History teaches us that millions years of evolution can be easily reversed by a meteor or maidan.

Today, January 1th, 2016 is the first day without a free trade agreement between Russia and Ukraine. As I have already wrote here,

Russia was occupied by the US in the 1990s and forced to support Ukraine to the extent of $100bln annually. Apparently, it’s all ending now. Ukraine finally gets its full independence from Russia’s money. Belarus however still very much depends on the FTA with Russia. It was just announced by the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade of Ukraine on Twitter that Belarus and Ukraine have “decided” to keep a free trade zone between them.

With the EU tree trade zone coming into full bloom on eponymous January 1, 2016, Belarus is becoming a hub for the EU, US, Ukraine and countless others, a situation which Russia wanted to avoided by protecting its markets out in an open, only this time it’s not Ukraine, but Belarus. Now, it’s Lukashenko who sees himself as the go-to man between Russia and Europe. We have already seen the plight of those politicians who spread their legs too far apart. Kremlin doesn’t want to rock the boat now, but I give it three to six months before Lukashenko’s Belarus will go down in flames Ukrainian style.

With Belarusian treason, Russia will have only enemies on its Western border, it’s just a matter of time before Ukraine and Belarus start trading baseball cards and used condoms.

Aivaras Abromavicius, a minister of Economic Development of Ukraine, announced on Monday quoting Yatsenyuk that Rada adopted a law #3704, that give the government go ahead with sanctions against Russia (on the top of the EU and the US sanctions) in a “trade war that Russia has started.” As we all know very well that the trade war on Russia was started first by the US and the EU, but whatever. Junta doesn’t let facts stand in the way of its delusion.

We will protect the domestic market of Ukraine“, – said Yatsenyuk.

The Prime Minister of Ukraine also stressed that only Russia announced its withdrawal from the FTA: “moreover, this statement is illegal, does not conform to international treaties. Neither Kazakhstan, nor Belarus no such Declaration is made. That is why Russia will receive a response from the Ukrainian Government in the form of a trade embargo and mirror sanctions against Russian goods“.

Arseniy Yatsenyuk reminded that the Government of Ukraine was submitted to the Parliament the law on sanctions which was adopted for the first time in the history of Ukraine there was a mechanism for application of sanctions. In September last year the Cabinet of Ministers has approved the list of individual and sectoral sanctions against the Russian Federation. The decision of the Council of national security and defense and a presidential decree were imposed sectoral and individual declarat sanctions against Russian companies and individuals.

He also recalled that the Government of Ukraine had filed several lawsuits to the European court of human rights against the Russian Federation for the illegal annexation of Crimea. The illegal annexation of Crimea was condemned by resolution of the United Nations in the amount of 100 States.”
“Public companies also filed against the Russian Federation for damage. In particular, the NJSC “Naftogaz of Ukraine” has filed two lawsuits in the Stockholm arbitration court – as the gas contract and the contract on the transit of natural gas through the territory of Ukraine.

We have practically refused from the Russian gas monopoly in Ukraine“, – said Yatsenyuk.

“Ukraine closed the airspace to all Russian airlines, Ukraine filed a lawsuit in the WTO against the Russian Federation, and the debate began. Ukraine also attract Russia to justice at the International court of justice for violating Convention against terrorism. And this is only one-tenth of the list that this Government made to protect Ukraine”, – said Yatsenyuk.”

As I wrote past summer, filing outrages frivolous lawsuit in European and American courts has become the weapon in war on Russian taxpayers.

There are two major ground shifting consequences to the Russia’s assets freeze in Europe.

Russia vs. ECHR: The Rise and Fall of the European Courts

Make no mistake, all those courts, without exemption, are ruling against Russia. It looks like fines and charges that are being piled up on Russian taxpayers fast exceeding the GDP of the country.

How it’s going to be solved remains truly a mystery, and your guess is as good as mine. I think it could be done easily if Russia officially declares that the NATO countries and also the countries of the EU are at war on Russia, and the courts of the war adversary can never be considered neither just, no valid.

