Pinpointing why Russia’s desperation led to their meddling in American democracy to get Trump elected – and how that is now playing itself out through the appointment of Rex Tillerson.
It is well known that Russia is in an economic funk because of super low oil prices. Russia’s national reserves have shrunk by two-thirds since the start of hostilities with Ukraine in 2014, falling from roughly $88 billion) that year to roughly $30 billion. In August, their real incomes dropped 8.3% from a year earlier.
Russian troubles are made worse by two Obama policies – which Secretary Clinton would have maintained:
1 Sanctions on trade with Russia
2 Reduce dependence on foreign oil
As to dependence on foreign oil, the energy security policies of the Obama administration are also well known, and have achieved amazing success over the recent past. The emergence of natural gas and alternative energies have essentially freed America from being held hostage to foreign oil interests, including Russia.
As to sanctions, two facts are not well known. First, Exxon leases a staggering 63.7 million acres of Russian land. This is over 5 times the amount of land it leases in the US. Second, Exxon inked a “deal” with Russia – a gigantic $500 billion deal – which was blocked by sanctions in 2014. The deal was central to Russia getting out of their economic funk, and they subsequently went with a fallback plan: to sell a 19.5% stake in their state-owned oil company Rosneft for $11.3 billion to Qatar and others (announced last week). Many speculate that Trump’s election and the potential for an improved Russia investment climate made this deal possible.
Could the decision by Russia to meddle in American democracy lead to a lifting of sanctions and a thawing of Russia’s awful investment climate? In exchange, could Exxon Mobil get there $500 billion deal back on the table?
Is it an accident that Robert Gates, for sure, was the person who advised Trump to look at Tillerson, and that Gates is on the payroll of Exxon Mobil?
Could this be the scandal of the century? You can’t make this up!
Please …. check my sources and correct the record if you can. I think I have the facts right!
CREDIT Russia’s $500 billion oil deal with Exxon was killed by U.S. sanctions. Wall Street Journal, 9/11/2014.