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Putin Asks For Permission By Parliament To Use Military In Ukraine | Zero Hedge

Putin Asks For Permission By Parliament To Use Military In Ukraine | Zero Hedge.

Current US foreign policy in a nutshell: Barack Obama tells Vladimir Putin “there will be costs” if Russia invades Ukraine. What does Putin do? He invades Ukraine. Only this time it’s official: AP reports that the Kremlin says Russian President Vladimir Putin has asked parliament for permission to use the country’s military in Ukraine. Putin says the move is needed to protect ethnic Russians and the personnel of a Russian military base in Ukraine’s strategic region of Crimea.

From the Kremlin website:

Vladimir Putin made an appeal to the Council of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation.

“In connection with the extraordinary situation in Ukraine, the threat to the lives of citizens of the Russian Federation, our compatriots, the personnel of the military contingent of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation deployed in the territory of Ukraine (Autonomous Republic of Crimea) in accordance with an international treaty, and pursuant to Article 102-1(d) of the Constitution of the Russian Federation, I hereby submit to the Federation Council of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation a letter on the use of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation in the territory of Ukraine pending normalisation of the public and political situation in that country”

More from Itar-Tass

Putin also appointed Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin to be his official representative in the Federation Council when it considers his letter.

Earlier in the day, the Federation Council asked Putin to take “exhaustive measures” to protect Russians in Ukraine.

“We have urgently summoned the house Council and thought it necessary to make a statement assessing the current situation in Ukraine,” Federation Council Chairperson Valentina Matviyenko said.

She said a group of Russian senators, who had visited Crimea, had informed their colleagues about the situation in the Ukrainian autonomy and specifically in Sevastopol, the home base of the Russian Black Sea Fleet.

“Today there is a real threat to the life and security of Russian citizens living in Ukraine. There is a threat to our military in Sevastopol and the Black Sea Fleet, and I think that Russia should not be a bystander,” she said.

The main purpose of the Federation Council’s appeal to the president is to urge him “to take exhaustive measures, all possible measures, to ensure the security of our citizens living in Ukraine, help our brotherly Ukrainian people achieve stabilisation and channel the current crisis into a civilised legal track so that the agreements that were signed by the opposition leaders and the head of state were implemented strictly,” Matviyenko said.

She noted that members of the Federation Council “asked the president to take exhaustive measures to prevent further escalation and put the resolution of the political crisis onto a legal track so that those who have grabbed power did not hurry so much and did not trample upon the rights of people and different regions of Ukraine.”

“The agreement [of February 21] clearly determined the sequence of steps. A constitutional reform first – it was supposed to be carried out with broad participation of public and political forces and regions in order to work out a consensus-based document that would be supported by all people in Ukraine. According to international practices, such serious documents should be adopted in a national referendum,” Matviyenko said.

Having expressed regret that this had not happened, she noted that “the speed with which presidential elections have been announced [in Ukraine] puts its legitimacy in question.”

“The agreement calls for forming a government of national accord, which means that it should include representatives of all political forces. In reality we see that the government, which was approved to the stomping of the Maidan, did not include all political forces and was formed from opposition parties only,” Matviyenko observed.

She also said that “the heads of regions were not summoned for consultation.” So “we can understand why there are protests in regions, except for Western regions of Ukraine,” she added.

Matviyenko called for finding “a calm, civilised and legal solution to the crisis” and stressed that “there is no need to demonstrate high political and diplomatic culture in this case because we can see that this is neither appreciated nor understood, and most importantly the security of people will not be ensured.

RIA further adds, the military use is virtually assured as it was leaders of Russia’s upper and lower houses of parliament who first called Saturday on President Vladimir Putin to stabilize the situation in Crimea and protect Russian citizens.  The leader of Federation Council, Russia’s upper house, said the use of military force in the former Soviet nation could be justified after the opposition swept into power in Kiev last weekend.

More from the RT:

In this situation it would even be possible, on the request of the Crimean government, to bring in a limited contingent [of troops] to guarantee security,” Valentina Matviyenko said.

The partition of Ukraine has become increasingly likely in recent days as heavily armed men understood to be Russian soldiers have taken control of key facilities and blocked roads in Crimea.

About 60 percent of the residents of Ukraine’s southern peninsula are ethnic Russians with the remainder of the population made up of Ukrainians and Crimean Tatars, who largely support the incoming regime.

The State Duma, Russia’s lower house, released a similar statement Saturday that said must Putin bring the situation in Ukraine under control.