Serhiy Kiral @serhiykiral Member of Verkhovna Rada – Parliament of Ukraine from Samopomich Party twitted on December 28 that “Belarus will not discontinue FTA with Ukraine, via Nataliya Mykolska… Probably good news for UA exporters ” I tweeted him that Belarus will lose a FTA with Russia, if it keeps a FTA with Ukraine and EU. He responded saying “it’s not only Russia to decide.” He didn’t explain who else would be deciding on this for Russia. The question is, how would Belarus (with Ukraine, and EU) would trade if Russia doesn’t want their products? Drop it of helicopters?

What Abromavicius failed to mention, was a Straford prediction of Yatsenyuk’s resignation in 2016. [Source] [source]
Obozrevatel or Observer reminds us that MP Oleg Barna openly called Yatsenyuk’ “seksot” “сексотом” (секретным сотрудником) or secret operative of the President of Russia.

Ukraine to abandon anti-Russia sanctions if Moscow keeps free trade zone agreement

December 29. Last week Ukraine’s parliament passed a law enabling the government to impose economic sanctions against Russia in response to Moscow’s decisions regarding the free trade zone and food embargo. [Source]
Since December 23, 2015 Russia started organizing tighter cooperation between the customs services on banning any Ukrainian exports from other territories, whether it is Kazakhstan or Belarus. [Source]

As Russian’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said after the 6th Russia-Ukraine-EU ministerial meeting with his trademark straightforwardness that Russia has no intention of sacrificing its economic interests for the sake of satisfying others ambitions.  His statement, as it has become customary, was met with rage, since Russia’s “sacrificing itself for the others ambitions” is the only way “the Others” want to have it.

At first, after Maidan upended life for Ukraine and its innocent great northern benevolent neighbor, Russians were reluctant to express any hostility towards Ukrainians. Two years later, after endless exchange of unpleasantries, Russians started enjoying kicking Ukraine in its most sensitive organ: its economy.
Instead of proudly shutting the eponymous geopolitical door and walking away from Russia forever, which is what everyone in Russia hopes for, Kiev regime continues its schizophrenic game of push and tug. It’s like screaming to your boss “I quit” after being fired, and to demand future paychecks in perpetuity. For Russia, to continue buying Ukrainian food is detrimental to its’ own food industry and to its nation’s health, since the quality of food produced in Ukraine is absolutely terrible. The only reason Russia had been buying Ukrainian produced food was to support Ukraine. Now, Russia stepped aside, so it’s the EU and US who should be buying thousands of tones made in Ukraine palm tree oil based “cheese products” and milk based salmonella. You shall not eat from the hands of your enemies, say I, who never ate at my ex mother-in-law’s.

The truth of the matter is that the so-called Ukrainian agricultural complex is owned by foreign and supranational companies, not Ukrainian nationals.
According to the Oakland Institute, over 2.2 million ha of Ukrainian farmland is controlled by foreign companies. Among them: The Danish “Trigon Agri,” holds over 52,000 ha. Trigon was established in 2006 using start-up capital from Finnish “high net-worth individuals.” The company is traded in Stockholm (NASDAQ), and its largest shareholders include: JPM Chase (UK, 9.5 percent); Swedbank (Sweden, 9.4 percent); UB Securities (Finland, 7.9 percent); Euroclear Bank (Belgium, 6.6 percent); and JP Morgan Clearing Corp (USA, 6.2 percent).

Ukrainian here is just dirt and slave labor.

“The United Farmers Holding Company, which is owned by a group of Saudi Arabian investors, controls some 33,000 ha of Ukrainian farmland through Continental Farmers Group PLC. AgroGeneration, which holds 120,000 ha of Ukrainian farmland, is incorporated in France, with over 62 percent of its shares managed by SigmaBleyzer, a Texas-based investment company.

US pension fund NCH Capital holds 450,000 ha. The company began in 1993 and boasts being some of the earliest western investors in Ukraine after the break-up of the Soviet Union. Over the past decade, the company has systematically leased out small parcels of agricultural land (around two to six hectares in size) across Ukraine, aggregating these into large-scale farms that now operate industrially. According to NCH Capital’s General Partner, George Rohr, the leases give the company the right to buy the currently-leased farmland once the moratorium on the sale of land in Ukraine is lifted.”

For more foreign corporations owning Ukraine’s lands here

I would also add Monsanto, John Deere, DuPont, Pioneer, Eli Lilly, and Cargill.

