As we end the week, Russia has changed the global strategic equation that has existed uncomfortably for many years with its invasion of Ukraine. With what consequences, it is much too early to say. How will the West respond, how will the Ukrainian people respond, to what extent will business interests impact on political decisions? All unknown. But many things that previously appeared solid are now in flux, which has implications far wider than the actual battlefield. China and Russia have many interests in common, particularly a common desire to see the world order be more independent of the Western powers that established it after WWII, but this event would appear to have created a dilemma for the Center, and it is hard to see how it will in the end benefit. Russia is not so dependent on the dollar network as it was in 2014 when it took over Crimea, but Mr P’s system and private companies and individuals still need some access to the world’s financial system, and that is presumably going to be constrained. Sanctions are going to be imposed, of a more or less stringent nature, and that might provide some opportunities, but also create potential risks. One also wonders what they knew and when they knew it, but it appears from the way the state media has handled it, that there was not an expectation of the full-scale invasion that has occurred. If that is true, it says something about the nature of the relationship. It’s going to be a busy weekend for many people, and the markets next week are going to be a roller coaster ride. But as a smart person once said, sell on the rumor, buy on the news. We’re already well into the news phase.
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