“All available means” should be deployed to protect Russian citizens, said Sergei Naryshkin, a former head of the presidential administration and the current parliamentery speaker in the Duma.

The Crimea has been visited by a series of Russian Duma deputies in recent days, including former boxing champion Nikolai Valuev, former figure skater Irina Rodnina, and the first woman in space Valentina Tereshkova.

Pro-Russian protests calling for secession have taken place sporadically across the southern and eastern Ukraine since President Viktor Yanukovuych was toppled from power a week ago.

Meanwhile, international media has reported widespread military movements, believed to be units from Russia’s Black Sea fleet headquartered in Crimea, including tanks and helicopters that began on Tuesday. Ukrainian officials have accused the Kremlin of provoking conflict and called on Russia to return all soldiers to their bases.

And then this:

  • RUSSIAN FEDERATION COUNCIL AGREES TO PUTIN’S REQUEST FOR MILITARY INTERVENTION IN CRIMEA – DPA

Needless to say all of this is just for show: as we have been reporting for the past 4 days, Russian troops are long since in Ukraine.

More importantly, it appears Putin is not very concerned about the impact his actions will have on equity futures when they open for trading on Sunday evening: but… but… the artificial “on paper” wealth effect. On the other hand, he certainly has a lot of concern to keep geopolitical events of the type that keep the price of crude high, always at arms length.

Putin Asks For Permission By Parliament To Use Military In Ukraine | Zero Hedge

Putin Asks For Permission By Parliament To Use Military In Ukraine | Zero Hedge.

Current US foreign policy in a nutshell: Barack Obama tells Vladimir Putin “there will be costs” if Russia invades Ukraine. What does Putin do? He invades Ukraine. Only this time it’s official: AP reports that the Kremlin says Russian President Vladimir Putin has asked parliament for permission to use the country’s military in Ukraine. Putin says the move is needed to protect ethnic Russians and the personnel of a Russian military base in Ukraine’s strategic region of Crimea.

From the Kremlin website:

Vladimir Putin made an appeal to the Council of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation.

“In connection with the extraordinary situation in Ukraine, the threat to the lives of citizens of the Russian Federation, our compatriots, the personnel of the military contingent of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation deployed in the territory of Ukraine (Autonomous Republic of Crimea) in accordance with an international treaty, and pursuant to Article 102-1(d) of the Constitution of the Russian Federation, I hereby submit to the Federation Council of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation a letter on the use of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation in the territory of Ukraine pending normalisation of the public and political situation in that country”

More from Itar-Tass

Putin also appointed Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin to be his official representative in the Federation Council when it considers his letter.

Earlier in the day, the Federation Council asked Putin to take “exhaustive measures” to protect Russians in Ukraine.

“We have urgently summoned the house Council and thought it necessary to make a statement assessing the current situation in Ukraine,” Federation Council Chairperson Valentina Matviyenko said.

She said a group of Russian senators, who had visited Crimea, had informed their colleagues about the situation in the Ukrainian autonomy and specifically in Sevastopol, the home base of the Russian Black Sea Fleet.

“Today there is a real threat to the life and security of Russian citizens living in Ukraine. There is a threat to our military in Sevastopol and the Black Sea Fleet, and I think that Russia should not be a bystander,” she said.

The main purpose of the Federation Council’s appeal to the president is to urge him “to take exhaustive measures, all possible measures, to ensure the security of our citizens living in Ukraine, help our brotherly Ukrainian people achieve stabilisation and channel the current crisis into a civilised legal track so that the agreements that were signed by the opposition leaders and the head of state were implemented strictly,” Matviyenko said.

She noted that members of the Federation Council “asked the president to take exhaustive measures to prevent further escalation and put the resolution of the political crisis onto a legal track so that those who have grabbed power did not hurry so much and did not trample upon the rights of people and different regions of Ukraine.”

“The agreement [of February 21] clearly determined the sequence of steps. A constitutional reform first – it was supposed to be carried out with broad participation of public and political forces and regions in order to work out a consensus-based document that would be supported by all people in Ukraine. According to international practices, such serious documents should be adopted in a national referendum,” Matviyenko said.

Having expressed regret that this had not happened, she noted that “the speed with which presidential elections have been announced [in Ukraine] puts its legitimacy in question.”

“The agreement calls for forming a government of national accord, which means that it should include representatives of all political forces. In reality we see that the government, which was approved to the stomping of the Maidan, did not include all political forces and was formed from opposition parties only,” Matviyenko observed.

She also said that “the heads of regions were not summoned for consultation.” So “we can understand why there are protests in regions, except for Western regions of Ukraine,” she added.

