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article imageOp-Ed: Putin uses army to manipulate oil prices

By Robert Weller     Aug 25, 2014 in Business
Mariupol - Making him among perhaps the most cynical, if short-sighted, world leaders in history, Russia’s president is attacking and then withdrawing from Ukraine to drive oil prices up.
Ukraine has become his punching bag.
The price of Brent Crude needs to be $117 for Russia’s balance to balance. On Monday it was at $100.
It has dropped to $35 during previous oil gluts.
William Browder of Hermitage Capital says Vladimir Putin’s real face can be seen as he tries to raise oil prices.
"All it will take is a fall in the price of oil to $60 a barrel and Putin will be gone within a year. You'd be surprised how brittle the system really is," Browder told the Daily Telegraph at the World Economic Forum in Davos.
The 1980s’ oil glut was a major factor in the fall of the Berlin Wall. Moscow had experienced a windfall in oil profits then too.
If anything, Putin’s headlong rush into the Arctic will create more oil, and push environmentalists to force their governments to find alternative energy — also known as disruptive technologies — sources while this glut exists.
Ironically, Putin’s hijinks could result in the more rapid discovery of alternative energy sources.
Saudi oil minister Sheik Yamani once said the stone age didn’t end because of a lack of stone, and there will still be plenty of fossil fuels when the human race moves on to safer and cleaner energy sources.
Putin apparently believes he can promise to back off in the Ukraine and oil prices will go up. But in the next day or two there is another incursion.
NATO says his promises are not even true the day he issues them.
The BBC said Ukrainian government forces clashed with rebel armored vehicles that had crossed from Russia headed for the south-eastern port of Mariupol.
The Russian proxies might be trying to open up a new southern front. Russia did not comment on the issue.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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