If Putin can’t achieve victory on May 9, what will he do? Will he use a small nuke or a chemical weapon?

You have understood that Vladimir Putin wanted to present a great military success to his people on May 9. It is the day of victory for Russia over Nazi Germany.

Since Putin wants to denazify Ukraine, he has to show his people that the war effort and the consequences that the Russian people have to suffer are not useless. For this, Putin intends to show at least that Russia has control over the whole of Donbas and that Mariupol has finally fallen.

Since after 50 days of the war, the generals in charge of military operations had not achieved the success Putin expected, and Putin decided to appoint Aleksandr Dvornikov to head the operation in Ukraine.

Aleksandr Dvornikov is a seasoned general who helped the Russian military achieve full success in Syria in 2015. Russian losses had been more than limited. Putin wants to accelerate and the appointment of Aleksandr Dvornikov is no accident. The latter did not hesitate to use chemical weapons in Syria, and he will do so in Donbas if it is necessary for his eyes to accelerate the surrender of Ukrainians in Donbas.

For Aleksandr Dvornikov, all means are good to achieve his goals. So you can expect the worst by May 9, 2022.

The use of nuclear weapons on Ukraine is excluded for the moment because it would mean vitrifying the Ukrainian territory and the Russian army would be endangered too. Putin will not go in this direction.

On the other hand, you have well understood that the use of chemical weapons in Ukraine was now more than ever topical with the appointment of Aleksandr Dvornikov.

Putin wants ‘unfriendly’ countries to pay for Russian gas in roubles

LONDON, March 23 (Reuters) – Russia will seek payment in roubles for gas sold to “unfriendly” countries, President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday, and European gas prices soared on concerns the move would exacerbate the region’s energy crunch.

European nations and the United States have imposed heavy sanctions on Russia since Moscow sent troops into Ukraine on Feb. 24. But Europe depends heavily on Russian gas for heating and power generation, and the European Union is split on whether to sanction Russia’s energy sector.

Putin’s message was clear: If you want our gas, buy our currency. It remained unclear whether Russia has the power to unilaterally change existing contracts agreed upon in euros.

The rouble briefly leapt after the shock announcement to a three-week high past 95 against the dollar. It pared gains but stayed well below 100, closing at 97.7 against the dollar, down more than 22% since Feb. 24.

Some European wholesale gas prices up to 30% higher on Wednesday. British and Dutch wholesale gas prices jumped.

Russian gas accounts for some 40% of Europe’s total consumption. EU gas imports from Russia this year have fluctuated between 200 million to 800 million euros ($880 million) a day.

“Russia will continue, of course, to supply natural gas in accordance with volumes and prices … fixed in previously concluded contracts,” Putin said at a televised meeting with government ministers.

The changes will only affect the currency of payment, which will be changed to Russian roubles,” he said.

German Economy Minister Robert Habeck called Putin’s demand a breach of contract and other buyers of Russian gas echoed the point.

“This would constitute a breach to payment rules included in the current contracts,” said a senior Polish government source, adding Poland has no intention of signing new contracts with Gazprom after their existing deal expires at the end of this year.

Major banks are reluctant to trade in Russian assets, further complicating Putin’s demand.

A spokesperson for Dutch gas supplier Eneco, which buys 15% of its gas from Russian gas giant Gazprom’s German subsidiary Wingas GmbH, said it had a long-term contract denominated in euros.

“I can’t imagine we will agree to change the terms of that.”

According to Gazprom (GAZP.MM), 58% of its sales of natural gas to Europe and other countries as of Jan. 27 were settled in euros. U.S. dollars accounted for about 39% of gross sales and sterling around 3%. Commodities traded worldwide are largely transacted in the U.S. dollar or the euro, which make up roughly 80% of worldwide currency reserves.

“There is no danger for the (gas) supply, we have checked, there is a financial counterparty in Bulgaria that can realize the transaction also in roubles,” Energy Minister Alexander Nikolov told reporters in Sofia. “We expect all kinds of actions on the verge of the unusual but this scenario has been discussed, so there is no risk for the payments under the existing contract.”

Several firms, including oil and gas majors Eni, Shell and BP, RWE and Uniper – Germany’s biggest importer of Russian gas – declined to comment.

“It is unclear how easy it would be for European clients to switch their payments to roubles given the scale of these purchases,” said Leon Izbicki, associate at consultancy Energy Aspects. He said, however, that Russia’s central bank could provide additional liquidity to foreign exchange markets that would enable European clients and banks to source needed roubles.

Moscow calls its actions in Ukraine a “special military operation.” Ukraine and Western allies call this a baseless pretext.

ONE WEEK DEADLINE

Putin said the government and central bank had one week to come up with a solution on moving operations into the Russian currency and that Gazprom would be ordered to make the corresponding changes to contracts.

In gas markets on Wednesday, eastbound gas flows via the Yamal-Europe pipeline from Germany to Poland declined sharply, data from the Gascade pipeline operator showed.

“The measures taken by Russia may also be interpreted as provocative and may increase the possibility that Western nations tighten sanctions on Russian energy,” said Liam Peach, emerging Europe economist at Capital Economics.

The European Commission has said it plans to cut EU dependency on Russian gas by two-thirds this year and end its reliance on Russian supplies “well before 2030.”

But unlike the United States and Britain, EU states have not sanctioned Russia’s energy sector. The Commission, the 27-country EU’s executive, did not respond to a request for comment.

Habeck said he would discuss with European partners a possible answer to Moscow’s announcement. Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said more time was needed to clarify Russia’s demand.

“In their contracts it’s usually specified in what currency it has to be paid, so it’s not something you can change just like that,” Rutte said during a debate with parliament.

Russia has drawn up a list of “unfriendly” countries corresponding to those that have imposed sanctions. Deals with companies and individuals from those countries must be approved by a government commission.

The countries include the United States, European Union member states, Britain, Japan, Canada, Norway, Singapore, South Korea, Switzerland and Ukraine. Some, including the United States and Norway, do not purchase Russian gas.

The United States is consulting with allies on the issue and each country will make its own decision, a White House official told Reuters. The United States has already banned imports of Russian energy.

($1 = 0.9097 euro)

Did Madison Cawthorn Fall For A Russian Honeypot Scheme?

A video has resurfaced where Conservative North Carolina Rep. Madison Cawthorn explains how he met his soon-to-be ex-wife at a fake CrossFit competition in Miami at the request of a friend he met in a Russian casino. And yes, this actually happened. Cenk Uygur and Brett Erlich discuss on The Young Turks. Watch LIVE weekdays 6-8 pm ET.

End Game for The US Dollar — The Central Banks Losing Confidence in The Dollar .

Non-nativeenglish announement of Russian/Chinese alternative to US Dollar

 

China is largest oil importer

Attempt to price Oil in alternate currency

Displace: Brent-oil futures & North Sea

Qianhai, ICBC bank Qianhai Storage Center