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Foot-shooting the sanctions’ lockstep

Written By: - Date published: 6:41 pm, June 18th, 2022 - 45 comments
Categories: boycott, cost of living, energy, food, Russia, trade, Ukraine, war - Tags:

RNZ’s “The Detail” asked are New Zealand’s sanctions against Russia working? They aren’t, but one detail we learnt that MFAT has 100 staff members assigned to sorting out their complications!!

Our sanctions are minor pinpricks and will have absolutely no impact on Russia. Their full impact will be much greater here, and may not be evident for some time to come.

Biden talked tough at the start of Russia’ incursion, including New Zealand in the group of countries imposing sanctions, which were by no means a majority of those in the world as shown by the map in my previous post. The tone has now changed markedly as the blow-back effects of high fuel and food costs and supply issues fuel inflation in the sanctioning countries. The worst effects will be felt in Europe, heavily dependent on cheap natural gas from Russia. Biden’s boasted unity there is fraying.

Autarchic Russia clearly anticipated these sanctions which have not had their desired effects of crashing their economy. Instead it is the US that looks more likely to crash under the weight of financialised debt, and Europe to suffer through a cold winter.

The law of unintended consequences is once again vindicated. We could instead have been calling for a stop to the war with some credibility.

45 comments on “Foot-shooting the sanctions’ lockstep ”

  1. GreenBus 1

    Sanctions by western countries including us and aussie are a bloody embarrassment, pretty much totally ineffective and causing serious energy problems for many of the western bloc. What a joke all western leaders are showing themselves to be. Every single western response is infantile in it's creation and disastrous for us morons in the west.

    Russia has clearly planned for sanctions and is reaping great profit from our childish efforts to damage Russian economy, and topple Poot's from power.

    Ha!

    Poot's is enjoying 85% support of Russia.

    By comparison, Biden and Boris are despised by the people and Euro leaders are

    totally out of their paygrades and making everthing worse by the day.

    I feel ashamed to be part of these western imperialistic incompetents.

    • Populuxe1 1.1

      It's fairly easy to enjoy 85% support when you make disagreement an imprisonable offence and your political opponents and media critics keep having unfortunate accidents.

      I feel ashamed to be part of these western imperialistic incompetents

      Are you saying Putin is an eastern imperialist competent?

      • GreenBus 1.1.1

        Your talking about Zelenski, minus all the support of course.

        Poots is very competent, unlike western leaders. Far too smart for Biden and Co.

        Imperialist? Don't think so. You must be confusing yourself with uncle sam.

        • Populuxe1 1.1.1.1

          *You're

          No, I was referring to Putin. You know, the fascist klepto-oligargh whose boots you seem intent on polishing with your tongue?

          • GreenBus 1.1.1.1.1

            You keep getting mixed up old boy.

            Zelenski/Biden/Boris are losers, it is plain to see.

            Hope you enjoy yourself polishing them.

    • Jenny how to get there 1.2

      GreenBus

      18 June 2022 at 8:53 pm

      …..Russia has clearly planned for sanctions and is reaping great profit from our childish efforts to damage Russian economy, and topple Poot's from power.

      Ha!

      War, what is it good for?

      Looting and war profiteering.

      Just as you say Green, the Russian Federation is "reaping great profits" from its imperialist adventure in Ukraine. Oil prices are at a record high, Russia the world's biggest grain exporter, has knocked its biggest competitor out of the market.

      The looting of Ukraine is another bonus.

      https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2022/may/27/ukraine-russia-looting-museums

      https://www.maritime-executive.com/article/russian-state-media-confirms-extraction-of-grain-steel-from-ukraine

      And don't forget that another bonus for the Putin regime is the suppression of all internal dissent under emergency war time measures.

      "Ha!"

      Shame on you.

  2. RedLogix 2

    If Smith had the slightest idea on how the world actually worked he would know that his crowing is entirely premature.

    It always takes about a year or more for sanctions to work. It takes at least that long for supply chains to work the deep and enduring effects through.

    • Lettuce 2.1

      Totally agree, Red. MS ain't known for being a wallflower, and he's been awfully quiet of late.

    • GreenBus 2.2

      Red – sanctions take a year to work? Ha!

      Tell that to half of Europe without Russia Gas no heating, industry etc. Europe has

      backed out of those already.

