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Russia Rebuilding Its Military on Oil Profits
Benefiting from discord in the OPEC nations, Russia is fueling its military with profits from Oil.
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June 10, 2011 - Audio, 11.50 MIN
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While fires of discontent burn throughout the Middle East and draw the attention of the world’s media, Russia is building up its military might on the profits of its huge oil and gas empire which is constantly expanding. The preparations for the great invasion of Ezekiel 38 are well under way.

Welcome to the Bible in the News.

While fires of discontent burn throughout the Middle East and draw the attention of the world’s media, Russia is building up its military might on the profits of its huge oil and gas empire which is constantly expanding. The preparations for the great invasion of Ezekiel 38 are well under way.

Huge Increases in Military Spending In Russia

The push to prepare Russia will consume almost 20% of the countries budget!  Russia Today reported in November of last year:

Almost two trillion rubles ($60 billion) will be allocated for the country’s military's modernisation program in 2011.The huge sum, making up 19 per cent of the country’s budget, will help the authorities to boost national security and defense. The decision is part of a 10-year arms modernization plan that will cost the country 22 trillion rubles, overall. The program aims to replace 80 per cent of Russia’s military equipment.

Further developments in February defined how this money was to be spent. Russia Today reported:

First and foremost, Russian defense will focus on the development of strategic nuclear weapons, construction of over 100 military vessels for Russian Navy, including construction of four originally French-made Mistral-class amphibious assault ships, and the introduction into the Air Force of over 1,000 helicopters and 600 military planes, including fifth generation PAK-FA fighter.
Most of the military hardware will be equipped with next-generation weaponry.
For the first time ever, Russia is planning to buy military equipment from NATO-member countries – two Mistral helicopter carriers will be bought in France (with two more licensed to be built in Russia), as well as samples of armored vehicles from Italy and elements of personal combat systems also from France.
Moscow’s plans to modernize Russian strategic nuclear forces do not contravene the newly-signed New START nuclear arms reduction treaty with the US, which aims at the reduction of up to a third of the strategic nuclear weapons in both Russia and the US.

Or so Russia Today reports. The “upgrading of nuclear weapons” is to replace existing nuclear weapons which are not scheduled for reduction. So there will be less weapons, but they will be more powerful and accurate… some consolation.

From a Biblical perspective, this is what we are to expect. The Gogian invasion described in Ezekiel 38 clearly describes a well armed military force:

Ezekiel 38:4–5 And I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts of armour, even a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords: Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya with them; all of them with shield and helmet:

A large contingent of the military might is to be sea based as we discover in Daniel 11:40

…the king of the north shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over.

In keeping with this, we find that Russian navy base in Vietnam is to be restored. Russia Today also reported:

The Russian Navy Command has suggested re-launching a marine logistics base for Russian warships in the Vietnamese deep-water port in Cam Rahn Bay, formerly the largest Soviet base outside the country.

The Navy Command has accomplished work on a report substantiating the necessity of restoring the facility…

According to the source, “if a political decision is made, the Navy will be ready to restore the work of the base within three years.”

Former Chief of the Navy General Staff, Admiral Viktor Kravchenko explained. “Russian surface vessels and submarines require maintenance, replenishing their stocks and crews need rest when fulfilling a wide range of tasks in the ocean, If Russia still considers itself a maritime power, restoring bases like the Cam Rahn one is inevitable.”

Litovkin, Editor-in-Chief of the “Independent Military Review”, recalled that there is also a Soviet-era base at the Syrian port of Tartus, which could also be used by Russian vessels on their way to the Horn of Africa. In addition, it would be a lot closer for the Black Sea Fleet ships to get to the African coast rather than for the Pacific Fleet vessels to sail all the way from Vladivostok.

While Russia looks to rebuild its fleet, it is also falling out with NATO and the Americans over the proposed missile defense shield in Europe. In January, ITAR-TASS quoted Dimitry Medvedev:

“Our partners in NATO must understand that we need this, (missile defense agreement with NATO) not to play some games together with NATO, but in order to provide Russia with proper defense. This is my duty as a president as well as other state servants. That is why no jokes should be made about this – we expect from our NATO partners a direct and unambiguous answer – where they see Russia’s place. In any case, we will either be together with NATO or find a decent answer to the existing challenge,” 

“It’s either we come to an agreement on certain terms and make a compatible system to solve the tasks of missile defense or we don’t and in this case we will have to make a number of unpleasant decisions in the nearest future dealing with deployment of the strike nuclear missile group,” the President said.

