John "Xmas in Cambodia" Kerry bared his teeth, pounded his chest, and told Vladimir "I Laugh Standing on Your Mother's Grave" Putin that,
“There will be a response of some kind to the referendum itself,” Kerry said. “If there is no sign [from Russia] of any capacity to respond to this issue ... there will be a very serious series of steps on Monday.”
“Our hope is to have Russia join in respecting international law. ... There is no justification, no legality to this referendum that is taking place,” he said. “The hope is that reason will prevail but there is no guarantee of that.”So come Monday, unless Putin begins to "respect international law" vis-a-vis Ukraine and does something or another in response to the phony referendum in Crimea, well, then, we are going to get together with the Europeans and start discussing some "serious steps."
The Russians are so terrified of riling up Obama's boys and girls, and those of indeterminate genders, that they immediately vetoed the UN resolution on Crimea and, apparently, have begun moving troops into the rest of Ukraine. You all do remember that Sudetenland reference I made a while back? Time for Obama and Kerry to dust off the history books and look up "League of Nations," "Ethiopia," "Czechoslovakia," "Chamberlain," and "Munich" . . . or, at least, have their teleprompter handlers read this Diplomad entry.
Kerry and his Euro friends mumble on about sanctions, but let's face it, those will prove nonsensical and the brunt of these sanctions will fall on the EU since they are major trading partners with Russia and we are not. So we have to talk the EU into doing something that will damage EU interests, and trust that the EU will keep on doing it. Right, you want fries with that order?
While the Americans and the Europeans blather away, the Russians are pulling some sanctions of their own. You can tell Kerry and Obama have never played sports or been involved in business dealings. It's all well and good to make your plans, revise them, and talk about them, but you might want to consider that the other side is developing a playbook, too. Their playbook and yours might not assign the same roles to the teams. We see, therefore, that while the West prepares to discuss sanctions, Russian banks and companies are withdrawing billions of dollars from the West,
Russian companies are pulling billions out of western banks, fearful that any US sanctions over the Crimean crisis could lead to an asset freeze, according to bankers in Moscow.
Sberbank and VTB, Russia’s giant partly state-owned banks, as well as industrial companies, such as energy group Lukoil, are among those repatriating cash from western lenders with operations in the US. VTB has also cancelled a planned US investor summit next month, according to bankers.In addition, an advisor to Putin is advising the dumping of US Treasuries,
An adviser to Russian President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday that authorities would issue general advice to dump US government bonds in the event of Russian companies and individuals being targeted by sanctions over events in Ukraine.
Sergei Glazyev said the United States would be the first to suffer in the event of any sanctions regime.
“The Americans are threatening Russia with sanctions and pulling the EU into a trade and economic war with Russia,” Glazyev said. “Most of the sanctions against Russia will bring harm to the United States itself, because as far as trade relations with the United States go, we don’t depend on them in any way.”
Glazyev noted that Russia is a creditor to the United States.
"We hold a decent amount of treasury bonds – more than $200 billion – and if the United States dares to freeze accounts of Russian businesses and citizens, we can no longer view America as a reliable partner,” he said.It appears that the Russians are beginning to do exactly what Mr. Glazyev has urged. Some $100 billion worth of US Treasuries have been moved out of New York, apparently by the Russians.
Silly talk and posturing, the making of grand-sounding statements, and drawing erasable "red lines" all have consequences. One, of course, is that Russia is not likely to undo its actions in Crimea. The Russians, furthermore, have sanction-like weapons of their own such as the messing about with US banks and debt noted above, but not limited only to that. They are major suppliers of gas to Europe and in the past have shown a willingness to interrupt supplies for political purposes.
So while we gut our military, refuse to buy Canadian oil, or become energy independent and a major supplier of energy to Europe, we prattle on and on about sanctions and international law and solidarity with
We have Obama.