BP profits plummet 21% as Russia sanctions bite

Screen Shot 2014-10-29 at 11.08.06 AM

Oil giant BP (British Petroleum) has suffered a fall in profits from July to September amid lower oil prices and the decreasing value of the ruble.

Europe’s third-largest company said it made $3bn (£1.86bn) in the third quarter, down from $3.7bn (£2.29bn) in the same period last year – a fall of 21 percent.

BP has invested heavily in Russia and owns a nearly 20 percent stake in Rosneft, the Russian state-run oil company. It is now feeling the impact of Western economic sanctions on Russia over the Ukraine crisis.

The company’s net income from the Rosneft stake dropped considerably – down to $110m from $808m in the same period last year.

BP said the depreciation of the ruble against the dollar was the reason for the drop in profits. Lower Urals oil prices also hurt profits, the London-based company said in a statement.

Crude oil prices dropped over the past four months by 25 percent to a four-year low of around $85 a barrel, due to slowing global demand, especially in China, and ample supplies.

However, it said the latest sanctions imposed on Russia in July “have had no material adverse impact on BP.”

British energy giant BP CEO Bob Dudley (AFP hoto / Vasily Maximov)British energy giant BP CEO Bob Dudley (AFP hoto / Vasily Maximov)

In turn, BP’s underlying oil and gas production, which excludes Russia, rose 4.1 percent.

Despite the drop in oil prices and profits, BP raised its dividend to 10 cents per share.

BP’s chief executive, Bob Dudley, remains positive: “Growing underlying production of oil and gas and a good downstream [refining oil] performance generated strong cash flow in the third quarter, despite lower oil prices. This keeps us well on track to hit our targets for 2014,” he said in a statement.

Rosneft delayed the publication of its own third quarter profit results without giving an explanation.

During the third quarter, BP paid out $314 million over the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion and the massive oil spillage that followed in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. BP has now paid out $20 billion in charges for the disaster.

GERMANY OF 1930S AND UKRAINE IN 2014: OMINOUS SIMILARITY

Screen Shot 2014-10-27 at 12.10.17 PM

Ukraine is tantamount to allowing a Nazi state emerge in the heart of Europe

by ALEXANDER DONETSKY | STRATEGIC CULTURE FOUNDATION | OCTOBER 27, 2014

If one compares the Germany of the 1920-1930s and the Ukraine of today – the similarity is striking.

The situation in the country allows a political party seen as a marginal one by the majority of population ride the wave of discontent to become a major political actor. It comes to power and establishes a dictatorship. Formally President von Hindenburg led the country, but the members of the National Socialist German Workers Party held all key government positions. Germany quickly turned into a totalitarian state. The same thing is taking place in Ukraine. Top government officials connive at advocates of Nazi ideology who grab all key positions. Only yesterday the Ukrainian Nazi were viewed as a marginal force and today they spread their views to make the ideology of national socialism permeate all aspects of public life.

* * *

Social nationalism is another name for the ideology of Ukrainian integral nationalism that emerged in the 1920-1940s. According to its founders, the ideology is a compilation of German Nazism and Italian fascism adapted to the Ukrainian realities. The Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) was the driving force spreading this ideology around. Stepan Bandera, one of the organization’s leaders, got a prison sentence in Poland for committing a terrorist act. He was freed by Hitler’s occupational force and recruited by Abwehr. Bandera went around by the nickname of Grey. Now the man is the most revered hero of the new Kiev regime. Eugene Konovalets (alias Consul), the first leader of OUN, and his successor Andrei Melnyk (Consul-2) also worked for Abwehr.

The revival of fascism in Ukraine started in the late 1980s. Underground student circles supported by Canada and US-based emigrants, former OUN fighters, sprang up in Lviv. As Ukraine became an independent state many groups emerged to announce themselves as ideological successors to the OUN’s Bandera group: UNA-UNSO (the Ukrainian National Assembly – Ukrainian People’s Self-Defense), the Congress of Ukrainian Nationalists, the Patriot of Ukraine, the Social-Nationalist Party (in 2005 renamed the All-Ukrainian Union Svoboda), the Social-National Party of Ukraine (SNPU), the Social-National Assembly of Ukraine (S.N.A.), the Stepan Bandera All-Ukrainian Organization ″Trizub″, the All-Ukrainian organization Sich etc. They all supported the idea of pure race totalitarian state and tough nationalist dictatorship ruled by the “leader of the nation”.

