Vlad Putin with binoculars

Oil Prices Crashing, Putin’s Russia Rising

As we have seen over the past eighteen months or so, Russia (and by Russia I mean Russian President Vladimir Putin) doesn’t really care what the rest of the world (especially the West) thinks of them and by their multiple acts of defiance the rest of the world should care and to take it further the world should be worried; very, very worried. To that extent we have seen such things as Russian military planes and bombers flying extremely close to other country’s boarders and this has happened as recently as March 24th when a Russian TU-22 bomber flew over the Baltic Sea with its transponder turned off, this action led to NATO and Swedish military jets being scrambled to escort them away.  Also just the other day Russia threatened to aim nuclear missiles at Denmark’s ships if she joins the NATO shield.

This has also played out in the crisis in Ukraine where Putin annexed the Crimean peninsula (by a so-called referendum with 97% in favor) and I believe that it’s only a matter  of time before more Ukrainian territory follows (much of the east is already under the control of Russian backed rebels who are flying the Russian flag over government buildings. To see a detailed timeline of the crisis in the Ukraine click here.

What does this have to do with the declining oil prices that we have seen? Well over the past year or so oil prices have plunged about 60% going from around $115 a barrel to it hovering around $50 a barrel presently. Now taking into consideration that oil accounts for 70% of all Russian exports and 52% of their Federal budget, and then compounding that with the economic sanctions from the west (which has put the ruble in a nosedive) then you have a recipe for disaster.

Imagine your salary being cut in half, wouldn’t you be pissed off? I know I would be, I would probably be acting like a spoiled toddler grabbing at everything while shouting “mine, mine, mine”!  We all know Putin is probably the richest man on the planet with secret bank accounts reportedly worth hundreds of billions of dollars, however it’s not his money that he is worried about, its his power; and its the people who keep him in power who are worried about their money, money most likely tied up in the oil industry.

Let me be clear, when I refer to the “people” I do not mean the average every day Russian who could care less (and probably doesn’t even know) the daily goings on of their government, but I am referring to the people who keep Putin in power, his large inner circle of “friends” who keep him in power as long as he keeps stuffing their pockets (not to mention that Putin has cut all government worker salaries by 10%).

With all of this being said it is clear that the more and more desperate Putin gets the more reckless he will become.  Any and all political opponents are usually imprisoned or murdered (most recently Boris Nemtsov who was shot and killed on 02/27/15). He is doing as he pleases knowing full well that no one will stop him (until maybe he is knocking on Kiev’s door).

Let us not forget that expansionism is in Putin’s blood, and I for one would be shaking in my buty’s (boots) now if I lived in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Belarus or Poland…But that’s just me.

5 thoughts on “Oil Prices Crashing, Putin’s Russia Rising”

  1. Putin’s current gambits may be transparent, but none so much as the two decades of coercing (by brute force when necessary) the nations of the Middle East and the World to use the “Petrodollar” (US currency) exclusively for the import and export of crude oil internationally.
    Russia, being the biggest but surely not the only kid on the playground has come to the conclusion that perhaps they needn’t pay a middle man when they want to acquire petroleum. And while I am American, I can hardly fault them for that. Much of the world has succumbed to this thuggery for well on two decades, with Iraq and Libya being the under-graders who were most cowered and pummeled by the bigger US and it’s allies for their attempts at noncompliance.
    So the scenario is what it is. Russia being the only nation in a position to be seen equally powerful to the US is standing firm on a global policy that was written and ratified with very little good faith or intent.
    On the other side of the ocean is the US (again, with it’s allies) who sees the end coming to a very lucrative gravy train as a result of Russia’s ability to apply a bit if it’s own stubborn to the mix.
    This has left the US with but one or two small options…intense bluster and sabre rattling along with an ally based, multinational media campaign portraying Russia as the largest threat it has been made out to be since the the Cold War of the 1950’s.
    Here’s to hoping it becomes nothing more than that.
    “… it is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”

    1. Good point however if the world keeps backing Putin into a corner and isolates him further then the bear is going to attack.

    2. Fox,
      I agree about the petrodollar, and what concerns me most is the way the propaganda campaign in the US is treating Russia like another Iraq or Afghanistan. We (the US) have troops less than 400 miles from Moscow. I wonder how the American public would react if Russian troops were stationed in Mexico training the Mexican military? I hope it’s nothing but sabre rattling for the military industrial complex, but you’re spot on; the provocateurs are a danger, and this time may just walk into a third world war with their eye wide open.

      1. A very real concern which I hope doesn’t reach it’s tipping point.
        And with regard to the hypothetical troop placement, 400 miles from the US?
        Well our government could (theoretically) put a good face on it and I don’t think the majority of the American people would mind so much. But that isn’t going to happen in the course of her acting like a petulant child over the loss of revenues.
        As can be seen by a history of diplomatic bait and switch strategies with over a dozen different cultures and involving as many countries, the US has shown to have a “Don’t do as I do, do as I say” way of doing things and is well versed at creating those very scenarios that will promote either battle or compliance based not on fairness so much as what would be most advantageous to the agendas forwarded by the few who actually steer the course of the country.

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