Here is Where You Will Find the Blog <-- (Status is Active)

Here is Where You Will Find the Market <-- (Status is Active)

Market Page 1 | Market Page 2 | Market Page 3

Windows to Russia

Think if you added Russia to this graph!


I was drinking my second cup of delicious coffee after a long morning walk with the dog. I was thinking about OPEC and Russia! Why Russia was not part of OPEC? To answer that question, it looks like they may become part of OPEC soon. Russia is starting to lean toward that prospect and OPEC is showing open arms.

Russia’s daily oil output stands at around 10 million barrels, or about 12% of (world) global production, very close to the level of leading producer Saudi Arabia. OPEC’s 13 member states are Algeria, Angola, Venezuela, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Qatar, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Ecuador. The countries account for around 67% of global proven oil reserves and 42% of global oil output. So you see Russia would be a huge increase in the OPEC’s Global standings. It would give OPEC over 50% of Global oil output and over 75% of global oil reserves!

What is OPEC?

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries(OPEC) was created in 1960 to unify and protect the interests of oil-producing countries. OPEC allows oil-producing countries to guarantee their income by coordinating policies and prices among them. This unified front was created primarily in response to the efforts of Western oil companies to drive oil prices down. The original members of OPEC included Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Venezuela. OPEC has since expanded to include seven more countries (Algeria, Angola, Indonesia, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, and United Arab Emirates) making a total membership of 12.

OPEC represents a considerable political and economical force. Two-thirds of the oil reserves in the world belong to OPEC members; likewise, OPEC members are responsible for half of the world’s oil exports. The fact that OPEC controls the availability of a substance so universally sought after by modern society renders the organization a force to be reckoned with. (Link)

OPEC has opened it’s arms and has made it clear that they would like to welcome Russia as its member. The respective statement was made by Algerian Oil Minister and OPEC President Chakib Khelil.

I know that Russia is being considered positively and that Russia has been cooperating with OPEC for at least a decade and potential of a new format is very interesting. Russia will be attending the next meeting of OPEC that is slated for December 17, 2008.

So why has Russia not been made a part of OPEC?

Answer: Is that Russia hadn’t officially applied for the membership!

Kyle & Svet

comments always welcome.


Today while drinking my morning cup of coffee, I was thinking about what I had said over a year ago: This article was about a time I was upset with the involvement of American politics in Russia. (Boy was I correct!) Russia has reached the point of telling the USA to “BUG OFF”.

Even CNN has got the picture correctly now, I have been impressed with the change of direction in reporting by Time and CNN. They have a ways to go but at least they seem to try to get the truth now. (sometimes) CNN says, “A key meeting of world powers to discuss a fourth U.N. Security Council resolution imposing sanctions on Iran is unlikely because of a Russian boycott, according to a top U.S. official.” This is correct, Russia does not have the time to placate in Iranian witch hunts!

Seems that the USA wants to come down on Iran while the Iranian President is in New York City for U.N. meetings. It seems that the Iranian President came down hard on the USA: ” In a blistering speech before the United Nations General Assembly, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad blamed “a few bullying powers” for creating the world’s problems and said the “American empire in the world is reaching the end of its road.

“At the United Nations, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said countries are turning their backs on “bullying powers.”

And while he insisted Iran’s nuclear activities are peaceful, Ahmadinejad blamed the same powers for seeking to hinder it “by exerting political and economic pressures on Iran, and threatening and pressuring” the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Those powers, meanwhile, are building or maintaining nuclear stockpiles themselves, unchecked by anyone, he said.

As Ahmadinejad spoke, the only person at the United States table was a note-taker; no U.S. diplomat was present. When President Bush spoke earlier Tuesday, however, Ahmadinejad was in the room.

“As long as the aggressors, because of their financial, political and propaganda powers, not only escape punishment, but even claim righteousness, and as long as wars are started and nations are enslaved in order to win votes in elections, not only will the problems of the global community remain unsolved, but they will be increasingly exacerbated,” the Iranian leader said.

He accused the United States of oppressing Iraqis with six years of occupation, saying Americans were “still seeking to solidify their position in the political geography of the region and to dominate oil resources.”” (Link)

Strange feeling to me when the Iranian President makes a lot more sense than our own leaders in America. It seems to me that all I hear out of Washington is Blah, Whine, Blah, Whine, Blah, Whine, Blah. That is what the rest of the world seems to be hearing also…..

In Germany: It’s not a call for assistance; it’s a scream for help. US Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson is asking other countries to help buy up bad US debt. The US government is putting up $700 billion in taxpayer money in the hopes that the measure might restore stability in the financial system. The German government has answered this call quickly and clearly: NO!.

Germany will not be the only one to say, NO! The problem is created and grown in America and by Americans. The world will suffer greatly from the problems now, much less buy more worthless debt and hold more funny money.

I also saw that Bolivia is throwing the fire back at America: At the same U.N. meeting that the Iranian President scorched the USA in, Bolivian President Evo Morales on Tuesday said, “The United States has tried to thwart his political ambitions and, more recently, failed to condemn a pro-autonomy movement that uses “terrorist” tactics.” Morales, in the address to the United Nations General Assembly, described privatization as the cause of the world’s financial crisis, and credited his nationalization of Bolivia’s petroleum industry as a boon to the nation’s economy. (Link)

To end this hodgepodge of an article we will concentrate on the latest words of wisdom from Moscow: “We would like very much that, in Washington, they finally get clear what they want from relations with Moscow,” said Andrei Nesterenko, official representative of the RF Foreign Ministry. as he was commenting on the proposal of the U.S. Department of State spokesman Sean McCormack. McCormack has urged Moscow to put aside all issues where it disagrees with the United States and focus on the fields, where the cooperation is possible, for instance, on Iran.

“If they want to punish Russia, it’s one thing. If they agree that we have common interests to be promoted by joint efforts, that’s another story. But as Rice puts it, “You can’t have it both ways,” Nesterenko pointed out. (Link)

Seems to me that the USA needs to get its “ducks in order” as they say. Russia does not have the time to placate in Iranian witch hunts!

Kyle & Svet

comments always welcome.

Corruption Is Universal!


I was drinking my second cup of coffee and reading once again about the corruption in Russia. Sometimes that is all you hear about. How corrupt the Government is, how corrupt the cops are and how corrupt Moscow is. The fact is the articles are correct and if Russia could really get corruption under control that would be fantastic. I am not going to hold my breath though.

Another fact is that out of all the countries that I have lived in, I find Russia one of the least corrupt countries that I have had to deal with. Now I realize that is going against everyone else’s thoughts in the world. But corruption is a matter of opinion allot of times. Russia also is the cheapest country to bribe compared to other countries. The most expensive country I have dealt with was Vietnam then the USA.

The most corrupt places in Russia are Moscow (42% have paid bribes), Tatarstan and Krasnodar Territory (41%), Stavropol Territory (40%), Moscow Region (37%) and St. Petersburg (34%). The least corrupt places are Perm Territory (12%) and Tyumen Region (18%). There has been no research in Yakutia, Chechnya or Dagestan yet. Most Russians (54%) have a tolerant attitude toward those who take bribes. That figure ranges between 63 percent in Moscow and 32 percent in Sakhalin. Thirty-seven percent of Russians (55% in Leningrad Region, 30% in Moscow, 28% in Krasnodar Territory) strongly condemn corruption. (Link)

Remember most of what they are calling corruption has to do with the police. It can get interesting at times while you drive the Russian country side, but it also makes it exciting and fun. Also put in perspective about the people that pay bribes to get things done faster: We have yet to pay a bribe to get government work done, but then we do not wait until the day it is due to get it done. Everything gets done with out bribes, but bribes get it done faster….

I remember in America that I helped someone get a liquor license, after we had gone through Hades and back with the State application to get a license. We then had to deal with the local officials; We took (6) Six envelopes with several thousand dollars in each then it took us a day of begging and bribery: 1st and 2nd envelopes went to City Police department and County Sheriff department to ensure our status as non criminals. The 2nd envelope went to the Head of the Town Council to activate our application with the city. The 3rd envelope went to the Mayor of the town to ensure our future security with the police department. The 4th envelope went to the City Fire Chief to make sure our building passed fire code inspection. The 5th envelope went to the County Health Department to make sure that they passed us for serving beer. This was just the county and city side of the transaction. The State side was another whole ballgame of bribery and begging (Just bigger bribes.)…..

So corruption is in the eye of the beholder:
I would much rather pay a 500 ruble (20 dollars) bribe, no points off my license, no increase in insurance and no court hearing; to a cop for speeding in Russia. Than a $250 dollar (6250 rubles), points off my license, court day and increase in my insurance (ouch), speeding ticket in America!

Just thoughts for a Tuesday…

Kyle & Svet

comments always welcome.


I was drinking my morning cup of coffee and thinking about what Americans do for a living in Russia. My first thought went leaning towards English teachers, then maybe business men?

I did a little searching into the subject and happened upon the little known fact:

Most Foreigners in Russia Are Managers! It was found that foreigners worked in 87 percent of the companies taking part in a research by Kelly Services (large and medium-size companies in Moscow), but the total number of foreigners was quite low at 1-5 percent of a company’s personnel. In 68 percent of cases, the foreign workers were top executives, in 26 percent they were middle managers and in 3 percent they were specialists. Among the spheres with the most foreign specialists were marketing (18%), sales (17%), finance (12%) and administration (10%). (Link)

Seems that the demand for Business Managers is the greatest need. I myself see that demand and understand the need. One of the weakest areas that Russia has is in Customer Service. This is a direct correlation with Lower Management and Middle Management, which is a directly stimulated by upper management!

The management training that I see in Russia falls mainly in the: “He wants to play manager let him play manager.” Training is sporadic and on the job. To be fair to Russia though: The “McDonald’s Management Syndrome” is slowly affecting the Russian work force. McDonald’s has their University (or equivalent) in Russia that trains their managers. The training of management by McDonald’s is some of the most ridged and thoughtful management training in the World. I taught in McDonald’s University many years ago and I see the same young people in Russia running McDonald’s the very same way we taught them in the USA. This is a trickle effect to the rest of the businesses in Russia. As McDonald’s managers grow up (so to say), they leave McDonald’s and move on to greener pastures. Many years from now you have a compounded effect of increased manager skills through out the country. Russia needs this….

The next area that I see many Foreigners in, in Russia: They teach foreign languages. The demand for teachers here is unbelievable. English seems to be the strong language to learn. If you like the solo side of life, tutoring individuals has no limit to the demand. If you like the security of a school or business environment then you can find no less than thousands of schools to teach at. (I receive about 5 to 6 offers a week to teach at some school in Russia.) Myself, I like the solo side of life. I teach one on one otherwise called tutoring. I then can control my schedule and pace.

Just another little tidbit about Russia you may not have known…

Kyle & Svet

comments always welcome.

Hot News!The state company Petroleos de Venezuela S.A. has announced a new agreement with Gazprom concerning the Russian monopoly’s first foreign project to produce liquefied natural gas. Gazprom will invest about $850 million in the course of seven years and receive the income from the sale of 700,000 tons of liquefied natural gas, that is, about $420 million at current prices, per year. Alexander Medvedev, Gazprom deputy chairman, and Rafael Ramirez, Venezuelan Energy and Oil Minister and president of PDVSA, held negotiations last Friday and signed a memorandum of understanding on the Blanquilla and Tortuga project in the presence of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.

Estonian police have arrested high-ranking member of the Defense Ministry Herman Simm on accusations of espionage. His wife Heete Simm, a police lawyer, faces similarly charges. Estonian authorities have not named the country the couple were providing information to, but Estonian media and local experts claim it was Russia. Herman Simm, 61, was responsible for military secrets. In spite of several earlier claims by the government of Russian espionage operations in the country, this is the first spy case in the modern history of the country in which an actual agent has been identified.

Food prices went up 12.2 percent in Russia from January through August, Interfax reported with reference to the country’s statistics authority Rosstat. Of interest is that the prices averagely stepped up no more than 3 percent in the European Union.

Georgian authorities intend to protest to the European Union about “violations of the Sarkozy-Medvedev agreement by Russia.” Tbilisi maintains that the agreement was violated in the village of Khurcha, near the border with Abkhazia, where one Georgian policeman died and two were injured in gunfire issuing from unknown sources. That was the third such incident in recent days. Georgian policemen have also been killed by sniper fire near the village of Karaleti, on the Georgian border with South Ossetia, where a Russian checkpoint is located, and on the bank of the Inguri River, which separates Georgia from Abkhazia.

Russia, Egypt, Qatar, Algeria and Iran are willing to host headquarters of gas OPEC – GECF, Interfax-AGI reported.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez arrived in China on Tuesday for a three-day state visit, part of his week-long world tour which includes Russia, Portugal and France.

The official dollar rate set by the Russian Central Bank for September 24 is 24,9864 rubles, down 28.26 kopeks from Tuesday, the Central Bank said.

An intestinal infection has hospitalized a total of 29 cadets from a military school in the city of Minusinsk in East Siberia’s Krasnoyarsk Territory, a source in the regional consumers rights watchdog said on Tuesday.

Ukraine likes to badmouth Russia but Russia always keeps their infrastructure going….

Ukraine has started electricity imports from Russia as domestic thermal power plants experience problems with coal supplies, the Ukrainian news agency UNIAN said on Tuesday, citing the country’s fuel and energy ministry.

According to the ministry, it made the decision on electricity imports due to delays in coal supplies to thermal power plants, unplanned repairs on the second energy unit of the Khmelnitskaya nuclear power plant, and a failure by the state coal company, Ugol Ukrainy, to carry out in full planned coal deliveries.

“The state foreign trade enterprise, Ukrinterenergo, started from September 15 the commercial imports of electricity from the Russian Federation. The amount of electricity supplies defined in a contract with the Russian counterparty, Inter RAO UES, totals 500 MW. The cost of electricity has not been disclosed,” UNIAN said.

Ukraine’s fuel and energy ministry said Russian electricity was being imported at prices 12% below prices on the Ukrainian wholesale electric power market, but declined to specify the length of the contract. (Link)

This is just a small example of what Russia does on a daily bases. For years Russia has carried Ukraine in the Energy side of life. (Even when they owed multiples of billions of dollars in debt.) In fact as of right now they have outstanding, several billion dollars in energy bills.

Yet Ukraine continues to bite the hand that always helps them….

Kyle & Svet

comments always welcome.

You almost found – Windows to Russia!

If you see this: Then you have reached the domain. This is part of the Windows to Russia system.

Please bookmark the real url, to “Windows to Russia”

Please Click on Link Below if the page does not redirect in 0 seconds: – Windows to Russia

Thanks Kyle & Svet

German journalists chronicle South Ossetian war:

The respected German news weekly, Spiegel, has released the results of its own investigation into the war in South Ossetia. It asked the question: who’s to blame? And then asked its journalists in both Georgia and Russia to find the answer. The results may surprise some people.

Spiegel published a series of in-depth articles and interviews in several issues, including “The Story of Tskhinvali’s Resistance” and interviews with former German Chancellor Schroeder and former Georgian President Shevarnadze. One of the articles is called “The Chronicle of a Caucasian Tragedy”.

Back in 2004 Spiegel’s correspondents were the first to carry out a scrupulous investigation of the Beslan siege, the results of which were summed up in a book. Now we might expect another book – this time, dedicated to the conflict in the Caucasus. But it’s already clear that German journalists have done a huge job reconstructing accurately the “road to violence”.

Spiegel does not conceal it used intelligence data, which only adds value to the publication.

Unlike other international media, in its account of the events, Spiegel goes back to the beginning of the year rather than August 7. It was then that the satellites of several countries’ intelligence services picked up images of the first movements of military forces in the South Caucasian region, the weekly says.

The Georgian military had invited American colleagues to Georgia, who made their headquarters at the Sheraton Metechi Palace Hotel in Tbilisi. It is worth noting that the German publication’s figures differ from ours here. They counted 160 Americans in Tbilisi, not 126, as mentioned by Russia’s UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin at a UN session.