      • RedLogix 2.2.1

        You are not even a useful idiot.

        • Populuxe1 2.2.1.1

          Oh, I dunno. Putin might need his boots polished or something.

        • GreenBus 2.2.1.2

          Truth hurts aye.

          • RedLogix 2.2.1.2.1

            What truth?

            You have brought nothing to the threads. No links, no references, no argument, no engagement beyond pointless abuse and gloating. And sickening embrace of fascist, authoritarian mass murder.

            Which on reflection is what has pretty much always passed for truth among the more deranged on the far left.

      • Tricledrown 2.2.2

        Europe has the Nuclear option plus they will change to more renewables which will put an end to Dirty Oil and the despots who are in charge of much of the worlds supplies.Yes this will be better for the planet .The UK is in the best position having 2 new very powerful Nuclear power stations nearly ready to be commissioned at huge expense.Then global warming will mean Europe won't need as much energy for heating.

    • Mike Smith 2.3

      One winter will do it

  3. Poission 3

    RL

    The markets are very tight with gas due to the US fire at Freeport (force majeure declared for all markets) Now Russia has used the opportunity to limit supply to Europe and create both inventory uncertainty and the need to generate more electricity at present.

    The high cost of LNG and fuel has already seen Sri Lanka run out of transport fuel on Friday,and Pakistan using most of their foreign reserves down to 2 months now and LNG + 40$ mmbu.

    African countries next on domino list for defaults.

    Europe especially Germany need to use their own resources to limit LNG imports (conservation has been next to nil) and that includes Germany's nuclear fleet.

    • RedLogix 3.1

      Supply chains have considerable inertia. Europe will pay a considerable price for its predictably stupid reliance on Russian gas and it will take at least a year or two to untangle this.

      But once done Europe will do all in its power to shun Russia and any other power seen to be friendly toward them for a generation.

      • Poission 3.1.1

        Europe will have insufficient supplies for the winter,it will have either power and heating cuts along with a doubling of energy costs.

        Globally there is a shortage of LNG,and Australia has now enacted emergency constraints for both Gas and coal exports if required.

        There is no shortage of oil,there is a shortage of distallates,although prices have now dropped due to demand destruction in the US and Europe (with volume sales down 6%)

        The decrease in gas supply from Russia to Europe only forced the price up on lower volumes.

        The emergent markets now have an inability to pay,for both food needs and energy due to the depreciation of their local currencies and FOREX.

        The biggest harm to Russia is low energy prices globally,which would decrease funding of the war.

        • RedLogix 3.1.1.1

          We need to be a realistic here. These sanctions do not exist in a moral vacuum – they are the direct result of Putin's ghastly assault on Ukraine that has caused much of the Western world and Europe in particular, to now regard Russia as an enemy.

          And trading with the enemy was always a terminal offense.

          I agree with you technically – gas supplies will be constrained in the short term. But supplies will respond. Just this week I was working with a QLD based energy company was working toward installing 1000 new wells over the next decade – but now want to bring this forward to about three years.

          People have become so used to having resources available on-tap instantly, power, water, food, transport and so on – that we have forgotten that it typically takes 1 – 3 years get any new industrial plant from first turn of dirt into nameplate production.

          • GreenBus 3.1.1.1.1

            You sure need some realism Red. All those that have made Poot's their enemy are only from the western bloc, specifically the USA warmongers.

            Total western bloc countries all together add up to about 15% of the world.

            What about the other 85%? I'll tell you. They are either neutral or support Russia.

            US Hedgemoney is at stake and the numbers are on the other side.

            • RedLogix 3.1.1.1.1.1

              For others following this thread – this is as good a place as any to drop this reference. A highly detailed examination of the economic costs of this war and the multiple factors involved.

      • Drowsy M. Kram 3.1.2

        But once done Europe will do all in its power to shun Russia and any other power seen to be friendly toward them for a generation.

        Like Germany, Italy and Japan were shunned for a generation after WWII? Might extended shunning be counterproductive?

        It's tragic that Russia has invaded Ukraine, and I don't like the idea of any other country following them in 'boots and all', but the question (in the Post) of whether NZ is shooting itself in the foot re sanctions against Russia is tricky.

        Our sanctions may well be "minor pinpricks" that will make no difference, but that position seems (to me) similar to those of Groundswell and its predecessors who argue(d) that NZ actions to curb methane emissions wouldn't make a difference.