Matviyenko called for finding “a calm, civilised and legal solution to the crisis” and stressed that “there is no need to demonstrate high political and diplomatic culture in this case because we can see that this is neither appreciated nor understood, and most importantly the security of people will not be ensured.

RIA further adds, the military use is virtually assured as it was leaders of Russia’s upper and lower houses of parliament who first called Saturday on President Vladimir Putin to stabilize the situation in Crimea and protect Russian citizens.  The leader of Federation Council, Russia’s upper house, said the use of military force in the former Soviet nation could be justified after the opposition swept into power in Kiev last weekend.

More from the RT:

In this situation it would even be possible, on the request of the Crimean government, to bring in a limited contingent [of troops] to guarantee security,” Valentina Matviyenko said.

The partition of Ukraine has become increasingly likely in recent days as heavily armed men understood to be Russian soldiers have taken control of key facilities and blocked roads in Crimea.

About 60 percent of the residents of Ukraine’s southern peninsula are ethnic Russians with the remainder of the population made up of Ukrainians and Crimean Tatars, who largely support the incoming regime.

The State Duma, Russia’s lower house, released a similar statement Saturday that said must Putin bring the situation in Ukraine under control.

“All available means” should be deployed to protect Russian citizens, said Sergei Naryshkin, a former head of the presidential administration and the current parliamentery speaker in the Duma.

The Crimea has been visited by a series of Russian Duma deputies in recent days, including former boxing champion Nikolai Valuev, former figure skater Irina Rodnina, and the first woman in space Valentina Tereshkova.

Pro-Russian protests calling for secession have taken place sporadically across the southern and eastern Ukraine since President Viktor Yanukovuych was toppled from power a week ago.

Meanwhile, international media has reported widespread military movements, believed to be units from Russia’s Black Sea fleet headquartered in Crimea, including tanks and helicopters that began on Tuesday. Ukrainian officials have accused the Kremlin of provoking conflict and called on Russia to return all soldiers to their bases.

And then this:

  • RUSSIAN FEDERATION COUNCIL AGREES TO PUTIN’S REQUEST FOR MILITARY INTERVENTION IN CRIMEA – DPA

Needless to say all of this is just for show: as we have been reporting for the past 4 days, Russian troops are long since in Ukraine.

More importantly, it appears Putin is not very concerned about the impact his actions will have on equity futures when they open for trading on Sunday evening: but… but… the artificial “on paper” wealth effect. On the other hand, he certainly has a lot of concern to keep geopolitical events of the type that keep the price of crude high, always at arms length.

Why is the Federal Reserve Tapering the Gold Market? | Global Research

Why is the Federal Reserve Tapering the Gold Market? | Global Research.

 

On January 17, 2014, we explained “The Hows and Whys of Gold Price Manipulation.”

Naked Gold Shorts: The Inside Story of Gold Price Manipulation By Dr. Paul Craig Roberts and David Kranzler,

In former times, the rise in the gold price was held down by central banks selling gold or leasing gold to bullion dealers who sold the gold. The supply added in this way to the market absorbed some of the demand, thus holding down the rise in the gold price.

As the supply of physical gold on hand diminished, increasingly recourse was taken to selling gold short in the paper futures market. We illustrated a recent episode in our article. Below we illustrate the uncovered short-selling that took the gold price down today (January 30, 2014).

When the Comex trading floor opened January 30 at 8:20AM NY time, the price of gold inexplicably plunged $17 over the next 30 minutes. The price plunge was triggered when sell orders flooded the Comex trading floor. Over the course of the previous 23 hours of trading, an average of 202 gold contracts per minute had traded. But starting at the 8:20AM Comex, there were four 1-minute windows of trading here’s what happened:

8:21AM: 1766 contracts sold
8:22AM: 5172 contracts sold
8:31AM: 3242 contracts sold
8:47AM: 3515 contracts sold

 

image

 

Over those four minutes of trading, an average of 3,424 contracts per minute traded, or 17 times the average per minute volume of the previous 23 hours, including yesterday’s Comex trading session.

The yellow arrow indicates when the Comex floor opened for gold futures trading. There was not any news events or related market events that would have triggered a sell-off like this in gold. If an entity holding many contracts wanted to sell down its position, it would accomplish this by slowly feeding its position to the market over the course of the entire trading day in order to avoid disturbing the price or “telegraphing” its intent to sell to the market.

Instead, today’s selling was designed to flood the Comex trading floor with a high volume of sell orders in rapid succession in order to drive the price of gold as low as possible before buyers stepped in.

