A WOMAN is reported to have been beheaded after a teenager armed with a chainsaw went on the rampage at a shopping centre.
The 18-year-old, who was also carrying a hammer, carried out the horrific attack at the Evropa shopping centre in Minsk, Belarus. Continue reading »
– Vladimir Putin Proposes “Eurasian” Currency Union (ZeroHedge, March 20, 2015):
While the distraction that is the stock market continues to enthrall most Americans, the big shots in the global monetary which for now are taking place behind the scenes, are getting ever louder. Several recent cases in point:
- US Attacks “Closest Ally” UK For “Constant Accommodation” With China
- De-Dollarization Accelerates As More Of Washington’s “Allies” Defect To China-Led Bank
- US “Isolated” As Key Ally Japan Considers Joining China-Led Bank
- US Upset At West’s Lack Of War Preparedness
- Treasury Secretary Lew Admits US “International Credibility & Influence Is Being Threatened”
One person who is paying attention to the failure of the US to grasp that the unipolar world of the 1980s is long gone, is Russia’s Vladimir Putin, who earlier today proposed creating a “Eurasian” currency union which would have Belarus and Kazakhstan as its first members, which already are Russia’s partners in a political and economic union made up of former Soviet republics. Continue reading »
– Russia: US-Backed Opposition Leader Gunned Down in Moscow (NEO, Feb 28, 2015):
By Tony Cartalucci
Martyrdom on demand: if not of use alive, perhaps of use dead? US-backed opposition groups in Russia have so far failed utterly to produce results. Their transparent subservience to Washington coupled with their distasteful brand of politics has left a rather unpleasant taste in the mouth of most Russians. Each attempt to spread the “virus” of color revolution to Moscow, as US Senator John McCain called it, has failed – and each attempt has fallen progressively flatter.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has never been more popular. His ability to weather serial provocations aimed at Russia by NATO has made him a champion against the perceived growing injustice exacted against the developing world by an increasingly militaristic and exploitative West.
So when US-backed opposition groups in Russia decided to gather again this coming March 1, Sunday, many wondered just exactly what they expected to accomplish. Continue reading »
Tags: Assassination, Barack Obama, Belarus, Boris Nemtsov, Crime, Georgia, Global News, Government, John McCain, Libya, Michael McFaul, Muammar Gaddafi, Nicaragua, Obama administration, Politics, Russia, Serbia, U.S., Ukraine, Vladimir Putin
– China Proposing to Establish Free Trade Zone With Eurasian Economic Union (Sputnik, Feb 9, 2015):
China proposed to the Eurasian Economic Union to think about creation of a free trade zone in the future, according to Russian Ambassador to China Andrei Denisov.
“Chinese partners were very careful in regard to this integration in the beginning. They simply needed to make sure that it works. Now they show interest in increasing cooperation not only with the separate countries – Kazakhstan, Belarus, Russia, Armenia and Kyrgyzstan in the future, but with the union as such. And as far as I know they even proposed to us, the members of the union, to think about creation of a free trade zone in the future,” Denisov said. Continue reading »
– Belarus President Tells “Retailers, Money-Grabbers And Thieves” That Capital Controls “Will Remain Forever” (Zerohedge, Dec 26, 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. Continue reading »
– Russia completes ratification of Eurasian Economic Union, as Putin signs law (RT, Oct 3, 2014):
Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a law ratifying a historic treaty, committing Russia to an economic union with Belarus and Kazakhstan. The Eurasian Economic Union will come into effect in January 2015.
Putin’s signature in the document puts the final dot in Russia’s ratification of the union which will be in place on January 1, 2015, as the other union states are expected to complete ratification in the next few days.
The economic union is the next step of integration within the Customs Union between the three countries. The agreement had previously been ratified by the Russian State Duma and the Federal Council of Russia. Continue reading »
– Caption Contest: “He Doesn’t Bite” Edition (ZeroHedge, Aug 27, 2014):
Wonder why last night’s Russian-Ukraine talks were a complete flop (as the WSJ explains here)? The following photo of Belarus president Lukashenko promising to Poroshenko that Putin doesn’t really bite, should help explain.
