RUSSIA-CHINA. The big story of the... what? Decade? Century? We'll see. The big gas deal was signed; we don't know all the details but 30 years, 38 bcm/year, $400 billion, $70 billion of infrastructure are some of the numbers. But not in USD; bank agreement to use renminbi/rubles; joint production agreements; statements chiding the USA; cooperation in foreign affairs. “Multipolar” was heard a lot. And, we are told, sales of the S-400 air defence system coming. More details will trickle out. One cannot help seeing it as a predictable consequence of the Western anti-Russia campaign of which Ukraine is just the latest and most transparent.
SANCTIONS. Russia is finally starting to respond. I wonder if anyone in the White House or Foggy Bottom was aware that the US military depended on Russian-made rocket engines to launch their satellites. They are now. Maybe six years to develop an alternative. The US sanctions affected some VISA and Mastercard users in Russia, Moscow reacted and now the two wonder whether they can continue operations there. Thus far nothing about getting US astronauts to and from the ISS or US forces' supply routes to Afghanistan. It transpires that Russia did indeed dump billions of US securities (immediately bought by “Belgium”); then it bought gold. Will there be more of this? Possibly involving China now? After all, the new Russia-China friendship reduces what you might call USA Futures Inc. Pepe Escobar ties the various possibilities together; highly recommended reading, he's certainly got a lot of it correct.