EDITORIAL: Russia is #10!

EDITORIAL

Russia is #10!

In yet another stunning proof of Russia’s absolute failure as a civilized, modern country under Vladimir Putin, global risk manager  Maplecroft has just published the results of a worldwide study of 196 countries and found that a truly shocking 186 of them were less risky to do business in than Russia.  You read that right: Russia is the 10th most dangerous place to do business on this planet.

Russia is keeping company with virulent hell-holes like Somalia, Pakistan, Congo and Iraq.  Maplecroft classifies Russia as an “extreme risk country” and states:

Russia’s increased risk profile reflects both the heightened activity of militant Islamist separatists in the Northern Caucasus and their ambition to strike targets elsewhere in the country. Russia has suffered a number of devastating terrorist attacks during 2010, including the March 2010 Moscow Metro bombing, which killed 40 people. Such attacks have raised Russia’s risk profile in the Terrorism Risk Index and Conflict and Political Violence Index. The country’s poor performance is compounded by its ‘extreme risk’ ratings for its business environment, corporate governance and the endemic nature of corruption, which is prevalent throughout all tiers of government.

Challenges for companies operating in Russia also stem from an ineffective legal and regulatory system, which includes a lack of judicial independence from the government. This was seen most recently in the politicised case against jailed Yukon oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky, which most commentators dubbed a show trial. Russia is rated ‘high risk’ in Maplecroft’s Rule of Law Index, and companies should monitor the increasing risk of poor contract enforcement and expropriation.

Ouch. that’s just about as bad as it gets for a country with pretensions to G-8 and UN Security Council membership. Instead of being a member, what’s clear is that Russia is part of the problem those entities are trying to solve. It’s a wolf in the sheep pen, a fox in the chicken coop.  It’s a rogue nation, an outlaw, a barabaric throwback.

It’s a demon.

It’s not just Maplethcroft who thinks so, of course.  Russia is the world’s most corrupt major economy according to Transparency International’s 2010 Corruption Perceptions Index.  In TI’s most recent survey, Russia fell to the 154th spot among 178 countries, placing it alongside Tajikistan and Kenya.

The reason Russia languishes in such a pathetic, wretched backwater is perfectly clear:  Denial.  Russia as a nation is psychologically ill, unable to accept blame and unable to reform.  When presented with impartial data of this kind, Russians merely attack the source, claiming it is the product of hatred and jealousy designed to bring Russia down. This is exactly the same tactic employed in Soviet times, the same tactic that prevented Russia from addressing its grievous faults. This in turn allowed those faults to fester and grow, eating away at the foundation of the country until it inevitably collapsed.

Seeing that collapse, how did Russians respond?  The returned the selfsame entity, the KGB, which had been primarily responsible for the downfall to power, and allowed it to reconstruct not a new country but an exact replica of the state that had just failed so spectacularly.

Here we go again.

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32 responses to “EDITORIAL: Russia is #10!

  1. the bit about denial is spot on. It’s the same vicious circle over and over again, and it was’t just the USSR that was plagued by it, it dates back all the way to Ivan Kalita, the guy who strengthened the duchy of Moscow by cooperating with the Golden Horde and collecting ‘protection money’ on the Tartars’ behalf from the other Russian city states. Then not a long time after that there was Ivan the Terrible, a total psychopath, and on it went.

    • Well said Igor.

      • Manfred Steifschwanz

        And so the question inevitably becomes:

        How far away exactly is Russia’s collapse?

        • Russia’s unique in that it’s always been in a state of continuous never ending collapse. Collapse is just another word for Russia.

          • Manfred Steifschwanz

            It seems as if sweet little Kim is busy deleting my posts. I re-iterate that the “collapse” being hinted at here is a total joke. Take that.

            • Thats because your posts are usually full of offensive words translated by Google translate into French or German.

              And your opinions are worthless.

            • MS

              Try writing something intelligent for a change – oops sorry, an impossible task in itself for you – and I bet “sweet little Kim” will stop deleting your far fetched junk mail!

              • Manfred Steifschwanz

                >> Try writing something intelligent for a change >>

                Right — here goes. BOOOOO for Russia!!! Putin killed my mother before I was born, and Stalin killed Avogadro’s number of people.

                I’m making progress, am I not?