– Russian jets to aid the fight against Sunni rebels in Iraq – PM Maliki (RT, June 27, 2014):
Jets from Russia and Belarus will hopefully make a key difference in the fight against ISIS in Iraq, the country’s Prime Minister Nouri Maliki said. He expressed regrets over Iraq’s contract with the US, saying their jets are taking too long to arrive.
“God willing within one week this force will be effective and will destroy the terrorists’ dens,” he told BBC Arabic.
Meanwhile, Maliki criticized the process of purchasing US jets as “long-winded,” adding that the radicals could have been repelled if Iraq had proper air defense. Continue reading »
– Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan sign ‘epoch’ Eurasian Economic Union (RT, May 29, 2014):
Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan signed the historic Eurasian Economic Union which will come into effect in January 2015. Cutting down trade barriers and comprising over 170 million people it will be the largest common market in the ex-Soviet sphere.
“The just-signed treaty is of epoch-making, historic importance,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said.
The troika of countries will cooperate in energy, industry, agriculture, and transport.
“In fact, we are shaping the largest common market in the CIS, with huge production, scientific and technological potential and enormous natural resources,” the President added. Continue reading »
– The Tanks Are Coming While Russia-US “Remain At Odds” Over Ukraine (ZeroHedge, March 14, 2014):
With Interfax reporting that Belarus has begun full-scale military drills in a “readiness check”, images from Russia and Ukraine suggest the worst-case scenario – that Russia is making preparations to invade Ukraine, not just Crimea but perhaps as far west as Kharkiv, or even beyond – is more possible. Talks have broken down:
- *LAVROV SAYS RUSSIA, U.S. REMAIN AT ODDS ON UKRAINE: INTERFAX
- *LAVROV SAYS RUSSIA TO RESPECT `WILL’ OF CRIMEAN PEOPLE
Russia now has a massive force of tanks, troops, artillery, aircraft, and naval forces in position to potentially invade mainland Ukraine from Crimea in the south, but also from positions east and north of Ukraine.
Lavrov adds: Continue reading »
“The Implications of Massive Radiation Contamination of Japan with Radioactive Cesium”
Senior Scientist, Physicians for Social Responsibility
Clinical Laboratory Science Program Director, University of Missouri
Helen Caldicott Foundation
The Medical and Ecological Consequences of the Fukushima Nuclear Accident
Co-Sponsored by Physicians for Social Responsibility
March 11th & 12th, 2013
Tags: Belarus, Cancer, Cesium-137, Chernobyl, Children, Contamination, Environment, Food, Fukushima, Global News, Government, Health, Helen Caldicott, Japan, Nuclear, Nuclear reactors, Politics, Radiation, Russia, Science, Steven Starr, Technology, Thyroid, thyroid cancer, Yury Bandazhevsky
– Belarus President: Any US military intervention on Syria will have disastrous repercussions (SANA, Oct 2, 2013):
Moscow, (SANA) – Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko warned the US administration of any military intervention on Syria, considering that ” it would be a disaster for all.”
In an interview with the Kazakh channel 24.K Z , Lukashenko said that the US intervention in Syria will not end peacefully, adding that if the Americans sneak to Syria, as they did in Libya, and bomb it, the Arab region will be ablaze.
– Russian-Ukrainian volunteer corps going to Syria to fight (“Window to Russia”, Russia) (Voice of Russia, Aug 27, 2013):
Plans are in the works to send a Russian-Ukrainian volunteer corps to Syria to help its leadership with the struggle against the rebels. Several thousand people have already signed up. This came in a statement from the initiator of the volunteer formation, Ukrainian intelligence veteran, Sergey Razumovsky.
“We have literally met with a squall. On all our electronic resources there are requests from people who want to join the corps, mainly from Russia, Belarus, and even Moldova,” Razumovsky says.
