sensible and balanced dialogue in terms of interests,” Ryabkov said.

“If and when we hear that the West really has an interest in this, we will return to the topic,” the diplomat added. “But, as in the situation with the dialogue on strategic stability, which was unilaterally interrupted by the United States, we are not chasing anyone and we are not asking anyone for anything.”

His comments came after French President Emmanuel Macron said on Saturday – fresh from a visit to Washington – that NATO should be prepared to offer Russia security guarantees as part of any upcoming talks on ending the conflict in Ukraine.

Russia sent a set of security proposals to NATO and the US in December 2021, with Ryabkov playing a key role in the talks. Among other things, Moscow demanded the withdrawal of NATO’s offensive weapons from its borders and guarantees that Ukraine would never join the bloc.

In January, the US and NATO refused, saying they would only be interested in strategic arms control talks. Since the conflict in Ukraine escalated in February, the bloc has also moved to expand to Sweden and Finland.

Ryabkov said this would receive a “corresponding response” from Russia. “Do the countries who wish to join NATO need that? Why? This is ultimately a question for them to address. We will draw conclusions for ourselves, as we have done so far.”

The “strategic stability” Ryabkov mentioned was a reference to the abortive talks between Russia and the US in Cairo last month, dealing with an impasse over New START. Moscow suspended its participation in the treaty inspections mechanism in August, saying the US sanctions gave Washington an unfair advantage by preventing Russian inspectors from doing their work. Further talks on the treaty are not possible so long as the US continues arming Ukraine, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said last month.

December 6, 2022 Posted by | Militarism | , , | Leave a comment

Beijing Rips ‘US’s Old Trick of Hyping China Threat’ as DoD Projects Four-Fold Jump in Chinese Nukes

By Ilya Tsukanov – Samizdat – 06.12.2022

China’s Defense Ministry has ripped Washington over a Pentagon report claiming the People’s Republic plans to ramp up its nuclear weapons stockpile to 1,500 warheads by 2035 and to make modifications to its nuclear doctrine.

“It should be emphasized that China firmly pursues a nuclear strategy of self-defense, adheres to the nuclear policy of no first use of nuclear weapons at any time and under any circumstances, and keeps nuclear capabilities at the minimum level required for national security,” Defense Ministry spokesman Tan Kefei said in a written press statement Tuesday.

Accusing Washington of engaging in baseless “speculation” about Beijing’s nuclear deterrent, Tan urged the US to “deeply review and reflect on its own nuclear policy” before “pointing fingers” at China.

“With the largest nuclear arsenal in the world, the US continues to upgrade its nuclear triad, vigorously seeks to develop or forward-deploy non-strategic nuclear weapons, lowers the threshold for using nuclear weapons, and conducts nuclear proliferation through the AUKUS trilateral security partnership, increasingly becoming the source of nuclear conflicts,” the spokesman said.

Tan added that as far as the Pentagon’s 2022 China report as a whole is concerned, it constitutes an example of “the US’s old trick to hype up the so-called ‘Chinese military threat’.” China is “strongly dissatisfied with and firmly opposed to the US’s move, and has lodged solemn representations with the US,” the spokesman said.

The US Department of Defense’s new report on China, released on November 29, characterizes the People’s Republic as “the only competitor with the intent and, increasingly, the capacity to reshape” the US-dominated world order. The report cites Chinese efforts to “modernize, diversify, and expand its nuclear forces,” and expects Beijing to increase the size of its nuclear arsenal from about 400 nukes now to “about 1,500 warheads by its 2035 timeline.”

The document further accuses China of planning to make modifications to its nuclear posture to account for more and better weapons systems, and suggests that the PRC “probably seeks lower yield nuclear warhead capabilities to provide proportional response options that its high-yield warheads cannot deliver.” Finally, the Pentagon paper expresses concerns about China’s “launch on warning posture,” which allows for nuclear missiles to be launched before an enemy first strike detonates.

How Much of a Threat Do China’s Nukes Pose to the US?

