News 25 march — 16:24

Leon Weinstein: 'Coronavirus and oil crisis buried old world' (In interview with Azeri Daily, American political scientist announces crisis in USA, Russia and EU)

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INTERVIEWED BY JEYHUN NAJAFOV

When the epidemic of the new coronavirus was growing in China within two months, the authorities in Beijing did not restrict their citizens' free movement inside the country and when travelling abroad - Italy, France, etc. And only two months later, when three Chinese doctors broke through to the media and talked about what is happening in Wuhan, the world found out about the terrible infection, says American political analyst Leon Weinstein. This, he told Azeri Daily, is the main cause of the pandemic.

At the cost of their life and freedom, three Chinese doctors told the world the truth about coronavirus

'By the way, two of these doctors are in prison, and one died. The Americans are now accusing the authorities in Beijing that instead of finding and, as they say, strangling the source of infection at the very beginning, they gave COVID-19 the opportunity to become world story. It is noteworthy that, even knowing the outbreak of coronavirus in Asia, the countries of southern Europe did not take any measures. And all because the Chinese are the main tourist source of income for the South European states. They simply did not want to lose profits from the Chinese tourist flow,' Weinstein reveals other causes of the defeat of the planet by a terrible infection.

Now it’s clear, he emphasises, that the current infection is weak in nature and therefore struggles with the immune system for a very long time to develop. Therefore, the body can carry the virus in itself for a very long time, without visible symptoms. More than 80% of people do not suspect for a long time that they are carriers of infection, and in the end, the virus defeats their immune system. The remaining 20% of people have various pathologies, weakened immune systems, old age, etc.

'An outsider has a misconception about the behaviour of the disease,' he said. 'It is often written that, say, 100 people got sick and four of them died, or 1000 got sick, 30 died. But in fact, not a hundred people got sick, but 10-12 thousand. That is, no one knows about 80% of cases. Therefore, panic began in the world. The USA closed the entrance from Europe, the Europeans fenced off from the rest of the world, etc.'

The epidemic of the unknown coronavirus has affected the global economy. Today, China is the largest producer of everything that people in the world use. China produces an incredible amount of goods and distributes around the world. Naturally, the Chinese economy needs energy resources that Beijing buys from OPEC, Russia, the USA, etc. As soon as in a number of large countries people began to be afraid to go to shops, began to spend less money, bids for purchasing energy from countries exporting oil and gas immediately decreased, the expert explains the situation.

US accuses China of letting coronavirus become world story

'Seeing that the PRC and other countries decided to buy less oil and lower their futures requirements, OPEC and Russia tried to agree until 1 April, when the time for agreements on oil production ends, to reduce oil production to maintain optimal prices. However, at the OPEC+ meeting, Russia did not agree with other members of the oil cartel to limit oil production. The Russian Federation said that after the first of April this year it will produce oil at its own discretion. Moscow considered that if they stay away from the agreement with OPEC, then in any case the oil cartel will reduce its own oil production, and Russia will produce and sell oil as much as it wants. Moscow hoped that while OPEC would deal with price regulation, it would force American shale oil companies to go bankrupt in 6-7 months, which is more expensive than conventional surface oil. If the production of a barrel of Arab oil is 10-12 dollars, in Russia - 18 dollars, then the production of American shale costs $30. By the way, by the end of 2021 in Russia, surface oil will begin to deplete rapidly, at least oil production will decrease by 30%. Meanwhile, Washington has an agreement with Beijing that from January 2021, up to 20% of China's energy needs will be covered by American hydrocarbons,' he recalls.

According to the expert, when the Saudis at the OPEC+ meeting realised what plans Russia had, they very likely, after consultations with Washington, turned to all buyers of Russian oil with the offer of guaranteed oil supplies at $25 per barrel. Saudi Arabia has announced that it will increase its oil production from 9 million to 13 million barrels per day from 1 April 2020. Naturally, Russia cannot sell its oil at the price of light Arab oil, since Russian oil must be refined and industrially cleaned after production. And in the coming years, the price of oil may at best rise to $35.

'The fact is that due to the impact of the coronavirus epidemic on the economy, Beijing will buy less oil on the world market,' Weinstein said.

As for the United States, the American diversified economy is built in such a way that one half of the industry is interested in the high price of oil, and the other half is interested in the low price. Unlike the Russian economy, which subsists 35% on oil revenues and another 35% on gas revenues, the United States is not fixated on the oil sector. Washington will not subsidise the oil sector. Donald Trump ordered that all storage facilities that exist be filled with cheap oil,' he stressed.

'Trump turned out to be a very far-sighted politician when he said that there are areas where production should be established within the country. In particular, his forecasts came true in relation to oil and medicines. In this case, shale oil will be bought by internal consumers.

The same goes for medicines. When the Chinese authorities, offended by the claims of American politicians that the coronavirus pandemic began in China, threatened not to sell antibiotics to the Americans, the Americans suddenly found that they were very dependent on the export of medicines from China. On this occasion, a scandal erupted in the country. And the US administration urgently urged entrepreneurs to build pharmaceutical factories and promised to buy antibiotics at higher prices than China sells,' said the political scientist.

Unlike the Russian economy, which depends 35% on oil revenues and another 35% on gas revenues, the US is not fixated on the oil sector

All this suggests that coronavirus is fundamentally changing the world and, in particular, the United States, the political scientist is convinced. All education switched to online mode thanks to unique computer programs. Two million students are already taking lessons in virtual classes from five to ten students. A huge number of American doctors have switched to online patient appointments using modern medical gadgets. Companies do all the work that can be done remotely over the Internet.

'However, if the epidemic continues for more than two months, the US economy will enter a recession. A huge number of small businesses in America and the world can come to the brink of ruin. In the USA, people no longer go to restaurants, shops, etc. The American economy is based on consumption, and if there is no consumption, then the recession can go into crisis with all the consequences for the global economy. But I think Trump is smarter than President Theodore Roosevelt and will not allow the economic recession to go into the new Great Depression,' Weinstein anticipates.

He does not predict anything good for Russia too. The impact of the coronavirus on the Russian economy and the fall in oil prices will have a very negative impact on the political and economic situation in the Russian Federation, Weinstein said. 'The situation threatens Russian hard times, similar to what happened in Russia in pre-revolutionary times. But the difference is that the Russian Federation has no nobility and few smart Jews to reform the state,' he said.

The expert is sure that the coronavirus epidemic is splitting the EU as well. First of all, Italy expressed dissatisfaction with the European Union, whom it asked for technical assistance to combat the epidemic, but did not receive it from other countries of the organisation.

However, according to Weinstein, there is a positive aspect of the pandemic - the growth of conflicts in the world is likely to stop. 'The world now has a different global challenge,' he said.

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