At 2:15 into the video.
– Local program helps children receive treatment years after Chernobyl (King5, June 25, 2013):
For most of us, the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster is history. But the reality is its effects linger for thousands still living around the site, which will be contaminated for centuries to come.
Two decades ago, a program was started locally to help those in Belarus receive treatment, and now Hope for Chernobyl’s Child is continuing that mission in Renton.
On Tuesday, nine children landed at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport and met their host families. For the next six weeks, they’ll visit with doctors who volunteer their time for everything from surgery to dental work.
Over the years, more than 350 kids have been helped; organizers say children now are sicker than ever from Chernobyl’s lasting effects.
“Even our poorest day is better than their best,” said Dave Lyon, who is hosting a 10-year-old girl named Alina. “We have so much, and what little ways that we can give back, we should.”
Continue reading »
– Belarus may sell S-300 systems to Syria (Belarusian News, April 24, 2013):
Four S-300 systems, which will be shipped to Belarus by Russia, may be re-sold to pariah countries.
This is how general Valer Fralou commented for the charter97.org web-site in the shipment of air-to-surface missile systems S-30 and the deployment of a Russian aviation base in Belarus.
– Hyperinflation In Action: Beer For Bag Of Cash (ZeroHEdge, Jan 12, 2013):
In May 2011, Belarus surprised its citizens by devaluing its currency by 50% overnight in an attempt to kickstart its economy, leading to swift and brutal hyperinflation. And while written narratives of the most recent episode of monetary collapse are one thing, nothing is quite as amusing, and grounding for those attempting to “value” money (such as Nobel prize winning economists writing out of their steel exoskeletal ivory towers), as watching a bag of cash be used to pay for seven boxes of beer. And nothing is quite a cathartic as spending several hours trying to count said cash – cash backed by the “full faith and credit” of the Belarus central bank…
– Russia negotiates union with ex-Soviet states (The Nation Dec 20, 2012):
MOSCOW – Russia sought Wednesday to expand its influence over former territories during integration talks that Washington has cast as a bid to “re-Sovietise” the region.
President Vladimir Putin met separately with the leaders of Belarus and Armenia before engaging the head of resource-rich Kazakhstan about ways to more closely bind the neighbours’ economies.
He also attended a collective security meeting that resolved to create a Moscow-led air defence unit that would focus its activities on the regions surrounding war-torn Afghanistan.
Western attempts “to force other nations to accept their own standards can lead to the most serious circumstances,” Putin said in a trademark swipe at the United States.
This is especially underscored by the “dramatic situation in North Africa and the Middle East,” Putin said.
– Minamisoma is 122 times more contaminated than mandatory evacuation zone in Belarus (Fukushima Diary, May 9, 2012):
Mr. Oyama, a Minamisoma city councilor measured cesium 134 / 137 of the soil of Minamisoma city.
The analysis was done by a laboratory of Minamisoma local government.
The result is like this graph below.
– Belarus: Browsing Foreign Websites a Misdemeanor (Library of Congress):
(Dec. 30, 2011) On December 21, 2011, the governmental portal dedicated to official publication of laws and other legal acts issued in the Republic of Belarus published Law No. 317-3 of November 25, 2011, on Amendments to the Code of Administrative Violations and the Procedural Code of the Republic of Belarus. (National Law Internet Portal [in Russian] (last visited Dec. 27, 2011).)
As stated in an explanatory note published together with the Law, this act was issued to implement the Decree of the Belarusian President of February 1, 2010, on Improvements to the Usage of the National Segment of the Internet. The newly published Law imposes restrictions on visiting and/or using foreign websites by Belarusian citizens and residents. Under this new Law, the violation of these rules is recognized as a misdemeanor and is punished by fines of varied amounts, up to the equivalent of US$125. (Id.)
