US-Soldaten in Afghanistan




"Venezuela’s Oil Riches Are Quietly Falling Under Russian Control"

Russland nutze seine engen Verbindungen zur Maduro-Regierung und die schwere wirtschaftliche Krise in Venezuela, um in Lateinamerika noch besser Fuß zu fassen, schreibt Matthew Smith. "Moscow has long coveted a prominent role in Latin America to strike at U.S. regional hegemony, gain control of the areas considerable petroleum wealth and solidify Russia’s image as a world power. Acting as a lender of last resort to Maduro’s cash-strapped regime forms a key part of Moscow’s strategy, especially since the introduction of U.S. financial sanctions. (…) In exchange for generous loans, Maduro’s government not only pledged consignments of oil as repayments but handed energy assets to Russian oil company Rosneft. Those included a lien on 49.9% of Venezuelan refiner Citgo, the jewel in the PDVSA crown, and oil fields. In a sign Moscow is consolidating its position in Venezuela, a wholly Russian state-owned company acquired Rosneft’s Venezuelan energy assets earlier this year. That allows Putin’s government to assist Venezuela in circumventing U.S. sanctions, while preventing them from impacting Rosneft which is already implicated in facilitating the sale of Venezuelan oil."

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"New U.S. Sanctions Unlikely To Derail Nord Stream 2"

Viktor Katona vom Russian International Affairs Council erklärt, warum die von US-Senatoren geplanten neuen Sanktionen die Fertigstellung der russischen Ostsee-Pipeline Nord Stream 2 wohl nicht aufhalten werden. Ein Grund seien die geschickten Gegenmaßnahmen des ausführenden russischen Energiekonzerns Gazprom. "Inasmuch as the constant sanctions threats keep on unnerving Gazprom’s management, the Russian gas export monopoly has found a seemingly simple yet effective way to complicate matters further for US senators. As Russian media reports have discerned, [the Russian pipe-laying vessel] Akademik Cherskiy no longer belongs to Gazprom’s shipping subsidiary Gazprom Flot (which had owned it for 4 years, since 2016) – the vessel’s owner is a largely unknown Russia-based property investment fund STIF. What is adding another twist to the story is the fact that it seems almost impossible to understand who owns the investment fund and why it bought the pipelaying vessel. In effect, such a lack of clarity renders it quite difficult for US authorities to sanction STIF – it can hardly allow itself to initiate a lengthy and very risky legal dispute with Gazprom, stabbing in the dark in its pursuit of any Gazprom trace."

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"Oil Price War Puts Entire Kingdom Of Saudi Arabia At Risk"

Simon Watkins erklärt, warum der aktuelle Preiskrieg am Ölmarkt Saudi-Arabien in die schwerste Krise seit 1932 geführt habe. "Over and above the sheer stupidity involved in launching a strategy of overproducing oil to push down prices that had already failed before and doing so at a time when it was obvious that the coronavirus would itself annihilate oil demand and pricing, the number one mistake that the al-Sauds made - and for which they will be held personally responsible for by their people in the coming months – is to eradicate all trust in them on the part of the U.S. Everyday Saudis do not, perhaps, care that much for the U.S. certainly, but they do care about the country’s increased political and economic insecurity that has been caused by the latest oil price war, directly and indirectly. (…) Having already made it plain that any further nonsense from Saudi will not be tolerated by the U.S. from the political perspective, optimism is high amongst senior Democrats, and some Republicans, in both Houses, that Saudi can be made to pay for the economic hardship it has caused the U.S. The mechanism is the 'No Oil Producing and Exporting Cartels Act' (NOPEC) Bill, which makes it illegal to artificially cap oil (and gas) production or to set prices, as OPEC, OPEC+, and Saudi Arabia do."

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"Russia Sees Oil & Gas Income Fall By Almost $40 Billion"

Die russische Regierung rechnet aufgrund der gesunkenen Ölpreise mit einem deutlichen Rückgang der Staatseinkünfte. "Russia’s revenues from oil and gas will be US$39.5 billion (3 trillion rubles) lower than planned, due to the tumbling oil prices, Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said on Wednesday, adding that Russia’s budget will be in deficit this year. The coronavirus pandemic and the lower economic activity, coupled with oil prices half the level before Russia and Saudi Arabia broke up the OPEC+ production cut deal two weeks ago, will weigh on Russia’s budget this year, which will tip into deficit. Russia’s economy is not going as well as one would have hoped, the finance minister admitted today, saying that the oil price factor alone is set to reduce the country’s budget income by nearly US$39.5 billion compared to earlier estimates. In case of budget deficit, Russia will use reserves from the National Wealth Fund (NWF), Siluanov said on Wednesday. According to analysts at Gazprombank, cited by Reuters, the fund has enough reserves to compensate for lower budget revenues due to low oil prices for more than five years."

