G7 Agrees New Sanctions On Russia As Observers Held In Ukraine

G7 agrees new sanctions on Russia as observers held in Ukraine (Reuters, April 26, 2014):

Leaders of the Group of Seven major economies agreed to impose more sanctions on Russia over the crisis in Ukraine, where armed pro-Moscow separatists have detained a group of international observers they accuse of being NATO spies.

The pro-Western Kiev government said a Russian special forces operative was behind what it called a kidnapping in the eastern city of Slaviansk that is under the separatists’ control, and said the detainees were being used as a “human shield”.

Ukraine’s state security service said the observers for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) were being held “in inhuman conditions in the basement of the terrorists’ headquarters,” and that one needed medical help.

“Russian authorities never condemned these terrorists and this is the clear sign that the Russian regime supports these gangsters,” Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk said.

Russia denies it is to blame for the crisis in eastern Ukraine, where armed pro-Russian separatists have taken control of about a dozen official buildings.

The Russian foreign ministry said it was working to resolve the observer crisis, which it blamed on Kiev for failing to ensure the mission’s safety in “areas where the authorities do not control the situation and where a military operation against residents of their own country has been unleashed”.

The observers, including nationals from Germany, Sweden, Denmark, Poland and the Czech Republic, along with several Ukrainian army officers accompanying them on the German-led monitoring mission, were seized on Friday.

Russia’s envoy to the Vienna-based OSCE said Moscow would take all steps to free them, Russian media reported.

The separatists invited Russian journalists on Saturday into a local security building they have seized and showed military identification cards they said proved the detainees were spying for NATO, according to reports in Russian media.

It is standard practice for serving military officers to be seconded to OSCE missions.

U.S. TROOPS

One of the separatists, Yevgeny Gorbik, told reporters: “We are urgently checking their activities, where they were and what they were doing.”

Asked what would happen to the detainees, he said: “I don’t know. It’s not up to me to decide. Those at the top will decide.”

German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen said: “I urge everyone with responsibility and influence in Ukraine and Russia to urgently do everything and use all their influence to ensure the observers are released immediately and safely.”

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier discussed the Ukraine situation with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov by telephone on Saturday “with an accent on possible steps to de-escalate the situation,” the Russian ministry said.

The OSCE has dispatched a negotiating team to the region to try to secure the observers’ release, a German government source said.

The Ukraine crisis has brought relations between Russia and the West to their lowest ebb since the Cold War, and is increasingly turning into a military stand-off.

Russia has massed troops and helicopters on the border with Ukraine, while NATO has deployed extra forces in eastern Europe, saying they are needed to reassure its allies.

Yatseniuk said Russian military aircraft entered Ukrainian airspace seven times overnight.

“The only reason is to provoke Ukraine … and to accuse Ukraine of waging war against Russia,” the prime minister told reporters before cutting short a visit to Rome.

Washington deployed 150 paratroopers to Lithuania on Saturday. A total of 600 U.S. troops have now arrived in Poland and the former Soviet Baltic states.

“As threats emerged, we see who our real friends are,” Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite said as she greeted the troops at the Siauliai air base.

Without mentioning Russia, she said the presence of U.S. troops would “repel those who encroach on stability in Europe and peace in the region”.

“The numbers are not important. If just one of our guests is harmed, this would mean an open confrontation, not with Lithuania but with the United States of America.”

“DOOR REMAINS OPEN”

U.S. officials said new sanctions targeting “cronies” of President Vladimir Putin could be unveiled as early as Monday unless Russia moved fast to defuse the crisis.

In a joint statement, G7 leaders said Russia had not taken any concrete steps to implement an accord, signed in Geneva, intended to rein in illegal armed groups.

“Instead, it has continued to escalate tensions by increasingly concerning rhetoric and ongoing threatening military maneuvers on Ukraine’s border,” it said.

“We have now agreed that we will move swiftly to impose additional sanctions on Russia.”

But it added: “We underscore that the door remains open to a diplomatic resolution of this crisis.”

The European Union will name 15 more Russians subject to asset freezes and a travel ban on Monday and senior EU diplomats will meet the same day to discuss the next steps, EU sources said.

Putin acknowledged for the first time this week that sanctions were causing difficulties for Russia, though he said the impact was not “critical”.

Standard & Poor’s cut Russia’s sovereign long-term debt rating on Friday, making it more expensive for the government to borrow money. That forced the central bank to raise its key interest rate to limit a fall in the rouble.

Russian banks have been moving funds out of foreign accounts in anticipation of sanctions.

Russia has threatened to cut off gas to Ukraine, which would have a knock-on effect on customers further west because many pipelines transit the country. Officials from the EU and Ukraine met in Kiev on Saturday to discuss technical ways to reduce the impact of a cut-off.

1 thought on “G7 Agrees New Sanctions On Russia As Observers Held In Ukraine

  1. This will only cause more money to flow into Russia as foreign travelers, especially those of Russian or Crimean background fear their fortunes will be stolen by Obama….they are moving their fortunes into Russia. The 7.5% interest rate is attractive, too. Russia is going to win this game, it is well on its way to being a world power again because Putin is making the right choices, some very hard, right now.

