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For the second time in two months, Ukrainians voted to side with Russia after the Maidan Protest disavowed the official status of the Russian language in an ultra-nationalist backed coup.
Last Spring, the Polish Press predicted an opportunity for Ukrainian nationalists when it noted a 90 percent approval rate for Russian as the favored language for Ukrainian schooling.
A year later, upwards of 90 percent of the voters of the eastern cities of Donetsk and Luhansk voted to separate from Ukraine to keep the official status of Russian alive in their lives.
Donetsk and Luhansk represent the two most easterly regions of Ukraine.
Donetsk reported a population of some 4.4 million in 2012: Luhansk – half a million. The Republic of Crimea, concluding a referendum at the end of March to conjoin to the Russian Federation as a sovereign state of two million, also recorded 90 percent secession approval ratings in March.
Donetsk has gone so far as to declare itself to be a ‘sovereign state,’ amid escalating violence between Ukrainian military and separatists staging armed conflicts to defend popular culture.
Nation-states have yet to formally recognize last weekend’s votes.
The West responds with sanctions, blacklisting
As 5 million more Ukrainians prepare to join the Russian Federation as states or nations, no escalation of international policing has been recorded as CNN details that Europe has already added 13 more Russians to a March 21 blacklist of some 51 asset and travel bans.
The USA has also promised increased sanctions to its own March 21 blacklist of some 30 Russian and Ukrainian businessmen.
USA news sources decry the vote in the latest referendum, parroting the USA State Department’s disappointment of shoddy voting practices of a manual system that takes a night to tally.
The State Department refused to recognize the referendums as USA squadrons patrol the Baltic States in an increasing Cold War stand-off with clearly demarcated zones of NATO versus Russia.
Meanwhile Russia, while pleading for a delay in referendums, warned against further sanctions while preparing to deal with the mammoth BRICS partnership in another currency besides Dollars.
Economist Paul Krugman is famous for stating that currencies are backed by, ‘men with guns.’
The economic pressure and energy dependency
As France approves it’s 1.6 Billion Dollar warship sale to Russia amid American rancor, Russia may just stall the USA Dollar’s monopoly on international trade by virtue of its patient disregard for bluster and its partnership with the Chinese, Indian, South African and Brazilian markets.
As USA steps up rhetoric to sell (LNG) liquid natural gas to Ukraine in a ploy to corner the European market and cut into Russian balance sheets, Russia readies its own double-edged contracts with the world’s major powers, not only readying gas and oil sales, but readying gas and oil sales in a currency besides Dollars.
Already, Russia has confirmed a nondenominational deal with Iran as economists prepare to hale a gigantic Russian Chinese gas and oil deal without Dollars.
Last November, as the raucous Maidan protests that led the ouster of Victor Yanukovich ratcheted up, Ukraine signed a $10 Billion deal with Chevron to drill for shale gas in its Western regions, hoping to ween itself off of Russian dependence; however, Russian gas overwhelmingly controls Ukraine heat until 2020.
Most countries in the EU are dependent on Russian gas and oil; the minority of Western powers like Britain, France and Italy still take %20 of their resources from Russia’s Gazprom.
Russia has reminded Ukraine that the winter-long Maidan protests still must account for monies owed, threatening to cut off energy resources as Ukraine complicates IMF overtures to lend some $15 Billion along with a Billion of USA Dollars to get the new government through the next year.
USA politicians complain that the Department of Energy has failed to approve export of natural gas to Ukraine while approving 6 non-free trade nations since 2011.Congressman Fred Upton (R-Michigan), chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, calls Russia’s bullying of Ukraine shameful amid promises of cheap exports.
Upton urges the passage of the, ‘Domestic Freedom and Global Prosperity Act,’ speeding up pending applications filed with the Department of Energy.
According to Upton, America’s booming natural gas market needs accelerated exportation: ‘This would send the clear signal that we are serious about enlarging the scope of natural gas exports, and immediately undercut Russia’s dominance… Russia has chosen to wield its energy resources as a geopolitical weapon to inflict harm on others. As the world’s emerging energy superpower, America has a new found responsibility to help our allies.’
Bill sponsor Cory Gardner (R-Colorado) said fast-tracking LNG permits to ship to nations like Ukraine creates jobs in American while serving foreign policy interests. But The Economist magazine has already criticized the Obama Administration for irresponsibly pushing the shale gas boom to manufacture a mirage of quick jobs and buoyed economics.
What’s next – Civil War?
One defense expert doubts that the regions will receive new autonomy as Ukrainian soldiers continue to die fighting separatists in conventional, fixed-position warfare around the eastern city of Sloviansk – the separatist stronghold according to Fox News.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov warns of Ukrainian Civil War as a new round of European-negotiated talks between the Ukrainian Administration and the separatists fell on Kharkiv. Monday, March 19, Ukrainian Interior Minister Arsen Avakov instructed foreigners to evacuate Donestsk and Luhansk.
Image credit: Ukranian Crisis Media Center via Facebook.com