        Any price NZ pays for its sanctions indicates the seriousness of our opposition to the Russian invasion. Imho sanctions should end (not to long) after the invasion ends.

        • RedLogix 3.1.2.1

          Like Germany, Italy and Japan were shunned for a generation after WWII? Might extended shunning be counterproductive?

          The difference is that after WW2 all three nations had been defeated and occupied. The result in both Germany and Japan was a thorough going purge of not just the fascist regimes politically – but socially as well. To the extent that even today in Germany anything to do with the Nazi era – even the most harmless item of memorabilia – is either deplored or frankly illegal.

          This will not be the case with Russia. There will never be NATO boots in Russia – or at least not in any foreseeable circumstances at this time. I have no strong opinion on what will happen in Ukraine this year. Obviously I hope they might push the invader back over the border, but this is not a given at all. Thus there is no obvious short-term endpoint, short of Russia collapsing internally, to this war.

          In the long run the outcomes will be determined by resources, demography, geography and industrial capacity. These factors favour Russia for the moment, but time is not on their side. This is the best deep dive on the topic I have seen yet – an hour long but comprehensive:

          • Drowsy M. Kram 3.1.2.1.1

            These factors favour Russia for the moment, but time is not on their side.

            Thanks for the YouTube link – might watch later, but time isn't on my side.

  4. Populuxe1 4

    We could instead have been calling for a stop to the war with some credibility.

    We did. Unfortunately Putin's tanks keep rolling.

    • GreenBus 4.1

      The Tanks will keep rolling while Zelenski and Biden/Boris want war, which they do.

      Remember the 50 Billion? That's not a peace offer, is it?

      Biden/Boris are not in any way allowing Ukraine to negotiate, they want to hurt Russia.

      Well, good luck with that, it's backfiring spectacularly.

      • Populuxe1 4.1.1

        Ah yes, the old "her skirt was too short" but applied to geopolitics.
        Nice.

      • Tricledrown 4.1.2

        The Russian tanks are exploding and killing the highly trained occupants.Putin has a bot army feeding his pyscohpants . Even the Romans ran out of money to fight wars Russia couldn't even maintain its occupation of Afghanistan when its military was much larger its manufacturing capability was much larger.

  5. Tricledrown 5

    Corrupt dictator Putin's military has been exposed and weakened seriously.Russian military is antiquated in equipment and leadership.NZ has to stand behind all its allies.While NZ sanctions will have no effect directly we have to show unity.NZ farmers will benefit from global food shortages the NZ public will suffer more inflationary pressure,especially on grain based foods bread flour beer etc. The whole world will feel the effect of Russia's invasion for many years to come along with climate change food security .One good thing is Russian military exports will decline as their hardware maybe good at killing civilians but doesn't cut the mustard against modern western military equipment.Russian tanks are still the same as those used against Israel in the 60"s and 70's when they were easily picked off by Israeli tanks of that era. Now cheap shoulder launched missiles that only require a few days training have destroyed nearly 1/3rd of all Russian armoured vehicles up to 50,000 of his army dead many more seriously injured he can't continue with this rate of attricition .It takes years to build modern equipment as we see it can take on average more than 5 years between ordering then delivery .So Russia has painted itself into a corner then training of tank personal takes years Russia has expended its best personal dying in their death trap tanks it will take years to rebuild that capacity if ever.This is Russia's new Afghanistan .Putin thought that the US retreat from Afghanistan ,Brexit, Le Pen and a general move to Nationalism spurred on by the likes of Trump that he would just march into the Ukraine blitzcrieg style and no one would say boo.Now Putin is bogged down he can't afford to loose face he is trapped in his own self made mire. No way out for him but like Boris Yeltsin he could be expendable if the Russian people face more hardship and losses continue to mount. NZ helping militarily will help the Ukraine as we have some of the best howitzer gunners in the world. These modern computer guided howitzers are far more accurate than the antiquated Russian Howitzers.Russian guns need ten times the ammunition to have the same desired effect so that’s a logistical nightmare and the modern western howitzers can take out the Russian positions easily being way more accurate.

    • RedLogix 5.1

      While I obviously agree with most of these hopeful factors – it is too soon to be optimistic about the outcome in Ukraine.