Estimates on the size of China’s nuclear stockpile range from 350-400 total warheads. Even if the PRC went ahead and more than quadrupled its total nuclear stockpile, as the Pentagon report claims, Beijing’s 1,500 nukes would still be just a fraction of the 5,550 warhead stockpile held by the United States. Amid recent US efforts to peg China into strategic arms limitation talks with Russia, Beijing has indicated that it would be “happy” to join such discussions if the nuclear superpowers first reduced their stockpiles to China’s level.

Notwithstanding China’s economic and technological might and growing geopolitical and strategic weight in the world, its nuclear deterrent remains extremely modest compared to the US. For example, while the US Navy operates a fleet of 14 Ohio-class ballistic missile submarines, each carrying up to 336 nuclear bombs – enough to obliterate the whole of China, the People’s Liberation Army Navy has six Type 094 missile subs, each carrying between one and seven warheads (for a total capacity of 12-84 warheads per sub).

China and India remain the only two nuclear weapons states with a no first use policy. The US’s nuclear doctrine, on the other hand, allows the president not only use nukes preemptively, but even against “non-nuclear weapons states.” At the same time that it has accused China of “probably” seeking low-yield nukes, the Pentagon has developed the W76-2 – a nuclear warhead with an explosive yield of about five kilotons (i.e. about a third of the power of the US nuclear bomb which leveled the Japanese city of Hiroshima in 1945). Nuclear arms experts have expressed concerns that such low-yield nuclear weapons pose a threat to global strategic stability by lowering the threshold for nuclear war.

December 6, 2022 Posted by | Militarism, Progressive Hypocrite | , | 1 Comment

Merkel Reveals West’s Duplicity

War, it seems, was the only option Russia’s opponents had ever considered.

By Scott Ritter | Consortium News | December 5, 2022

Recent comments by former German Chancellor Angela Merkel shed light on the duplicitous game played by Germany, France, Ukraine and the United States in the lead-up to the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February.

While the so-called “collective west” (the U.S., NATO, the E.U. and the G7) continue to claim that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was an act of “unprovoked aggression,” the reality is far different: Russia had been duped into believing there was a diplomatic solution to the violence that had broken out in the Donbass region of eastern Ukraine in the aftermath of the 2014 U.S.-backed Maidan coup in Kiev.

Instead, Ukraine and its Western partners were simply buying time until NATO could build a Ukrainian military capable of capturing the Donbass in its entirety, as well as evicting Russia from Crimea.

In an interview last week with Der Spiegel, Merkel alluded to the 1938 Munich compromise. She compared the choices former British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain had to make regarding Nazi Germany with her decision to oppose Ukrainian membership in NATO, when the issue was raised at the 2008 NATO summit in Bucharest.

By holding off on NATO membership, and later by pushing for the Minsk accords, Merkel believed she was buying Ukraine time so that it could better resist a Russian attack, just as Chamberlain believed he was buying the U.K. and France time to gather their strength against Hitler’s Germany

The takeaway from this retrospection is astounding. Forget, for a moment, the fact that Merkel was comparing the threat posed by Hitler’s Nazi regime to that of Vladimir Putin’s Russia, and focus instead in on the fact that Merkel knew that inviting Ukraine into NATO would trigger a Russian military response.

Rather than reject this possibility altogether, Merkel instead pursued a policy designed to make Ukraine capable of withstanding such an attack.

War, it seems, was the only option Russia’s opponents had ever considered. [See: Biden Confirms Why the U.S. Needed This WarConsortium News.]

Putin: Minsk Was a Mistake

Merkel’s comments parallel those made in June by former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to several western media outlets. “Our goal,” Poroshenko declared, “was to, first, stop the threat, or at least to delay the war — to secure eight years to restore economic growth and create powerful armed forces.” Poroshenko made it clear that Ukraine had not come to the negotiating table on the Minsk Accords in good faith.

This is a realization that Putin has come to as well. In a recent meeting with Russian wives and mothers of Russian troops fighting in Ukraine, including a few widows of fallen soldiers, Putin acknowledged that it was a mistake to agree to the Minsk accords, and that the Donbass problem should have been resolved by force of arms at that time, especially given the mandate he had been handed by the Russian Duma regarding authorization to use Russian military forces in “Ukraine,” not just Crimea.