I posted prior here
1. USDA Ukraine reports for 2014-2015
2. ADM Averts DQ With Waiver After $54M FCPA Fine. A curious case of the Western “justice.“

Essentially, what we wrongly call “Ukrainian” products, are nothing but American and European Union produced products. By buying from Ukraine, Russia would support economies of countries that are at war with Russia.

Ukraine’s ideal fix for the future is to turn Ukraine into an Eastern European Switzerland with cows grazing on green loans in front of big houses, which shows how painfully naive these people are. Switzerland is all about dark endless banking labyrinths, which is something that they were born with. If Swiss people relayed on cows, they wouldn’t last a year.

Money remittance from Ukrainian economic migrants working in Russia reduced 2.3 times. In 2014 it was $1.8 billon and in 2015 its $770,5 million.

Ukraine is concerned that Russia will stop transfer of the Ukrainian goods via its territory to the third country like Azerbaijan, Armenia, Kazakhstan, China and others. [source]
Full text of their concern here:
Інформація щодо можливого ускладнення транзитних перевезень українських товарів через територію Російської Федерації в треті країни з 1 січня 2016 року

We have to remember that Ukraine has already closed its airspace for the Russian flights, closed its railroads and roads for Russian transpiration. The demands of Ukraine from Russia to keep its transportation opened for the Ukrainians goods is simple preposterous.

Ukraine survives because 65% of its economy went into grey and black market. [source]

Ukraine – 2015: Russophobia as state politics, fruits and lessons

Украина—2015: русофобия как государственный курс. Итоги и плоды.
According to the estimates done by Medialogia,
which is Russian first automated real-time media monitoring and analysis system, in 2015 Ukraine had been number one topic of the Russia’s media.

• the political life in Ukraine is nothing short of absurd;

• Russophobia (irrational hate towards Russian people) has become an official state philosophy, and not just sentiments of the marginalized part of the population;

• It’s had become official requirement for all the Ukrainians living under the NATO occupation to proclaim hate for Russia in all their affairs: in parliament, in schools, in press. You can actually see how even thesaker’s Ukrainian commentator, Marco, proclaims hate of Russians every time he/she/it posts a comments;

• Now, Russia is not just called a “country-aggressor’ in media and in government issued publications. Military doctrine of Ukraine, newly adopted in August, with the help of NATO, made it an official status of Russia to be “the main threat” to the national security of Ukraine;

• 2015 had become the most fruitful for Rada in terms of adoption of anti-Russia laws. “De-communization” package of laws was adopted that equal communists to their enemies, Nazis, but simultaneously in the most screaming case of cognitive dissonance, the Nazi collaborators, that killed more civilians in Ukraine and Belarus then German armies, are now erected on pedestals as “heroes;”

• Simultaneously, Ukraine keep demanding via courts, and other political venues from Russia to support its economy;

• The Great Patriotic War has been erased from the Ukrainian history completely, along with the May 9th victory day;

• If you don’t see any rhyme and reason to any of these, it’s because you are actually witnessing a very interesting process as American and European corporations, banks, the US military complex, agricultural complexes, pension funds, socials security funds, sovereign wealth funds, press, and military are making new artificial nation. With the artificial history, with artificial goals, with international and domestic policies openly based on the Nazi philosophy, and openly and military proclaiming its aggression towards Russia. The Wall Street, London and Swiss banks, NATO and EU and shaping Ukraine into Germany of the 21 century, into the country that that will at some point attack Russia. Europeans don’t want to go to war on Russia, but the US desperately needs a big war in Europe. So, the US is putting together from dust this Golem monster to go and fight Russians for the US and EU benefit. Traditionally, the West ignores the new Military doctrine of Russia which states that if a conventional ground war in wedged on Russia, no matter who does this, Turkey, Ukraine or anyone else, Russia will nuclear strike the US. No ifs, or buts.

