- 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.