Putin’s belated realization should send shivers down the spine of all those in the West who operate on the misconception that there can now somehow be a negotiated settlement to the Russian-Ukrainian conflict.

None of Russia’s diplomatic interlocutors have demonstrated a modicum of integrity when it comes to demonstrating any genuine commitment to a peaceful resolution to the ethnic violence which emanated from the bloody events of the Maidan in February 2014, which overthrew an OSCE-certified, democratically-elected Ukrainian president.

Response to Resistance

When Russian speakers in Donbass resisted the coup and defended that democratic election, they declared independence from Ukraine. The response from the Kiev coup regime was to launch an eight-year vicious military attack against them that killed thousands of civilians. Putin waited eight years to recognize their independence and then launched a full-scale invasion of Donbass in February.

He had previously waited on the hope that the Minsk Accords, guaranteed by Germany and France and endorsed unanimously by the U.N. Security Council (including by the U.S.), would resolve the crisis by giving Donbass autonomy while remaining part of Ukraine. But Kiev never implemented the accords and were not sufficiently pressured to do so by the West.

The detachment shown by the West, as every pillar of perceived legitimacy crumbled — from the OSCE observers (some of whom, according to Russia, were providing targeting intelligence about Russian separatist forces to the Ukrainian military); to the Normandy Format pairing of Germany and France, which was supposed to ensure that the Minsk Accords would be implemented; to the United States, whose self-proclaimed “defensive” military assistance to Ukraine from 2015 to 2022 was little more than a wolf in sheep’s clothing — all underscored the harsh reality that there never was going to be a peaceful settlement of the issues underpinning the Russian-Ukrainian conflict.

And there never will be.

War, it seems, was the solution sought by the “collective West,” and war is the solution sought by Russia today.

Sow the wind, reap the whirlwind.

On reflection, Merkel was not wrong in citing Munich 1938 as an antecedent to the situation in Ukraine today. The only difference is this wasn’t a case of noble Germans seeking to hold off the brutal Russians, but rather duplicitous Germans (and other Westerners) seeking to deceive gullible Russians.

This will not end well for either Germany, Ukraine, or any of those who shrouded themselves with the cloak of diplomacy, all the while hiding from view the sword they held behind their backs.

Scott Ritter is a former U.S. Marine Corps intelligence officer who served in the former Soviet Union implementing arms control treaties, in the Persian Gulf during Operation Desert Storm and in Iraq overseeing the disarmament of WMD. His most recent book is Disarmament in the Time of Perestroika, published by Clarity Press.

December 6, 2022 Posted by | Militarism, Timeless or most popular | , , , | Leave a comment

‘We’ll Talk About This Later’: EU’s Borrell Sweeps Aside Security Guarantees for Russia

By Ilya Tsukanov – Samizdat – 06.12.2022

In late 2021, Moscow sent Washington and its allies two draft treaties on security guarantees designed to dramatically reduce tensions between Russia and the Western bloc. Weeks later, Kiev massed troops along the contact line in the Donbass and began to intensively shell the region, prompting Russia to kick off a military operation in Ukraine.

The end of the crisis in Ukraine will be achieved through “security guarantees for Ukraine,” not Russia, European Union foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell has said.

“As for Russia, we’ll talk about that later,” the EEU’s top diplomat told attendees of a symposium in Paris on Monday. “The end of this conflict will have to be done in compliance with international legality,” Borrell added, claiming this would include Moscow being made to pay “reparations” to Kiev, face “war crimes” trials, and withdrawing its forces.

Borrell also said that the crisis in Ukraine has solidified its “place in the EU.”

“It is written. History has decided for us,” he said.

Borrell’s comments appeared to be a direct rebuke to French President Emmanuel Macron, who said Saturday that he and his US counterpart Joe Biden sought to flesh out “the security architecture in which we want to live tomorrow,” and discussed “guarantees of security for Russia” if and when Moscow “returns to the table” for talks.

