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U.S. Treasury Report says expanding sanctions could hurt Russia: However Trump is afraid to ruffle their feathers!

Seemingly the United States Department of Treasury has worked on a report that explains the possible impact of the sanctions that the Congress would have put on the Russian Federation. Instead, this will not happen, because the President Donald J. Trump and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. They are afraid of rocking the boat and actually do anything about it. Like they have traded their soul for loyalty to Kremlin, instead of working for the American government. It is seemingly so, since they have not been able to follow the Congress attitude and neither with the general opinion of the people of the United States. Who has loyalty to the republic and not the Russian Federation.

(U) The modifications to Directive 1 made on September 29, 2017 were required Ьу Section 223(Ь) of CAATSA, and as required Ьу that section, took effect on September 29, 2017, the authorized tenor for new debt issued on or after November 28, 2017 is 14 days or less. U.S. persons are therefore prohibited fоr dealing in new debt issued bу, on behalf of, or for the benefit of persons operating in Russia’s financial sector named under Directive 1, their property, or their interests in property if the debt’s maturity period exceeds 14 days. Other tenors apply to debt issued between July 16, 2014 and November 28, 2017. Directive 1 also includes а prohibition on dealing in new equity issued Ьу, on behalf of, or for the benefit of persons operating in Russia’s financial sector named under Directive 1, their property, or their interests in property. This report does not further address the equity prohibitions of Section 242 of CAATSA” (Department of the Treasury, 2018).

Expanding Directive 1 to include dealings in new Russian sovereign debt and the full range of related derivatives would likely raise borrowing costs for Russia; prompt Russian authorities to alter their fiscal and monetary strategies; put downward pressure on Russian economic growth; destabilize financial markets, including Russia’s repurchase market, which is critical for overnight bank funding; increase strain on Russia’s banking sector; and lead to Russian retaliation against U.S. interests” (Department of the Treasury, 2018).

Seemingly after this, the US Senate and House wanted the Russian Federation to feel more effect of the sanctions. The reasons for why you have sanctions in the first place, to hurt the ones sanctioned. If not the sanctions are not working and not stopping the sanctioned individual or company, even nations so they have to change behavior. However, at this stage the United States seems more on the defense. Than actually thinking of hurting the Federation who acted with swift activity in their election.

The United States should act and use tactics that hurt Russia. Especially, since they have used all sort of ploy to manipulate the electorate and elections towards a candidate of their choosing. If that isn’t interfering and insulting to the US. Then nothing is, the US should act upon it and use more sanctions to add more leverage. So that Russian Federation actually acts differently.

It is strange that the United States doesn’t want to use their tools and their tricks to hurt Russia. Especially after what they did in 2016 and what sort of knowledge they do have on the Russian interference. That was the reason why President Barrack Obama in the first place put new sanctions on Russia. Now, President Trump won’t do it and cannot stomach to pursuit the wishes of Congress and actually sanction Russia. That is weird, especially if United States wants leverage over Russian counterparts. That would seem natural. Especially if Trump is the deal-maker he talked about during campaigns, but not shown since.

However, it seems with day after day, that Russians has Trump cornered, since he will never blame or act upon Russia. He will attack anyone else, but not look into what the Russians did with elections. There is to many questions, but if the Americans had a possibility to make a difference and hurt Kremlin. The added sanctions would. Trump seems like indifference and its rare. Peace.

Reference:

Department of the Treasury – ‘(U//FOUO) U.S. Treasury Report on Economic Impact of Russian Sanctions)’ (2018)

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Opinion: The international pressure should come from France, India and China – Concerning Gnassingbe and Togo!

The President stated “Togo is addressing an image problem inherited from the long years of crisis in this country. Our efforts to rid ourselves of the bad image of the past are yielding results, but we still have a long way to go. We should do more to attract foreign investors, to make them look at Togo with fresh eyes and to understand the extent of the positive changes that have happened in this country in recent years.” (Crown Agents – ‘ New Office of Togolese Revenue to Boost Economic Recovery’ March 2014).

Been wondering for a while, why no-one of the biggest players and the important nations has added pressure on Togolese President Faure Gnassingbe. This after months upon months of demonstrations and forcing the President out with peaceful means, as he is the second generation dictator and has run the Republic since 1967. They have acted like it was a family affair to control the Republic without any consideration to the public or civil society. That is why the #TogoDebout and #FaureMustGo has such a recognition within the public.

However, the reactions and the lack of celebrations of the demonstrations is evident. Since the International Community at large hasn’t really reacted. If this is because he got the Chairman role of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in June 2017. Gnassingbe has clearly accepted and enjoyed the honor of taking charge after Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. So this also buy him time and also recognition abroad.

Still, I don’t think that is the reason for no-one protesting his unreasonable since he is now in his third term and continuing the family project that he started himself in 2005 after his fathers death. That is the reason why the people are ready for his end. Still, the International Community doesn’t seem to care. Like who is the most important international nations who has interests in Togo and who can have a fallout for supporting Gnassingbe? That should be the worry, as the people of Togo should be prepared to boycott these nations and investors from these nations. Who is indefinitely keeping the Dictatorship alive with foreign exchange and budget stimulus.

The first and foremost ally is the French. France has both economic ties into Togo and also 20 investors directly in the Republic. They also the main supplier of Togo, which sells oil, cars, pharmaceuticals and cereals. The French is one of the main foreign direct investments, meaning keeping the status quo is important, because the French are profiting on the leadership as it is today. Togo is also part of the Currency Union the CFA Franc, who controls the Monetary Policies of the Republic. So it’s not like the Republic is totally free from the former colonizer, as they are still controlling the monetary situation and issuing of currency. Plus they are also vital with the foreign investments and main supplier of the Republic too. So if someone should question the dictatorship, it should be the French, but they don’t care unless they starting to lose money.

There are two other central parties in the modern-day Togo, who has not colonized the Republic in the past. India is an important partner in development projects, which they have been since 1994 after the father of the current day President. They have a cordial relationship, that is the status the Indian government puts on it. The relationship is clearly gaining the Indians who are exporting over double of what they are importing from Togo.

This here is proving the reality of the relations between them: “The Indian bank, Exim Bank, organizer of the meeting, has already a branch to Togo where it finances energy and agricultural projects. Recently, India provided a financing of $ 100 million through the Togolese branch. «For many years, our relations have been excellent, and we will still work for the development of our cooperation with Togo. We will continue to share our experiences with Togo in the areas of technology, health and education, » said Jeeva K. Sogar, an Indian diplomat. According to him, Togo and India must work together to implement all the current development projects, for the benefit of the populations, and for emerging Togo. The last financing agreement falls within this process” (Emmanuel Atcha – ‘Togo: About twenty SMEs at the India-Africa Summit’ 16.01.2017).

Then it’s the third nation who is involved in Togo is China, that is not surprised, but needs to show their role in Togo. They are already owning a big share through their business China Merchant Group (50%), who bought the 50% of the Terminal in 2012 and also developed it to a deep-water terminal in 2013. The first one in West-Africa. This is how the relationship was described in 2016:

Li Keqiang pointed out that China stands ready to draw on respective advantages with Togo to actively push forward practical cooperation in such fields as transportation infrastructure construction, port construction and operation and mining industry. Both sides should vigorously promote the building of high-speed railway network, highway network, regional aviation network as well as industrialization in Africa, so as to realize mutual benefit, win-win results and common development. Faure Gnassingbe noted that Togo-China friendship remains unshakable and becomes even firmer as time goes by. Major cooperation initiatives proposed by China, such as three networks and industrialization, are being implemented and have achieved tangible results. Togo is ready to seize historic opportunities from friendly cooperation between both countries and between Africa and China, give play to its location advantages, improve business environment, and strengthen cooperation in such areas as infrastructure construction, port logistics, mineral resources and poverty reduction between both countries, so as to boost common development of Africa and China” (Chinese Embassy in Norway – ‘Li Keqiang Meets with President Faure Gnassingbe of Togo’ 01.06.2016).

So the Chinese has started to take parts where the French has left off, as the French is directly with investments and imports. The Indian are doing similar, but also development projects. While the Chinese is directly owning enterprises and investments, while also focusing in development projects. All of these three are gaining from the relationship and the Republic’s are earning on the exports. This is contributions to their GDP and the budgets. As this is creating jobs both in Togo and in the respective Republic’s. Therefore, the Togolese should question the power they have to question these, as these three are vital from the outside.

Not that the trading between Benin, Ghana and Burkina Faso doesn’t matter it does. But these here has influential power over Togo with their financial contribution and vital exports to them. As well the needs for their imports. Therefore, the French, Indian and Chinese should interfere for the common good for the Togolese. Especially, since the public will is there. The Opposition is ready and the public is tired of Gnassingbe and his elite. The people are ready for change and new type of government. Not the type that is there right now.

If there are supposed to be outside pressure, then it needs to come from these. This is the ones who has invested and has ties to Togo. They don’t want to lose their possible resources or businesses over choosing loyalty to Gnassingbe. These partners should also consider themselves and what sort of person they want to support. Even if they don’t believing in direct interfering in other states affairs. They are still doing that with the exports/imports and development projects.

So the steps now for the Togolese, is first to either boycott these imports and businesses as much as possible. Secondly to send petitions to them to inform about the ill-activity of the dictatorship. The last will most likely not make any changes, but the first will spark their curiosity. Peace.

Revealed: Brexit Assessment Report has kept people in the dark – No positive results leaving the EU!

This wasn’t surprising since the hidden reports from the Department for Existing the European Union (DexEU), the Secretary David Davis and Prime Minister Theresa May wanted this hidden. Because they knew these numbers and the speculations would stop. I was expecting bad numbers, but these are serious consequences. While the campaigning for leaving seemingly like it was a pick and mix. Now the reality is there. The United Kingdom will loose out and hit the people in real way. The independence might be there, but the economy and the hardships starts when they have left. The Tories must have been worried about it, because they knew about the damage this can cause to the public. The rich will skate off to a tax-haven. If it is the British Virgin Island or Cayman Islands. Who knows, but this has been all hidden because they knew they we’re hurting themselves.

I will take the numbers crushed from Britain Stays, which has analyzed the numbers so they give a meaning. I’m not a grand fan of EU, but I don’t like people are without knowledge of the consequences of their actions. Which the politicians in the UK did to their people when they had their referendum. So the people voted blindly without knowing the possible outcome. The Brexit will cost.

First deal is the famous “No-Deal” will give an 8% lower GDP, a total of 2,800,000 jobs lost and an economy losing 156b pounds. If that isn’t dire a consequence, let me put it in perspective. Since the population numbers of UK of 2016 said there was living in Birmingham (1,200,000), Glasgow (800,000) and Leeds (760,000). So all of these major towns would be ghost-towns with no jobs. That says the possible “No-Deal”, no work for the population of cities or towns of Birmingham, Glasgow and Leeds. If that isn’t worrying, and sending you a signal of how bad it is. Then your blind to amount of people hurt by this sort of policy with the EU.

Second deal is the Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement, which means being outside the Single Market and Customs Union. It will lower the GDP with 5% and economy will go down with 99b pounds yearly. The job losses here too is significant, the numbers are estimated to be 1,750,000 jobs gone. That is like all people living in Birmingham (1,200,000), Sheffield (518,000) and Hucknall (32,000). So you cannot say this deal is good for the United Kingdom either, its better, but not all roses and candy either.

Third deal is the infamous “Soft Brexit” where the UK will be in the Single Market through the EEA, a place where UK cannot make the rules and have any say within the EU. This will damage the economy too, but less. First it will damage the GDP by 2% and loose 39bn pounds yearly. The amount of job-loss is estimated to be 700,000 jobs. To put it into perspective its the amount of people living in Bristol (617,000) and Burnley (82,000). So the losses aren’t as big, but the estimates and pain of it is still dear. Not even this one is a good idea.

Fourth deal is “Remain”, the one giving up the whole thing and continuing like it is. Where the GDP will remain at the levels it is the day and it will not have any impact on the current work market. No one will lose their jobs and prepare any ghost-towns.

Even me who is not a fan of the EU and the whole ordeal can see easily after the assessment reports that been hidden from the public on purpose. Because this is damaging information. The sort of tales that should shatter the glasses and break the pulse. Will the Tories really hurt the amounts of people combining the cities of Birmingham, Glasgow and Leeds. Is that the final destination or will they make it less costly?

These numbers should be carefully understood and put in perspective to prove the danger of Brexit. Not just think that Independence is all cool, but also that it costs. Not just for poorest, but for whole towns and cities. We can ask how much poison is the British people about to take or wanting to take? Peace.

Opinion: The new arms sanctions on South Sudan will it matter?

I wish I didn’t had to write this piece, because of the constant warfare and civil-war that lasted and lasted. That the Government of South Sudan, Sudanese People’s Liberation Army/Movement In-Government (SPLA/M-IG) with President Salva Kiir Mayardiit and his loyal people around him. There is also the main opposition from Dr. Riek Machar of the Sudanese People’s Liberation Movement – In Opposition (SPLM-IO) from there more and more people have deflected over the recent times. It is hard to keep count in all the rebellious groups. National Salvation Front (NAS) former SPLM-IO Lieutenant General Thomas Cirillo Swaka. As well as Dr. Lam Akol has founded National Democratic Movement (NDM). This is just the beginning and the list could go on. So the situation as the spark after peace agreement of 2015 is different. Because, there isn’t just two direct partners now. There is a bunch and one main government Transitional Government of National Unity (TGoNU), who kind of lost meaning when the shooting in Juba happen and Machar has fled.

Though now that suddenly after all this time, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) High Level Revitalization Forum (HLRF) and United Nation’s Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) isn’t creating the levels of trust. This combined with the other monitoring missions like Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Committee (JMEC) is making the situation more fluid. While the politics are still controlled by tight little group around the President Kiir. The ones loyal to him get the perks and write his decree’s. Not like the started Parliament with the TGoNU of the peace-agreement has made any changes. Especially after First Vice-President Gen. Taban Deng Gai took the place in his part of SPLM-IO, therefore, it is two of those and you can wonder how real that organization under Deng Gai is. Since he has been controversial from the get-go.

With all this mine, with armed groups and state sanctioned violence not respecting agreements, are creating a continued insurgency and fleeing civilians. While all of this is destroying possible peace and institutions, as long as it is like this, it is the war-lords leading and not the ones building up state structures.

Therefore, that the European Union sanctions on three persons should be seen as good. These individuals are Gen Paul Malong, who has been thrown out of government and been under house arrest. He has his following, but also his enemies after how he did his affairs. Therefore, weird that they are sanctioning him when he is out of government and not when he was in it and using military force against the ones who stood in the way of Kiir. Then you have one in the government, Michael Makuei Leuth for his role in obstructing IGAD process and violations against human rights. Then the Inspector General of the Army Malek Reuben Riak, who is in-charge of buying weapons. Therefore, that sanction makes sense. But I’m puzzled by the time of sanctioning Malong. That should have been done in 2016 or early 2017. Not now in 2018, when his role is more meaningless, unless they are sanctioning him for his past.

The United States are doing this: “Specifically, the Department of State will amend the International Traffic in Arms Regulations to update the defense trade policy toward South Sudan by application of a policy of denial, with limited exceptions, on the export of defense articles and defense services to South Sudan, including all parties involved in the conflict” (Heather Nauert – ‘U.S. Arms Restrictions on South Sudan’ 02.02.2018).

So the United States are more reacting and promising more amending the previous Executive Order then of 2014. Since, the initial changes is not in the direct statement. We cannot know what sort of changes in the arms trade this will have. Especially since the United States are selling weapons to partner states in the East African Region. One of them is Uganda who has had reports of helping with exporting equipment and arms to South Sudan. So if the United States and European Union wants to be serious. Then, the countries with borders to South Sudan also need to be included.

This has not been shown, but that is also because bilateral security agreements and needs for others contributions on the continent. That is why the US hasn’t broken their peace and arms trade with either Kenya or Uganda. They are both involved in conflicts and parts of Blue Helmet operations in Somalia and Central African Republic. That is also a reason for the special arms trade. We can wonder if this will be persistence.

I doubt that the efforts and arms embargo, the sanctions of arms to South Sudan will have much effect. Since the armed groups will get through their channels and cross the borders into Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Ugandan and even Kenya to get their supply. That means also if the Sudanese government in Khartoum still opportunity to create havoc, they can support as well. They are already hated in the West and has nothing to lose to trade to some of the newly created military outfits who fights to get rid of Kiir. This should not be shocking, it should be no news. Just like if the Uganda People’s Defense Force suddenly arrived back, even with no agreement with IGAD, UN or AU. Just showed up because Kiir called his friend in Entebbe. That would be plausible and possible, since both parties has done it before. The oil coins given by South Sudan has been positive to the coffers of Museveni. He wouldn’t mind some more. Even if his country is hosting over a million South Sudanese refugees by December 2017. Therefore, the stakes in Uganda is high and should worry that they have contributed not only with peaceful aspects, but also military. They have strengthen the arms and equipment of the SPLA, the government army in South Sudan.

With this knowledge, why are just the sanctions always falling directly on the inner-circle of government, when they are conspiring with neighbors who gladly supply them for a dime and cookie. We should also make sure they couldn’t use merchants of death, use Lord of War sorts of methods to supply the civil war in South Sudan. Even though we do and we just accept it. The EU, US and AU haven’t addressed the third country supply, an important aspect that needs to be scrutinized. Peace.

Zimbabwe: Press Statement on De-Dollarisation (17.01.2018)

Opinion: Jubilee is ready to skin you now that the elections are over!

Let it be known that the State Coffers and the Government isn’t a well-oiled machine, the Kenyan government is taking up debt to cover old debt, which is all created by the current administration and the current President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto. Both of them have taken up expensive loans for both running the government, but also development projects. However, they have run their tab and is struggling.

They have subsidized lots of things people needs, they have paid providers and importers, they have made sure the costs of importing and producing has been lower. Especially in the months in advance of the Presidential Elections in 2017 and also a little after. However, they don’t need the votes and public goodwill anymore. Therefore, the subsidizes are now ceasing to exist.

The prices of gasoline and similar products are going up now in January. The prices of electricity has already been rising. The eminent rise of prices on UNGA is also coming. All of this is coming, as the subsidizes are ceased. The Jubilee Government cannot afford the billing and the tab, they have gained so much debt, that they cannot muster enough money to pay for this too.

Expect sugar and cooking oil to go up. If the airtime for the phone companies and the charges on M-Pesa would go up as well. All the Mobile Money and Airtime could also rise. The inflation and the current instability in the economy will hit all parts of the economy. The signs are there and the government need to tax and get more fresh funds. Easiest is to charge every single costumer and citizens through what they are already needing and spending on. That is all of this.

Make sure that the needed products, the food, the electricity and the gas cost more. So that the charcoal and other ways of heating will cost more. There will be more blackouts and less businesses can afford to hold the generators working.

Parents are also feeling growing school-fees combined with payment for uniforms and extra curricular activities. All of this is adding cost and making it harder for people to send their kids to school. This all combined means that there is a higher cost of living, while the salaries are not following. Meaning that the citizens are getting poorer, by just existing and breathing in the same space as the politicians.

That the Jubilee Alliance Party have tricked the public is clear, that they are trying to earn money on the public and find ways to fix their ill-gained debt spiral with added taxes and higher cost of living. The expenses of ordinary and needed products are rising. It is worrying, the signal of a falling economy and problematic investor space. Where cartels are controlling sugar, flour-milling and imports. Where the cronies and families of the political circle are owner and involved in key businesses.

We can wonder why it had to happen just small months after the elections and the swearing-in in November 2017. That Kenyatta and Ruto have planned this for a while. That is why the Forex Levy is now being changed and making things more costly. The UNGA and Sugar subsidy are also gone, as it was just a temporary relief. The gasoline and the electricity are controlled by the state and special levy, which is now taken away.

The ones paying this is the public, its the citizens and the politicians, the government know why it happens and let it happen. We can wonder, why they are accepting making life harder for their citizens. Peace.

Kenya: Energy Regulatory Commission – Press Release – “Maximum Retail Pump Prices in Kenya for the Period 15th January 2018 – 14th February 2018” (14.01.2018)

Scattered protests erupt in Sudan over economic woes (08.01.2017)

Police on Friday used tear gas and batons cautiously to disperse protesters in the neighbourhoods of Al-Mazad, Shendi Foug, Al-Hilla Al-Jadida and Al-Dibaga in Wad Medani, capital of the Gezira State.

KHARTOUM, Sudan, January 8, 2018 – Sporadic protests have erupted on Friday in Khartoum and the Gazira State in central Sudan against the recent government decision to increase the bread price.

On Friday, bakeries raised the price of a loaf of bread from 50 cents to 1 Sudanese pound following a government decision to increase the price of flour sack from 167 pounds to 450 pounds.

The government decision was part of tough economic measures contained in the 2018 budget which also saw the lifting of electricity subsidies as well as increasing the U.S. dollar exchange rate to 18.00 pounds from the official rate of 6.7 pounds.

Several neighbourhoods in the Sudanese capital including Al-Sahafa, Al-Kalakla, Al-Giraif and Burri on Friday witnessed limited demonstrations where the protesters burned car tires to block some streets.

Also, police on Friday used tear gas and batons cautiously to disperse protesters in the neighbourhoods of Al-Mazad, Shendi Foug, Al-Hilla Al-Jadida and Al-Dibaga in Wad Medani, capital of the Gezira State.

There were reports that several protesters have been injured and unknown numbers were captured by the security forces.

To quell anti-austerity protests in Khartoum, Sudanese security forces in September 2013 carried out a brutal crackdown on the peaceful demonstration, killing nearly two hundred protesters say human rights groups or 86 people according to government figures.

On Thursday, the opposition called on the Sudanese people to take to streets to protests against the unprecedented rise in the cost of living and commodity price.

Opposition forces attribute the deteriorating living condition and economic meltdown to corruption, lack of production policies, and lack of economic reform vision following the secession of South Sudan.

Sudan lost 75% of its oil reserves after the southern part of the country became an independent nation in July 2011, denying the north billions of dollars in revenues.

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