80% Of Afghanistan’s Budget Has Disappeared Overnight

https://oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-General/80-Of-Afghanistans-Budget-Has-Disappeared-Overnight.html

80% Of Afghanistan’s Budget Has Disappeared Overnight

By Safehaven.com – Aug 25, 2021, 1:00 PM CDT

For governing a country, $1.6 billion in cash can’t be stretched too far. That’s how much comes in the coffers of the Taliban, which has now taken over Afghanistan. Now, banks and international organizations are cutting the cord. 

For the past two decades, some 80% of Afghanistan’s budget has been financed by the U.S. and other international donors. Now, it’s all gone. 

Last week, the IMF decided that Afghanistan would no longer be able to access its resources, including the over $370 million set to arrive later this month.

The Biden administration also announced that Afghanistan’s central bank assets in the U.S. would not be made available to the Taliban, who have been on the Treasury Department’s sanctions designation list since 9/11.

According to the media and former Afghan officials, the U.S. has frozen nearly $9.5 billion in assets belonging to the country’s central bank. 

Germany, one of Afghanistan’s top donors, has also halted development aid of $500 million this year. Others have threatened to do the same. The EU had pledged $1.4 billion over the next four years in long-term and emergency assistance, but is now placing those funds on hold.

It’s not a decision made lightly. Halting aid will of course affect the Taliban’s ability to rule, but will also have a major impact on civilians. According to the International Rescue Committee, some 18.4 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance.

It will get more difficult for them, as well. Last week, Western Union and MoneyGram stopped servicing the country, cutting off a lifeline for families depending on money sent from abroad by the Afghan diaspora. US banks are now waiting for instructions as to whether they can deal with Afghan banks.

As for the Taliban, in fiscal year 2020, the Taliban reportedly brought in $1.6 billion, according to a confidential report commissioned by NATO. According to a recent UN report, the primary sources of Taliban financing remain “criminal activities including drug trafficking and opium poppy production, extortion, kidnapping for ransom, mineral exploitation.”

Of the total annual revenue, estimates are that the share of the illicit drug economy is $460 million. Mining is believed to have brought in $440 million in revenue last year.
In the areas under their control, the Taliban had also implemented a form of taxation, which according to some reports was a 10% tax on harvest and a 2.5% tax on wealth.  The Taliban have also continued to be a major beneficiary of charitable donations from wealthy individuals from    

Sind Impfstoffe die wahre treibende Kraft hinter der jüngsten Destabilisierung des Donbass?

Sind Impfstoffe die wahre treibende Kraft hinter der jüngsten Destabilisierung des Donbass?

(Original text below)

By Andrew KORYBKO

6. April 2021

Sind Impfstoffe die wahre treibende Kraft hinter der jüngsten Destabilisierung des Donbass?

Beobachter führen eine leidenschaftliche Debatte darüber, was wirklich die treibende Kraft hinter der jüngsten Destabilisierung des Donbass ist. Die prominentesten Hypothesen sind entweder die ukrainische Innenpolitik oder die regionalen geostrategischen Ambitionen der USA, aber es lässt sich auch überzeugend argumentieren, dass das Konzept des sogenannten „Impfstoff-Nationalismus“ eine weitgehend unterdiskutierte Rolle bei den Ereignissen spielt.

Die zwei Haupthypothesen

Der Donbass steht wieder einmal am Rande einer größeren Destabilisierung, doch Beobachter sind sich uneinig darüber, was die jüngsten Ereignisse wirklich antreibt. Einige glauben, dass die ukrainische Innenpolitik die Schuld trägt und dass die regierende Partei in Kiew eine regionale Krise provozieren will, um von ihrer sinkenden Popularität abzulenken. Beweise für diese Hypothese sind die jüngste Hexenjagd der Regierung gegen Oppositionelle und das drakonische Verbot vieler russischsprachiger Medien im Lande. Präsident Zelensky hat außerdem Ende letzten Monats ein Dekret verkündet, das Russland praktisch den Krieg erklärt und die Krim ausdrücklich bedroht. Die andere Theorie über die regionalen geostrategischen Ambitionen der USA wird durch die ominöse Unterstützungserklärung der USA für die Ukraine untermauert sowie durch Washingtons bereits vorhandene Motive zur Destabilisierung der westlichen Peripherie Moskaus, was Russland dazu veranlasste, seine eigene ominöse Unterstützung für seine Passinhaber im Land zu versprechen. An beiden Theorien ist viel Wahres dran, aber ihnen fehlt eine entscheidende Komponente, die das strategische Bild vervollständigen könnte. (…)