Georgia’s military preparations did not remain unnoticed, and this pushed Russia to hold army exercises near its southern borders.

The point of no return, when the war in South Ossetia became inevitable, was reached in April after the NATO summit in Bucharest. During his visit to Vladimir Putin’s Black Sea residence in the resort city of Sochi, the U.S. President George W. Bush passed off Russia’s warning about the danger of NATO’s flirting with Georgia.

On April 20, an unmanned Gergian spy plane was shot down over Abkhazia. Soon after, Georgia’s President Mikhail Saakashvili sent 12,000 troops to the border town of Senaki. Moscow responded by moving 500 paratroopers and a maintenance team of 400 men to Abkhazia to restore rail lines south Sukhum, the Abkhazian capital. These Russian forces were later withdrawn from the republic.

At this time tensions were rising on the border between Georgia and South Ossetia, with shootouts taking place right under the eyes of UN and OSCE emissaries. At the beginning of July, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice arrived in Tbilisi for an informal dinner. Russians say this was when last-minute preparations before the upcoming offensive were made.

However, Ms Rice later said that her visit was an attempt to talk Saakashvili out of “military confrontation with Russia”. But the German weekly, without giving an assessment of her words, coolly notes: 28 days remained before the war.

On July 10, Georgia recalled its ambassador to Russia for consultations. On the same day bomb attacks killed four people in Abkhazia and two in Russia’s Black Sea resort of Sochi. Spiegel wrote that the Georgian military is suspected of being behind the explosions.

On July 15, large-scale military exercises began on both sides of the main ridge of the Great Caucasus Range. 1,000 American troops take part in joint Georgia-U.S. manoeuvres named “Immediate Response 2008”. On the same day, Russia launches a military manoeuvre called “Caucasus 2008” north of the Caucasus ridge, between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea.

On July 30, Western special services observed that after the manoeuvre had finished, the 58th army remained on high alert. And there were reasons for that. As the Germans wrote, a striking thing happened – the Georgian leader Mikhail Saakashvili, being closely supervised by the Americans, does not withdraw troops to their quarters, but sends them directly towards South Ossetia. Two Georgian artillery brigades meet in Gori.

The first exchanges fire with South Ossetia began on August. Five Georgian policemen were hurt by an exploding shell. The Ossetian side suffered heavier losses. Georgian snipers killed six Ossetians who were out fishing. The South Ossetians began evacuating women, children and elderly people.

At about 10.00pm (06.00pm GMT) on August 5, the South Ossetian capital Tskhinval came under massive artillery fire from the direction of the Georgian settlement, Nikozi, 3 km from the city. South Ossetians began a massive evacuation as the bombardment intensified. The Georgian side justified the onslaught by saying Russian soldiers were fighting for the Ossetians. But there is no proof of this.

In the morning of August 7, as western observers admit, the Georgians concentrated 12,000 of their troops at the border with South Ossetia. Seventy-five tanks and armoured vehicles were also at the ready. They were meant to play a special role in the ‘blitzkrieg’ – to advance to the Roki Tunnel and block it in order to stop Russian troops from entering South Ossetian territory. By then, 500 Russian peacekeepers together with 500 South Ossetian policemen and volunteers had resisted the Georgians.

According to data from western agencies, the massive bombardment of Tskhinval started at 10.30pm on August 7. Twenty-seven Georgian ‘Grad’ rocket systems shelled the city. At 11.00pm the Georgian leader, Mikhail Saakashvili, said that his aim was to establish constitutional order in South Ossetia. Ten minutes later the Georgian side informed Russia that it had begun to do this by military means. And to prove it, half an hour later a Georgian shell hit the roof of a three-storey building where Russian peacekeepers were quartered, killing two of them. Then heavy fire rained down on the building, killing 18 more Russian peacekeepers without giving them a opportunity to do anything.

At 11.54pm ‘an assault of the Georgian military against Tskhinval’ began.

The German journalists have also determined when the Russian side responded. The first Russian troops entered the Roki Tunnel at 02.08am on August 8.

