Late in the day news .....
Russia Today ....
Ukraine Admits "Helpless" Against Pro-Russian Forces; Reinstates Military Conscription
Submitted by Tyler Durden on 05/01/2014 18:59 -0400
Days after acting Defense Minister Mykhailo Koval warned "the Armed Forces are not ready for this," Ukraine has announced the return of military conscription. After Mr Turchynov admitted his security forces were 'helpless' to quash the pro-Moscow insurgency that has tightened its grip on the increasingly chaotic east of the country, Koval believes "if there were conscripts in military units, then the situation might be different." Of course, this is exactly what the IMF 'demanded' as yet more cities in the East fall to pro-Russian separatists. We can only imagine how pro-Russian 20-23 year old men will feel when they get their call-up papers to fight... against themselves.
As NRCU reports,
The Armed Forces of Ukraine could return military conscription, acting Defense Minister Mykhailo Koval has stated. "The army will be professional - this is the future of the Armed Forces. But now the Armed Forces are not ready for this. Therefore we might have to return 21-23-years-old men for a while, and they will serve the state," he told reporters in Kyiv on April 26.According to Koval, the reckless policy of transition to contract service showed its negative sides, in particular, in Crimea. "If there were conscripts in military units, then the situation might be different,"the minister said.In addition, the minister said the Armed Forces of Ukraine have not created a good base for training and life-support of contract soldiers.
And then today, The Daily Mail confirms...
Embattled Ukraine today announced it was bringing back conscription as a mob of some 300 pro-Russian militants seized control of the prosecutor's office in Donetsk after overrunning police.
Coming on the heels of this...
But Mr Turchynov admitted his security forces were 'helpless' to quash the pro-Moscow insurgency that has tightened its grip on the increasingly chaotic east of the country.
And the previous details of the conscription plan...
The Ukrainian parliament has adopted a resolution recommending that acting President Oleksandr Turchynov resume mandatory drafting of conscripts into the country's army.The resolution "on additional measures for strengthening Ukraine's defense capability in connection with Russia's aggression against Ukraine" was adopted on April 17.Kyiv announced the last mandatory drafting of conscripts into the Ukrainian Army in October, saying that by the end of 2014 the Ukrainian armed forces would be comprised of professional soldiers only.Ukraine -- which currently has the fifth-largest army in Europe, with 180,000 soldiers -- planned to decrease the total to 122,000 soldiers by 2017.According to the old law, all male citizens between the ages of 18 and 27 must serve for one year in the national army or for 18 months in the Ukrainian Navy.
France Plays Russian Roulette: Why Europe Is Scared Of Sanctions Against Russia
Submitted by Tyler Durden on 05/01/2014 18:01 -0400
While everyone is by now fully aware just how dependent Europe is on Russia's energy supplies (and most are aware of the "nonsense" that the US will fill any gap if Russia steps up its actions - which Barroso said wouldn't happen because "Russia has self-interest not to play the energy card") but few are truly aware of the scale of contagious debt-driven defaultsthat could occur if the US (and a reluctant Europe) decide to undertake more aggressive economic sanctions, which, as Germany's Europe minister stated today, "are on the table." As the following chart ofEurope's domestic bank exposure to Russia show, Roth's warning that Russia's retaliation could mean "anything is possible," is a major problem for the Germans, Italians, and most of all - The French.
Germany is nervous...
- *ECONOMIC SANCTIONS `ON THE TABLE'; RUSSIA COULD RETALIATE: ROTH
- *GERMANY'S ROTH SAYS `ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE' IN UKRAINE CRISIS
Because they know what happens if this house of cards falls down...
As The Council for Foreign Relations notes,in the fourth quarter of last year, with tensions rising between Russia and the West over Ukraine, U.S., German, UK, and Swedish banks aggressively dialed down their credit exposures in Russia... but levels remain huge...
