(3-16-14) The global geopolitical situation has deteriorated even further and that is pressuring the markets. The Germans have stepped up their rhetoric as Andrea Merkel has been virtually threatening Russia over the Ukraine situation. Of course the Germans aren't in a position to threaten anybody because they have become a fifth-rate power. The presumption is that Europe can take a hard line, acting as a proxy for the United States.
This is what has happened in recent years, but with Obama in power, who is not going to want to step up to the plate and go toe-to-toe with the Russians, even as the Russians are not going to change what they’re going to do. They know the European threats are meaningless. They know that they can cut off the gas to Europe in about 24 hours which is going to hurt the European economy.
The United States can't replace that natural gas even though it has the ability to do so because Democrats keep blocking the no-export ban for natural gas. This then puts Obama in a very weak position relative to Russia because he can’t get anybody – and particularly the Europeans – who depend on Russian commodities to stand up.