“One of the essential points is the fear that NATO will be at its door, and the deployment of weapons that can threaten Russia,” Macron said.

The French president received flak from Kiev over his comments, but slapped down Ukrainian officials’ objections. “I think we should not… try to create controversy where there is none,” he said at a summit in Tirana on Tuesday.

Borrell’s latest remarks weren’t the first time the top EU diplomat has called for an aggressive approach in Ukraine. In April, as some Western leaders encouraged Moscow and Kiev to resolve the crisis through negotiations, Borrell instead called for a military solution, saying “this war will be won on the battlefield” and pledging another €500 million in military support to Ukraine. Since then, the EU has sent over €29 billion in aid to Kiev.

Russian officials have repeatedly slammed Borrell for his ‘undiplomatic’ approach. In May, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov reminded him that he was the bloc’s “top diplomat, and not the European Union’s military leader.”

Security Guarantees

Next week will mark the one year anniversary of Russia’s delivery of a pair of draft security treaties to the US and NATO designed to dramatically reduce tensions between Moscow and the Western bloc. The documents, released publicly by the Russian Foreign Ministry, proposed legally binding commitments by each side not to deploy troops, equipment, warships, missile systems and aircraft in areas where they may be seen as a threat to the other side, and asked Washington to pledge not to continue NATO’s eastward expansion, including in Ukraine. The document also asked parties to explicitly affirm that they do not consider one another adversaries.

NATO and Washington rejected the proposals in January, and stressed that the bloc’s “open door” policy will not change. Weeks later, the Donbass republics reported an unprecedented escalation in shelling, sabotage and sniper attacks by Ukrainian forces along the line of contact, and began the evacuation of hundreds of thousands of civilians to Russia. The Kremlin expressed concerns that Ukrainian troops were amassing in apparent preparation for an all-out assault on the Donbass, while NATO announced plans for new battle group deployments in the region. On February 24, 2022, citing threats to the Donbass posed by the Kiev regime, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a special military operation in Ukraine aimed at demilitarizing the country and ‘de-nazifying’ its leadership.

In the nine-and-a-half months since, Moscow has repeatedly expressed readiness to restart talks, with Russia’s core conditions including no NATO membership for Ukraine, security for the Donbass, and recognition of Crimea as Russia. Kiev and its benefactors have rejected these conditions.

December 6, 2022 Posted by | Militarism | , , | 2 Comments

Necessary Illusions – Even the narrative of the EU as a geo-strategic player has now burst

By Alastair Crooke | Strategic Culture Foundation | December 5, 2022

Something odd is afoot in Europe. Britain recently has been ‘regime washed’, with a strongly pro-EU Finance Minister (Hunt) paving the passage to an election-free premiership by ‘globalist’ Rishi Sunak. Why so? Well, to impose swingeing cuts to public services, to normalise immigration running at 500,000 per annum and to raise taxes to the highest levels since the 1940s. And to open channels about a new relationship deal with Brussels.

A British Tory Party is content to do that? Slash social support and hike taxes into an already existent worldwide recession? On the face of it, it doesn’t seem to make sense. Shades of Greece 2008? Greek austerity for Britain — are we missing something? Is this setting the scene for the Remainer Establishment to point to an economy in crisis (blamed on Brexit failure), and to say there is no alternative (TINA) but a return to the EU in some form, (British ‘cap in hand’, and with head bowed)?

Simply put, forces behind the scenes seem to want the UK to resume its former role as US plenipotentiary inside Brussels — pushing the US primacy agenda (as Europe sinks into self-doubt).

Likewise odd — and significant – was that on 15 September, former German Chancellor Schroeder entered unannounced into Scholtz’s office where only the Chancellor, and Vice-Chancellor, Robert Habeck, were present. Schroeder slapped down a long-term gas supply proposal by Gazprom on the desk, directly under Scholtz’s eyes.

The Chancellor and his predecessor held each other’s gaze for a minute – without a word passing. Then Schroeder reached out, took back the unread document, turned his back and exited the office. Nothing was said.