The Law requires that all companies and individuals who are registered as entrepreneurs in Belarus use only domestic Internet domains for providing online services, conducting sales, or exchanging email messages. It appears that business requests from Belarus cannot be served over the Internet if the service provider is using online services located outside of the country. The tax authorities, together with the police and secret police, are authorized to initiate, investigate, and prosecute such violations. (Id.)
Got PHYSICAL gold and silver?
Yesterday we had the first case study of what happens in a hyperinflation, when we noted that the local central bank had just hiked interest rates from 22% to 27%. Net result for the economy? Zero. Today is case study #2 where we learn what happens to an imploding economy which happens to be surrounded by friendly neighbors who just happen to find themselves in a massive arbitrage courtesy of a currency that is losing multiples of its value on a monthly if not daily basis. Per Bloomberg: “Belarus’s supermarkets are running out of meat as Russians take advantage of a currency crisis that a devaluation and the world’s highest borrowing costs have failed to stem. “All meat has gone to Russia,” Alexander Andreyevich, an 82-year-old former tractor-plant worker, said Aug. 25 in Minsk, the capital. “My relatives near the Russian border called me a few days ago and said the shops are empty.”…”Private stall owners simply go and buy meat from state- owned vendors and sell it a couple of steps away for a hefty profit,”Deputy Agriculture and Food Minister Vasily Pavlovsky told reporters in Minsk Aug. 24. The government banned individuals in June from taking basic consumer goods such as home appliances, food and gasoline out of the country. Russians, buoyed by the removal of border checkpoints July 1 as part of a customs union, have circumvented the restrictions.” Funny- if the locals had preserved their purchasing power by holding their money in gold, they would not find themselves in a position where those who still have a stable fiat exchange rate (for the time being) can literally steal products from under their noses for a paltry sum as sellers scramble to converts products into some currency before it is devalued even more tomorrow.
More from Bloomberg:
The crisis has sparked protests as Belarusians vent their anger at President Alexander Lukashenko, dubbed Europe’s last dictator by the administration of former U.S. President George W. Bush. While the authorities have sought to control food costs to quell public discontent, buyers from neighboring Russia have pushed meat prices higher.
Belarus will allow the ruble to float from mid-September and will remove restrictions on depositors seeking to exchange local currency for dollars and euros, Lukashenko said yesterday.
“The Belarusian ruble’s exchange rate will be determined by supply and demand, as with any other commodity,” he told the government and central bank, according to the Belta news service. “We will not support the exchange rate artificially.”
What happens then is simple: revolution, as the currency will collapse into a hyperinflationary vortex. We fully expect the exchange rate a year from today to be several million percent higher, as the ghost of Weimar and all other failed Keynesian experiments moves in to haunt this former Soviet satellite country.
It gets worse:
– Russia halves Belarus power supply over unpaid bills (BBC News, 9 June 2011):
Moscow has halved electricity supplies to Belarus over unpaid bills, piling on pressure for it to privatise lucrative assets.
A source at Russia’s energy export monopoly said supplies – which account for 10% of the country’s needs – might stop completely on 19 June.
Confirming the cut, Belarus said it owed $54m (£33m).
Gripped by an economic crisis, it is seeking a Russian-led $1.2bn bail-out which Moscow is tying to reform.
It has also asked the IMF for an emergency loan of up to $8bn.
– Berlin Conference 2.0: Russia To Bail Out Hyperinflationary Belarus As Colonization Scramble Heats Up (ZeroHedge, June 4, 2011):
Who said that only Germany is allowed to annex Greece (and soon Ireland and Portugal)? (and if Der Spiegel has anything to say about it, again, Bailout #2 is far from certain… more on that shortly). In a surprising move, Russia has decided to remind everyone just how irrelevant the IMF is now that Russia and China run the “sovereign rescue” show, and that it too can play the imperialist game just as well as the Troica. Following the recent hyperdevaluation of the Belarus Ruble as discussed on Zero Hedge, and the country’s collapse into a hyperinflationary hell, Reuters has just reported that Putin, that “White Knight” of former USSR imperialist dominance, has decided to “bailout” Belarus. From Reuters: “Cash-strapped Belarus will receive a three-year $3 billion loan from a Russia-led regional bailout fund as it seeks to stabilize its economy, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Saturday. The former Soviet republic on Friday unveiled a series of measures to end the crisis, including a vow to cut its budget deficit in half, after its currency lost 36 percent of its value in May and inflation reached 20.2 percent.” It is unclear just how many billions in funds will need to be derived from forced “privatization” of Belarus assets for the benefit of the old KGB guard, or what the interest rate on the rescue loans will be. What is more than clear is that as more and more countries fall into the toxic debt spiral, their neighbors who actually have capital and/or natural resources (ergo the irrelevance of the IMF), will “bail them out” only to remind the world that colonization is what it has always been truly about.
Berlin Conference ver 2.0 – here we come.
Belarus has applied to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for an emergency loan of up to $8bn (£5bn), which could help to rescue the ex-Soviet republic from its fiscal crisis.
The move comes just a day after the country’s government announced it was raising its main interest rate from 14pc to 16pc, and that it was freezing prices on a number of staple foods until July 1.
The IMF’s chief representative in Minsk met with government officials on Wednesday, the fund’s spokeswoman, Yulia Lyskova, said.
Prime Minister Mikhail Myasnikovich said the IMF programme could last for three to five years.
Belarus has been hit by a dire cash shortage that was sparked by a jump in the price Russia charges for energy as well as massive state spending ahead of presidential elections last year.
Got gold and silver?
“A ‘91-style meltdown is almost inevitable.” So says Alexei Moiseev, chief economist at VTB Capital, the investment-banking arm of Russia’s second-largest lender, discussing the imminent economic catastrophe that is sure to engulf Belarus following the surprise devaluation of the country’s currency by over 50%, which we announced on Monday.
“Unless Belarus heeds Russia’s call for mass privatization of state assets, it is headed for “hyperinflation, massive un- and under-employment, and a shutdown of production” Moiseev concludes. Ah: “privatization” as Greece is about to learn, the lovely word that describes a fire sale of assets to one’s creditors, courtesy of a “globalized” new world order.
Ironically, this is precisely the warning that will be lobbed at each country in the developed world, as the global race to devalue currencies, first against each other on a relative basis, and ultimately against hard currencies, or on an absolute basis, as the world realizes that there simply is not enough cash flow to cover the interest payments on a debt load, in both the public and private sectors, that continues to rise at an astronomic rate, even as the world prepares to exit from the latest transitory, centrally-planned bounce in the Great Financial Crisis-cum-Depression that started in earnest in 2007 and has been progressing ever since.
Ultimately, Belarus will succumb to hyperinflation, as will each and every other government seeking to devalue its currency (hint: all of them): “Unless Belarus heeds Russia’s call for mass privatization of state assets, it is headed for “hyperinflation, massive un- and under-employment, and a shutdown of production,”
VTB’s Moiseev said. The ruble will slide to 10,000 per dollar, he added.” Of course, this is the primary side effect of attempting to avoid formal bankruptcy through currency devaluation. And all those who continue to believe deflation is an outcome that will be allowed by the Fed, need to look just to the former Soviet satellite to see what lies in store for everyone currently doing all in their power to devalue their currency.
First look at the Belarus Ruble chart below: this is what always happens to every country that resolutely continues to live outside its means. Always.
And here are some additional observations from Bloomberg on the country that everyone in the media continues to ignore, yet which will very soon be the model for virtually everyone else engaging in central planning warfare.
The Belarusian central bank let the managed ruble weaken by 36 percent versus the dollar on May 24 as demand for dollars and euros from importers and households threatened to derail an economy already laboring under a current-account deficit equal to 16 percent of gross domestic product. Russia and other former Soviet partners last week agreed to give Belarus a $3 billion loan and urged President Aleksandr Lukashenko’s government to sell $7.5 billion of assets to replenish the state’s coffers.
“The question is: under whose speculative decisions did the National Bank make this choice?”
