Compliance with Russian payment demands in rubles for gas deliveries: Western reporting falls on its own sword
It is widely assumed in the general public that all Russian news sources are propaganda, which justifies the banning of these sources from the airwaves, or to put it into simpler English, justifies the unprecedented Western censorship about which none of our human rights activists seems to care a fig. So much for European values!
However, in the The Financial Times reporting today on the unraveling of Europe’s supposed unified stand against payment for Russian gas in rubles we see that censorship is destroying not the Russia media but the Western media which, in the absence of competition and challenge, is printing and disseminating every ignorant and self-contradictory utterance that comes out of the mouths of European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, Charles Michel and Co. without exercising the slightest logic check.
Let me be specific. The article in question is entitled “EU energy groups prepare to meet Vladimir Putin’s terms for Russian gas. Germany’s Uniper and Austria’s OMV plan rouble accounts while Eni of Italy weighs options”. This piece has been slapped together by Sam Jones in Vienna, Andy Bounds in Brussels, Guy Chazan in Berlin and Marton Dunai in Budapest. Going through the text and encountering the whoppers I will discuss below, you have to wonder where is the editorial staff of the FT to keep their feature articles at a level worthy of the world’s business elites who are their subscribers.
In line with the overall propaganda line set by the United States in the ongoing vicious Information War, cause and effect are systematically reversed. Every dastardly intention and act laid at the door of Russia is, upon a moment’s reflection, actually being initiated by the West. This game starts early on, in paragraph five: “The preparations [for payment in rubles as demanded by Russia] show the impact of Russian efforts to weaponise gas supplies and challenge the EU’s ability to maintain a united front against Moscow.”
The authors have not gone one step further in their reasoning: they do not suggest that the evil intention of the Kremlin is to sow discord among European states. That is the subject of another feature article in today’s online edition of The Financial Times entitled “‘Divide and rule’: Russia’s rationale for halting gas flows to Poland and Bulgaria.” Apparently the authors Harry Dempsey and Neil Hume have forgotten or never heard the remark attributed to Sigmund Freud that sometimes ‘a cigar is just a cigar,’ meaning that there is no need for exotic explanations of a simple fact.
Wouldn’t it be more logical to say that the unprecedented freezing of Russian Bank dollar and euro assets in the West had the effect of “weaponizing” gas supplies? If the existing contracts calling for payment in euros were to continue, the effect, as intended by the European policy makers, was to deprive Russia of the proceeds of its sales, all of which would be frozen in turn.
In the next paragraph the FT authors quietly acknowledge that “the EU sanctions against Russia’s central bank” prompted Vladimir Putin to impose the new rules for payment in rubles purchased on the Russian currency market. Of course, no conclusions are drawn from this fact regarding who is acting and who is reacting.
Then the FT cites Ursula von der Leyen’s description of the Russian cutoff of gas to Poland and Bulgaria over their refusal to sign up to the new payment scheme as “being tantamount to blackmail.” Blackmail? No deliveries if we get no money is blackmail? Or is it rather just the application of normal rules of international business?
The FT writer group then opines that compliance with Russia’s new payment procedures “would result in Russia being able to access billions in gas revenues to support its currency and its economy…” But why else does one country sell its wares to another country? Out of charity? With no cash receipts expected or demanded?
I will not belabor the points made above. The FT can make its pitch to schoolchildren who have never studied business or economics. But how they dare to feed this nonsense to the company directors and bank presidents who comprise their readership defies comprehension.
©Gilbert Doctorow, 2022
16 thoughts on “Western media today, 28 April 2022”
They can’t help themselves. It is a job requirement, apparently, to follow the narrative that the Russians are causing all the problems, even if a vague contradictory concession to the truth has to be included.
I’m sure the mention of the Russian Bank being locked out of its dollar and euro accounts was well down the article near the end where few readers ever go.
To be fair to FT readers (but not the FT), the readers do often read to the end of the piece.
You are too generous to the FT. At the end of these articles, there was absolutely nothing qualifying the statements made in the opening paragraphs.
I have given up with all legacy media now. Cancelled all subscriptions. No point in paying for propaganda twice in taxes and then via subs. In the distant past, I used to read The Economist avidly but these days it is also a pure vehicle of false western ruling class ideology.
The west is increasingly seeking to cut and past the fiction of its made up virtual world into the real world. Ultimately, the clash of reality with fiction will be an unequal one. As we are seeing on the ground in Ukraine.
Yes it is really a tragic comedy unraveling. I can say for sure as an EU citizen: I am not proud, happy or anything like that, I certainly did vote for this incompetent bitch, this bl”dy Euro -slime.
The Parliament in Brussels have become a faint replication of the court of Lois XIV, completely removed from the plebs (That is us) and if there is no bread we have to settle for cake. Right!
We badly need an October- November 1917 in Russia repeating it self in Brussels, the guillotines needs to be taken out of museums or some new made and put them in marketplaces as a warning to despots, they can start in Brussels.
And I predict that is where we are going, if things do not change soon. The right Wing across the world is moving and getting stronger, democrats everywhere should be concerned.
I am concerned.
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Speaking of the Financial times, today there was also an article about the spectre of nuclear war: “The Return of the 20th-Century Nuclear Shadow”. It includes a link to an article in the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists. It would appear from reading both articles that if we set aside the debate on who’s responsible for the war in Ukraine, one thing has definitely been initiated by Russia: the “normalisation” of nuclear threats which breaks the taboo on the use of such weapons. We find ourselves in uncharted territory, where the doctrine has invisibly shifted to allow the use of nuclear weapons in case of an existential threat. Somewhat confirmed by Lavrov’s statement that NATO intervention increases the risk of nuclear war. But who would launch such an attack first? Maybe some of the experts in this blog can comment on that, thank you.