It is hard to suspect the Germans of sympathy towards Russia. Spiegel has never been pro-Russian or loyal to Russia to any extent. The magazine regularly criticises the Kremlin. But as far as the facts are concerned, the Germans are punctilious.

But even after giving a timeline of the conflict, they have reached a conclusion that Russian readers may not expect.

The whole Western community is partly to blame for the events in the Caucasus, as it saw the tensions rising. And yet, ‘old Europe’, aware of the fact the Americans were running the show in the region, did nothing to ease tensions, apparently afraid of incurring U.S. anger.

Kyle & Svet

comments always welcome.

1. U.S. Threatens Russia with War:
Russia will encounter a violent response, if it attacks Georgia after it joins NATO, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced on Thursday. At the same time, Gates urged NATO not to respond provocatively to Russian actions in relation to Georgia, the British television channel Sky News reported. Gates was speaking before an informal meeting of NATO defense chiefs in London, where a response to post-conflict challenges from Russia was discussed.

2. A Russian missile-carrying submarine successfully launched Bulava RSM-56 intercontinental ballistic missiles at 6:45 p.m. Moscow time yesterday, reports Interfax, citing a representative of the Russian Defense Ministry. According to that source, the missiles hit their target in the Kura military range in Kamchatka. He also noted that telemetric data from the launch of the missile is still being analyzed, but it is already clear that the missiles performed up to expectations.

3. Former U.S. president George H.W. Bush presented former president of the USSR Mikhail Gorbachev with the Presidential Medal of Freedom on Thursday. Bush praised the former Soviet leader’s role in history, saying he “opened up new possibilities for the world to come together and solve its problems in the pursuit of liberty. When Eastern Europeans were living in the dark shadow of the Cold War, he provided a beacon of light. Now, almost twenty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, we are still witnessing the positive impact his efforts have had across the globe. President Gorbachev is always looking ahead at a better future and helping all of us work to get there.”

4. Moody’s Investors Service commented on the situation on Russia’s financial markets. So far, the crisis hasn’t undermined the country’s sovereign score that is still at Baa1.

5. Gold and silver prices surged over 10 percent yesterday, hitting the abrupt-growth records of many years. The crude oil prices are rising again. The analysts attribute the boom on primary markets to panic-stricken investors that pull money out of financial market to invest in precious metal and commodities. The gold rally might end once the financial turmoil in the U.S. is over, the analysts warn.

6. The Davis Cup semifinal matches begin today, September 19, 2008. For Russia, it will be the most difficult standoff of this year. The match is played in Argentina and the team of that country has never been beaten at home for a decade already. In another semifinal, Spain clashes with the United States.

7. Russia’s Energy Ministry hopes that Russia and OPEK will sign a memorandum on cooperation in October 2008 in Moscow, the ministry’s head Sergei Shmatko told journalists today. He reiterated that the organization was currently reviewing a series of Russia’s suggestions, adding the country had been successfully cooperating with OPEC for the last 10 years and the new dialog format looked very promising.


Mikhail Gorbachev was receiving yet another award from the USA. But before he accepted this award he said a statement about Rice’s behavior yesterday at a press conference held before the award ceremony……

The ex-president of the USSR, Mikhail Gorbachev, stated that US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice should “use more caution in her call for the West to stand up against Russia, which she said has become “increasingly authoritarian at home and aggressive abroad.”

“I believe that the secretary of state should be more careful and should show greater calm and responsibility for her judgment in calling for the West to unite against Russia,” Gorbachev said through an interpreter at a press conference held before the Liberty Medal ceremony at the National Constitution Center.

Gorbachev made other interesting statements:

“Being unable to find answers to global challenges, politicians tend to use weapons instead. There is nothing more absurd and running counter to common sense,” He also said “There is a shortage of political will and political leadership in the world today.”

You know he is correct…..

Kyle & Svet

comments always welcome.

Here is Where You Will Find the Blog <-- (Status is Active)

Here is Where You Will Find the Market <-- (Status is Active)

Market Page 1 | Market Page 2 | Market Page 3