– Belarus Just Devalued Its Currency By 56% (ZeroHedge):
When it comes to currency warfare, one can be polite and gentlemanly about it, like Brazil for instance, which every day, and sometimes on several occasions during the day, will proceed to buy dollars in an attempt to keep one’s own currency lower. Or one can do what the Belarus central bank just did, and officially devalue one’s currency, in this case the Belarus ruble, by 56% overnight, against every currency out there.
At this point, it sucks (that is a technical term) to be holding any exposure in BYR. Luckily for those who held their “money” in the form of gold and silver, they just got an instantaneous 56% value preservation and a relative boost in their purchasing power with just one central bank announcement. Also, any and all indebted parties who have BYR-denominated debts are throwing one big party tonight, as their debt was just cut by more than half. And yes, the Greeks are jealous with envy.
The National Bank of Belarus (NBB) is sharply devaluing the official rate of Belarusian ruble. The exchange rate as of May 24 was set at 4,930 rubles per dollar. a decrease of 56% from the 23 May.
The National Bank of Belarus has officially confirmed a sharp depreciation of the currency. On its website it has published the official exchange rate of Belarusian ruble: $ 1 – Br4930 (a decrease of 56,3% to the rate on 23 May), 1 Euro – Br6914, 82 (a decrease of 53,1%), 1 Russian ruble – Br173 , 95 (a decrease of 53,9%). The official rate for May 23 was set at 3,155 rubles per dollar.
Coming soon to a country near you!
MINSK, April 15 (Reuters) – Belarus’ central bank has stopped selling gold to local retail customers for Belarussian roubles BYR=, it said on Friday, after demand for precious metals soared due to expectations of a currency devaluation.
The bank did not explain its decision.
Belarus is in talks with Russia on a $3 billion bailout package that Minsk hopes will help it avoid a painful devaluation of the rouble and offset the large current account deficit.
Belarussians bought 470 kilograms of gold from the central bank last month, up from 209 kilograms in January and February together, as they sought to protect their savings.
Analysts say that Belarus will have to eventually devalue the rouble by about 20-30 percent even if it receives aid from Moscow. However, the central bank has said it would not make any such moves until late April.
Modern (energy/frequency) weapons leave no traces, so finding no other injuries means nothing.
– Last farewell said to Aleh Byabenin in Minsk (Video, Photo) (Charter 97)
Officials in Belarus say a prominent opposition figure found hanged at his weekend home outside the capital, Minsk, on Friday committed suicide.
Forensic examiners established that, apart from the noose mark on Oleg Bebenin’s neck, there were no other injuries, a local prosecutor said.
Mr Bebenin, 36, founded Charter 97, a leading opposition website critical of President Alexander Lukashenko.
Colleagues said they could not believe the father-of-two had killed himself.
They pointed out that he had left no note and Charter 97’s editor, Natalia Radina, said he had not been having any family or health problems.
MOSCOW, February 4 (RIA Novosti) – The collective rapid-reaction force to be created by a post-Soviet regional security bloc will be just as good as comparable NATO forces, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said on Wednesday.
The Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) agreed on Wednesday at a summit in Moscow to set up the new force, to be based in Russia.
Medvedev said the force, to be comprised of a “sufficient” number of units, would be “well trained and well equipped.”
“Russia is ready to contribute a division and a brigade,” he said. “This gives you an idea of the scale.”
The Russian president also said the CSTO was open for cooperation with the United States in the fight against terrorism in Central Asia.
The Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) is a security grouping comprising the former Soviet republics of Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.
Belarus has secured an emergency loan of $2.5bn (£1.74bn) from the International Monetary Fund.
It becomes the sixth country after Iceland, Hungary, Ukraine, Latvia, and Pakistan to need a rescue since the crisis began.
The ex-Soviet state – still run by strongman Alexander Lukashenko – has suffered a run on its foreign reserves as the economic downturn engulfs Eastern Europe. The country’s key exports are potash fertilizer and oil products, both hit hard by the commodity crash.