In the late 1920s-early 1930s German newspaper Welt am Abend warned about the possibility of Hitlerites coming to power. It wrote that fascist combat units formally got separated from the party to go underground and act as sports unions, sharp shooters clubs, skittles clubs and singing groups. The same thing took place in Ukraine in 1990-2010. The UNA-UNSO, Trizub and Svoboda monopolized all the paintball, shooting and martial arts clubs and associations of football fans and scouts. They spread their ideology among senior school-goers and students. The nationalist propaganda was especially aggressive in the universities of Lviv, Kiev, Kharkov where students responded en mass to the calls for violent overthrow of government and unleashing a nationalist revolution in Ukraine.

It had been known many months before the Maidan events that nationalists had been preparing a coup. In October 2012 one of Svoboda leaders made a speech at the meeting in honor of UPA calling on Neo-Nazi to foster military spirit and hone combat skills to fight the occupation force. Her colleague Yuri Mikhalchishin made precise that it was necessary to prepare for urban warfare and “make the enemies of Ukrainian nation eat asphalt”, meaning first of all Russians and Jews. A year later the Trizub leadership said at the press-conference that the plans existed to take power of the whole country and eliminate the enemies of the nation. The UNSO and the Patriot of Ukraine formally separated from Svoboda, that provided a training base for the party members, and started to run their own courses to master the combat, rappel assault and explosives handling skills, as well as tactics to capture buildings. The Pamyatka (Instruction) that was published in the third edition of Banderovets newspaper (2010) instructed everyone to learn martial arts, master military endurance sports, shooting and knife fight skills. The same newspaper explained what the training was required to seize power soon. The groups mentioned above, as well as outright racists and anti-Semitists, like “fighters for the purity of white race” from White Hammer, became the main fighting force during the coup that took place in Kiev in February 2014. Like in the case of German SA, the groups’ militants formed units called “hundreds of Maidan self-defense”. The fascist Germany used the “Sieg Heil!” greeting as a way of saluting. The activists of Maidan-2014 movement greeted each other with words “Long Live Free Ukraine!” to be answered with “Long Live Heroes!” in response, the very same way it is practiced by Bandera followers. As time went by this semi-official All-Ukrainian greeting became the official way to hail each other in the Ukrainian armed forces. They salute with right hand – a well-known gesture. The OUN red-black flag became the second semi-official flag of Ukraine that inherited the Nazi symbols – blood and soil.

* * *

Coming to power Arseniy Yatsenyuk, Alexander Turchinov and Petro Poroshenko could not but express gratitude to neo-Nazi for the support. Valentin Nalivaichenko has close links to Trizub, the group which served as a basis for Pravy Sector (a Ukrainian nationalist political party). He was appointed the head of Ukrainian Security Service. Andriy Parubiy is the founder of the Patriot of Ukraine and Social-Nationalist Party. He got the position of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council. Igor Smeshko, a retired Colonel-General (three stars), is the founder of Sich which is part of Social-National Assembly of Ukraine. Some time ago he was appointed presidential advisor and chairman of the presidential committee for intelligence. Sergey Kwit banned the use of Russian language on the territory of Kiev Mohyla Academy that he headed at the time. Now he became the Minister of Education. Ihor Shvaika and Andrey Mohnik, the Svoboda political party members, now head, accordingly, the ministries of agriculture and ecology and natural resources. There are many other people who hold less important positions to instill the ideological mixture of Italian fascism and German Nazism into all spheres of life from economy to military training, from art and TV to school education.

On October 6, Odessa-based Timer published the text of school dictation for Ukrainian language learners. Here is a fragment, that goes as, “We – the children of Ukraine and she is our mother. Mothers, as is known, are not chosen. Honest people. Born Ukrainians, the people of Little Russia refuse to recognize their native mother and go to stepmother to serve her as if she were the one to give them birth…These creatures only look like humans being scum of the earth in reality. They are only half humans even if they have higher education and academic degrees. Since a long time ago they deserve to be behind bars in Ukrainian jails. The prisons shed tears willing to accommodate their “clients”. Don’t cry, prisons, your time will come, Ukrainophobes will be behind bars and not as your guests. They will come to stay forever. And then the Ukrainian society will get rid of this trash, this unbearable filth and shame”.

Yuri Mikhalchishin is appointed deputy head of the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) responsible for analysis and ideological work. Since 2012 Mikhalchishin is a member of Ukrainian parliament and one of leading ideologists of Nazi Svoboda party. He played a pivotal role in making public the speeches of Goebbels to be read in Ukraine now. He believes that the social nationalist revolution is ahead to change the world and “only the people with new mindset and pattern of action can create the new life as they are not burdened by the past”.

Valentin Nalivaichenko, the head of Ukrainian counterintelligence, has been a sponsor of terrorist organization Trizub for a few years being involved in the combat training of its members. With him at the helm one can imagine what kind of ideological work his deputy Yuri Mikhalchishin will do!

Like Gestapo in the fascist Germany the Ukrainian Security Service is not under the jurisdiction of administrative courts. To oppose its activities one cannot appeal to justice like in the case of other state bodies. The same way as Gestapo the service enjoys the right of preventive arrest without a court decision. Like the subordinates of Heinrich Himmler in the 1930s-1940s the Ukrainian Security Service operatives supervise the implementation of the slave labor program called “public works”. The agency led by Nalivaichenko is notorious for cruel tortures and beatings. The fact is proven by ample evidence provided by the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s republics self-defence forces servicemen, as well as civilians accused of separatism. The Ukrainian counter-intelligence operatives practice assassinations of the government’s political opponents. For instance Alexander Samoilov, the pro-rector of Kharkiv International Slavic University, was detained by Ukrainian Security Service in Kharkiv together with some other “separatists”.

Turning a blind eye on the similarities between the Germany of Hitler and the contemporary Ukraine is tantamount to allowing a Nazi state emerge in the heart of Europe. The state that poisons their people by inculcating the ideology of the ethnic exclusiveness, propagates the idea of physical extermination of dissidents and feeds the dreams of global domination exercised by militarized Ukraine going nuclear. It’s not an exaggeration: it’s enough to read the program of any organization mentioned in the article to see that the affirmation is true.

UNESCO: CRIMEA PART OF UKRAINE, NOT RUSSIA

Screen Shot 2014-10-24 at 12.35.28 PM

UNESCO’s Executive Board voted Thursday to recognize Crimea as part of Ukraine, not Russia

KIEV, Ukraine, Oct. 24 (UPI) — The U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization has affirmed Crimea’s status as part of Ukraine.
Ukrainian deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Kyslytsya announced on Twitter Thursday that “UNESCO has confirmed that Crimea belongs to Ukraine irrespective of what Russia says and how [it] tries to bluff its way [through the Russian-Ukrainian crisis].”

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs noted that UNESCO’s Executive Board convened Thursday, voting overwhelmingly in favor of recognizing Crimea as part of Ukraine. Three out of the 25 member countries voted against.

Screen Shot 2014-10-24 at 12.37.29 PM

The Ukrainian government continues to refute Russia’s claim of control over Crimea. On June 26, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko told a session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg that “Our relations cannot be normalized [with Russia] without the return of Crimea.”

Read more: http://www.upi.com/Top_News/World-News/2014/10/24/UNESCO-Crimea-part-of-Ukraine-not-Russia/3201414166481/#ixzz3H5L3kCyH

MH17 victim found wearing oxygen mask – Dutch FM

Capture

One of the passengers of the MH17 plane shot down over Ukraine was wearing an oxygen mask, Dutch Foreign Minister Franz Timmermans has said. This new revelation contradicts assumptions that all 298 people on board the plane died instantly.

Kiev seeks access to MH17 site to back ‘prefabricated’ crash version – Moscow

Timmermans’ comments suggest that the Boeing-777-200 shot down three months ago might not have fallen apart immediately after the aircraft was hit, killing all people aboard, if at least one passenger remained conscious and managed to pull an oxygen mask on.

“People hardly had time to notice the missile coming, but do you know that one of the victims was found with an oxygen mask over their mouth?” Timmermans said Thursday, HOC TV channel reported.

“This means that someone had time to do that,” he said. “At least, we cannot rule out this possibility.”

Dutch prosecutors have confirmed that one flight MH17 passenger, an Australian citizen, was found with the elastic strap of an oxygen mask around his neck.

It is not known “how or when the mask got around the victim’s neck,” AP quoted Wim de Bruin, a spokesman for Dutch prosecutors, as saying.

Dutch prosecutors said that no other MH17 victim was found with an oxygen mask on.

Members of the Ukrainian Emergencies Ministry gather and place bodies at the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, near the village of Hrabove, Donetsk region (Reuters / Maxim Zmeyev)Members of the Ukrainian Emergencies Ministry gather and place bodies at the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, near the village of Hrabove, Donetsk region (Reuters / Maxim Zmeyev)

Magomed Talboev, Russia’s former top test pilot, told Slon.ru that finding one MH17 victim with an oxygen mask on does not necessarily contradict previously assumptions about the immediate death of everyone aboard.

“A couple of seconds could pass before the plane disintegrated,” Talboev said. “This is enough to grab a mask that falls automatically in front of your face and put it on – this is [survival] instinct.”

The Malaysian Airlines plane was shot down on July 17, flying from Amsterdam in the Netherlands to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. It crashed near Torez, a settlement 60 kilometers from the Russian border, in the warzone where Ukrainian troops were fighting Donetsk self-defense forces. All 283 passengers and 15 crewmembers died.

Because most of the victims, 196 passengers, were Dutch citizens, the Dutch Safety Board (DSB) is leading and coordinating the investigation of an international group of experts.

One month ago, on September 9, the DSB issued a preliminary report into the crash, saying that the plane “broke up in the air, probably as the result of structural damage caused by a large number of high-energy objects that penetrated the aircraft from outside.”

Everyone onboard died instantly because of immediate decompression, the report said, without mentioning any use of oxygen masks.

Because active military operations were continuing near the MH17 crash site, forensic experts were unable to recover evidence on the ground, and not all the bodies have been recovered three months on. After the Sept. 5 ceasefire agreement was reached between the warring parties, investigation activities at the crash site zone resumed.

So far, the bodies of 251 MH17 victims have been identified by Dutch officials in The Hague.

PANETTA: OBAMA AN INCOMPETENT LIAR

Capture

Former CIA director criticizes president

October 8, 2014 by Joe Saunders

It’s not often that a former defense secretary calls a sitting president an incompetent liar on national television.

But that’s exactly what Leon Panetta did Tuesday night in a wide-ranging interview with Fox News host Bill O’Reilly.

oreillypanetta1008And the results were “utterly devastating” for President Obama.

That was the take from conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer, who summed up Panetta’s sometimes carefully worded responses bluntly.

“He was basically saying this president cannot lead,” Krauthammer said. “He’s indecisive and he’s weak.’

And he’s driven more by the Democrat politics of his liberal base than by the national security of the country.

“It’s not just indecisiveness and how tentative Obama is,” Krauthammer said. “But also about how political he is. “

As usual, Krauthammer nailed it.

During the interview, part of a promotional tour for Panetta’s insider memoir “Worthy Fights,” O’Reilly hammered on the disastrous developments on the world stage in the two years since Obama’s re-election. Panetta offered weak defenses for the president that were barely defenses at all.

Do our enemies fear us? O’Reilly asked at one point.

“The last two years have been a lot of mixed messages,” Panetta answered.

He all but admitted the administration’s response to the Benghazi terror attack in 2012 (an allegedly spontaneous reaction to a video almost nobody saw) was a lie to the American people. The contrast between Panetta’s responses and the president’s during his Super Bowl interview with O’Reilly was particularly damaging to Obama.

He acknowledged the White House had been caught by surprise by Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine and the rise of the Islamic State terrorist army in Iraq and Syria – even the summer’s border crisis that saw tens of thousands of illegal immigrants from Central American overwhelm American border facilities in the Southwest.

And he offered possibly the most damning judgment possible of a man entrusted to lead the world’s superpower: Incompetence verging on cowardice.

“Barack Obama has the guts to do the right thing, the real question is, will he make the decision to do so?” Panetta said. “He knows what needs to be done. What he’s got to do is develop the will to fight – to get into the ring, in order to make it happen.”

There’s no way for Democrats to sugar coat that kind of judgment about a man they once hailed as the savior of the country – not when it comes from another man Krauthammer called “an icon of the Democratic Party.”

11 Important Headlines From the Past Week That Are Not About 2016, Fence Jumpers or Ebola

By Katrina Jorgensen 22 hours ago

IJ Review brings you “just the facts” from the top international headlines of last week, in 11 quick, easy-to-read bits.
1) ISIS Beheads Aid Worker