On 26 September (11 days later), the Nordstream pipeline was sabotaged. Surprise (yes, or no)?

Many unanswered questions. The upshot: No gas for Germany. One Nordstream train (2B) however, survived the sabotage and remains pressurised and functional. Yet still no gas arrives in Germany (other than high price liquified gas). There are presently no EU sanctions on gas from Russia. Landing the Nordstream gas requires only a Regulatory go-ahead.

So then: Europe is to have austerity, loss of competitiveness, price and tax hikes? Yes — yet Scholtz did not even glance at the gas offer.

The Green Party of Habeck and Baerbock (and the EU Commission) is in close alignment with those in the Biden team insisting to maintain US hegemony, at all costs. This Euro-coalition is explicitly and viscerally malefic towards Russia; and in contrast, is as viscerally indulgent towards Ukraine.

The big picture? German Foreign Minister Baerbock in a speech in New York on 2 August 2022 sketched out a vision of a world dominated by the US and Germany. In 1989, George Bush famously had offered Germany a “partnership in leadership”, Baerbock claimed. “Now the moment has come when we have to create it: A joint partnership in leadership”. A German bid for explicit EU primacy, snaring US support. (The Anglos will not like that!)

Ensuring no backsliding on Russia sanctions and continuing EU financial support for the Ukraine war is a clear ‘Red Line’ for precisely those in the Biden team likely to be attentive to Baerbock’s Atlanticist bid — and who understand that Ukraine is the spider at the centre of a web. The Greens explicitly are playing this.

Why? Because Ukraine is still the global ‘pivot’: Geopolitics; geo-economics; commodity and energy supply chains — all revolve around where this Ukraine pivot finally settles. A Russian success in Ukraine would bring a new political bloc and monetary system into being, through its allies in the BRICS+, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and the Eurasian Economic Union.

Is this European austerity binge then just about the German Green Party nailing down EU Russophobia? Or are Washington and its Atlanticist allies now prepping for something more? Prepping for China to get the ‘Russia treatment’ from Europe?

Earlier this week at Mansion House, PM Sunak changed gear. He ‘hat-tipped’ to Washington with the promise to stand by Ukraine ‘as long as it takes’, yet his primary foreign policy focus was firmly on China. The old ‘golden’ era of Sino-British relations ‘is over’: “The authoritarian regime [of China] poses a systemic challenge to our values and interests”, he said — citing the suppression of anti-zero-COVID protests and the arrest and beating of a BBC journalist on Sunday.

Over in the EU — belatedly panicking over unfolding widespread de-industrialisation — President Macron has been signalling that the EU might take a more hard-line China stance, though only were the US were to back-down on the subsidies in the Inflation Reduction Act, which entice EU companies to up-anchor, and sail off to America.

Yet, Macron’s ‘play’ is likely to meet a dead end, or at best, a cosmetic gesture — for the Act has already been legislated in the US. And the Brussels political class unsurprisingly already is waving the white flag: Europe has lost Russian energy and now stands to lose China’s tech, finance and market. It’s a ‘triple whammy’ — when taken together with European de-industrialisation.

There you have it — austerity is always the first tool in the US toolbox for exerting political pressure on US proxies: Washington is prepping the EU ruling élites to sever from China as fundamentally Europe has already done from Russia. Europe’s largest economies already are taking a harder line on Beijing. Washington will squeeze the UK and EU ‘til the pips squeak to get full compliance on a China cut-off.

The protests in China over Covid regulations could not have arrived at a more serendipitous time from the US’ ‘China hawks’ perspective: Washington whipped the EU into full propaganda mode on Iranian ‘demonstrations’ — and now the China protests offer the opportunity for Washington to go full court on China demonisation:

The ‘line’ used against Russia (Putin makes mistake after mistake; the system bumbles; the Russian economy is precariously perched on a knife edge and popular disaffection is soaring) – will be ‘cut and pasted’ to Xi and China.