• The Ukrainians nurture this bizarre idea, that after Putin is overthrown, Medvedev, being a liberal enemy of Russia, would undo all the reforms that Putin’s government have implemented: Medvedev will give back Crimea and Donbass, undo the entire cooperation with China, give up all the modern weaponry to the West and dismantle its military, abandon the Middle East, pay for “all the damages,” give back oil and gas industries to Khodorkovsky and Rothschild. Medvedev will also break the Russian Federation into small managed by the West countries, and assist in ethnically cleaning all the people of Russian ethnicity. Everyone and their drunk uncle is missing one point: Russia’s military decided that to serve the country better they have to start participating in its political and economical decision making. As long as the war on Russia is being conducted, there will be no pro-west liberals in power in Russia.
Ukraine Total Gross External Debt 2003-2016

• Ukrainian national debt is 100% of GDP

• Inflation – 47%
• Ukraine named one of the five “most miserable economies”.

• Ukrainians were promised by the new owners the European “values,” and European standards of living. This delusion is not based on any real economic output, but purely on demagogy and propaganda;

• the only positive development for Ukraine, is that it’s still nominally one state, with very minimal Kiev power over the regions;

• Ukraine completely ignored experiences of the other former parts of the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union that had become a parts of the EU. All those countries had lost their industrial capacity, the Baltic countries are literally de-populated. Yugoslavia was bombed by the Clintons and broken into pieces. Constant ethnic tensions and conflicts in the Balkans. The emigration crisis in Poland and Germany. Finland admits that it was a mistake to join the eurozone. Turkey is pushing its way in with the help of the US. Finland added the “Fixit” to the eurozone lexicon of nations expected to exit. The EU is officially in “creative destruction phase”; http://seekingalpha.com/article/3780486-nudge-theory-contagion-and-the-paneuropa-project

• The idea that Ukraine is going to save European Union from falling apart is wildly circulated in Ukraine. The plan here is for Ukrainians to go to “Europa” and beat them up to make them stay together. Since Ukrainians are being prepared to defeat Russia, holding the EU together should be a small undertaking for this great new nation;

• Yanukovych was moving Ukraine away from Russia and closer to Europe, and Russia was paying for it. Now, Russia finally realized that you won’t get flowers by sowing dragon teeth, and stopped paying for Ukrainian wellbeing;

• Russophobia and militarism are the only ideology that keeps the country together, otherwise Ukrainians have to admit that they made huge mistake by allowing the US to colonize them. To be a true Ukrainian means to never admit your mistakes.

• 2016 is expected to be another year of anti-Russian hysteria, militarism and fascism in Ukraine. It means we on thesaker will have plenty of things to discuss.

Politically, Kiev regime in Ukraine is unstable
Ongoing infighting in pro-European block of parties, expected ousting of Yatsenyuk, a Victoria Nuland’s favorite, who is universally hated by many and despised by some.

• There are some progress on the Kiev’s regime reforms of the tax system, visa system, deregulation of capital market and business that always result in a collapse of the national ownership of lands, properties and means of production. IMF claims that Ukraine’s GDP fell 9% and inflation is up 46%. However, because 65% of economy is essentially criminalized, it might be not as bad as it looks.

• During 2015, the main efforts of Kiev were aimed at stabilizing the financial situation the country was in danger of default because of the inability to repay foreign debts. In the beginning of the year foreign exchange reserves declined to critical 5.6 billion dollars and the national debt has exceeded 71% of GDP.

• A lifeline for Ukraine is a new IMF program of expanded financing to $17.5 billion dollars for the next four years. In addition, Kyiv plans to restructure part of its debt.

• In 2015, Kyiv managed to stabilize the financial situation, by building up foreign exchange reserves to $13.3 billion and by reducing the national debt from $73 to $66 billion.

• However, the cooperation with the IMF slowed down due to its debt restructuring. Kiev slowly complied with the requirements of the Fund, but was able to get only $6.7 billion dollars instead of the planned $10bln.

• While Kiev was able to restructure debt at $ 15 billion. Ukraine has been trying to include into this basket of private debt the sovereign debt to Russia to $ 3 billion. The Russian Federation refused to accept the terms of Ukraine, as the result Kiev declared a technical default.

• Now the financial future of the country in question. On the one hand, the continuation of mission-critical lending from the IMF depends on the opinion of the Fund, the adopted state budget (adopted in haste on the basis of new tax base is not harmonized with the IMF).