But as the graphic above shows, French banks, which have by far the highest exposures to Russia, barely touched theirs. At $50 billion, this exposure is not far off the $70 billion exposure they had to Greece in 2010. At that time, they took advantage of the European Central Bank’s generous Securities Market Programme (SMP) to fob off Greek bonds, effectively mutualizing their Greek exposures across the Eurozone. No such program will be available for Russian debt.And much of France’s Russia exposure is illiquid, such as Société Générale’s ownership of Rosbank, Russia’s 9th largest bank by net-asset value ($22 billion).With the Obama Administration and the European Union threatening to dial up sanctions on Russia, is it time for U.S. money market funds and others to start worrying about their French bank exposures?
The bottom line - it's all well and good to let the people starve, freeze, or stagnate amid a lack of energy supplies... but start fucking our banking exposure and Russian sanctions just got real
IMF Warns Ukraine: Fight For The East Or No Money
Submitted by Tyler Durden on 05/01/2014 11:11 -0400
IMF approved the $17bn tranched loan to Ukraine last night, Gazprom gets paid; Ukraine gets its cash; and the door's wide open for the US and EU to pour more 'controlling influence' into the divided nation... Except there's one thing:
- IF UKRAINE GOVERNMENT LOSES EFFECTIVE CONTROL OVER EAST OF COUNTRY, $17 BLN IMF BAILOUT WOULD NEED TO BE REDESIGNED
Which, roughly translated, appears to mean go to war with pro-Russian forces (and thus Russia itself if Putin sees his apparent countrymen in trouble) or you don't get your money!
Some other items of note include:
- *IMF URGES UKRAINE TO REACH PRICE ACCORD WITH GAZPROM BY SEPT
- *UKRAINE INFLATION MAY JUMP TO 16.2% THIS YEAR, IMF SAYS
- *RUSSIA'S GAS PRICE INCREASE MAY WEAKEN HRYVNIA: IMF STAFF
Russia Today ....
Trans-Atlantic global leadership at stake in Ukraine – Kerry
Published time: April 30, 2014 07:07
NATO must return to its original goal of fending off Russia, seizing the chance presented by the Ukrainian crisis to sever Europe from Moscow and move it closer to America, the US secretary of state said. Or else the bloc’s global leadership may be lost.
John Kerry delivered the confrontational call in a speech to the Atlantic Council think tank in Washington, DC. He said the stand-off in Ukraine had resulted from a “uniquely personally-driven set of choices” and is “a wake-up call” for NATO. He added that now the military bloc must turn the page on two decades of focusing on expeditionary operations and take a stand against“Putin’s Russia.”
“After two decades of focusing primarily on our expeditionary missions, the crisis in Ukraine now call us back to the work that this alliance was originally created to perform,” Kerry told the audience.
NATO’s original purpose was to oppose the Communist Soviet Union, giving the West the military backbone to the ideologically-driven stand-off with the East. Kerry described it as “to defend alliance territory and advance trans-Atlantic security.”
“Today, Putin’s Russia is playing by a different set of rules,” the secretary stated. “Through its occupation of Crimea and its subsequent destabilization of eastern Ukraine, Russia seeks to change the security landscape of Eastern and Central Europe.”
“Together we have to push back against those who try to change sovereign border by force. Together we have to support those who simply want to live as we do,” he added.
Kerry didn’t mention NATO’s own operations against Yugoslavia, which helped change sovereign borders in Europe. But he said NATO must not allow the situation continue to develop as it is, because Russia is challenging the position NATO members held since the end of the Cold War.
“Our entire model of global leadership is at stake. If we stand together, if we draw strength from the example of the past and refuse to be complacent in the present, then I am confident that NATO, the planet’s strongest alliance, can meet the challenges, can absolutely take advantage of the opportunities that are presented by crisis,” he stressed.
Kerry suggested three points on how trans-Atlantic partners can preserve their leadership and contain Russia. He said all NATO members must comply with alliance’s benchmark of 2 percent GDP defense spending, which is not observed by many European members of the alliance, including European economic powerhouse Germany.
“Clearly, not all allies are going to meet the NATO benchmark of 2 percent of GDP overnight or even next year,” Kerry said. “But it’s time for allies, who are below that level to make credible commitments to increase their spending on defense over the next five years.”
NATO members must also help Europe reduce its dependence on Russian energy and develop economic ties with America by speeding down the pipeline the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership Agreement, Kerry said.
The agreement would certainly give more access to European markets to some US corporations, as it would require freeing up European regulations on things like fracking, GMOs, copyright and finance.
Kerry’s policy remarks are in line with those made recently by some other members of the US political establishment. For example Senator John McCain, one of the most vocal critics of Russia, went on the same lines of presenting Russia’s stance on Ukraine a personal choice by President Vladimir Putin and calling for more defense spending in Europe in his speech at Vilnius University, Lithuania, on Wednesday last week.
“Considering what President Putin is doing right now in Ukraine, it is more important than ever for every NATO ally to spend at least 2 percent of its GDP on defense,” McCain said. “I'm pleased that Lithuania has pledged and is planning to do this, and the sooner you follow through on that commitment the better.”
The US and Russia have been trading accusations of meddling with Ukrainian crisis lately. Washington says Moscow is sowing dissent in eastern Ukraine, fanning up anti-government protests there. Russia says the US sponsored the February coup in Kiev, which brought into power the current Ukrainian central authorities and has been playing a dominant role in defining the policies of the new government.
Putin: 'US Behind Ukraine Crisis From The Beginning...Now Leading It'
Submitted by Tyler Durden on 04/30/2014 13:41 -0400
Having decided counter-sanctions are useless for now, reflecting on the uselessness of Western sanctions against his nation, Vladimir Putin warned, however, that if they continue he would "have to think about who is working in the key sectors of the Russian economy" - in other words, protectionism is coming. However, it is his ominous words regarding Washington's involvement in the crisis that appear to have fallen on deaf ears among the mainstream media... though will be no surprise to ZH readers "what is happening now shows us who really was mastering the process from the beginning. But in the beginning, the United States preferred to remain in the shadow." As Seregy Lavrov also added later in the day, the way the situation in Ukraine is reported in mainstream media indicates that "unfortunately, the information machine of our Western colleagues is working at full capacity."
The US has been behind the Ukrainian crisis from the beginning, but was initially flying low, Russian President Vladimir Putin has told journalists, adding that he called on Kiev to establish an all-Ukrainian dialogue and find a compromise.“I think what is happening now shows us who really was mastering the process from the beginning. But in the beginning, the United States preferred to remain in the shadow,” Putin said, as quoted by RIA Novosti.Putin stated that since the US has taken a lead role in resolving the political crisis in Ukraine, it is “telling that they originally were behind this process, but now they just have emerged as leaders” of it.The "Maidan cookies" policy paves the way to a broader crisis, Putin warned, referring to US officials showing up in central Kiev and encouraging protesters during demonstrations.“It is necessary to understand that the situation is serious and try to find serious approaches to the solution,” he said.Putin said that he has called on Kiev to start an all-Ukrainian dialogue, adding that other countries should not be blamed for the crisis.“[They should] treat equally the rights of those living in other areas of Ukraine, first of all, I mean, the east and southeast, establish a dialogue, find a compromise," he told journalists while speaking about the measures necessary to put an end to the crisis. “Here's what you need to do; searching for the guilty outside Ukraine is wrong.”
More "costs" as the West tries to wriggle its way from the under the pile it has created and scapegoat an unwilling to play Russia...?
But perhaps Sergey Lavrov said it perfectly...
Washington's approach to the events in Ukraine is not fueled by concerns about the fate of the crisis-torn state, but rather by the desire to prove it is still running the show worldwide, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said.The way the situation in Ukraine is reported in mainstream media indicates that “unfortunately, the information machine of our Western colleagues is working at full capacity,”Lavrov said following talks with his Chilean counterpart, Heraldo Munoz, in Santiago.The US is trying to shape public opinion in a specific manner “because they are not concerned by the fate of Ukraine in the first place, but have strong desire to prove that it’s them who decides how things should be – always and everywhere,” Lavrov stated.