      For a start that 10:1 artillery ratio still hurts, and is killing at least 100 Ukrainian soldiers per day. Taking many more than this out of the fight. This cannot be sustained and effective, capable soldiers are the one resource the west cannot replace for the moment. At least not without pressing the escalation button very hard.

      Secondly the initiative in any war always lies with the aggressor during the early phases. They get to do all the preparation and engage battle on their terms. while the defender has to respond under unfavourable conditions.

      Thirdly Russia will do all they can to undermine NATO unity, especially by cranking hard on their weaponisation of the gas trade. Europe will pay a very high price for this stupid mistake (and incidentally this was yet another thing the very controversial Trump was right about) – and the recapitalisation and rebuilding of their energy networks will take several years. They are in for at least two very tough winters, but the estimated costs are in the order of 1 -2% of GDP. This is unpleasant but very doable.

      The most extraordinary thing however is the absurdly high price Russia is paying to make slow incremental gains – just a few kms a day – into villages and cities they have reduced to rubble. For instance they have claimed Sievierodonetsk on the map, but it is no longer a functional city, there is no economic gain. And over time the cost of occupying these contested territories will bleed them dry.

      NATO now understands with crystal clarity that Putin will not stop at invading Ukraine. Kremlin hawks now openly gloat about creating an empire from Lisborn to Vladisvostok – and Europe understands that stopping this horde in Ukraine, as ugly and tragic as this will be for the Ukrainians, it will be far less traumatic than facing Putin on their own borders and territory.

      • Scud 5.1.1

        The Russian Military ie the Army has gone back to what it knows works for them & that unfortunately is the Red God.

        Which is the use of mass Artillery including Rocket Artillery on a Narrow front & literally flattened place so their Infantry units can advance across the Battlespace.

        Russia knows it's Armoured Units can't match it with the Ukranian Armoured Corps nor the Ukranian Army's Mobile Light Infantry Anti Tank Teams on the Open Battlespace because it can't even gain Air Parity & let alone Air Superiority over the Battlespace.

        The Ukranian Army really needs those long range mass fires (Artillery & Rocket Artillery) to provide Counter Battery Fire (Counter Artillery Strikes) on the Russian Artillery & the ability to hit the Russian Army Logistics Hubs & supply chain.

        If the Ukrainian Military has a hope in hell at blunted the Russian Army. The Ukranian Counter Battery Surveillance Capability is better than anything that the West has atm, but the UkR Army are lacking the necessary long range mobile/ self propelled fires that the West has to be truly effective at stopping Russia in its tracks.

        • Scud 5.1.1.1

          P.S,

          I've been following Mick Ryan on Twitter, who is a an Ex Oz Army Officer & his tweets on the UkR Conflict have been very reading & is probably the best analysis on the Conflict so far.

          This is his latest tweet, I haven't read it.

          • RedLogix 5.1.1.1.1

            Thanks, looks good. The worst thing about the damn war is that I've been compelled to dabble with Twitter. But there are people with worse stories I guess … heart

        • RedLogix 5.1.1.2

          Exactly. If NATO cannot deliver what is really some fairly basic military hardware in a useful time-frame – inside their own continental operational range – some hard questions need asking.

          • Tricledrown 5.1.1.2.1

            Red Logix Europe has stockpiled plenty of hardware and the likes of France have a very large military who are on continual alert after living their I can attest to that.In Italy i wizzed past a very large tank storage facility with thousands of Nato tanks ready for action. Strategically Nato doesn't want to deplete stock piles as your commentator points out industrial capacity being able to manufacture and deliver on time. nearly impossible.So China are the most dangerous military on the earth today .They have sided with Russia which could be very scary.New empires flexing their muscle.We need the US like it or not they need more voices to help them.

            • RedLogix 5.1.1.2.1.1

              Interesting. I do not doubt that NATO does have a great deal of hardware stockpiled. But it serves no useful purpose stockpiled when NATO is confronting it's greatest crisis since WW2.

              I agree with you however that in a war of attrition – which all the Russians seem to be capable of – the end game is determined by industrial capacity. On paper NATO is by far the superior force in that game. But as this excellent article (ht Scud) suggests – there is a lot more to it than measures of GDP. It concludes – much as you do:

              Conclusion

              The war in Ukraine demonstrates that war between peer or near-peer adversaries demands the existence of a technically advanced, mass scale, industrial-age production capability. The Russian onslaught consumes ammunition at rates that massively exceed US forecasts and ammunition production. For the US to act as the arsenal of democracy in defence of Ukraine, there must be a major look at the manner and the scale at which the US organises its industrial base.

