by Bill Holter, Miles Franklin:
My title refers to Vladimir Putin. “He will get paid.” Actually, he will probably end up getting paid many times over if he plays his cards right. He probably will, because he is holding almost all of them anyway. The latest is that Ukraine must come up with some $5 billion in order to get a continuous flow of natural gas. First, I used a “$” but only because I am an American and my readers for the most part think in dollars. Russia will be paid most probably in euros, maybe rubles…or would gladly accept gold, but that’s not going to happen. Please understand that when you read headlines with dollar signs attached that it does not necessarily mean that even a single “dollar” will be involved in the transaction.
I have seen two separate estimates of how far in arrears Ukraine has gotten on their “accounts payable.” I have seen the number $17 billion and also $35 billion… it doesn’t really matter which one is true. I say that it doesn’t really matter because Ukraine doesn’t have it no matter what the number is. Before delving any further into the broad matter, I have a question or two. I assume that the Ukrainian citizens who use gas to heat their homes and businesses do actually make payments each month. What happened to this money?
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