JRL NEWSWATCH: “Putin can’t afford to ditch the dollar” – Reuters/ Steven E. Halliwell

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“Paul Manafort, while managing Donald Trump’s 2016 election campaign, is accused of passing private polling data to his Russia business partner, a man with alleged ties to Russian intelligence. … revealed in an unsealed court filing … likely to stoke the case in Congress for increased sanctions …. [T]he reverberations will be felt in Moscow, where anger and frustration over … U.S. sanctions – and by implication … Putin’s leadership – is increasing. Putin [] … has … increase[d] nationalist rhetoric and defiance of U.S. power. … [aimed at] minimizing or eliminating use of the dollar … reducing what he sees as dependence on U.S. financial institutions. … a dangerous policy for Russian companies operating internationally, given how widely the dollar is used to settle everything from oil and gas sales to major trade contracts. … Putin’s policies are so bad for business that several heavyweights in the Russian financial world have begun to take the rare step of publicly examining the risks …. The possibility of further revelations of complicity between Russian intelligence and Trump associates augurs badly for any sanctions relief …. Will [Putin] continue to tell his oligarch friends to support a retreat into financial isolation? Or will he recognize that his political survival depends on accepting the reality that Russia is part of global financial markets? …”

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