              This situation is especially critical because behind the Russian invasion stands the world’s manufacturing capital – China. As the US begins to expend more and more of its stockpiles to keep Ukraine in the war, China has yet to provide any meaningful military assistance to Russia. The West must assume that China will not allow Russia to be defeated, especially due to a lack of ammunition. If competition between autocracies and democracies has really entered a military phase, then the arsenal of democracy must first radically improve its approach to the production of materiel in wartime.

          • GreenBus 5.1.1.2.2

            Zelenski is demanding 1000 artillery pieces to replace all those destroyed so far.

            The good old USA doesn't have that many in their entire military. Most of the EU have sweet fa also.

            Russia has 3 and a half thousand artillery guns of which most still across the border ready for business.

          • Scud 5.1.1.2.3

            Unfortunately, the West incl in NZ has salami slice it's Military Capabilities over the last 30yrs since the end of the Cold War & the Capacity to scale up production of Ammunition & or weapon platform Production as there was no longer an identified enemy/ potential enemy threat.

            Now that Tsar Poot's is running around trying to re-enact Peter the Great or old mate Stalin, everyone has been caught with their pants down & are now trying to rebuild lost capabilities & or both capacity to build those tools of war before it's to late.

      • GreenBus 5.1.2

        Ukraine and it's mercenaries are being slaughtered at the rate of over 1000 per DAY.

        Many of the wounded are dying from shortages of blood and medical equipment.

        Russian losses are less than 10% of Ukraine due mainly to artillery barrages to soften up / kill or shell shock before engaging with troops to mop up grid by grid.

        Very slow progress for Russia but loses are minimal in men and machines.

        Maps of the frontline situation all one direction – west.

        Lots of Ukrainians surrendering, deserting and or shot in the back for either by National units forcing their troops to remain in situ as cannon fodder.

        • Tricledrown 5.1.2.1

          greenbus you are just reheating Putin propaganda so if casulties are so high how come Russia has not Taken the Ukraine and is bogged down.If casualties were a 1,000 a day as you claim that would mean the Ukraine army would have been wiped out by now and Russia would have won. Your including civilian casualties.Who are mostly Russian speaking Ukrainians who don't want to be part of Russia otherwise they would have surrendered.

  6. Stuart Munro 6

    As part of the sanctions regime, now is a good time for rigorous scrutiny of all those trusts enabled under the Key administration. Though only a fraction were Russian, the Panama papers highlighted the preponderance of criminal and quasi criminal entities taking advantage of our naive lack of regulation. It's better for Ukraine, better for us, and in the long run it is even better for Russia if their kleptsiarchs have nowhere to hide their ill-gotten gains.

  7. Just Saying 7

    The US is now a senile, dying power and the much of the West is trying to keep both the US and its fantasies propped-up. It strikes me as a desperate insecurity. 'What are we going to do without our security blanket?'

    Here's an idea, – grow up before it's too late. The world can't afford this acting out. Many nations, aware of the deadly cost of the sanctions – to its own people – have backed out. This action fantasy has further destabilized already shaky energy networks.

    Instead of playing dolls. action figures, but with real lives, shedding real blood, it is time to wake and grow the fuck up.

  8. Tricledrown 8

    Red Logix Europe has stockpiled plenty of hardware and the likes of France have a very large military who are on continual alert after living their I can attest to that.In Italy i wizzed past a very large tank storage facility with thousands of Nato tanks ready for action. Strategically Nato doesn't want to deplete stock piles as your commentator points out industrial capacity being able to manufacture and deliver on time. nearly impossible.So China are the most dangerous military on the earth today with their massive manufacturing base .They have sided with Russia which could be very scary.New empires flexing their muscle.We need the US like it or not they need more voices to help them.

  9. Tricledrown 9

    greenbus you are just reheating Putin propaganda so if casulties are so high how come Russia has not Taken the Ukraine and is bogged down.If casualties were a 1,000 a day as you claim that would mean the Ukraine army would have been wiped out by now and Russia would have won. Your including civilian casualties.Who are mostly Russian speaking Ukrainians who don't want to be part of Russia otherwise they would have surrendered.

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