Putin and Xi Jinping build a new world order immune to Trump's threats.
Relations between nations continue to confront the warmongering and authoritarian actions on the part of the Trump administration, towards a series of countries that do not accept the imposition of economic measures, unilateral sanctions that do not pay tribute to free world trade and try to continue submitting to the countries weak and not weak to a market manipulated and dominated by a currency that the only thing that costs this administration is paper and ink to print them.
This correlation of forces indicates that within a short time there will be a currency that can be supported worldwide and everything indicates that gold will be the necessary sustainability to establish new commercial relations towards a multi- centered and pluri - polar world that can implement fair, equitable and respectful relations among the nations of the world.
While in Europe the old allies celebrated the 75th anniversary of the Normandy landings during the Second World War, in Moscow two giants sealed their alliance. Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin held a summit on Thursday, June 6, after which Xi reaffirmed that Putin is his "closest friend."
The relationship between both leaders has been strengthened over the years. They met in 2013, when Xi visited Putin in the Russian capital. That trip lasted for just 36 hours, of which eight went by together. Since then they have held 30 meetings.
In the last six years, Xi has visited Russia 8 times and Putin has been in China 9 times.
" I have had closer interactions with President Putin than with any other foreign colleague. He is my best and intimate friend. I appreciate our deep friendship, " said the Chinese leader before leaving for Moscow, where the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two nations will be celebrated on Friday.
" With Vladimir Putin we established close working contacts and engaged in deep personal friendship. Our relations serve as an example for the formation of international relations of a new kind, "he was quoted as saying by the Sputnik news agency.
Without doubt, both leaders maintain a connection. The Chinese president is the only foreign leader with whom the Russian Head of State has celebrated his birthday.
"We had a vodka and sausages," Putin revealed in 2018, when he recounted how he shared with Xi on that occasion.
That same year, Xi gave his Russian counterpart the first Medal of Friendship, an award created by Beijing to distinguish foreigners most appreciated and whose merits that contribute to the modernization of China and world peace.
"Putin is totally worthy of this decoration," stressed the Chinese president at that time, a year after the Russian president awarded him the Order of St. Andrew, the highest state decoration of the Kremlin.
If he applies more sanctions to Iran and Venezuela, Trump could destabilize the oil markets
The Salman oil field in Iran. Iran exported around 1.3 million barrels of oil per day in February and March, almost double its exports in December.
WASHINGTON - The government of US President Donald Trump is at a critical crossroads in his plan to strengthen US oil sanctions against Iran and Venezuela.
US officials exert pressure on China and India to suspend or greatly reduce their purchases of oil from Iran and Venezuela (countries that the government considers rebels and a threat to the stability of the Middle East and Latin America), in order to deprive them of a key lifesaver for your economy.
The difficulty lies in doing so without causing upheavals in global markets, generating more tensions in relations with China and India or increasing the prices of gasoline in the United States.
This dilemma has provoked a heated debate within the Trump government, whose deadline to decide whether to extend the exemptions that have allowed China, India and three other countries to buy Iranian oil until May 2. If oil shipments are suspended, the global oil supply would be reduced and costs would increase, at a time when much of the world economy has slowed its growth.
"If what they are looking for is to keep gasoline prices low, to put maximum pressure on Venezuelan and Iranian exports, maybe that is not the best strategy", commented Helima Croft, global director of commodities strategy at RBC Capital Markets and ex-analyst of energy in the CIA.
Now that the 2020 elections are approaching, Trump is interested in preventing gas prices from rising, especially since it is almost summer, when more energy is used and Americans make road trips. Since mid-February, gas retail prices have risen and the global oil reference price has exceeded $ 70 per barrel, the level it was at before Trump withdrew the United States from a nuclear agreement with Iran in May.
"Oil prices are very high. OPEP, relax and take it easy, "Trump tweeted at the end of February, and urged the global oil organization to double production. "The world cannot stand an increase in prices."
Both Iran and Venezuela belong to the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC.