The reason for this is two-fold: Driving down the price of gold assists the Fed in its efforts to support the dollar, and the Comex is running out of physical gold available to be delivered to those who decide to take delivery of gold instead of cash settlement.

The February gold contract is subject to delivery starting on January 31st. As of January 29th, 2 days before the delivery period starts, there were 2,223,000 ounces of gold futures open against 375,000 ounces of gold available to be to be delivered. The primary banks who trade Comex gold (JP Morgan, HSBC, Bank Nova Scotia) are the primary entities who are short those Comex contracts.

Typically toward the end of a delivery month, these banks drive the price of gold lower for the purpose of coercing holders of the contracts to sell. This avoids the problem of having a shortage of gold available to deliver to the entities who decide to take delivery. With an enormous amount of physical gold moving from the western bank vaults to the large Asian buyers of gold, the Comex ultimately does not have enough gold to honor delivery obligations should the day arrive when a fifth or a fourth of the contracts are presented for delivery. Prior to a delivery period or due date on the contracts, manipulation is used to drive the Comex price of gold as low as possible in order to induce enough selling to avoid a possible default on gold delivery.

Following the taper announcement on January 29, the gold price rose $14 to $1270, and the Dow Jones Index dropped 100 points, closing down 74 points from its trading level at the time the tapering was announced. These reactions might have surprised the Fed, leading to the stock market support and gold price suppression on January 30.

Manipulation of the gold price is a foregone conclusion. The question is: why is the Fed tapering?

The official reason is that the recovery is now strong enough not to need the stimulus. There are two problems with the official explanation. One is that the purpose of QE has always been to support the prices of the debt-related derivatives on the balance sheets of the banks too big to fail. The other is that the Fed has enough economists and statisticians to know that the recovery is a statistical artifact of deflating GDP with an understated measure of inflation. No other indicator–employment, labor force participation, real median family income, real retail sales, or new construction–indicates economic recovery. Moreover, if in fact the economy has been in recovery since June 2009, after 4.5 years of recovery it is time for a new recession.

One possible explanation for the tapering is that the Fed has created enough new dollars with which to purchase the worst part of the banks’ balance sheet problems and transfer them to the Fed’s balance sheet, while in other ways enhancing the banks’ profits. With the job done, the Fed can slowly back off.

The problem with this explanation is that the liquidity that the Fed has created found its way into the stock and bond markets and into emerging economies. Curtailing the flow of liquidity crashes the markets, bringing on a new financial crisis.

We offer two explanations for the tapering. One is technical, and one is strategic.

First the technical explanation. The Fed’s bond purchases and the banks’ interest rate swap derivatives have made a dent in the supply of Treasuries. With income tax payments starting to flow in, fewer Treasuries are being issued to put pressure on interest rates. This permits the Fed to make a show of doing the right thing and reduce bond purchases. As a weakening economy becomes apparent as the year progresses, calls for the Fed to support the economy will permit the Fed to broaden the array of instruments that it purchases.

A strategic explanation for tapering is that the growth of US debt and money creation is causing the world to turn a jaundiced eye toward the US dollar and toward its role as world reserve currency.

Currently the Russian Duma is discussing legislation that would eliminate the dollar’s use and presence in Russia. Other countries are moving away from the dollar. Recently the Nigerian central bank reduced its dollar reserves and increased its holdings of Chinese yuan. Zimbabwe, which was using the US dollar as its own currency, switched to Chinese yuan. The former chief economist of the World Bank recently called for terminating the use of the dollar as world reserve currency. He said that “the dominance of the greenback is the root cause of global financial and economic crises.” Moreover, the Federal Reserve is very much aware of the flight away from the dollar into gold, because it is this flight that causes the Fed to manipulate the gold price in order to hold it down and in order to be able to free up gold for delivery.

The Fed knows that the ability of the US to pay its bills in its own currency is the reason it can stand its large trade imbalance and is the basis for US power. If the dollar loses the reserve currency role, the US becomes just another country with balance of payments and currency problems and an inability to sell its bonds in order to finance its budget deficits.

In other words, perhaps the Fed understands that a dollar crisis is a bigger crisis than a bank crisis and that its bailout of the banks is undermining the dollar. The question is: will the Fed let the banks go in order to save the dollar?

Paul Craig Roberts is a former Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury for Economic Policy.

Dave Kranzler traded high yield bonds for Bankers Trust for a decade. As a co-founder and principal of Golden Returns Capital LLC, he manages the Precious Metals Opportunity Fund.

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