                • Nope you’re not making any progress, MS – none whatsoever – period. Sorry to hurt your feelings but you in fact scored a big fat ‘zilch’ on account of you being in regression mode.

                • MS (he whose opinions are worthless)

                  And furthermore where do you get all that crap that you dream up? Is it from your paymaster, that KGB thug , V Putin. Go on don’t be shy spill your “guts”, so to speak.

        • Russia` s collapse is (or will be) only in brains of LR`s addictive people . Some dudes of them (for example Andrew) continuously write they poor predictions about my country. Russian`s collapse, Russian`s collapse write they. But time goes year by year and Russia becomes only more and more power and successfull country. So people like Andrew are only powerless clowns who hated Russia.

          • So thats why Russia has a murder rate more than 3 times that of the USA?

            The Monograds are collapsing, due to the poor standard of the products they produce, and Russian industry in general is in collapse?

            All you are is a primary resources provider.

            Pretty pathetic for a country of 140 million that.

          • Anton, with all due respect, but your comments are a vivid illustration of the state of denial about the real state of affairs in Russia that a lot of Russian people unfortunately seem to be unable to break out of.
            With every passing year Russia’s sinking ever deeper into the quagmire of corruption, lawlessness, xenophobia, dependence on natural resources and so on and so forth. Now if you call that power and success then further argument with you is pointless.

            What I can’t understand is why you and other people like you insist that telling the truth about how things really are in Russia is tantamount to hating it? In your book, probably Pushkin, Lermontov, Gogol and all the other great Russian and Ukrainian writers are little more than paranoid haters of Russia, because they dared speak the truth about it at one time or another.

  2. “The reason Russia languishes in such a pathetic, wretched backwater is perfectly clear: Denial.”

    Yeah right on:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/energy/oilandgas/8262047/US-left-wounded-as-Putin-seals-BP-deal.html

  3. It’s really a pity: seems, like top guys at British Petroleum never read this survey (and, I’m afraid, never heard about “global risk manager Maplecroft” even once in their entire life).

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2011/jan/16/american-hostility-bp-deal-russia

    Sold 5% of their stake to Rosneft? Oh. What a nice, loud slap in some russophoblic faces.

    • I don’t blame BP. Being in the oil business, they have very little choice. For some very strange reason, there are a very few normal countries having significant amounts of oil reserves. Majority of oil belongs to corrupt third world countries or dictatorships, or both, such as Iran, Arab regimes, Nigeria, Russia, Mexico, Venezuela, Burma and the like.

      So, BP and other multi-nationals in the oil business hold their noses but do business with these regimes. There is simply not enough business in Norway or Canada.

      • It has to be said, though, that regrettably, doing business in corrupt third world dictatorships can often be more profitable for big multinational corporations – in a country like Russia, you don’t have to bother with environmental protection or abiding by local regulations, you just pay off a few key officials who then go and coerce everyone else into working with you regardless of whether it’s profitable for them or not. That’s one of the reasons why big oil companies rarely shy away from operating in third world dictatorships

        • And so we have arrived at the BIG question, Dear Comrades:

          Are the multinational corporations powerless as compared to the Third World, or is there maybe some kind of relationship between “corrupt third world dictatorships” and unbridled, corporate gangsterism?

        • Of course Igor. But the main reason is even simpler — they do business in these countries because that’s where God for some reason deposited all that oil. They have no other place to choose.

          • There’s oil in the North Sea(off Norway and the UK), the US, Alaska (part of the US) and Canada. Imho operating in a dictatorship it can to a certain extent be easier to keep your operating costs down since you can just bribe the dictator and pump the oil using dirt cheap local labor and not having to care about environmental protection or heavy taxes, so these factors must play a role in the decision making process at the big oil corporations.

  4. No, of course you don’t blame BP. Westerners are, after all, not renowned for siding against Western monopoly capital — the indispensable force for being able to spend other peoples’ natural resources and labour output. The ‘funny’ part is when you let your heart (or whatever) out, blubbering to the effect that poor old BP must deal with wicked countries, governments, and — by extension — peoples worldwide. Supposedly, trashing the livelihoods and the habitats of savages for oil accompanied by a few ecocides off-shore is no reason to stir up trouble. What total rot.

    • I don’t understand what you mean by saying “trashing the livelihoods” of the third-world country populations. BP and others buy oil which mean they pay money for it. Prices are established by the OPEC to a large degree, or else by the world markets.

