Book cover image courtesy of Nikolai Starikov's home page: https://nstarikov.ru/ You can download an English translation of the book in PDF format for free here
Congress Declared Economic War on Russia/Iran/North Korea, or the EU?
Before diving into the question of how influential Starikov and a fellow economic nationalist (for lack of a better term) Sergey Glazyev are on Russian President Vladimir Putin's thinking in a time of increasingly unrestricted economic warfare, we must address the news of the week. The U.S. Senate and then the House of Representatives passed H.R. 3344, the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act. The title itself declares Iran, North Korea, and above all Russia as 'adversaries', a clear diplomatic and geostrategic escalation, expressing Washington's frustration over Pyongyang's nuclear-capable missile launches and the failed proxy war to topple the legitimate Syrian government backed by Moscow and Tehran.
Left unsaid by the bill's nominal authors such as Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA) is that the Congress is also in effect declaring economic war on the biggest EU corporations involved in the Nordstream 2 gas pipeline to run directly between Russia and Germany under the Baltic Sea, if the likes of BASF, Shell, Engie, OMV, Wintershall and Uniper fail to capitulate to Washington. In response, EU industrialists and chambers of commerce -- particularly those based in the gas storage hubs Germany and Austria -- complain Washington is using sanctions to boost its own expensive liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports over affordable Russian gas supplies to the Continent. EU Commissioner Jean Claude Juncker and German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel appear defiant, with Juncker declaring, "America First cannot mean that Europe's interests come last." But after three years of Europe sacrificing its own legitimate economic interests with Russia in obedience if not servility to Washington, Congress and 'the deep state' Congressional hawks serve expect the European vassals to be brought to heel.
Russia Retaliates for Newly Passed U.S. Sanctions By Imposing Reciprocity on the Number of Diplomatic and Consular Personnel in Both Countries
While EUrocrats talk tough, the Russians act. Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov explains in the video posted by the Russian Foreign Ministry on how Russia is expelling diplomats or forcing the layoffs of Russian national employees to make the total number of U.S. consular staff in Russia match the numbers employed by the Russians in the United States. That means a major cutback from the over one thousand personnel both American and Russian employed by the U.S. Embassy in Moscow and consulates across the Eurasian country. It's interesting to contrast the Foreign Ministry version presented by Russia Insider below with the shorter version posted online by ABC News:
What Russian Deputy FM Sergei Alexeyevich Ryabkov Said That Echoes Glazyev and Starikov's Warnings: U.S. Sanctions Will Accelerate Russia's Use of USD Alternatives
The Wheels of Russian Retribution Grind Slowly But They Do Grind
When it comes to answering the questions we posed in the intro to this piece, regarding how influential Nikolai Starikov's thinking is on Vladimir Putin and his inner circle of advisers including at the Russian Foreign Ministry, it's helpful to compare rhetoric, and then see if it's followed by actions.
What Ryabkov told ABC News this past week in response to Congress bid to block any U.S.-Russia detente under President Trump is a more diplomatic version of Starikov's defiant statement published on the sixth anniversary of the 08/08/08 war with Georgia, and what Sergey Glazyev has stated many times before and since sending greetings to an international Schiller Institute conference in late 2014: the dollar as a global reserve currency is the source of Washington's overweening superpower status as well as its Achilles heel. Take down the dollar, and you break the Americans ability to print unlimited sums of currency to fund their massive military industrial complex and (shriveling legacy media included) propaganda machine. This was the message of Glazyev's speech given to a conference at Yalta in Crimea, where the 'Big Three' victors of the US, UK and Soviet Union met in 1945 after World War II in Europe to settle the spheres of influence expected after the defeat of Japan:
But are these empty words, just threats from 'a gas station posing as a country' according to the arch-Russophobe Sen. John McCain; with an economy the size of Spain's, paraphrasing former Vice News reporter Simon Ostrovsky, which accounts for barely 1% of U.S. exports (mostly leased Boeing aircraft, Microsoft products, and oil field equipment and services)? Or should the globalist middle managers who count themselves among Washington's elites take these Russian warnings starting with 'fringe' figures like Starikov and Glazyev and working their way up the power vertical to the Russian Foreign Ministry and Putin himself, more seriously? Should they join the jeering crowd, like the former Moscow hipster now based in Ukraine Ruslan Leviev (руслан левиев) whose tweet we present below, which dismisses Starikov's 'revisionist' historic research on modern geoeconomics and the strong evidence that Nikolai Viktorevich's writings have garnered at least some influence over Kremlin policy making?
To get some understanding of how Russia responds to enemies and eventually defeats many if not most of them, consider the fact that the Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili who unleashed the (allegedly Washington-instigated) attack on Russian peacekeepers in South Ossetia on the triple 8 date of the Beijing-hosted Summer Olympics is now a stateless person. Having his Georgian passport revoked where he is wanted on charges of abusing power and corruption, Saakashvili had been appointed by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to the governorship of Odessa region -- only to have his Ukrainian citizenship revoked by Poroshenko's decree a few days ago.
Now the former tie-eating president of Georgia is likely headed back to Brooklyn where he was living in exile before his short-lived Ukrainian political career. The Russia Analyst's point is, although Saakashvili's challenging the corrupt Poroshenko and paying a price for it had little to do with the Kremlin (except for those Ukrainian ultra-nationalists who view America's one time man in Kiev Petro as in fact a Russian asset like every one else in the Bankova), that the wheels of Russian retribution grind slowly, but they do grind.
We'll have more to write soon about Starikov's ideas and how they overlap with, and in some cases differ from, those of Glazyev. But the main idea we leave you with in response to the latest act of an otherwise do-nothing, deep state dominated Congress is this: the acceleration of the great dollar dumping coordinated between Russia and its ally China, which just sent three warships to the Baltic Sea and several tanks to the armor biathlon outside Moscow, is happening. As London Paul told us and we reported in mid-July here at RogueMoney, the Eurasian axis patience with Washington's belligerent flailing is exhausted. Leave it to a perennial hardliner best known to Americans for saying Russia must and will get Alaska back, Vladimir Zhirinovsky, to summarize Washington's failing attempts to use geopolitical sanctions abroad to solve its economic crises at home: