Don’t Touch the Bear

543665.siRT News Russian President Vladimir Putin has replied to statements of Russia “having to pay for its position [over Crimea],” saying no country or leader has managed to “intimidate, suppress or isolate Russia,” and no one ever will. Speaking at a Kremlin gala celebrating Security Forces Day, Putin said that the country is constantly threatened to be paying a high price for its “independent position, for supporting its citizens, for Crimea and Sevastopol, and sometimes even for its mere existence.” Reminding of previous failed attempts to subdue Russia over the 20th century, the country’s leader pointed out the situation in the whole world is not stable, with some countries trying to control and interfere with others. Earlier this week, US President Barack Obama authorized sanctions against individuals and entities operating in Russia’s Crimean peninsula, following similar EU actions.

The West has not let up the pressure to pin down the Russian bear. Repeatedly, the bear had been poked, cajoled and teased. Teasing an enraged bear is not for the uninitiated. It won’t be long before the bear wakes and starts to growl. When that happens, the consequences can be unpredictable. Why then provoke and tease a sleeping bear that had not done any harm to anyone?

The sanctions and falling oil prices have taken a toll on the Russians. Putin fully understands the economic pain. Russians are not new to sufferings and pain unlike the affluent West. Those basking in comfort and wealth will never appreciate the resilience of a people who are accustomed to poverty. Their mindset is not the same. They will weather the storms much better. If the West thinks that inflicting economic pains on the Russians will make them yield, they need to retake history lessons. Time and again, the messages emanating from the Kremlin have not changed. The message is: Don’t push us too far. Is the West listening?

The short term disruptions to the Russian economy are clearly visible. The rich have either moved their wealth into safety or have converted paper wealth into tangible assets. Luxury cars are being snapped up like hot cakes. Meanwhile, car dealers are stopping sales to Russia because of the volatility in the rouble. The pain will not be felt by the Russians alone. Those, particularly the Europeans who have prospered selling to the Russians will eventually feel the pain as well. There is no winner in this game of economic attrition.

Russia is no small play in the international arena. While military threats and economic sanctions may have worked very well against small nations that do not have military nor economic might, the same will not work for Russia. The hostile actions by the West against Russia may have gone too far this time. China has decided to jump into the ring. RT News reported:

China’s foreign minister has pledged support to Russia as it faces an economic downturn due to sanctions and a drop in oil prices. Boosting trade in yuan is a solution proposed by Beijing’s commerce minister.

Russia has the capability and the wisdom to overcome the existing hardship in the economic situation,” Foreign Minister Wang Yi told journalists, China Daily reported Monday. “If the Russian side needs it, we will provide necessary assistance within our capacity.

The offer of help comes as Russians are still recovering from the shock of the ruble’s worst crash in years last Tuesday, when it lost over 20 percent against the US dollar and the euro. The Russian currency bounced back the next day, but it still has lost almost half of its value since March.

With China now in the ring of fire, things are about to make a turn. In the two weeks that Obama is having a nice Christmas break in sunny Hawaii, the world’s geo-political balance may make a major flip. Would Obama return to the White House to see the birth of a new world order in the first week of 2015?

Esther 7:7
And the king arising from the banquet of wine in his wrath went into the palace garden: and Haman stood up to make request for his life to Esther the queen; for he saw that there was evil determined against him by the king.



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