• On the other hand, Ukraine is waiting for the international court of justice decision on the lawsuit that the Russian Federation filed against Ukraine on the debt, in which experts give Kiev has little chance to win. In addition, in 2016 it is expected the decision of the Stockholm arbitration on the gas case on which the amount of the claim of the Russian Federation to Ukraine is $29.2 billion. If decisions are not in favor of Ukraine, it will be difficult for the country to meet all the financial obligations.

• Curious enough that due to the fact of default on the debt to the Russian Federation , Ukraine can’t attract financial assistance from sources other than the IMF, according to the former researcher of Institute of world economy of the NAS of Ukraine Vsevolod Stepanyuk.

• “The fact that the country will enter in 2016 in the state formal state of default, will have a negative impact on corporate finances of many Ukrainian banks and, of course, the only creditor will remain the IMF and the United States, which is only exacerbates Ukraine’s dependence on the U.S.,” the expert said.
Frozen Conflict in Donbass

• In 2015, the implementation of the Minsk agreements to settle the conflict in Donbass, involving the return of the region to Ukraine as an Autonomous Republic until 2016, has failed. Instead, the Donbas has actually turned into a frozen conflict zone.

• Among intermediate results — relative ceasefire and improvement of the security situation achieved through removal from the frontline heavy weapon, a partial exchange of prisoners and the improvement of the humanitarian situation.

• The talks have stalled because of different views of Kiev and DPR and LPR to resolve the conflict. Kyiv demands to hold elections in Donbass to reach a complete ceasefire, to return to its control state border in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions and elections with the participation of the Ukrainian parties.

• In turn, the DPR and LPR from Ukraine to adopt amendments to the Constitution on decentralization with regard to the autonomy of Donbass (the constitutional reform was adopted only on first reading without approval from DPR and LPR), Amnesty participants of the events in the Donbass, to adopt a law on elections in the region. Also DPR and LPR noted that in accordance with the Minsk agreements, control over the border should be handed over to Kyiv only after the elections.

• The trilateral contact group of Kiev, the OSCE and the Russian Federation, at the last meeting in 2015 has decided to extend its work in 2016, until Minsk agreement is fully implemented.

• Expert Ruslan Bortnik believes that the conflict can only be resolved by a compromise between key geopolitical players — the U.S. and Russia, which is possible no earlier than 2017, after the election of the new American president. While the analyst believes that at best in 2016, the conflict will be in the frozen stage, the settlement will go slow; in the worst scenario, there will be the escalation of the military conflict in Donbass.

Confrontation with Russia

• 2015 for Ukraine was marked by continuation of the rupture in relations with Russia in all possible directions.

• The first hostile steps taken by Rada became the naming Russia as an “aggressor country, introduction of new foreign passport regime for the entry for Russian citizens, and also ban on all Russia’s media.

• Kiev also imposed sanctions against 388 citizens of the Russian Federation, in the sanctions list includes the Russian journalists, politicians and officials. In addition, the Ministry of culture added to the “blacklist” 83 Russian actors, writers, producers and singers.

• Ukraine imposed sanctions against 105 Russian legal entities, in particular, prohibited the air traffic with the Russian Federation. The Russia imposed retaliatory measures. As a result, the direct air service between the countries is now completely blocked.

• Moscow has consistently opposed Kiev, stressing that Ukrainian journalists do not meet obstacles in its work on the territory of the Russian Federation and Ukraine citizens can still enter Russia with internal passports.

• Despite of the consultations between the European Commission, Ukraine and Russia, by the beginning of 2016 a free trade zone (FTZ) between Ukraine and the EU has not removed Russia’s concerns about possible threats for the Russian market from the commencement of the FTA, the Russian Federation introduced against Kiev a new food embargo and halt the operation of a free trade area with Ukraine within the CIS.

• The trade turnover of Ukraine with Russia and already in 2015 has decreased 50% (the export of Ukrainian goods to Russia dropped by 55.6% to $ 3.6 billion, and imports by 47.9 per cent to $5.5 billion), this restrictive measures threaten to cut all economic ties between the countries.

• Kiev hopes to reorient its economy to the Western market, but companies need time, to switch to European standards, and have to overcome the EU restrictive quotes. According to experts, it will take at least 2-3 years, or never.

