On Thursday French President Emmanuel Macron held his third phone call with Russia's Vladimir Putin, coming also on the start of the second week of war. A statement from Macron's office said the call was 90-minutes long, but by all accounts didn't go well in terms of any prospects for an immediate cessation of hostilities in Ukraine.
A Macron aide later told AFP that the French leader "then called President (Volodymyr) Zelensky" in Kiev. After the lengthy talk with Putin, France is said to be "preparing for the worst."
"There was nothing that Putin said that reassured us," a source in Macron's office was cited as saying. Macron reportedly told Putin: "you are lying to yourself" while explaining that the continued invasion will only "cost Russia dearly" and lead to international isolation, as well as economy "weakened under sanctions for a very long time".
Macron said that Putin showed "determination to carry on operations" - according to a French official commenting on the call. Macron further retorted when Putin described war against a "neo-Nazi regime" that the Russian leader was "deluding" himself.
Further Putin reportedly denied that civilians were being targeted or attacked during the ongoing operations, or that Kiev is being bombed. . https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/macron-says-prepare-worst-ukraine-after-disheartening-putin-call
Peace talks between Russia and Ukraine are underway. Of Zelensky's statements, I am most interested in the last one, and I agree with it. I don't think it will be allowed by US/NATO.
The second round of Ukraine-Russia talks are underway, with a "ceasefire" possibility on the table - however this is unlikely given what both sides communicated to Macron prior to the meeting as to their demands. On the one hand Zelensky has said he will not negotiate with "a gun to his head" - and on the other Putin has reaffirmed his military objectives of the "neutralization" and "demilitarization" of Ukraine. Macron expressed dismay after the 90-minute phone call, saying Russia's objectives appear to be a complete takeover of the country. "The Russian delegation was led by presidential aide Vladimir Medinsky, who said that the Russian delegation was ready to speak with the Ukrainian side for as long as it may take to reach agreements," according to state-run TASS. While talks were underway, President Zelensky issued a statement saying that he's willing to sit down to direct talks with Putin. He called this "the only way to stop the war," according to AFP. https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/russian-forces-lay-siege-ukrainian-seaports-2nd-round-ceasefire-talks-start
Tom Luongo sees this as a clash of power factions, as do I, and at the moment that the game is about to fold, as do I. It's for "all the marbles" of financial narrative.
In a post for my patrons on February 25th, responding to an excellent article by Alistair MacLeod I wrote the following:
MacLeod: Both sides probably do not know how fragile the Eurozone banking system is, with both the ECB and its national central bank shareholders already having liabilities greater than their assets. In other words, rising interest rates have broken the euro system and an economic and financial catastrophe on its eastern flank will probably trigger its collapse.
I’ve been banging my shoe on this table for 3 years now. If the US/NATO respond with some kind of guerilla war here to hang Ukraine like an albatross around Putin’s neck, as we should expect, then Europe is in big trouble financially.
Because the financial war will keep escalating as Putin responds militarily. Remember, he’s openly threatened the ‘decision makers’ here. And no amount of mealy-mouthed CIA/MI6 disinformation will deter him from action anymore.
This is always what I meant by “spooks start civil wars, militaries end them.” There is no more War for Ukraine.
I still believe that. This isn’t a war for Ukraine, it’s a war for the future of the entire world. Ukraine represents the hill both Davos and Russia have chosen to live or die on. https://tomluongo.me/2022/03/02/opening-salvos-tossed-putin-next-moves-ukraine/
What was dubbed a 'special emergency session' was a very rare one - considering it was only the 11th in the UN's history. Such sessions are typically called when on pressing issues of war and peace at times the Security Council can't reach unanimous consensus - and obviously Russia has veto power when it comes to UNSC resolutions.
The resolution condemning Russia's attack on Ukraine was overwhelming:
141 in favor
The "no" votes included the following countries:
The Saker, Andrei, summarizes the first week of War in Ukraine:So, what’s my “final intermediate conclusion” after week 1?
The West gave Russia a bloody nose by forcing her intervention, thereby crushing any chance for the EU to get decolonized in the next decade or more.
