Russia’s New Rules

Russia’s New Rules. By Tom Luongo.

Russia is done with the West. The divorce is nearly complete. In the past few days we’ve heard from all major Russian leaders the same thing, “The West will play by our rules now.”

You can decide for yourselves whether Russia is writing checks they can’t cash, but in the words of Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov telling the BBC bluntly, “We do not care about the eyes of the West.” … His open hostility towards his BBC interviewer was not only palpable, it was hard to argue with. He followed that up with:

“I don’t think there’s even room for maneuver left anymore … Because both [Prime Minister Boris] Johnson and [Foreign Secretary Liz] Truss say publicly: ’We must defeat Russia, we must bring Russia to its knees. Go on, then, do it.”

Russia’s leadership never talks in such openly blunt terms. …

Russia knows it has the West on the ropes. We need what they produce and now they are determined to set the rules on who gets them and for what price. It knows that European leaders are puppets with Klaus Schwab’s hand up their asses. And it knows Davos has zero leverage over Russia’s actions from here on out.

Which brings me to the statements linked above by Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller, speaking at a panel at the St. Petersburg Economic Investment Forum (SPEIF) who just put the situation in the starkest terms there is.

“The game of nominal value of money is over, as this system does not allow to control the supply of resources. …Our product, our rules. We don’t play by the rules we didn’t create.”

Miller’s statement should be thought of as a statement of principle across all theatres of operation for Russia. This doesn’t just apply to natural gas or oil. This is everything, all of Russia’s dealings with the West from here on out will be on its terms not the West’s.

This is clearly the biggest geopolitical middle finger in the post WWII period.

Miller is clearly laying out the rules for a new, commodity-centric monetary system, one based on what Credit Suisse’s Zoltan Poszar called ‘outside money’ — commodities, gold, even bitcoin — rather than the West’s egregious use of ‘inside money’ — debt-based fiat and credit — to perpetuate old colonialist behavior well past its use-by date. …

This morning … President Putin declared the old world order dead. He finished his speech where he detailed how the West was committing suicide to suit the wishes of The Davos Crowd with the following definitive statement:

“Russia is entering the coming era as a powerful sovereign country. We will definitely use the enormous new opportunities that time opens up for us. And we will become even stronger.”

Putin is correct here. Russia is getting stronger by the day. The West took their best shot at destroying Russia and missed the mark. He clearly identified the real culprits for Europe’s and the US’s problems, subservience to an oligarch class who feel entitled to rule the world. …

When Putin made his move on Ukraine the ultimate goal was the end of Russia treating the West as an equal and leading the Global South out of what he has called “vassalage.” The reason Putin is hated is because he realizes there are two types of countries, “sovereigns” and “vassals.”

It’s been his life’s work to make Russia into a ‘sovereign’ state free from the West.

From Russia’s perspective their military operation in Ukraine was their Declaration of Independence from the old ‘rules-based order’ of the post-WWII era. Justified or not, we are now in a new age.

The essence of the Russian complaint is that they don’t want to be another second rate state that is subservient to the Davos crowd. They want to be free and sovereign, and not looked down upon by anybody. Show some respect! And we have nukes!

It’s also about money. They accurately complain that the West creates money out of thin air, which gives the Davos crowd power to purchase most anything. “Nonsense!” says Russia, only real stuff matters — like commodities, of which Russia has immense quantities, like oil and gas.

So Russia called the bluff of the West and its paper money manufacturers. They demanded payments in their own currency (which has to be bought by selling Russia real stuff) or gold. And it has worked a treat! Biden said his sanctions would reduce the ruble to “rubble”, but instead the opposite has occurred — there are now 55 rubles to the US dollar, compared to 80 before the war started.

Too bad Russia had to launch a nasty war to make their point. They could have just switched to demanding payments in rubles and gold, without killing all those Ukrainians. Still, they expected a quick blitzkrieg and Ukrainian surrender after three weeks, which would have been relatively bloodless.