    When Putin let the Russian central bank fail last week instead of letting Russia go into debt to save them, I really applauded him. If only the US had the sense to do the same in 2007……..how different our story would be today.
    When Putin raised the central interest rates to 7.5% from 7%, it was another hard choice, but a good one. Thanks to the fool sanctions by the US and the G7, money is pouring into Russia by citizens who fear Obama and his fellow crooks will steal their money.

    This is having the opposite effect Obama wanted. Russia has not used the dollar since Russia and China followed the example set by Hugo Chavez in 2010, and established their own trade agreement using their own currencies, leaving the dollar out. China went on to recruit Turkey, and much of the world. When more sanctions were set by the US on Iran, India and Japan joined them as well. All other nations trade with Iran, it is a rich and fruitful trading partner thanks to the Iraq war, and they accept most currencies. The fiction the US sanctions hurt them is beyond stupid.

    Electronic currencies, first introduced by Hugo Chavez in 2010 have made the need for any world reserve currency obsolete. As a result, much of the world has adopted the electronic currency model, it allows them all to trade using their own currencies, and less than half the world uses the dollar at all. That makes the sanctions even more foolish, it seems US leaders are unaware of what is happening in the world. They look like fools.

    In the US, interest rates are going up, too. The greedy guts are desperate for cash, money is leaving, so it is time to rape the next level of American affluent…..the wannabe greedy guts, those with financial statements in the low millions, but carrying far more debt than they can pay off immediately or ever. They are the next dominos to fall, I have been expecting this for the past year.

    Many of them carry jumbo mortgages, and they are now riding at 5.9%, assuming they have never been late on a payment. If they have, the rate is going to be higher.

    A lot of them are living by the old standards that no longer apply…..that holding on to several pieces of real estate will eventually pay off, regardless any rents have been far below the payments due on the mortgages………the fools have been waiting for the market to turn around as it always did before. Unfortunately, all our wealth has been stolen, and the money is all gone. All good jobs have been offshored, and are not coming back. This has been a career based economy for the past 100 years, and it is gone……and most people don’t yet realize it.

    US media has been hawking the false real estate and market boom, saying prices are going up, indicating demand. The stock market is rigged, and they have pumped the numbers well over 15,000, but it is all false. 85% of all transactions are high frequency skim and sell, only 15% consists of real investors. That means the market is overvalued by 80% plus. It is nearly empty, just as the TBTF banks are full of paper debt.

    Three years ago, the IMF wanted all the banks to have 5cents on deposit for every dollar claimed as an asset. The banks would have had to borrow the five cents, and the idea failed. That is how bad it is in fact.

    Well, the numbers just came out, and the truth is that investors have been raising the prices of real estate, not that demand has caused it. There are no new good jobs that will support the rising prices……and the wannabe greedy guts are the next in line to lose everything to the rapacious greedy bankers.

    Interest rates on jumbo loans (those over $550K, very common in places in CA, NY, and other areas of affluence.) In CA, you could not get anything for less than half a million in 2005, 2006, 2007…………and most of these folks have been hanging on to multiple highly mortgaged properties,( all with ARMS) for years. While interest rates were low, they could handle it. Now, it is changing very quickly.

    Jumbos were at 1-2% for years. Then, they went to 3%, then 4%, next 5%, now they are at 5.9%, and that is if you have a perfect payment record, no late payments, or problems. If you have, the rates are higher. For every point interest goes up, monthly payments go up 13%. Do the math, there is going to be a huge upsurge in foreclosures and bankruptcies. Many of them have lived on credit cards, and those, you cannot file bankruptcy on, they follow you until you die, just like taxes.

    The picture in America has just turned very ugly. The dollar is losing value quickly as less than half the world uses it at all. That translates into higher food, fuel and shelter costs, and there are no rising rates in wages to offset the pain.

    It has happened very quickly as I knew it would.
    Checking US media, CNN, discussing someone called Donald Sterling, evidently an NBA owner using racist slurs, HLN, another murder mystery, CNNI, Premier League sports, Fusion, rating restaurants, BBC, the film festival, Fox, insurance rates are going to be too high, Fox Business Lou Dobbs….actually talking about something valid, nuclear leaks, but the gridlock in DC stops any resolution, MSNBC, Lockup, CNBC Suzi Orman, CNBCW, Business Advisors, you need a goal and passion….duh!, Bloomberg, Charlie Rose, Sadistic behavior in prisons………that is it. Not one word on skyrocketing interest rates, Russia, the Ukraine, the EU and banker blackmail to go the QE way……..nothing of value.

    Americans are totally unaware of what is happening. This is the most terrifying aspect of all of this to me. I am shocked at how few realize less than half the world uses the dollar…….none realize what a nightmare Obama has become….they are told nothing. Unless they are curious, and go online, they live in a virtual reality of oblivion. Orwellian and very frightening to a thinking individual.

    The wannabe greedy guts have to be feeling the pain when they open their multiple mortgage bills………at 13% per point, their payments have nearly doubled in the last few months. I know some of them, they have been remarkable silent the last few months. I actually warned a few of them what I saw coming, and urged them to get fixed rate mortgages. I was told they had become impossible to get. If that is true, this rape has been carefully planned to bankrupt the next layer of US citizens still affluent enough to shop and go into debt. It will cause more stores to close, and more jobs will vanish.

    America is in the hands of the greedy gut bankers, and they have destroyed this nation. They will do the same to the Euro if they get them into QE…..

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