Screen Shot 2014-10-06 at 12.01.02 PM

The Islamic State has continued its campaign of fear by beheading Alan Henning, a British humanitarian aid worker. The terrorists have also threatened the life of American Peter Kassig, another aid provider.
Kassig’s family responded with a YouTube video asking ISIS to spare their son’s life, and encouraging the world to pray for Henning’s family and everyone held captive including their son.
A new report from the UN about the Islamic State says massive human rights crimes have been committed by the organization. At least 26,000 Iraqis have died this year.
2) Brazil’s Election Outcome Uncertain
Dilma Rousseff receives Presidential sash
Dilma Rousseff receives Presidential sash
Brazilians are heading to the polls today in one of the most exciting elections of the year. President Dilma Rousseff has faced a tough race from dark horse candidate and environmentalist Marina Silva, who suddenly began winning voters in August when she joined the race.
But just yesterday a poll showed Aecio Neves, a former governor, ahead of [correction] Silva in the polls. A run-off between Rousseff and one of these opponents is expected.
3) Bulgarians Head to the Polls Today
Boyko Borisov, former PM of Bulgaria may win again this weekend
Boyko Borisov, former PM of Bulgaria may win again this weekend
Bulgaria has parliamentary elections today. A transitional government has been in place since fall 2013, due to political gridlock and tough economic issues. The center-right GERB party is expected to win, putting former prime minister Boyko Borisov back in charge.
Borisov resigned in February 2013 due to massive anti-corruption protests. Then a socialist-led government took over, but also resigned in August of last year.
4) Palestine Seeks Greater Recognition at Israel’s Expense
The U.S. still does not recognize Palestine as a state at the UN.
The U.S. still does not recognize Palestine as a state at the UN.
The Palestinians have drafted a U.N. resolution that is not formalized yet, but would end what the resolution calls the Israeli occupation by 2016. The UN Security Council would need to unanimously approve the resolution.
Additionally, this week Sweden became the first EU country to recognize Palestine as a state and has begun pressuring other EU countries, particularly the UK, to follow suit. Israel has summoned the Swedish envoy over the issue.
5) Russia Ends Student Exchange with U.S.
FLEX (Future Leaders Exchange) has given thousands of students in Eurasia the opportunity to visit the U.S.
FLEX (Future Leaders Exchange) has given thousands of students in Eurasia the opportunity to visit the U.S.
The Kremlin has halted a student exchange program that sends Russian high-schoolers to the U.S. for a year. The Kremlin claimed they wanted to stop the influence of homosexual couples that applied to act as guardians.
More than 8,000 Russian students have participated in the program in the last 21 years. Alumni of the program and students hoping to be selected have protested the move. The U.S. has expressed disappointment in Moscow’s decision.
6) New Opposition for Putin
The guilt verdict against Mikhail Khodorkovsky in 2005 was more than 600 pages long
The guilt verdict against Mikhail Khodorkovsky in 2005 was more than 600 pages long
New on the scene in internal Russian politics, former Russian oil-tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky has announced plan to lead an anti-Kremlin movement. Khodorkovsky was pardoned by Putin after spending 8 years in prison for what is seen as trumped-up charges connected to privatizing his business.
7) Suicide Boming in the Capital of Chechnya
Grozny, the capital of Chechnya
Grozny, the capital of Chechnya
Grozny, the capital of Russia’s Chechnya, celebrated its 196th “City Day” today. But the celebration was marred by a suicide bomber, who blew himself up when questioned by police outside of a concert venue. Four police officers were killed and four more wounded in the explosion.
Chechnya has a history of violence and Islamic terrorism but the current Moscow-backed leader has sought to crack down on militants. The last, major suicide attack happened in 2011.
8) Latvia’s Center-Right Coalition Retains Power
Laimdota Straujuma will stay as Prime Minister of Latvia
Laimdota Straujuma will stay as Prime Minister of Latvia
After elections this weekend, Latvia’s center-right coalition government has managed to retain power. However, Harmony, a pro-Russia party still has significant power, winning 24 seats in the Latvian parliament. Harmony is made up of mostly ethnic Russians favoring closer ties with Moscow.
9) Syria’s Border Towns Under Heavy Attack
Anti-Assad demonsration in Kobani
Anti-Assad demonstration in Kobani
As the U.S. and allies turn their air power on the ISIS militants in Syria, the city of Kobani has been under heavy attack from all sides. Kobani is only one of many Syrian cities experiencing increased violence, but the city’s unique location on the edge of Turkey makes it militarily significant.
Kobani has been defended on the ground by Kurdish forces and bombed from the air by Americans and British, but has remained under siege by the Islamic State. Turkey has recently made promises to work against the militants on the border, despite threats from Syria’s President Assad.
10) Ukraine’s Ceasefire Fails to Hold
ViceNews reports on non-Ukrainian fighters in Donetsk
ViceNews reports on non-Ukrainian fighters in Donetsk
Pro-Russian separatists have made a renewed effort to take back the government-held airport in Donetsk. Twelve have died in clashes over the weekend as the ceasefire continues to be broken. On Friday, Ukraine’s government accused Russia of helping the separatists in the most recent assault on the areas.
11) Hong Kong Protests Still Ongoing
Protest in Hong Kong being nicknamed the Umbrella Revolution
Protest in Hong Kong being nicknamed the Umbrella Revolution
After a week of protests that halted both government and business in Hong Kong, protesters continue to stand their ground, seeking greater independence from China through democracy. Both protesters and the government have expressed a willingness to start a dialogue, but neither side will agree to the other’s preconditions.
Hong Kong’s Chief Executive C.Y. Leung has ordered the protesters to disperse by Monday. The protesters have been calling for his resignation.

