Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Oligarchs Must Hang Together

When Vladimir Putin  annexed Crimea, Stephen Harper and John Baird belched indignation. Michael Harris writes:

Harper and his foreign minister immediately hopped on Kyiv-bound planes for the 2015 photo-ops: Canada standing up for Ukraine. Baird donned a scarf in the national colours of that troubled country. Then the government sent jets, with or without armaments, to show we’re ready to rumble for Ukrainian democracy. (At home, the government was busy ramming the abusive Fair Elections Act through Parliament.)

Harper insisted it was time for tough sanctions against Putin and his allies. But, last week, Reuters reported that two of Putin's buddies -- who the United States has targeted for sanctions -- have specifically been excluded from the Canadian sanctions regime. It seems that Sergey Chemozov and Igor Sechin have significant business interests in Canada:

Chemezov runs Rostec, Russia’s state-industrial and defence giant, and Sechin is Putin’s pal at the state oil behemoth Rosneft.

Rostec has a $3.4 billion deal brewing with Bombardier and Rosneft has a huge investment in the Canadian oilpatch.

We're talking big money:

In the spring of 2012, Rosneft and ExxonMobil signed a fifteen-year “strategic cooperation agreement” to jointly explore for oil and gas. As part of that agreement, the Russian oil giant took an equity position in major oil developments in both the U.S. and Canada.

The U.S. investment was done through an “independent, indirect subsidiary of Rosneft” called Neftegaz Holding America, which is registered in Delaware. The company took a 30 per cent equity in ExxonMobil’s share in the La Escalera Ranch project in West Texas.

Rosneft used another “independent subsidiary”, RN Cardium Oil Inc., to acquire 30 per cent of ExxonMobil’s stake in the Harmattan acreage in the Cardium formation of the Western Canada Basin, in Alberta. Like the Chinese, and with the blessing of the Harper government, the Russians now hold a serious stake in Canada’s unconventional oilpatch. What may be more important than the oil venture is Russia acquiring the technology to develop unconventional oil reserves at home.

The Obama administration has had no qualms about making life more difficult for these two men. But  not so Stephen Harper. When Harper does international relations, he starts from the principle that oligarchs must hang together  -- or they will hang separately.


Anonymous said...

I find a lot of humor in Harper's tough talk, in severely sanctioning Putin. Harper trimmed Russia sanctions, to protect business interests. Harper would love to sell Canada's oil and gas to Europe as well. Harper and Baird are out and out, blatant lying hypocrites. Isn't Putin signing a deal with China, to sell Russia's oil and gas to them?

All Harper is doing is, working on having the Ukrainian people in Canada, giving him donations and votes. As in the visit to Israel and the Chinese.

Meanwhile, Communist China is proving other countries and invading their territories. Japan had to scramble their jets because, China had invaded Japans airspace. China rams other countries ships, turns water cannons on them. That doesn't bother Harper, what-so-ever. Harper isn't bothered by Communist China's human rights either.

Harper is a repulsive dictator monster. We know all about Harper's dirty tactics. We will not forget Harper's asinine *Fair* Election Plan. Nor, do we forget about Harper's battle with the Supreme Court. We won't forget the RCMP, for letting Wright off his crime either.

Owen Gray said...

One would think that by now, Anon, Canadians would understand that there is a great distance between what Harper says and what he does.

astone said...

I have lost all faith in Canadians, A bunch of ignorant sheep too stupid to be aware and too lazy to inform themseves. I know too many people who find nothing wrong with what harpie does. I am ashamed of my country. My European relatives ask me whats wrong with Canada. Our international reputation is in tatters. I would no longer sport a Canadian flag on my lapel or on my backpack. Unless the NDP and Liberals work together in some way, I fear the monster will be re-elected!!! And that will be the end of Canada as we know her.

Owen Gray said...

Canadians have been too self absorbed to understand what Harper has done to Canada's international reputation, astone.

On the international stage the prime minister has scandalized our collective name.

e.a.f. said...

Of course Harper excused Putin's friends from any sanctions. Harper and Putin have a lot in common. Harper just doesn't have anyone to invade.

Harper looked like an idiot when he and Baird trotted off to the Ukraine. Unless Mrs. Merkle gets a tad cranky about Putin, there is no need to get upset.

Owen Gray said...

Harper and Baird like to talk tough. But I suspect that Mr. Putin is unimpressed, e.a.f.

e.a.f. said...

Of course Putin is unimpressed, he is former KGB. They were tough. Mrs. Merkle is tough and educated. Harper and Baird are just two little boys in short pants.

I remember years ago some protestor took a punch at Chretien, he punched back. Harper and Baird would be cowering behind their body guards.

Owen Gray said...

And Putin knows that, e.a.f.