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Friday, May 30, 2014

Russia withdrawing troops from Ukranian border - don't trust Putin: withdrawal could be related to cost rather than international pressure

So, the Washington Post reports a statement by Secretary of Defense Hagel about how Russia is withdrawing troops from the Ukrainian border. Just imagine being one of those Russian troops, hanging around and waiting for nothing to happen while absorbing defense money.

In my opinion, Putin is completely untrustworthy unless he's acting in support of growing his ego. Therefore, if Russian troops are leaving the Ukrainian border, it must be due to internal, rather than any external, international pressure.   

Considering how much money Putin threw on the Sochi Olympics, (I've read as much as $9 Billion 'with a B') he must still owe a lot of debt to cover the costs, especially after the tourists have gone home and will, probably, never return.

Russia is strapped for cash. A recent deal to provide gas to China was a photo-op to fly in the face of economic sanctions taken by NATO nations, to oppose Putin's ambitious expansionism. 

A token removal of Russian troops from the Ukrainian border must be a major signal that Putin's tantrum against NATO's sanctions are further devaluing the nearly worthless Russian ruble currency. 

Putin needs money to deliver the gas to China. Obviously, keeping idle Russian troops on the Ukrainian border is wasteful spending. Nevertheless, don't trust Putin. As soon as he gets a reprieve from his nation's cash flow imbalance, he'll be right back to his ego fanning expansionism, regardless of the consequences.

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