Sanctioned: Visa, MasterCard suspend servicing Russian banks in Crimea
MasterCard and Visa have suspended service for Russian banks in Crimea, saying the decision complies with US sanctions.
26 December, 2014
Reuters / David Mdzinarishvili
Kiev cuts electricity, transportation
An American translation company suspended my account because I'm from Crimea #sanctions
Russia’s new military doctrine lists NATO, US as major foreign threats
Russia has adopted an updated version of its military doctrine, which reflects the emergence of new threats against its national security. NATO military buildup and American Prompt Global Strike concept are listed among them.
26 December, 2014
The Yury Dolgoruky nuclear-powered submarine.(RIA Novosti / Pavel Kononov)
Ruble recovers, as big exporters ordered to behave
26 December, 2014
The ruble has seen a full week of recovery after its drastic 20 percent drop on December 16 dubbed as ‘Black Tuesaday.’ This was triggered by the call from the Russian government for businessmen to sell currency earnings.
New Zealand is also part of the move away from the dollar in trade with China
China to Start Payments With Russia in National Currencies on December 29
The China Foreign Exchange Trade System has announced that since December 29, China, Russia, Malaysia and New Zealand will start the usage of national currencies in mutual transactions. Beijing hopes to make the yuan an alternative to the US dollar in global trade.
26 December, 2014
MOSCOW, December 26 (Sputnik) — China will start swaps and forwards between the yuan and the national currencies of Russia, Malaysia and New Zealand on December 29, the China Foreign Exchange Trade System (CFETS) reported Friday.
Earlier in December, China's Minister of Commerce Gao Hucheng claimed that China could increase the usage of yuan in trade with Russia amid the ruble's depreciation, which falls in line with China's intention to increase the usage of national currencies in international payments in order to weaken the US dollar's dominance in global finance and promote the yuan as an alternative.
In October, the Russian Central Bank and the People's Bank of China reached a three-year agreement on currency swaps worth 150 billion yuan (over $24 billion).
Both the Russian and the Chinese leaders have repeatedly praised the decision, saying it would bring positive effects for the countries' economies and currencies.
The main benefits of mutual payments in national currencies are the absence of charges for the conversion of the currencies, direct payments and higher transparency in relations between the banks.
Ukraine Cuts Power To Crimea Again, Halts Train Services
25 December, 2014
There was some expectation following the loud public response following Ukraine's shut down of power to Crimea on Christmas Eve, that Kiev would treat the territory which it alleges is still part of Ukraine as, well, part of Ukraine. And sure enough, a few hours after the regionwide blackout was first reported, Ukraine restored power. Until today, when moments ago we learned that not only did Ukraine cut off electricity to Crimea earlier today, but also halted train services, moves which, according to the WSJ, could raise tensions with Russia, but which also will harden the local popluation's pro-Russian determination even further.
Crimea’s Fuel and Energy Minister Sergei Egorov told Russia’s Interfax news agency that power was cut off at 1:50 p.m. Friday without warning. He said backup diesel generators and mobile turbine power plants were supplying critical infrastructure with electricity.
More from WSJ:
The power cutoff is the second this week by Ukraine, which says it has electricity shortages of its own because rebels have halted shipments of coal to its power plants. The cutoff in railway services, however, could indicate Ukraine is stepping up its pressure of the peninsula.
Ukraine’s state rail company Ukrzaliznytsia on Friday said it would stop passenger and cargo train services to Crimea “in order to insure the safety of passengers.” The move will affect both Ukrainian and foreign trains traveling to the peninsula, the company said. It didn’t indicate when services would resume.
More from ABC:
Ukraine's state rail company Ukrzaliznytsia has suspended passenger and cargo train services to the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea due to security concerns.
Ukrzaliznytsia said cargo trains would be suspended from Friday while passenger routes would gradually cease running over the weekend and on Monday.
The company did not say how long the suspensions would be in place or specify what the security concerns were.
"In order to ensure the safety of passengers ... (the railway) will cut the route of trains to Crimea off at Novooleksiyvka and Kherson," Ukrzaliznytsia said in a statement, referring to two towns on the Ukrainian mainland near Crimea.
Back to the WSJ:
Cutting supplies to Crimea may be a lever of influence for Kiev, since the matter has become a headache for Moscow after it annexed the territory in March. Crimea has no overland connection to Russia and has traditionally relied on a land bridge to Ukraine for essentials such as food, power and water.
Alternatively, it may simply force Russia to find an alternative solution much faster than it would have otherwise, much in the same way western financial pressure on Russia has forced the Kremlin and Beijing to accelerate their mutual cooperation not only in the field of energy infrastructure and natgas deals, but has led to China openly providing financial support to the country which is isoleted by the debt-monetizing west, if not by the BRIC countries and other non-US allies, whose combined population is well over half that of the world.
Belarus President Tells "Retailers, Money-Grabbers And Thieves" That Capital Controls "Will Remain Forever"
25 December, 2014
There is just so much win in the following article describing what is taking place in hyperinflation-ridden Belarus (aka a true Keynesian success story), that we decided to post it in its entirety.
State control of prices in Belarus will remain forever
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has said that state control over prices will remain in place in the republic and urged businesses not to count on a liberalization of the price policy after the scraping of a package of emergency measures from the government and the National Bank.
"I was told, and saw it for myself, that some of our scoundrel-officials have been telling entrepreneurs, businessmen and all sorts of thieves that they should wait until around (January) 9th or 15th, everything will be liberalized here, and they would be able to get what they have not until now. People are simply begging to be you know where. I want to say that the trend, as is fashionable to say nowadays, towards control over domestic prices will remain forever," Lukashenko said at a meeting which focused on the country's economic development on Friday.
It is outrageous that certain politicians have been telling businesses the control over price-formation in the country will soon be lifted and businessmen will be able to make up for lost profits, the president said.
"Retailers, middlemen, money-grabbers and thieves working in this sector have become the richest people in our country," Lukashenko said.
"We did all we could to form a proper retail industry in our country. Even if tomorrow we have no more new retail companies, we still have an incredible number of them and middlemen. We could do without new ones. But those that are operating, we'll make them work the way they should," the president said.
"Like I said, unless they heard already: 2-3% of the profit margin. We'll have each type of goods under control, especially imported ones," Lukashenko said.
"They should not expect to be able to hide something somewhere in the hope that after (January) 9th or 15th they would get incredible prices and fill their pockets even more," the president said.
And just like that, we have government central-planning of... everything. Coming soon to every banana republic near you.