Dividends and As EU piles sanctions on Russia, some exemptions remain

On this Remembrance Day, we think about the young men and women who joined the military and fought for a war their country believed was very important. Most of the people are young because all militaries are dependent on young people to do extra ordinary tasks in time of war. Shoot real bullets at someone else who shoots real bullets at you. Thankfully the medical corps are very good at keeping people alive and the rehab centers have much better artificial limbs for people to continue to live long and productive lives.

If a country wishes not to engage in sending young men to battle, sanctions are the next best step. When Russia invaded Ukraine, the west including Europe and the US imposed sanctions on Russia hoping to send the economy into a recession.

In an article by Maina Stevis-Gridneff of The New York Times News Service, she wrote the European Union has named 1,236 people and 155 companies for sanctions, freezing their assets and blocking their access to trade in the EU. The EU has banned the trade of products in nearly 1,000 categories and hundreds of subcategories. Russia is one of the world’s largest exporters of oil and gas and the EU has a near total ban on oil.

There are some products that have not made it to the list including diamonds, nuclear power and some Russian oil deliveries.

Russian diamonds go to the diamond hub city of Antwerp, Belgium. The trade of rough Russian diamonds is worth $2.4 billion. The Bellllgian government says it would co-operate if diamonds made the list, but somehow when the European Commission meets, diamonds are not on the list.

Nuclear energy is more complex because power plants in France, Hungary, Slovakia, Finland and other countries depend on nuclear imports and the trade is worth $300 million.

Oil tankers move oil, and they are registered in every tax haven country around the world. One of the lobbying groups is mounted by Greek diplomats to allow Greek owned tankers to transport Russian oil to non-European destinations. According to Marine Traffic, a shipping data platform, more than half of the vessels transporting oil are Greek-owned. The movement of oil through Greek ships is one of Russia’s largest revenue streams.

Linking to dividend paying stocks, all countries around the world have diplomats who besides doing immigration concerns and tourists visas help out their country’s interests including corporate concerns. When a country does business in another country, the diplomats help the corporate interests lobby the government for assistance and remove barriers to business as corporate interests’ merger into a country’s interest. When that happens, companies have the government as a partner and as long as they abide by the law of the country, the partnership works well. It is good to have the government as a partner.

There are more questions than answers, till the next time – to raising questions.

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