The IMF’s chief, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, said the tough terms of the bail-out include “strict public-sector wage restraint” and cuts in state spending. Russia has pledged a further $2bn.#
President Alexander Lukashenko of Belarus, left, who met Oct. 26 near Moscow with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, says that Belarus would like to deploy missiles even if it doesn’t reach an agreement with Moscow.
MINSK, Belarus — President Alexander Lukashenko is in talks with Moscow about placing in Belarus advanced Iskander missiles that could hit targets deep inside Europe.
The talks raise the ante in the debate over a U.S. plan to deploy missile defense in Europe. They also complicate Western hopes for warmer ties with Belarus, which some in the U.S. and Europe hope could help to counterbalance an increasingly hostile Kremlin.
In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Mr. Lukashenko said that he would like to see closer relations with the West but that he sympathizes with Russia on two flashpoints that have rocked relations — the conflict in Georgia and U.S. plans to place antimissile systems in Europe to counter a potential threat from Iran.
Mr. Lukashenko said he “absolutely supports” Russia’s plans to place Iskander missiles in Kaliningrad that would target the U.S. missile system. Kaliningrad is a Russian enclave in Europe that borders NATO members Poland and Lithuania, and missiles there could reach the proposed U.S. missile sites in Poland.
Mr. Lukashenko said Russia also had proposed putting Iskander missiles in Belarus, which is situated between Russia and Poland. And if a deal on the issue isn’t reached, Belarus itself would like to deploy the missiles, he said.
“Even if Russia does not offer these promising missiles, we will purchase them ourselves,” said Mr. Lukashenko, who said the technology for the Iskander optics and fire-control systems comes from Belarus. “Right now we do not have the funds, but it is part of our plans — I am giving away a secret here — to have such weapons.”
The International Monetary Fund may soon lack the money to bail out an ever growing list of countries crumbling across Eastern Europe, Latin America, Africa, and parts of Asia, raising concerns that it will have to tap taxpayers in Western countries for a capital infusion or resort to the nuclear option of printing its own money.
IMF’s work in countries such as Turkey is only just beginning
The Fund is already close to committing a quarter of its $200bn (£130bn) reserve chest, with a loans to Iceland ($2bn), Ukraine ($16.5bn), and talks underway with Pakistan ($14.5bn), Hungary ($10bn), as well as Belarus and Serbia.
Neil Schering, emerging market strategist at Capital Economics, said the IMF’s work in the great arc of countries from the Baltic states to Turkey is only just beginning.
“When you tot up the countries across the region with external funding needs, you get to $500bn or $600bn very quickly, and that blows the IMF out of the water. The Fund may soon have to start calling on the West for additional funds,” he said.
Brad Setser, an expert on capital flows at the Council for Foreign Relations, said Russia, Mexico, Brazil and India have together spent $75bn of their reserves defending their currencies this month, and South Korea is grappling with a serious banking crisis.
“Right now the IMF is too small to meet the foreign currency liquidity needs of the larger emerging economies. We’re in a dangerous situation and there is the risk of extreme moves in the markets, as we have seen with the Brazilian real. I hope policy-makers understand how serious this is,” he said.
The IMF, led by Dominique Strauss-Kahn, has the power to raise money on the capital markets by issuing `AAA’ bonds under its own name. It has never resorted to this option, preferring to tap members states for deposits.
The nuclear option is to print money by issuing Special Drawing Rights, in effect acting as if it were the world’s central bank. This was done briefly after the fall of the Soviet Union but has never been used as systematic tool of policy to head off a global financial crisis.
“The IMF can in theory create liquidity like a central bank,” said an informed source. “There are a lot of ideas kicking around.”
Tags: Bank for International Settlements, Bankruptcy, Belarus, Bonds, Central Bank, Debt, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Economy, Financial Crisis, GDP, Government, Hungary, Iceland, IMF, Liquidity, Pakistan, Politics, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Taxpayers, Turkey, Ukraine