The Trump government has tried to exert pressure for a political change to occur in Iran; to that end he withdrew from a nuclear agreement signed in 2015 and imposed sanctions to punish actions in the Middle East that Washington considers unacceptable. It also puts pressure on Venezuela with sanctions, as US officials want to overthrow President Nicolás Maduro.
To their dismay, the leaders of Iran and Venezuela have shown great resistance, even after being deprived of their main source of income: oil exports.
Now US officials seek to cause greater economic damage. More than ten functionaries and executives of the oil industry, active and retired, participate in the internal debate to decide how to do it.
China and India have huge energy needs. Both countries were granted a six-month exemption in November to allow them to buy Iranian oil, but none of them has complied with the US guidelines to reduce their purchases as much as possible.
Traffic in a suburb of New Delhi. India is the second largest market for Iran's oil.
Exemptions were also granted to Japan, South Korea and Turkey. All these countries, like China, exceeded the country limits set by the Trump government for its imports of Iranian oil, according to the International Energy Agency.
"It will be the president's decision," US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo responded Friday when asked about talks about the possible extension of exemptions. "I'm just going to say we'll find the right answer."
Pompeo is inclined to maintain exemptions, while John Bolton, national security adviser, would like to suspend them. Both favor aggressive measures against Iran.
"As for the purpose of reducing exports to zero, there are many possible disadvantages," said Wendy R. Sherman, who held a senior position in the State Department and helped negotiate the nuclear deal with Iran. "What we want least is to cause the collapse of the world economy. Nobody wants oil prices to shoot out of control. "
Tensions with China could jeopardize trade talks and cooperation on North Korea, central pillars of Trump's diplomacy. Turkey, a NATO ally, could rely more on Russian energy if it is forced to buy less Iranian oil.
On the other hand, Saudi Arabia, one of the main allies of the Trump government, has criticized the exemptions. Last fall, anticipating US sanctions against Iran, the kingdom increased its oil production; but, to their surprise and frustration, the exemptions were granted and these drove prices downward.
Prior to that, exemptions had been granted to China, India and other buyers of Iranian oil in 2012, when the Obama administration imposed strict sanctions against Tehran because of its nuclear program. At that time, the State Department agreed to grant exemptions if countries showed a steady reduction in their imports from Iran, said John Hughes, former director of Sanctions Policy at the State Department and current vice president at Albright Stonebridge Group.
Those sanctions ceased to be applied as part of the agreement signed in 2015 by the world powers and Tehran to limit Iran's nuclear program. Trump withdrew from that agreement in May, resulting in a collapse of more than 25 percent in Iranian crude exports, or around sixty thousand barrels a day, between June and September.
In November, the United States again imposed the sanctions in its entirety, but granted six-month exemptions to China, India, Turkey, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Greece and Italy.
Juan Guaidó, opposition leader in Venezuela, during a rally in Caracas. US officials imposed oil sanctions in January to cut off resources from President Nicolás Maduro's government and try to force him to hand over power to Guaidó. Credit Meridith Kohut for The New York Times
By December, the great effect of US sanctions was already evident. Taiwan, Greece and Italy never used the exemptions and decided to end their imports from Iran.
However, Iranian exports have been recovering.
In February and March, Iran exported around 1.3 million barrels per day. It was a considerable increase compared to December, although that amount is still half of what it was exporting in April 2018, one month before Trump's withdrawal from the nuclear agreement.
China alone imports more than five hundred thousand barrels of Iranian crude a day, almost the same average amount that it imported before the November sanctions.
India is Iran's second largest oil customer. It has respected the limit of imports agreed with Washington of three hundred thousand barrels a day, although it has not constantly reduced its purchases.
India also depends on Venezuela's oil exports. But Venezuela's biggest buyer was the United States, and the Trump government imposed sanctions in January to suspend those sales and deprive Maduro's government of those revenues. The United States and 53 other countries recognize Juan Guaidó as president in charge of Venezuela and want to force Maduro out of power.
The US government hoped that with the entry of a new government in Venezuela would increase oil production and also its exports and that, in turn, would help Washington to put pressure on Iran. In contrast, India and China have bought much of the oil that Venezuela would have sold to the United States.



 

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