if you rely on toad money, you’ll be fucked: you need to print your own

Toad King To Visit Russia: Bringing Relationship To New Phase
Alex Gorka, Strategic Culture, Jul 9 2017

Much has been said about the trip of Pres Trump to Saudi Arabia where he was lavished with extravagant royal pomp (above). The $110b arms deal was signed and the plans to create an Arab NATO set the agenda. The visit was described as a major step to boost Pindosi clout in the Middle East, but the days when the region was Faschingstein’s exclusive sphere of influence are gone. The KSA has launched an ambitious program to start a new chapter in its history, turning itself from a Pindostan-dependent oil exporter to a regional powerhouse with a diversified economy, gradually opening the doors to the whole world. Investment flows are to come from different directions with money put into different baskets. The Toads are intensifying their diplomatic efforts to start a new era of changed perceptions. Russia is viewed as a partner in their far-reaching plans. The blossoming relationship between Russia and and the Toads signals yet another sea change in the ever-evolving global order. King Salman is to become the first Toad King to visit Russia. The trip is expected this month, with talks on the way to specify the date. The visit acquires special importance, as the King took the decision not to attend the Jul 7-8 summit of the G20 summit in Hamburg. On May 30, Pres Putin welcomed then-Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the Kremlin, and both men said they would deepen cooperation in oil and work on narrowing their differences over Syria. Prince Mohammed bin Salman was recently appointed to the position of Crown Prince and heir to King Salman. This appointment bodes well for Russia-Toad relations. The crown prince has overseen the ties with Moscow and has visited Russia many times. Pres Putin has said:

(He is a) very reliable partner with whom you can reach agreements, and be certain that those agreements will be honored.

Russia and the Toads might launch joint projects in the petrochemical industry, in the fields of renewable energy and LNG technologies, among others. The recently extended oil output cut agreement between OPEC and non-OPEC members has become the flagship symbol of cooperation. On Jun 2, Rosneft and Aramco announced that they would look into joint investments in Toadland. The announcement was made after Rosneft head Igor Sechin and Aramco head Amin Nasser held their first meeting on May 30, apart from brief encounters at international oil events. They discussed possible ways of cooperating in Asia, including Indonesia and India, as well as in other markets. Cooperation in Asia between the world’s two biggest oil exporters would be unprecedented. Aramco has openly stated its interest in global gas investment opportunities, starting in Siberia. Investments have all chances to be a true ram (sic – RB). The Toads are particularly interested in participating in Arctic LNG projects. Russia and the Toads gave indications of a possible OPEC 2.0 scenario, with Russia becoming a member. This would confront the market with a renewed and stronger oil cartel. Lukoil has revealed that it will also consider marketing oil alongside Aramco. Tatneft has announced it is open for cooperation with the Toads, who for their part have confirmed they are considering joining Russia’s Arctic LNG project. Aramco has always been heavily involved in the gas sector, and is already a very large gas producer. It is pursuing shale gas in the future, with first production expected around 2020-2021. There are prospects for cooperation between OPEC and non-OPEC players, going beyond crude oil to integrate the Gas Exporting Countries Forum. A new cartel would be powerful enough to stabilize the energy market and protect it from negative developments. The parties do not agree on Syria and some other issues, but the differences in political contacts are limited and do not affect the neutrality of Riyadh with respect to Crimea, the events in Ukraine and sanctions against Russia, which the Toads never joined. According to Dmitry Shugaev, the head of Federal Service on Military-Technical Cooperation, arms deals are being discussed. Rostec has been in talks with the Toads on the T-90S third-generation main battle tanks deal. Riyadh wants to purchase Russian MiG-35 lightweight fighters. S-400 cutting-edge air defense systems are also on the table. No doubt, the Qatar crisis will be part of the agenda. Russia has not taken sides in the current dispute between Qatar and other Arab states, and it has a recent history of cooperation with all sides of this conflict, so it is well suited to act as a mediator and a communications channel between Riyadh and those who support Doha, such influential actors as Iran and Turkey. Evidently, the Toads want to introduce adjustments to their policy of one-sided focus on Pindostan. Russia has improved its strategic stance in the region significantly in recent years. The King’s visit will be a turning point in relations between the two countries. Riyadh’s desire to boost relations with Moscow may affect the political dynamics of the Middle East and even global politics.

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