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"Russia Is Defeating The U.S. In The Middle East Oil Game"

Russland nutze den Rückzug der USA aus dem Nahen Osten, um den eigenen Einfluss in der Region auch energiepolitisch auszuweiten, schreibt Simon Watkins. Dazu gehörten geplante Investitionen im irakischen Ölsektor. "Historically, Russia goes to great lengths to hide or disguise its strategic intentions but it clearly feels empowered enough in the Middle East to very obviously stake its claim in the region – excluding, for the time being only, Saudi Arabia – by stating that a slew of Russian companies are to spend up to US$20 billion on oil projects in Iraq in the near term. 'Since [U.S. President Donald] Trump outlined the new U.S. foreign policy of not engaging in conflicts abroad unless they were directly aligned with U.S. interests [October 2019], and then effectively withdrawing from Syria and from supporting the Kurds, Russia and China have felt that they can bring forward their plans to bring Iraq within their geopolitical arc of influence,' a senior source who works closely with Iraq’s Oil Ministry told last week. 'They know that provided that they do not impinge on Saudi Arabia and, at a pinch the UAE and Kuwait, or launch attacks against U.S. personnel, then they can basically do whatever they want anywhere else, hence this announcement from Russia last week,' he added."

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"Russia-Ukraine Fallout Won’t Threaten Security Of EU Gas Supply"

Das Energiewirtschaftliche Institut an der Universität zu Köln (EWI) ist Tsvetana Paraskova zufolge in einer Studie zu dem Schluss gekommen, dass die Gasversorgung Europas vom andauernden Disput über den Transport von russischem Erdgas durch die Ukraine nicht beeinträchtigt werden wird. "Even if Russia and Ukraine were to fail to reach an agreement on the natural gas transit through Ukraine onto Europe, the security of gas supply in the European Union (EU) will not be materially threatened, the Institute of Energy Economics (EWI) at the University of Cologne said in a study on Wednesday. The current ten-year gas transit agreement between Russia and Ukraine expires on December 31, 2019. The parties need to reach a new agreement by that date to set the terms of deliveries of Russian gas to Europe via Ukraine’s territory. (…) Even if talks fail to reach an agreement and gas supply via Ukraine is interrupted, as it was in 2009, the EU will not see its gas supply security threatened because of sufficient infrastructure, good market integration, storage inventories high enough to handle additional withdrawals, and liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports, according to the study."

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"The Inevitable Finale Of The Nord Stream 2 Saga"

Der Ausgang der "Nord-Stream-2-Saga" ist nach Ansicht des Energieexperten Vanand Meliksetian schon aus wirtschaftlichen Gründen unausweichlich. "European production is decreasing dramatically, primarily due to the depletion of old gas fields. Also, political motives hamper production such as in the Netherlands where tremors, allegedly due to gas extraction, have reduced political support for the industry. Europe’s biggest single gas deposit, the Groningen field in the Netherlands, will cease operations in 2022. The closure of this gas giant was another reason to support the construction of NS2. (…) Especially Germany, which intends to shut down its nuclear and coal power plants by 2022 and 2038 respectively, requires a steady supply of cheap natural gas to fill the gap and supplement intermittent renewables. Although there is sufficient LNG import capacity available across Europe, cheap piped gas remains the most sensible economic choice for businesses. (…) Almost 150 bcm of natural gas is required to fill Europe’s demand gap until 2025 (…) and Russia is the only producer with the necessary capacity to become a swing producer. Ukraine’s infrastructure remains vital for Moscow’s strategy to increase exports to the continent and strengthen its position as a strategic and vital energy supplier. The construction of NS2 may have been a blow for Kyiv, but the European market is poised to change significantly over the next couple of years and Ukraine still holds plenty of power in this game."

