Sunday, September 8, 2019

Moscow’s Shift from Dollar Part of Its ‘State of War’ with the US, Aleksashenko Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, September 4 -- Moscow’s expanding hard currency reserves, something many are celebrating, not only means that the government is not spending on the needs of the Russian people but is actively preparing for a war “with the entire Western world” and with the United States in the first instance, Sergey Aleksashenko says.

            While from one perspective, it is better to have large reserves than not to have them because they protect the country against uncertainties in the price of oil, the Moscow economist and commentator says, the ways in which they are being built up are almost entirely negative (

                By not spending on social needs and investment in order to build up cash reserves, Aleksashenko says, the Russian authorities are further depressing the standard of living of ordinary people and not stimulating the growth of the economy at large, reducing the chances that it will get out of its current slump.  

But even more seriously, he continues, Moscow is building up its reserves by selling dollars and buying gold and the Chinese yuan because “we are preparing for war” and do not want the Americans to be in a position to harm Russia by freezing any dollar accounts it holds abroad.

            “We are not preparing for war with Europe … the Kremlin considers it has sufficiently strong positions there             … but with America it is harder to reach agreement. Suppose America freezes all dollar accounts what then could the Central Bank do? Thus, the Central Bank is selling all its dollars and buying yuan, although it isn’t very clear what they will do with them.”

            “We are in a state of war with America, ne that has been going on since 2012 or 2014. And everything that has been taking place in Ukraine and the Donbass, this is not a war with Ukraine, this is a war with America. America attacked us and we are defending ourselves as far from our borders as possible.”

            “American organized a change of government in Ukraine in order to approach our borders and then in the future put its rockets near Kharkhiv.”

            “Of course, this is war,” Aleksashenko says. “This is a hybrid war; it doesn’t have to be hot. Information propaganda is being conducted. You see, the US embassy is distributing information about the marches of the opposition in Moscow.” Seen in this way, there is no reason to think that the war will do anything but continue.

            And that means that those in Moscow who are looking ahead are preparing for all eventualities, including more sanctions or an even more serious hot conflict with the US, the commentator says.  And “the defense against sanctions is naturally the building up of cash reserves.”

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