Who stands to benefit from US-Russian sanctions showdown?

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Editor’s Note…

Banksters are known to never let a good crisis go to waste. The remaining question here is what are they planning to accomplish by pitting the Dollar and the Rubble against each other. Creative destruction ? Capital flows to “safer” havens offshore ? We’ll have to wait and see what the coming financial storm will bring on. Meanwhile see our preliminary post from a couple of weeks ago: The NWO: Petro-Dollar vs. Ruble-Gas

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Debka File

The US and Russian presidents locked horns in earnest over their Ukraine dispute Thursday, March 20 with two sets of serious reciprocal sanctions. International financial circles warn that in their determination to outplay one another, the US and Russian leaders risk causing havoc in world trade centers.

The American and Russian sanctions are different in nature.

The executive order disclosed by President Barack Obama Thursday covers 20 targets that strike deep inside President Vladimir Putin’s inner circle and personal interests. The Russian president’s list was political but is seen as no more than his first shot.

Obama’s list includes top officials and the “oligarchs” who support him politically and financially on the assumption that the Kremlin depends on individuals who owe their wealth to their close ties with Putin to buttress Russia’s central government.

Obama’s list therefore places a ban on dollar transactions by Bank Rossiya of St. Petersburg, which has some $10 billion dollars in assets and where Putin is believed to hold his personal accounts.

The list also includes such names as Aleksey Gromov, First Deputy Head of the Presidential Administration; Sergey Ivanov, Chief of Staff of the Presidential Executive Office; and Sergey Naryshkin, Speaker of the State Duma, the lower chamber of the Russian Parliament.

He has also listed prominent businessmen close to the Russian president, including the brothers Arkady and Boris Rotenberg and businessman Gennady Timchenko, head of the giant Volga Group (gas, oil, international trading, transport, insurance etc, which employs some 90,000 workers). Timchenko, 61, is reputed to be one of Putin’s “private wallets.”  Another target was Vladimir Yakunin, president of Russian Railways, the main transport for moving military personnel and equipment cross country and from Russia to Crimea.

By these sanctions, Obama evened a personal score with Putin for crossing him by annexing Crimea. Putin’s reported list of sanctioned Americans is seen by debkafile’s Moscow sources as his opening shot in response to Obama. The individuals banned from visiting Russia – not yet confirmed –  may cover well-known political figures such as Senators John Boehner, John McCain and the leaders of the anti-Russian sanctions drive, Senators Robert Menendez  and Bob Corker, as well as Victoria Nuland, the Assistant Secretary of State for Europe, who worked with the Ukrainian opposition that ousted the Yanokovich government.

Moscow is widely expected to go for the US and Europe by political and possibly military steps in relation to Iran and Syria.
The economic repercussions of the steps taken till now are substantial given the dramatic asymmetry between US and Russian foreign investments. Financial experts assess US investments in Russia as amounting to $14 billion compared with an estimated $500 billion of Russian investments in the West.

The US president has not yet touched the mountainous Russian assets in the West for fear of bringing western financial markets and banks crashing down. The London City which holds massive Russian assets, would bear the brunt of such action. Even the first, limited steps Obama’s directive initiated Thursday have already sent shock waves through the markets as financial institutions begin to move their money to “safe havens”.  Russian assets held in Israeli banks will also be affected.