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"The Key To Iran’s Success In The Face Of Sanctions"

Dem Iran ist es Simon Harlow zufolge in den vergangenen Monaten gelungen, die Benzin-Produktion zu erhöhen und damit eine der schmerzhaftesten Folgen der US-Sanktionen zu umgehen. "One of the most humiliating aspects for Iran of the last sanctions era was that it was dependent on the whim of the U.S. for gasoline just to keep its vehicles moving, Mehrdad Emadi, head of risk analysis and energy derivatives markets consultancy, Betamatrix, in London, told 'At the time that the new sanctions were introduced last year [by the U.S.], Iran was absolutely determined not to be in the dependent position again, which is why it has pushed ahead so determinedly with the PGSR [Persian Gulf Star Refinery], and why Iran is now not just self-sufficient for gasoline but is actually looking to ramp up its export capacity,' he added. (…) Given the U.S.’s apparent withdrawal from all Middle East interests, except – albeit tenuously, Saudi Arabia – Iran believes that it is only a matter of time before sanctions are loosened up, if not entirely removed by the U.S. Tehran also believes that even before this is effected by the U.S. European firms will re-engage with Iran, in the first instance in the petchems sector."

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"Will The U.S. Slap Sanctions On Nord Stream 2?"

Im US-Kongress mehren sich Nick Cunningham zufolge die Stimmen, die Sanktionen gegen die geplante Nord-Stream-2-Gaspipeline fordern, um den Export von amerikanischem Flüssiggas nach Europa zu erleichtern. "U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry has likened U.S. gas to American soldiers liberating Europe from the Nazis. 'The United States is again delivering a form of freedom to the European continent,' he told reporters in Brussels earlier this month. 'And rather than in the form of young American soldiers, it’s in the form of liquefied natural gas.' (...) The U.S. government may offer a lifeline to gas exporters in Texas and Louisiana by targeting Nord Stream 2. Recently, Sec. Perry predicted that U.S. sanctions on Nord Stream 2 were coming in the 'not too distant future.' Sanctions would hit companies working on the project. It may or may not be a coincidence that some of the biggest proponents of sanctioning Nord Stream 2 hail from Texas, home to a growing number of LNG export terminals. (...) The overarching motivation for American politicians in targeting Nord Stream 2 continues to be geopolitical – reducing European dependence on Russian gas. However, cutting down on Russia’s market share in Europe over the long run would also have major implications for the billions of dollars’ worth of investments along the U.S. Gulf Coast."

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"The World’s Most Geopolitically Charged Pipeline"

Die Nord-Stream-Pipeline in der Ostsee kann heute aus geopolitischer Sicht als umstrittenste Gasleitung der Welt betrachtet werden, schreibt Tim Daiss. Trotz der sicherheitspolitischen Kontroversen deute bisher alles darauf hin, dass das Projekt termingerecht abgeschlossen werden wird. "The way forward, for some EU countries already tired of Russian interference and geopolitical hegemony using the gas weapon in the region, including Poland and several Baltic states, will be to procure more U.S.-sourced LNG, as well as from Qatar and other players. To this end, however, LNG is currently and will be in the future at a decided pricing disadvantage compared to cheaper Russian pipeline gas. Finally, Germany has also indicated recently, likely bowing to pressure from Trump, that it will expand its LNG infrastructure, including signing more LNG deals with U.S. producers. While this will not be enough to nullify the enormous stakes and risks of an operational Nord Stream 2 pipeline, it will at least offer marginal diversity of supply."

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"Why Russia Isn’t Worried About Lower Oil Prices"

Nick Cunningham erläutert, warum sich Russland im Gegensatz zu Saudi-Arabien keine großen Sorgen über die gefallenen Ölpreise macht. "One of the key reasons is that the Russian currency is flexible, so it weakens when oil prices fall. That cushions the blow during a downturn, allowing Russian oil companies to pay expenses in weaker rubles while still taking in U.S. dollars for oil sales. Second, tax payments for Russian oil companies are structured in such a way that their tax burden is lighter with lower oil prices. (...) Russia is more stoic in the face of an oil price meltdown. 'The drop in oil prices hardly bother us because our budget is based on $42 a barrel,' First Deputy Prime Minister Anton Siluanov told reporters in Moscow on December 26. 'The price can stay around $40-$50 for a time -- six months or a year,' Siluanov said, before adding: 'We think this won’t last long.' But even if the price downturn does persist, Russia won’t be in trouble because of its ample foreign exchange reserves, he said."

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"Russia Takes Major Leap In European Gas War"

Vanand Meliksetian bezeichnet die feierlich vollzogene Fertigstellung des ersten "Turk Stream"-Abschnitts als wichtigen russischen Fortschritt im "Europäischen Gaskrieg". Das Projekt sei von Gazprom aufgrund des europäischen Widerstands gegen die geplante "South Stream"-Pipeline in Angriff genommen worden und erweise sich nun als voller Erfolg. "Although Turk Stream’s capacity is half compared to South Stream’s, the pipeline has the potential to significantly impact European markets. Despite efforts by Brussels to halt Russian projects in Europe, Moscow seems assured that it will succeed: Nord Stream 2 is already under construction, Turk Stream’s first string is nearly completed, and the second one will follow soon. What is striking in the case of the second string, is the scrambling by Greek, Bulgarian, and Italian companies and politicians to receive natural gas from the Turk Stream pipeline. With every passing day it becomes ever more likely that these pipelines will be completed."

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"Russia Just Won Big In The European Gas War"

Die EU-Kommission und Gazprom haben bei ihrer Einigung im Streit um unfaire Geschäftspraktiken des russischen Energieunternehmens auf schwere Milliardenstrafen verzichtet. Für Russland sei dies ein großer Sieg im andauernden "Europäischen Gaskrieg", meint Tim Daiss. "It’s a win situation for Gazprom since its agreement avoids billions of dollars in penalties that could have been levied by the European Commission; while it also helps the firm solidify its hold on European gas markets. It’s also a victory for Russia overall which has seen several LNG players, notably Qatar and the U.S., vie for market share at the expense of Russian gas producers. Even before the Gazprom deal, it would have been hard for U.S. producers to take significant market share in Europe away from Russia, mostly due to pure energy economics. (...) With Russia’s vast natural gas pipeline network in place bringing gas from is massive fields to EU markets and with the advantage of pricing and even the geopolitical advantage since most EU members see U.S.-sourced gas as a tool of the Trump administration, Russian gas and the lack of energy security that accompanies that supply will remain a reality in both the mid to long-term."

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"EU Could Switch To Euros In Oil Trade With Iran"

Die EU erwägt einem Bericht zufolge offenbar, ihre Ölgeschäfte mit dem Iran künftig nicht mehr in US-Dollar abzuwickeln. "Iran, for its part, said as early as in mid-April that it would be switching to euros from U.S. dollars in reporting foreign currency amounts, to reduce the reliance on the dollar as it was expected that President Trump would not waive the sanctions this time around. (...) The EU’s pledge to continue trading with Iran comes as Europe continues to buy Iranian oil, but some refiners and traders are flagging financing issues as having the potential to stop crude trade with Iran. Another big hurdle to Iran’s crude oil exports could be issues with the insurance of tankers carrying oil out of Iran, experts have warned, while some shipping companies are already refusing to commit tankers to new Iranian cargoes, for fear of complications in the cargo and insurance related payments."

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"Is This The Geopolitical Shift Of The Century?"

Die geopolitischen Realitäten im Nahen Osten veränderten sich gegenwärtig in "dramatischer" Art und Weise, stellt Cyril Widdershoven fest. Die westliche Hegemonie in der Region gehe zu Ende, stattdessen werde Russland von vielen Regierungen als potentieller strategischer Partner wahrgenommen. "In stark contrast to the difficult relationship of the West with the Arab world, Moscow seems to be playing the regional power game at a higher level. It can become an ally or friend to regional adversaries, such as Iran, Turkey, Egypt and now Saudi Arabia. Arab regimes are also willing to discuss cooperation with Russia, even though the country is supporting adversaries in the Syrian and Yemen conflicts and continues to supply arms to the Shi’a regime in Iran. (...) King Salman’s trip could go down in history as the point of no return for the West. Pictures of Russian President Vladimir Putin and King Salman of Saudi Arabia could replace historic pictures of King Saud and U.S. President Roosevelt (Bitter Lake, 1945)."

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Wo gibt es Kriege und Gewaltkonflikte? Und wo herrscht am längsten Frieden? Welches Land gibt am meisten für Rüstung aus? liefert wichtige Daten und Fakten zu Krieg und Frieden.

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Innerstaatliche Konflikte

Vom Kosovo nach Kolumbien, von Somalia nach Süd-Thailand: Weltweit schwelen über 280 politische Konflikte. Und immer wieder droht die Lage gewaltsam zu eskalieren.

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