"Oil Price Surges as Blinken Floats Block on Russian Oil Imports, China Says Friendship with Russia “Rock Solid”, etc."
by Alexander Mercouris, The Duran News Topic 433 (March 7, 2022)

[20:23] Alexander Mercouris: "... its position is starting to look increasingly untenable. And this is happening also at the same time that the situation in Mariupol is becoming ever more difficult for the Ukraining forces which are bottled up there. So it could very well be that over the next couple of days we will see some kind of collapse in the Donbass, In Mariupol and on the part of this military grouping, in which case perhaps the Ukrainians will change their position. Anyway, that seems to me the situation on the military front."

[20:55] "Now, there has also been something else which is that there has been a major press conference in Beijing by the Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi. Now I should say that this is a major event and I'm going to cover it fully when the Chinese foreign ministry publishes a proper readout, which they haven't done at the moment. But he has been talking about certain things that the rest of the Chinese media has been discussing. And this is what China Daily said that he had to say about China's relationship with Russia. China Daily reports him saying:

[21:13 "Foreign Minister affirms importance of China-Russia friendship.' and it says that the state council and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Monday 'No matter how precarious and challenging the international situation may be, China and Russia will maintain strategic focus and steadily advance their strategic partnership of coordination for a new era. Speaking at a press conference on the sidelines of the fifth session of the thirteenth national people's congress in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Wang said 'The China-Russia relationship not only benefits their people but also helps world peace, stability and development.' Wang said the China-Russia relationship is valued for its independence. It is based on non-alliance, non-confrontation and non-targeting of any third party and it is free from any interference or discord sown by third parties. The friendship between the Chinese and Russian people is rock-solid and there is a bright prospect for bilateral cooperation.'"

[22:59] "Well, all of that suggests, and clearly is intended to show that the Chinese Russian relationship remains solid."

"Now, that brings me to a further point which I discussed yesterday, this partial disconnection of the Russian banking system from the VISA and MASTERCARD systems. I explained in my previous video that this only applies to cards issued outside Russia which cannot now work in Russia."

". . .

"So what we see is that rapid re-orientation of the Russian economy from its western links with the west, towards China is continuing, in some respects it is accelerating. That doesn't in any way affect the fact that Russia will go through a period of high economic turbulence over the next few months. But once this process is done, we will see the Russians integrated with the Chinese economic system. Aparently Turkey is now also floating the idea of transferring trade with Russia to Rubles and Lira, in other words to local currencies. Once all of that is done I have to say, being realistic about it, that will be a much more stable trading partnership than the one that Russia has repeatedly tried and failed to forge with the nations of the West."

[26:24] "Anyway, that is all I'm going to say about the current situation today. We'll see whether these negotiations between the Russians and the Ukrainians go anywhere. The word is that the Ukrainians are floating the possibility of embracing some kind of neutral status. I don't think the Russians take those kinds of assurances seriously. It doesn't seem as if the Ukrainians really have any intention of doing that. But that seems to me the situation. Negotiations going on in Belarus, more I suspect for appearance. The Russians don't want to make it seem as if their not interested in negotiations because that would make it difficult for their friends in China and India. So they're going through the motions of negotiating and, as I've said, though on the political settlement that's not going to achieve anything, it does have a practical consequence. It does mean that they can work with the government in Kiev to set up these humanitarian corridors and perhaps to negotiate terms for withdrawal. So, it's not without its uses, but nobody should expect it to achieve any political results because the pressure from the West [i.e., the U.S.] to do so at the moment is still not there.

[24:45] "So that's where we are with the negotiations. The military side of things it is clear that the days of that powerful Ukrainian military grouping in eastern Ukraine are now numbered, possibly in days, and the Russians seem to be tightening their grip on nearly all of eastern Ukraine and perhaps they've got other things in store. ... We see massive disruption in world energy markets very badly hitting the European economy especially. But, again with European leaders unable, apparently, to adjust to this or to take any real rational moves to respond to this. And we see the Chinese talking about how the friendship between the Chinese and Russian is rock-solid."

[28:44] "So that is where we are today. I think it's the 11th or the 12th day into this crisis. Mor from me soon."