Putin’s Threat Just Stunned U.S. and Europe

King World News — May 23, 2014

Today former US Treasury official, Dr. Paul Craig Roberts, warned King World News that the threat made by Putin today just stunned the United States and Europe.  Dr. Roberts also discussed how the threat unfolded today at the International Economic Forum in Russia.  Below is what Dr. Roberts had to say in this powerful interview.
Eric King:  “Dr. Roberts, there is this International Economic Forum in St. Petersburg (Russia).  I know the U.S. has pulled out, but does the high level of attendance, despite Washington’s pressure, indicate fading U.S. influence?”
Dr. Roberts:  “Yes.  One of the advisors to Putin had publicly complained that Washington had put unprecedented pressure on American and European countries not to attend.  But it turns out that present at this forum, which began yesterday and continues today and tomorrow, there are official delegations from 62 countries, and the CEOs of 146 of the major companies in the world….
“Last year trade deals were made that totaled $263 billion — more than a quarter of a trillion dollars.  And I suspect that there will be an equal success in trade deals this year.  For example, the heads of BP, Total (SA), Shell, Exxon, Phillips, Caterpillar, they’ve all gone to the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, despite Washington’s pressure.
So what we are seeing is that it’s OK to cooperate with Washington’s absurd foreign policy, until it starts to effect the bottom line.  (Laughter ensues).  If it affects the bottom line, the Germans (as an example) aren’t so interested.  You may have seen that the French have said they are going to continue their military sales to Russia, regardless of Washington.
And so I think this is an indication that the world thinks Washington is overreaching, trying to control the affairs of too many countries and too many companies, and I don’t think this is going to be tolerated.”
Eric King:  “What about the implications for U.S. financial hegemony?  We have this St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, where everybody basically blew off the United States, and Asia showed up en masse as well as a bunch of other countries and companies.  And now we have this move away from the U.S. dollar.”
Dr. Roberts:  “Well, I think the most interesting part of this forum so far was President Putin’s speech today at the forum.  He explicitly criticized the United States for bringing such a strategic threat to Russia.  He spoke very diplomatically, but the implication is there that he’s simply not going to tolerate the Ukraine as a member of NATO, with American missile bases on Russia’s border.
He doesn’t say it in so many words, but (it was) the way he emphasized the fact that Washington thinks they can just ignore Russia.  And he also explicitly criticized the Europeans for being Washington’s puppets.  He didn’t use the word ‘puppet,’ but he criticized them for being unresponsive to Russian efforts to resolve the crisis, and for telling Russia that it was none of Russia’s business.
And he accused the Europeans for being snobs, thinking that they are too good to talk to Russians.  So whatever hopes Russia had for the for the deals at the economic summit, the most important thing for Putin was to send this message to the powerful American firms and to the powerful European firms that if this continues, if their governments ignore legitimate Russian protests about policies and continue to disregard the aspect of the Ukrainian crisis, and the meaning of it for Russia itself, that there was going to be further trouble.
So I think that message will go back to the idiots in Washington and to Washington’s vassals in the Merkel, Cameron, and Hollande governments.  And then they will have to decide who’s interests are really on the line.  Is it in Germany’s, France’s, and the UK’s interests, to create a situation for Russia that does not benefit Germany, France, or the U.K., but merely serves the purpose of American hegemony over the world?
So I think that this was a strategic move by Putin at this conference.  And that’s probably the most important aspect of the conference, not that so many firms from 62 countries appeared ready to do business with the Russians, despite Washington’s threat of sanctions.  Instead, that the occasion was used by President Putin to send a message.
Of course Washington is full of hubris and arrogance and will ignore the message, but I think it’s going to be harder for Merkel and Hollande.  They have too many jobs and too much of their industry dependent on economic relations with Russia.  And they won’t want to sacrifice that just so Washington can continue to be the sole superpower and prevent other countries from rising.
So that’s the most important thing.  And if I’m correct in this judgment, it does mean that the dollar will be more vulnerable because the exercise of the United States, publicly, by its power, has been diminished by the response of other countries.”
IMPORTANT – The piece above is just a small portion of Dr. Roberts’ remarkable audio interview.  This is truly one of PCR’s most important interviews ever.  It is available now and you can listen to it by CLICKING HERE.


Paul Craig Roberts is an economist, commentator and former Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Treasury

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