• Reductions touched also the gas market. Kiev for the second year reduced the volume of imports of Russian gas by reverse-flow gas supply from Europe. (Which is the same Russian gas, only twice more expensive.) According to the statements of the Ukrainian authorities, in 2015 the share of Russian gas in imports could be reduced to 30%.

In conclusion, I want to remind you an anecdote about President Putin. I don’t know either this took place or not, but this is how it goes: During one of the press conferences, journalists asked Putin why Russia didn’t interfere military during Maidan, and didn’t arrest junta. He responded: Imagine a very large pile of shit. Now, imagine striking this pile with your fist. That’s why.

Donbass Novorossia

1. Alexander Zakharchenko, the head of the Donbass region, New Year message to Novorossia and Ukraine.

This is a “creatively edited” video of the Alexander Zakharchenko new year speech with background of Zaporozhye, Kharkov, Kherson, Nikolaev, Dnepropetrovsk and Odessa and the following text:
New year message of the leader of the Donbass region, Alexander Zakharchenko, as we think, by all means can be addressed to all residents of Novorossia and even Ukraine: a new growth point with the fall of Ukraine as a background; a new people’s economy without oligarchs, freedom and security for all citizens, the preservation of traditional Christian moral values on the background of the neo-pagan cruelty and non-traditional values in post-Christian Europe.
Because that is exactly what they want in Novorossiya.
And in this sense, the Donbass can become not only a point of growth, and the point of assembly of Novorossia and new Ukraine, to be free from the oligarchs, the Western occupiers and guest con-artists.
Ukraine, which again should become unique, and not European, with its lack of character.
People’s Committee “Zakharchenko is the leader of Novorossia”

2. Kiev military formations started shelling northern suburb of Donetsk [source]

´On December 29th, at about 5 pm Ukrainian side started shelling Zhabichevo. It was longstanding attack´ it was told to the agency.
In regard to the information of the resource, the hostility conduct shelling from their positions in Peski with the use of grenade launchers, small arms and APC.
Be reminded that the contact group in Minsk called sides of the conflict to establish total ceasefire regime in Donbass since midnight of 23rd December 2015. It is the 6 agreement since the autumn of 2014.

3. Gorlovka was subjected to shelling the entire night from 26th to 27th December (VIDEO) One woman was killed as a result of shelling.

4. Russia Urges OSCE To Stop The Kiev Junta From Attacks And Seizure Of Churches [source]
The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) should regard Kiev’s position on the seizure of churches in Ukraine as the violation of the international commitments in the sphere of human rights, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday December 29th. “We believe that the OSCE should unambiguously qualify the position of the Kiev authorities in the situation with the seizure of churches of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate as the violation of Kiev’s international commitments in the human rights sphere.”
The OSCE leadership and its Special Monitoring Mission in Ukraine [SMM], have been refusing to admit that any “serious incidents” or damage have been taken place.
Orthodox Missionary Center of Fr. Daniel Sysoev gives multiple reports the churches of Ukrainian Orthodox Church and Moscow Patriarchy churches being seized, or, burned or otherwise destroyed, and also of priests and parishioners being killed, arrested and threatened.

4. Elena Zaslavskaja, a poetess from Lugansk People republic went to Kharkov, as a first ever ambassador of good will, for a face to face political debates. She was ambushed by two dozen fascists from the Right Sector military group. In the best European tradition, they screamed “Death to Enemies! Glory to the Nation!” 20 enraged military men ambushing one small young woman was the best discreditation of the Kiev anti-people regime. She stood her grounds and made all of them retreat. Video
It’s remarkable that she had managed to get back home from NATO occupied Ukraine, considering that in Ukraine people are being killed and imprisoned for posts on the Internet.
Ukrainian fascists lock people up in prisons for posts on the Internet, like two days ago a young man was arrested and charged for being an “internet fighter” for Donetsk people republics. [source]

Thank you and Happy New Year!

I was listening to some good music:

New Year: To bad boys and girls from NATO, We’ll send Kalibr-K and Sineva and then we will take Manhattan and Berlin

When the song of the great Leonard Cohen is being performed by the Russians, it takes a completely new meaning.

First We Take Manhattan (complete, German TV, February 17, 1988)


The Essential Saker: from the trenches of the emerging multipolar world