“the “normalisation” of nuclear threats which breaks the taboo on the use of such weapon”
I am not aware there ever was such a taboo. There was an understanding that nuclear exchange would lead to the demise at least of western civilization, if not a worldwide collapse through global cooling by the billions of tons of ash released into the atmosphere, aside from the likely billions of dead, making any care for the survivors and any life sustaining economy in the widest sense impossible. I guess you are aware of that scenario.
However, recently politicians in the USA, not from Russia, have posited that a nuclear war is winnable and one should not be afraid to counter the Russian aggression against Ukraine by sending NATO troops into the battle.
The thinking seems to be that such an act would not trigger a response as per the Russian nuclear stance as I understand it, a nuclear response only if attacked thusly first, and/or an overwhelming conventional threat against the Russian Federation that Russia would be unable to respond to by conventional means.
That thinking however seems to not consider the warning by Russia, that any direct NATO involvement would lead to an attack on the sources of such deployment, likely meaning weapons and ammo dumps, airfields, and other military infrastructure of the countries involved.
At this point NATO surely would respond with attacks on Russia itself, which, if done in a massive way that would initially overwhelm Russian defenses, might quickly escalate, should Russia feel its existence really threatened.
Now I have to give it to Sean, that the reluctance by Russia to full out destruction of the Ukrainian army and Ukrainian infrastructure, because of political reasons and maybe even humanitarian considerations, might have encouraged such thinking.
Anyway, I am not an expert but have since 2013 followed the development of the Ukraine as a NATO project, and have very early on clued into the lies by western News agencies, watching videos of the real Donbas invasion by Ukrainian tanks, opposed by nothing but grandmothers in the beginning, recorded live by residents in Donbas.
And before that the fabulous coincidence, after Yanukovych did not permit a forceful response by his security forces against Molotow coctails throwing demonstrators, setting police and firefighters ablaze, that an almost equal amount (as reported by the CBC at the time but vanishing from the news within hours) of police and demonstrators were killed by gunfire….by whom? Of course, false flag ops do not exist, eh?
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If not used in a situation of existential threat, when else would one use nukes?! Isn’t that the utmost justification?!
It for sure is, but the USA nuclear stance – as far as I am aware with regards to the latest utterings by the USA – does not rule out the first strike without existential threat, unlike the position of the RF.
After all, that was the thinking to test the Nukes on a real population in WW2, when Japan intended to sign a declaration of surrender, stipulating that the emperor maintains his position.
This was denied by the USA who wanted unconditional surrender, however, after the dropping of the 2 bombs, a very original declaration was accepted.
If this is how FT is reporting the situation, I can only imagine what the British Empire dead-enders at The Economist are saying. Thankfully, I let my subscription lapse years ago.
Maybe it is inappropriate to call it a taboo but there were several agreements in the past 70 plus years to prevent the use of such weapons, even if on a smaller scale. Like an expert on unconventional weapons said to me yesterday during a conference I attended, the legal and social norms against such weapons are deep seated. Also, in the past decades Russian and American scientists closely collaborated on the development of strategic deterrence, though sadly that cooperation is now over. Apparently, according to that person, nuclear and biological threats have suddenly become part of the conversation, when they really shouldn’t be. The UK is receiving them with great complacency. Hopefully they are right.
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“though sadly that cooperation is now over.” And why is that cooperation on weapon deterence over? NOT because Russia and US stopped cooperation. BECAUSE THE US STOPPED COOPERATION.
The West lives in a parallel universe where they think they still run the world. They have been brain-washed from birth on that the West is the good guy and the rest are the bad guys, And so they take it for granted that others do as the West says. The concepts of equal treatment, consistency, cause and effect, etc. are lost on them. They think they have the right to violate agreements, but deny others to same right. Really, I think it would be best for the 90% of the world to unite as an anti-Western bloc and isolate those 10% of the world population into oblivion. The 90% are sitting on the lion’s share of natural resources, and without those the West is over and done with. It is a mighty lever for the Global South to use.
The 90% need to launch a massive, global, coordinated de-Westernization campaign.
I think the West is already very angry by now because 1) the sanctions have failed to affect Russia, but instead backfired, and 2) Russia is doing well militarily, destroying billions of dollars and euros worth of weapons sent to Ukraine by the West. I remember von der Leyen stating cheerfully that the sanctions had destroyed the Ruble like 2 months ago, but now the Ruble is stronger than before the conflict. And basically the West has already fired its ammo, there is hardly anything left to sanction. The West is angry because it realizes that the modern world goes way beyond the West and the West’s influence is rather limited by now.
The deliberate degradation of society through education – carried out over several generations and fundamentally godless, depraved, hell-bent on the revolutionary overthrow of age-old social mores in the west – and a corporate-fascist ideology in economics and finance – which is transnational in nature and owes no allegiance to kin or country, have transformed the west in a gathering of infantile populations (the author appropriately mentions children in this respect), which, as with little ones, are easily manipulated and readily stirred up.
The leadership, fellow travellers and useful idiots of these conglomerates cannot possess – one would think – higher mental abilities or cleaner moral conditions than the basket of deplorables they pretend to cater for.
In utterly corrupted societies/nations only a small minority will remain mentally alert and morally healthy. The prophet once asked: “Am I the only one that has not bent the knee to Baal?” There were seven thousand left then. How many in our age?
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