      What would happen with those livelihoods if there were no buyers? Don’t those countries live off the proceeds? Are those Russians and Burmese and Arabs and the rest would drink all that oil if BP would not buy it?

      • RV,

        When your mentor – your toilet cleaning lady boss – told you that Burma had a lot of oil reserves, she was putting you on.

        • There is no Burma anymore, but Myanmar does in fact have enormous reserves of oil and gas. If your statement about my “mentor” was designed to be humorous, you have failed

          • RV,

            Please remind me where Myanmar has oil and how much.

            • Here we go sub-simian:

              http://www.mmtimes.com/feature/energy/04.htm

              and

              According to 2006 figures from the Energy Information Administration, the data arm of the U.S. Department of Energy, Myanmar has approximately 150 million barrels of crude oil reserves, while its natural gas reserves are between 10 trillion cubic feet and 13 tcf. Although modest by the standards of Iran and Russia, Myanmar’s natural gas reserves place it in league with countries such as Brazil and Syria. And more importantly its location provides it a captive market in China, India and South Korea.

              http://www.energy-daily.com/reports/Analysis_Gas_oil_get_Myanmar_off_hook_999.html

            • Oh and this:

              Myanmar has abundance of natural gas resources in the offshore areas. With three main large offshore oil and gas fields and 19 onshore ones, Myanmar has proven recoverable reserve of 18.012 TCF or 510 billion cubic-meters (BCM) out of 89.722 TCF or 2.54 trillion cubic-meters (TCM)’s estimated reserve of offshore and onshore gas, experts said.

              The country is also estimated to have 3.2 billion barrels of recoverable crude oil reserve, official statistics indicate.

              http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/200612/13/eng20061213_332020.html

              • Thanks Andrew. I remember very vividly that not long ago there was a public relations campaign against some large energy multinationals (was it BP or maybe Chevron or Shell?) and calls for boycotts and such, for their co-operation with the Myanmarian junta. Which is enough to conclude that the country is very oil and gas rich, or those multinationals would not be there.

  5. Andrew wrote: “Here we go sub-simian: According to 2006 figures from the Energy Information Administration, the data arm of the U.S. Department of Energy, Myanmar has approximately 150 million barrels of crude oil reserves

    150 million barrels, eh? That’s a lot?! Let’s see…

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_proven_oil_reserves

    List of countries by proven oil reserves

    This is a list of countries by proven reserves of oil based on The World Factbook as of 2010-07-05

    47 Thailand 441,000,000 0.03%
    50 Italy 406,500,000 0.03%
    51 Ukraine 395,000,000 0.03%
    54 Germany 276,000,000 0.02%
    56 Albania 199,100,000 0.01%
    57 Belarus 198,000,000 0.01%
    63 Cuba 124,000,000 0.01%
    64 France 103,300,000 0.01%
    67 Netherlands 100,000,000 0.01%
    68 Poland 96,380,000 0.01%
    69 Papua New Guinea 88,000,000 0.01%
    72 Croatia 79,300,000 0.01%
    73 Serbia 77,500,000 0.01%
    74 New Zealand 60,000,000 0.00%
    75 Austria 50,000,000 0.00%
    76 Burma 50,000,000 0.00%

    ///////////////////

    So, 76th in the World, eh? And only 50 million out of the claimed 150 million Burma’s barrels were proven by 2005, which was 9 times less oil than its neighbor Thailand, and about the same amount as such oil “giants” as New Zealand, Austria and Serbia?

    Andrew wrote: “Here we go sub-simian

    Yes, you are. And not only here. And don’t refer to yourself in plural.

    RV wrote: “Which is enough to conclude that the country is very oil and gas rich, or those multinationals would not be there.

    Yes, it is gas rich, but has very little oil to speak of.

    • Oh, hi voice of retardation.

      All I was doing was showing you that Burma/Myanmar do have oil reserves.

      Your snide and as usual asinine comments implied they did not.

      And as for the proven reserves, yes, 50,000,000 proven, however once again The country is also estimated to have 3.2 billion barrels of recoverable crude oil reserve, official statistics indicate.

      The Chinese certainly think so.

      And they keep finding more all the time

      http://en.sxcoal.com/615/49852/DataShow.html

      Also, try and remember moron, that a huge amount of Myanmar/Burmas oil is offshore.

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