With the announcement of stepped up European and U.S. sanctions against Russia scheduled to be formally announced tomorrow, the British Empire is making it clear that they are prepared to go all the way and try to wipe Russia off the map, both militarily as well as financially. Their threats are as dangerous as they are crazy.
Perhaps most explicit was Wolfgang Muenchau, a top monetarist propagandist of the Financial Times and Der Spiegel, with regular columns there, who in his latest piece in FT Deutschland wrote that the argument that Russia has close to 500 billion euros in reserves and can withstand sanctions, is nonsense. “We can crush the Russian economy in weeks,” he bragged, by blocking their access to international payment systems—which are owned by the West. Muenchau added: “Payment systems are the nuclear bombs of the financial war.”
The same message was delivered in yesterday’s decision by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, which fined the Russian government a stunning $51.5 billion for the 1990s Rosneft takeover of Yukos oil company from Russian oligarch Khodorkovsky —twenty times larger than any previous verdict. In its coverage, the Financial Times quotes “a person close to Mr. Putin [who] said the Yukos ruling was insignificant in light of the bigger geopolitical stand-off over Ukraine. ‘There is a war coming in Europe,’ he said. ‘Do you really think this matters?'”
City of London mouthpiece Ambrose Evans Pritchard, writing in today’s Daily Telegraph, gloats that the Yukos case can be used to drive Russia into a sovereign default—as the British Empire is also trying to do with Argentina. While Yukos et al will not be able to pursue foreign bond holdings of the Russian Central bank or other state assets, he writes, they will nonetheless attack assets of state owned companies which they claim act as instruments of the state, and they will pursue Rosneft, which expropriated Yukos assets. They will also go after the British oil giant BP indirectly, because it owns 20 percent of Rosneft shares. Lawyers for Yukos will now file asset seizure claims in 150 individual countries that are involved.
Evans-Pritchard concludes happily: “Russian external debt (state, banks and companies) rises to $770 billion at a stroke. Refusal to pay will at some point become a sovereign default.”