US, Russia exchange war rhetoric on Ukraine crisis

US, Russia exchange war rhetoric on Ukraine crisis
Sat Apr 19, 2014 08:33:15

While US President Barack Obama insists Russia would not dare confronting the US militarily, his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin has warned tht energy wars with Russia will make the West bleed.

Obama downplayed the military risks of plans to deploy American ground troops to Eastern Europe, boasting that Russia would not dare to challenge the US militarily, aware that American troops are “significantly superior.”

Obama further called on Moscow to stop recognizing independence of Crimea from the Ukrainian interim government.

Opportunities for the West to hurt the Russian economy are limited, President Putin said on Thursday. Europe cannot halt its purchase of Russian gas without inflicting pain on itself, and if Washington attempts to lower oil prices, the dollar will suffer.

If the West tries to damage Russia’s influence in the world energy market, efforts will likely backfire, the Russian President said during his twelfth annual televised question and answer session.

To really influence the world oil market a country would need to increase production and cut prices, which only Saudi Arabia could afford to do for the time being, Putin said.

Meanwhile, Russia supplies about one-third of Europe's energy needs, said Putin. Finland, for example, is close to Russia economically, as it receives 70 percent of its gas from Russia.

“Can Europe stop buying Russian gas? I think it's impossible…Will they make themselves bleed? That's hard to imagine,” the Russian president boasted.

"If prices decrease in the global market, the emerging shale industry will die,” Putin said.

The US shale industry has boosted domestic production, but President said that the so-called "shale revolution" was expensive and not quick to come.

Russia’s economy largely relies on energy. In 2013 more than 50 percent of the national budget was funded by gas and oil revenues. The main revenue comes from oil, as last year, oil revenues reached $191 billion, and gas $28 billion.


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