Only, the inevitable EU moral lecturing will antagonise China even further: Hopes to keep a trade foothold in China will vanish, and effectively it will be China ‘washing its hands’ of Europe, rather than vice versa. European leaders have this blind spot — quite some Chinese may deplore the Covid lockdown practice, yet still will remain deeply Chinese and nationalist in sentiment. They will hate EU lecturing: ‘European values speak only for themselves — we have our own’.

Obviously, Europe has dug itself into a deep hole. Its adversaries grow bitter at EU moralising. But what exactly is going on?

Well, firstly, the EU is hugely over-invested in its Ukraine narrative. It seems incapable of reading the direction of travel that events in the war zone are taking. Or, if it does read it correctly (of which there is little sign), it appears incapable of being able to affect a course correction.

Recall that the war at the outset was never seen by Washington as likely ‘being decisive’. The military aspect was viewed as an adjunct — a pressure multiplier — to the political crisis in Moscow that sanctions were expected to unleash. The early concept was that financial war represented the front line — and the military conflict, the secondary front of attack.

It was only with the unexpected shock of sanctions not achieving ‘shock and awe’ in Moscow that priority switched from the financial to the military arena. The reason the ‘military’ was not firstly seen as ‘front-line’ was because Russia clearly had the potential for escalatory dominance (a factor which is now so evident).

So, here we are: The West has been humiliated in the financial war, and unless something changes (ie. dramatic escalation by the US) – it will lose militarily too — with the distinct possibility that Ukraine at some point, simply implodes as a state.

The actual situation on the battlefield today is almost completely at odds with the narrative. Yet, so heavily has the EU invested in its Ukraine narrative that it just doubles-down, rather than draw back, to re-assess the true situation.

And so doing — by doubling-down narratively, (standing by Ukraine ‘for as long as it takes’) — the strategic content to the ‘Ukraine’ pivot rotates 180 degrees: Rump ‘Ukraine’ will not be ‘Russia’s Afghan quagmire’. Rather, its’ rump is morphing into Europe’s long-term financial and military ‘quagmire’.

‘As long as it takes’ gives the conflict an indeterminate horizon — yet leaves Russia in control of the timetable. And ‘as long as it takes’ implies ever more exposure to NATO blind spots. The rest-of-world intelligence services will have observed NATO’s air defence and military-industrial lacunae. The pivot will show who is the true ‘paper tiger’.

‘As long as it takes’ — has the EU thought this through?

If Brussels imagines too, that such dogged adherence to narrative will impress the rest-of-the-world and bind these other states closer to the EU ‘ideal’, they will be wrong. Already there is a wide hostility to the notion that Europe’s ‘values’ or squabbles have any wider pertinence, beyond Europe’s borders. ‘Others’ will see the inflexibility as some bizarre compulsion by Europe to self-suicide – at the very moment that the end of ‘everything bubble’ already threatens a major downturn.

Why would Europe double-down on its ‘Ukraine’ project, at the expense of losing its standing abroad?

Perhaps, because the EU political class fears even more losing its domestic narrative. It needs to distract from that — it is a tactic called ‘survival’.

The EU, as with NATO, was always a US political project for the subjugation of Europe. It still is that.

Yet, the meta-EU narrative — for internal EU purposes — posits something diametrically different: that Europe is a strategic player; a political power in its own right; a market colossus, a monopsony with the power to impose its will over whomsoever trades with it.

Simply put, the EU narrative is that it has meaningful political agency. But Washington has just demonstrated it has none. It has trashed that narrative. So, Europe is destined to become an economic backwater. It has ‘lost’ Russia — and soon China. And is finding it has lost its standing in the world, too.

Again, the actual situation on the geo-political ‘battlefield’ is almost completely at odds with the EU narrative of itself as a geo-strategic player.

Its ‘friend’, the Biden Administration, is gone — whilst powerful enemies elsewhere accumulate. The EU political class never had a good grasp of its limitations — it was ‘heresy’ even to suggest there were limitations to EU power. Consequently, the EU has hugely overinvested in this narrative of its agency too.