Biden says US ‘embarrassed’ EU into sanctioning Russia over Ukraine

Capture

America’s leadership had to embarrass Europe to impose economic hits on Russia over the crisis in Ukraine – even though the EU was opposed to such a motion, US Vice President Joe Biden revealed during a speech at Harvard.

“We’ve given Putin a simple choice: Respect Ukraine’s sovereignty or face increasing consequences,” Biden told a gathering at the John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum at Harvard University’s Institute of Politics on Thursday.

The consequences were the sanctions which the EU imposed on Russia, first targeting individual politicians and businessmen deemed responsible for the crisis in Ukraine, then switching to the energy, defense, and economic sectors.

“It is true they did not want to do that,” Biden admitted.

“It was America’s leadership and the president of the United States insisting, oft times almost having to embarrass Europe to stand up and take economic hits to impose costs,” the US vice president declared.

Those costs deemed behind the ruble’s historic plunge not only forced America’s ExxonMobil to retreat from Russia’s Arctic shelf, but also provoked counter-measures from Moscow, which suspended certain food imports from the EU.

Russia’s counter-sanctions have hit many of the EU’s agricultural states. EU members, particularly those close to Russia, were the most affected by the loss of the Russian market.

For instance, the Netherlands – the world’s second-largest exporter of agricultural products – is set to lose 300 million euro annually from canceled business with Russia, as it accounts for roughly 10 percent of Dutch exports of vegetables, fruit, and meat.

At the same time, Poland was hit hard by the Kremlin’s sanctions, as its food exports to Russia totaled $1.5 billion in 2013.

Spain, a large exporter of oranges to Russia, is estimated to miss out on 337 million euro ($421 million) in food and agriculture sales, while Italy has estimated its losses at nearly 1 billion euro ($1.2 billion).

Following pressure from local farmers, a 125 million euro EU Commission Common Agricultural Policy fund was established, from which the growers are expected to get some cash, while Amsterdam is willing to cover the cost of transporting excess produce to eight food banks across Holland.

Overall, Moscow’s one-year food embargo against the EU, the US, Norway, Australia, and Canada will block an estimated $9 billion worth of agricultural exports to Russia.

With European countries now at a loss with apple and dairy surplus, it is not exactly clear whether EU producers will be able to return to the Russian markets after the one-year ban expires.

However, this is no secret to the US, as Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland remarked on Thursday.

“Implementing sanctions isn’t easy and many countries are paying a steep price. We know that. But history shows that the cost of inaction and disunity in the face of a determined aggressor will be higher,” Nuland said.

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland (R) and U.S. Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt (2nd R) distribute bread to riot police near Independence square in Kiev December 11, 2013. (Reuters / Andrew Kravchenko)U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland (R) and U.S. Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt (2nd R) distribute bread to riot police near Independence square in Kiev December 11, 2013. (Reuters / Andrew Kravchenko)

Nuland’s reference to necessary action against the “aggressor” might be taken with a grain of salt by the Europeans, as the “F**k the EU” leak is still fresh in their memory.

The four-minute video – titled ‘Maidan puppets,’ referring to Independence Square in Ukraine’s capital – was uploaded by an anonymous user to YouTube.

READ MORE: ‘F**k the EU': Snr US State Dept. official caught in alleged phone chat on Ukraine

Nuland was recorded as saying the notoriously known phrase during a phone call with US Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt, as the two were seemingly discussing a US-preferred line-up of the Ukrainian government. It apparently referred to Washington’s policy differences with those of the EU on ways of handling the Ukrainian political crisis, with Nuland suggesting to “glue this thing” with the help of the UN and ignore Brussels.

The US State Department did not deny the authenticity of the video and stressed that Nuland had apologized for the “reported comments.”