War Erupts Inside the Atlantic Council Over Article Questioning Washington’s Hostile Approach to Moscow

Dave DeCamp (Editor von AntiWar.com) zeigt die hasserfüllte Reaktion der Mitglieder des Atlantic Council auf einen klugen, deesaklierenden Text zweier Council-Members das Verhältnis zu Russland betreffend:  

War Erupts Inside the Atlantic Council Over Article Questioning Washington’s Hostile Approach to Moscow

by Dave DeCamp Posted on March 15, 2021    

Almost two dozen Atlantic Council fellows denounced a piece that said US policy towards Russia should not be focused on human rights

An article written by two Atlantic Council employees that argues Washington should consider a more realistic approach to Russia caused quite the stir within the think tank.

The article, written by Emma Ashford and Mathew Burrows, says the US should “avoid a human-rights-first approach to Russia.” The authors suggest that the Biden administration should instead “seek to build a less aspirational policy toward Russia, minimize the use of sanctions, and look for incentives that might induce Moscow to take steps in line with US interests.”

(…)

KORYBKO Here’s The 20-Point Plan For How Russia Could Contain The US

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov’s dramatic declaration that his country “will pursue the policy of active containment of the US on all fronts” if American pressure on Russia doesn’t soon end inspired a unique 20-point plan for what this could look like in practice.

Russia’s Anti-American Containment Policy

Russia finally appears to be serious about “decoupling” from the West after over half a decade of its well-intended and passionate efforts to enter into a rapprochement with it following the onset of the Ukrainian Crisis. As I wrote last week after the scandal that erupted upon EU foreign policy chief Borrell’s return to Brussels from Moscow, “Russia Needs To Realize That EU Diplomacy Is Based On Deception”. I predicted that this event was a game-changer which would push Russia to accelerate its foreign policy diversification strategy towards non-Western countries, especially those in the Global South. Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov is evidently very serious about this after dramatically declaring on Wednesday that his country “will pursue the policy of active containment of the US on all fronts” if American pressure on Russia doesn’t soon end. He promised to prevent foreign meddling in his country’s democratic processes, promote multipolarity across the world, and impose counter-sanctions on the US. (…)

+++

Hier ist der 20-Punkte-Plan, wie Russland die USA eindämmen könnte

19. Februar 2021Von Andrew KORYBKO

https://oneworld.press/?module=articles&action=view&id=1930

Die dramatische Erklärung des stellvertretenden russischen Außenministers Sergej Rjabkow, dass sein Land „die Politik der aktiven Eindämmung der USA an allen Fronten verfolgen wird“, wenn der amerikanische Druck auf Russland nicht bald endet, inspirierte zu einem einzigartigen 20-Punkte-Plan, wie dies in der Praxis aussehen könnte.Russlands anti-amerikanische EindämmungspolitikRussland scheint es endlich ernst zu meinen mit der „Abkopplung“ vom Westen, nachdem es sich über ein halbes Jahrzehnt lang wohlmeinend und leidenschaftlich um eine Annäherung an den Westen bemüht hatte, nachdem die Ukraine-Krise ausgebrochen war. Wie ich letzte Woche nach dem Skandal schrieb, der nach der Rückkehr des EU-Außenpolitikchefs Borrell aus Moskau nach Brüssel ausbrach, „muss Russland erkennen, dass die EU-Diplomatie auf Täuschung beruht“. Ich prophezeite, dass dieses Ereignis ein „game-changer“ sei, der Russland dazu bringen würde, seine außenpolitische Diversifizierungsstrategie gegenüber nicht-westlichen Ländern zu beschleunigen, insbesondere jenen im globalen Süden. Der stellvertretende Außenminister Sergej Rjabkow meint das offensichtlich sehr ernst, nachdem eram Mittwoch dramatisch erklärt hatte, dass sein Land „die Politik der aktiven Eindämmung der USA an allen Fronten verfolgen wird“, wenn der amerikanische Druck auf Russland nicht bald aufhört. Er versprach, ausländische Einmischung in die demokratischen Prozesse seines Landes zu verhindern, Multipolarität in der Welt zu fördern und Gegensanktionen gegen die USA zu verhängen.(…)

Quelle: Here’s The 20-Point Plan For How Russia Could Contain The US

Full dokument in German/Engl. here:

Korybko 20 Punkte Eindämmung USA 20210219

EU – Russia Conflict Deepens -MoA

February 12, 2021

Last week. during a visit by the EU’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov slapped down the EU’s sanctimonious interference in Russia’s internal policies.

