In a major development of Putin’s war against the Russian-based but US-Israel supported Oligarchy, the Russian president has forced the ‘nationalization’ of foreign-capital forces into becoming domesticated ‘Tycoons’. The latest developments today will likely affect the mining company Nornickel and the diamond producer Alrosa, two industries well established as globalist enclaves in world-trade.
In Russian discourse, an ‘Oligarch’ are those capitalists whose activities and profits are privatized and work towards globalist interests, whereas ‘Tycoons’ are those capitalists whose activities have been domesticated and their profits ultimately socialized towards national-sovereign interests. In functional terms, the project is to make Oligarchs into Tycoons, or simply put them out of business, ‘one way or another’. That means that the Tycoons are answerable to the Siloviki – the military/intelligence pillar of post-Soviet power in Russia.
In Marxian terminology, for example, this is the difference between the financial capitalists and the industrial capitalists, with orthodox Marxists differentiating the comparatively progressive role played by industrial capitalists, engaged in the production of actual tangible goods and services, as opposed to interest-seeking capitalists, represented by banks and similar.
While Marxism is no longer the official ideology of Russia, since the early 90’s, the discourse of its expert community reflects the Soviet-era education and manner of understanding the difference between these two ‘bourgeois’ sectors in a capitalist society. This conception is also circulated within corporatism models as well.
The successful Russian model has been based on replacing the ‘Oligarchs’ with ‘Tycoons’, retaining nominally ‘privatized’ functions of an existing bourgeoisie, but ultimately ‘socializing’ their activities towards the benefit of the Russian state and people. This has been a fifteen plus year process, as fixing things is a more arduous and painstaking endeavor than wrecking and breaking.
Officially, Russia says it has already won its war against the Oligarchs. The Kremlin says there are no more oligarchs. “The phrase ‘Russian oligarchs’ is considered inappropriate,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters in March of 2018. “The time when there were oligarchs in Russia passed long ago, there are no oligarchs in Russia.” At the same time, Putin has ‘pulled a Trump’, and explained that Peskov says any number of things that leaves him wondering where the statement came from.
To that end, major Russian exporters, miner Nornickel and diamond maker Alrosa have announced plans to use the national currency in mutual payments with their foreign partners. The initiative coincided with the strategic plans of the Russian government, according to business magazine Profil.
Nornickel is about 1/3rd owned or controlled by Olderfrey Holdings, a nebulous firm based in the Cyprus tax haven, a favorite intersection of Israeli, Russian, and ‘Greek’ financiers. Due to Cyprus’s unique privacy laws, similar to how Switzerland used to function in some regard, the board member information – that is, who really owns it – is not a matter of public record.
Whether or not there still exists an Oligarchy in Russia, FRN suspects there is, the dedollarization of Russian trade is meant as a blow against existing-or-would-be Oligarchs in the Russian Federation.
However, what western media refers to as ‘Oligarchs’ in Russia, are normally quite the opposite – they are Tycoons, and that is why they are vilified in the western, particularly US, media. The real Russian Oligarchs, which Putin wages war upon, or has, according to Peskov, already succeeded in, are what the US media refers to as ‘reformers’, ‘liberalizers’, ‘democracy advocates’, and ‘opposition supporters’.
The most famous oligarchs which Putin has had to deal with include Roman Abramovich, Alexander Abramov, Oleg Deripaska, Mikhail Prokhorov, Alisher Usmanov, German Khan, Viktor Vekselberg, Leonid Mikhelson, Vagit Alekperov, Mikhail Fridman, Vladimir Potanin, Pyotr Aven, and Vitaly Malkin.
Although the idea of gradual dedollarization of Russian trade has been on the Russian agenda for a long time, to date, information on exactly which companies, especially private ones, would have avoided the use of the dollar, isn’t easy to discern.
According to Profil , Nornickel and Alrosa, two major exporters, are taking steps to start using the ruble in payments with their partners.
In particular, Alrosa has already sold several batches of diamonds to buyers from China and India in rubles and said it is ready to continue applying this payment option in the future.
Nornickel, the Russian metallurgical giant, has not yet accepted payments in rubles, but is investigating several options for switching to Russian currency payments, the paper said.
These steps of the large Russian companies correspond to the recommendations of the Russian Central Bank and the strategic plans of Moscow to strengthen the positions of the national currency at regional and international level.
The wider use of national currencies would be a logical step not only for Russia, but for any country that is sanctioned by the US and therefore vulnerable to restrictions on the use of the dollar, the dominant currency in foreign trade, Profil stressed.
Analysts interviewed on the issue indicate that, in addition to Russia, China and India have been promoting this attitude and it is their partners in Moscow who have made the most progress in creating the necessary mechanisms to avoid the use of the dollar.
Neither does it deny that the arguments in favor of this initiative are political and not necessarily economic, since they have advantages and disadvantages for exporters.
An expert from Russian analyst firm Finam said that it is now possible and it is convenient to trade using the euro or the yuan. According to him, if the Russian government intends to make the ruble into a currency with a greater presence in international trade, the best revenue would be “to work towards increasing Russia’s contribution to world GDP so that more foreign partners have incentives to trade in rubles “.