Russia

Oil: the Perfect Storm

For the global oil industry, it has been a double whammy. First a foolish price war between two of the world’s three biggest producers, Russia and Saudi Arabia, drove the price per barrel down from almost $70 in early January to under $50 in early March. They were fighting each other for market share, and …

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Erdogan vs. The World

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is not an ‘Islamist’, in the extreme sense of the word. He doesn’t wear a suicide vest, he doesn’t behead people, he doesn’t even go around holding one finger up in the air to signify his hatred of those who fail to acknowledge the One True God. But he certainly …

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Putin the Immortal?

Five years ago somebody posted photographs on the internet showing a man who looked a lot like Vladimir Putin in photographs from 1920 and 1941. In both shots he was in military uniform, defending the interests of the Russian people then as he still does today. But how can this be? He wasn’t even born …

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Soleimani Killing

If the Iranians played the game the same way that Donald Trump does, then their revenge for the American assassination of Iran’s leading general, Qassem Soleimani, would be a simple tit-for-tat. Just kill US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, the man who actually organised the hit and then boasted about it. If Pompeo was too …

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Iran’s Game

The evidence is far from conclusive, but on balance Iran probably is behind the attacks on four oil tankers in the Gulf last month and two more last Thursday. Those attacks carefully avoided human casualties, so if they were Iranian, what was their goal? If it was Iran, the answer is obvious. Iran would be …

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