Back in Brussels, Borrell, who was criticized by some EU hardliners for not directly rebuffing Lavrov’s talk, set down to write a blog post in which again attacked Russia over the latest Navalny stunt:

I have just returned from a very complicated visit to Moscow, on which I had embarked to discuss the fraught state of EU-Russia relations. They have been low for a number of years, and deteriorated even further after recent developments linked to the poisoning, arrest, and sentencing of Alexei Navalny as well as the related mass arrests of thousands of demonstrators. The purpose of this mission was to express directly the EU’s strong condemnation of these events and to address, through principled diplomacy, the process of a rapid worsening of our relationship with Russia, and to help prepare the forthcoming European Council discussions on EU-Russia relations.

Borrell is delusional. Hardly anyone in Russia believes the nonsensical poisoning story for which the ‚west‘ could provide exactly zero evidence:

Brett Harris @BrettHar123 – 18:41 UTC · Feb 7, 2021

Only 15% in Russia believe the Navalny poisoning was the Govt trying to eliminate an opponent, and the 15% based this opinion from Telegram and the Internet and were mostly 18-24. The rest think it was staged, a Western false flag, personal or opposition: https://levada.ru/2020/12/24/… (…)

https://www.moonofalabama.org/2021/02/lavrov-russia-is-ready-to-end-relations-with-the-european-union.html

Crucial statement by Foreign Minister Lavrov — The Vineyard of the Saker

Foreign Minister Lavrov just made the following statement that Russia is willing to sever her ties with the EU if the EU introduces new sanctions.  He said: “Мы исходим из

Crucial statement by Foreign Minister Lavrov — The Vineyard of the Saker

Pepe ESCOBAR Why Russia is driving the West crazy

Why Russia is driving the West crazy

11778 Views February 10, 2021 85 Comments

by Pepe Escobar with permission and first posted on Asia Times

Future historians may register it as the day when usually unflappable Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov decided he had had enough:

We are getting used to the fact that the European Union are trying to impose unilateral restrictions, illegitimate restrictions and we proceed from the assumption at this stage that the European Union is an unreliable partner.

Josep Borrell, the EU foreign policy chief, on an official visit to Moscow, had to take it on the chin.

Lavrov, always the perfect gentleman, added, “I hope that the strategic review that will take place soon will focus on the key interests of the European Union and that these talks will help to make our contacts more constructive.”

He was referring to the EU heads of state and government’s summit at the European Council next month, where they will discuss Russia. Lavrov harbors no illusions the “unreliable partners” will behave like adults.

Yet something immensely intriguing can be found in Lavrov’s opening remarks in his meeting with Borrell: “The main problem we all face is the lack of normalcy in relations between Russia and the European Union – the two largest players in the Eurasian space. It is an unhealthy situation, which does not benefit anyone.”

The two largest players in the Eurasian space (italics mine). Let that sink in. We’ll be back to it in a moment.

As it stands, the EU seems irretrievably addicted to worsening the “unhealthy situation”. European Commission head Ursula von der Leyen memorably botched the Brussels vaccine game. Essentially, she sent Borrell to Moscow to ask for licensing rights for European firms to produce the Sputnik V vaccine – which will soon be approved by the EU.

And yet Eurocrats prefer to dabble in hysteria, promoting the antics of NATO asset and convicted fraudster Navalny – the Russian Guaido.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the Atlantic, under the cover of “strategic deterrence”, the head of the US STRATCOM, Admiral Charles Richard, casually let it slip that “there is a real possibility that a regional crisis with Russia or China could escalate quickly to a conflict involving nuclear weapons, if they perceived a conventional loss would threaten the regime or state.” (…)

Why Russia is driving the West crazy

Full document you will read here (PDF):

10 Worst Things Trump Did & 5 Things He Didn’t Do – Consortiumnews

10 Worst Things Trump Did & 5 Things He Didn’t Do – Consortiumnews
— Weiterlesen consortiumnews.com/2021/01/20/10-worst-things-trump-did-5-things-he-didnt-do/

Ways the United States Could Overextend and Unbalance Russia

Rand Corporation 2019

Despite its vulnerabilities and anxieties, Russia remains a formidable opponent in a few key domains. What non-violent, cost-imposing measures could the United States pursue to stress Russia’s economy, its military, and the regime’s political standing at home and abroad? (…)

Quelle: Ways the United States Could Overextend and Unbalance Russia