The West gave Russia an even bloodier nose by very effectively controlling the narrative.
But what’s next?
Russia will/has disarm(ed) and will soon denazify the Ukraine, that is a given.
But what after that? Please remember that this is NOT about the Ukraine, this is about the entire future security architecture of Europe.
I will just say this: while, no, Russia won’t invade the EU or even Poland, the Russian war to push back NATO has only begun, it will last MANY MONTHS so be prepared for this. MONTHS.
Please ready yourself for a long and difficult struggle.
This rest of the world that did not condemn Russia includes several notable U.S. allies and 'partners' like Turkey (Nato's second biggest army!), India, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Israel.
The case shows how much the standing of the once unilateral superpower has been diminished.
Since 2014 the war in east Ukraine against the people of the Donbas regions has cost more than 14,000 lives. Some 10,000 of those were civilians on the Donbas side. The dying there continues as the Ukrainian army and its nazi battalions continue to shell the cities of Donetzk and Luhansk:
At least 136 civilians have been killed, including 13 children, and 400 have been injured since Russia invaded Ukraine last week, a United Nations agency said on Tuesday.
"The real toll is likely to be much higher," Liz Throssell, a spokesperson for the U.N. human rights office (OHCHR), told a briefing, adding that 253 of the casualties were in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions in eastern Ukraine.
Over the last days I also read several commentators claiming that that the Russian 'regime change' incursion into Ukraine would not have the support of the Russian people and would set them up against their president. Here is news for them: Putin's approval rating has raised from 60% to 71%
The sanctions put up against Russia will hurt its people. But due to global price increases they will be probably felt stronger in Europe and the United States and they may even cause mass starvation and revolutions in poorer countries of the 'third world'.
Poland, Slovakia, and Bulgaria have all denied they are giving Russian-made warplanes to Ukraine
Hudson remarked how he is “simply numbed over the near-atomic escalation of the US.” On the confiscation of Russian foreign reserves and cut-off from SWIFT, the main point is “it will take some time for Russia to put in a new system, with China. The result will end dollarization for good, as countries threatened with ‘democracy’ or displaying diplomatic independence will be afraid to use US banks.”
This, Hudson says, leads us to “the great question: whether Europe and the Dollar Bloc can buy Russian raw materials – cobalt, palladium, etc, and whether China will join Russia in a minerals boycott.”
Hudson is adamant that “Russia’s Central Bank, of course, has foreign bank assets in order to intervene in exchange markets to defend its currency from fluctuations. The ruble has plunged. There will be new exchange rates. Yet it’s up to Russia to decide whether to sell its wheat to West Asia, that needs it; or to stop selling gas to Europe via Ukraine, now that the US can grab it.”
About the possible introduction of a new Russia-China payment system bypassing SWIFT, and combining the Russian SPFS (System for Transfer of Financial Messages) with the Chinese CIPS (Cross-Border Interbank Payment System), Hudson has no doubts “the Russian-China system will be implemented. The Global South will seek to join and at the same time keep SWIFT – moving their reserves into the new system.” ...
With more Russian companies using SPFS and CIPS, even before they merge, and other maneuvers to bypass SWIFT, such as barter trade – largely used by sanctioned Iran – and agent banks, Russia could make up for at least 50 percent in trade losses...
China Buys 700K Barrels of Iranian Oil Every Day, Violating US Sanctions
About half of the planned release will come from the US oil reserves, while the shares of other IEA member countries in the release will be determined in the coming days,
Many protesters blamed the violence on police plants, outside agitators or “antifa” infiltrators. Christopher Best, a protester standing back from where the scuffles were breaking out, appeared shell-shocked. “What you’re seeing here is not the protesters that actually want to protest for the mandates, these are the extremists,” he said. Best had been at the encampment for 23 days and said the tone of the protest had shifted dramatically in the last 48 hours, but he struggled to articulate who the newcomers were., “We’ve seen another a group of people who just want to create trouble. These people are coming in and wrecking it.”
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