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Iranian-Russian ‘Oil Smuggling’ Network Hit With U.S. Sanctions

Russia's Increasingly Aggressive Geopolitical Maneuvering

Politics, Geopolitics & Conflict

Ukraine: While the Ukraine-Russia conflict seems to be escalating, it’s still a lot of hot air at the moment. There are Russian war games in Belarus, UK arms shipments to Ukraine, and American senators pow-wowing on the ground in Kyiv. Germany has still shown no backbone in this game, and the coalition is growing more disunified in its position on Russia by the day. Russia will win the diplomatic victory here unless there is a German response that doesn’t bow to Russian money and politics.

Libya: Libya’s oil output is back up to 1.2 million bpd after a shut-in caused by a skirmish between the NOC head Sanalla and the Petroleum Facilities Guards (PFG). Whether they can maintain this without another crisis is questionable at best. Most recently, the speaker of Parliament Ageelah Saleh has said the current government’s mandate formally expired on December 24th, when elections were meant to be held but were then postponed. He’s calling for a new government to lead the country to elections, and that will start off another round of jockeying for control over oil and oil revenues to secure leadership.

China/Iran: On January 20th, China – ever-emboldened – reported official imports of Iranian crude despite sanctions. It was the first time in a year that China has done this officially. The official nature of this reporting is not without reason: Beijing plays an important role in the Iran nuclear talks, and this is its way of…

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