Hanging EU flags from every official building will not cast a fig leaf over the nakedness, nor hide the disconnect between the Brussels ‘bubble’ and its deprecated European proletariat. French politicians now openly ask what can save Europe from complete vassalage. Good question. What does one do when a hyper-inflated power narrative bursts, at the same time as a financialised one?

December 6, 2022 Posted by | Economics, Militarism | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Western price cap on Russian oil likely to be another spectacular failure

By Ahmed Adel | December 6, 2022

The price cap imposed by the West on oil from Russia will actually have negative consequences in the long term as it once again reaffirmed to the international community that Western-centric banking and shipping insurance schemes cannot be trusted as reliable partners.

Western oil sanctions went into effect on December 5, with the European Union stopping all shipments of Russian oil arriving by sea. In addition, the EU, as well as G7 countries and Australia, imposed a limit on the price of oil transported by sea at $60/barrel. The West expects that this will cripple the Russian economy and force Moscow to end its special military operation in Ukraine.

However, this will spectacularly fail.

Sanctions have not instigated an end to the military operation, and in fact they have forced financial mechanisms independent of western institutions to be established. Although the world economic system was already slowly heading towards de-Dollarisation, the anti-Russia sanctions have only sped up the process as important economic players like China, India and Egypt have found methods to bypass western sanctions.

It is recalled that Russia had previously introduced the Mir card system as an alternative to Western financial systems, despite there being a lot of scepticism about it. Now, Mir is being adopted all over the world, and the same can certainly be done in the shipping and shipping insurance industry.

The imposition of an oil price cap has made non-Western countries think about how to break free from Western payment systems and shipping channels. Many countries are already pre-emptively establishing these mechanisms to avoid the same teething problems that Russia has experienced since February 2022.

Washington warned the EU on December 1 that the $52 cited recently for Urals crude oil may not reflect the overall level at which Russian oil has been trading. An unnamed US official has said that Urals has been trading at a $17-$23 discount to crude, which would make it higher than the $52 cited by some media. It is for this reason that the EU set the oil price cap $8 above that cited figure.

For their part, Poland, Estonia, and Lithuania have all voiced their opinion that the price cap on Russian crude oil insured and shipped by Western companies should be set at Russia’s production cost – $20-$30 per barrel. Those levels were dismissed as having very little chance of being supported by other EU members.

The introduction of a price cap on Russian seaborne oil at $60 per barrel is already a risky strategy to begin with and has uncertain results. Therefore, the Polish-Baltic proposal was never going to be approved. Oil market participants were already fearing a $60 cap to begin with, forcing Biden administration officials trying to reassure that the newly agreed cap will not lead to supply disruptions and volatility in the price after it went into effect.

None-the-less, experts fear that “over-compliance” on the restrictions could affect pricing.

“One of the big potential issues is going to be over-compliance, intermediaries deciding that the risk is too great and not engaging,” said Adam M. Smith, a partner at Gibson, Dunn and Crutcher and a former adviser at Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, which oversees sanctions. “Banks have historically been very risk-averse — as they should be — in the sanctions space and I think over-compliance in that context can be expected.”

Due to the price cap, many countries may stop any action for a while so that they can analyse all the risks, including decisions which could lead to sanctions from Western countries.

“That’s a real risk,” said Hunter Kornfeind, an oil market analyst at Rapidan Energy Group. “There could be a multi-week lull when some buyers are reluctant to move barrels as they wait and see. It’s not going to be like the whole trade shuts down, but there could be some who take a step back.”

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak pointed out that Russia will not export oil to countries that set price caps. According to him, such restrictions mean that by interfering with the market, Moscow will only interact with buyers willing to work under normal market conditions.

For his part, Russian President Vladimir Putin has stated that Moscow will not deliver anything abroad if it is against its interests. He warned that the introduction of oil price caps could have “grave consequences for global energy markets.”

Although the full impact of what the price cap is not yet known, the attempts to further financially and economically isolate Russia are likely to be another spectacular failure.

Ahmed Adel is a Cairo-based geopolitics and political economy researcher.

December 6, 2022 Posted by | Economics, Russophobia | , | 1 Comment