The developing arms race jumped to the headlines this week when Russia Today reported:

If Russia-NATO talks about the creation of the European anti-missile defense system fail, Moscow will have to develop its own nuclear offensive weapons, Russian defense minister Anatoly Serdyukov said.

­“There is no other way, otherwise we’ll have to start an arms race,” he told journalists after a meeting of the Russia-NATO Council on the level of defense ministers in Brussels.

The Push For Speed and Mobility

The push to modernize is focused on quick moving troops. Russia Today reported in March:

The current international situation and lingering threats to Russia, including hotbeds of instability along its borders demand that the country modernizes its armed forces. Medvedev noted that two years ago, he set off on a task to modernize the army, and“since then we have advanced in tackling this issue.”The armed forces have obtained “a new structure and the system of military planning.” The training and support systems have been overhauled as well.

The new system will be developed taking into account the current situation… to raise the mobility of military units, eight ground troops airbases will be created.

This is in perfect harmony with scripture as the King of the North described in Daniel 11 is to come “like a whirlwind” with great speed.

Funding the Fighting Forces

This week the Opec crisis highlighted the source of Russia’s funding for its military when the Independent Business News ran an article under the heading, “Russia is the big winner from the Opec debacle”. It stated:

In a world where Opec is incapable of agreeing a common goal, let alone exerting the control it once did over global oil production, Russia becomes even more powerful than its status as the world's largest oil producer might already suggest.

BP's latest Global Energy Review, coincidentally published yesterday morning while Opec was busy arguing, reveals that Russia (along with the US and China) was responsible for the biggest production increases last year.

Russia, by the way, was also responsible for a third of the world's increased production of natural gas.

Another article in the same publication stated on Thursday,

Opec was said to be on the point of "break-up" last night after a meeting of the world's biggest oil producers ended in disagreement over whether or not to raise output as the world economy struggles under the strain of soaring commodity prices.

Mr Naimi said seven of the cartel's 12 members had opposed a Saudi-backed proposal to raise Opec's output. Kuwait, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates had backed the Saudi proposal, according to the minister.

Marc Otswald, an analyst at Monument Securities, said "Opec is thus on the point of break-up," noting that the biggest beneficiaries may well prove to be Russia and Kazakhstan.

With its energy bandit companies like Gasprom, Russia is pumping billions of dollars into its economy and with this money, rebuilding and modernizing its military.

Serious Competition: Israel

In the mean time, Israel is on the verge of becoming a serious competitor to Russia in the oil and gas business. This week, Bloomberg Businessweek quoted Harold Vinegar, a 62-year-old geologist, who spent three decades at Royal Dutch Shell, eventually becoming Shell's chief physicist, as saying:

"Israel has one of the largest deposits of oil shale rock in the world, enough to produce 250 billion barrels, Saudi Arabia has reserves of 260 billion barrels. Most people don't realize yet that Israel has the potential to be one of the world's major oil producers."

The article continued

The dream of an energy-independent Israel has taken a giant leap forward since the 2009 discovery of substantial natural gas fields off its coast. The strategic value of those finds was confirmed when the uprising in Egypt disrupted its gas exports to Israel. Since Israel must import all its oil and coal and 70 percent of its gas, tapping the oil shale successfully could be a game-changer for the Jewish state.

Israel's shale oil deposits have remained untapped largely for geopolitical reasons. "None of the major oil companies are willing to do business in Israel because they don't want to be cut off from the Mideast supply of oil," says Howard Jonas, chief executive officer of IEI's corporate parent, IDT.

This is in complete keeping with one of the “motives” for the invasion of Israel described in both Ezekiel and Daniel where we are told in Daniel 11:43

“he shall have power over the treasures of gold and of silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt...

And when the King of the South protests in Ezekiel 38:13

“Art thou come to take a spoil? hast thou gathered thy company to take a prey? to carry away silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods, to take a great spoil?

So we watch with eager anticipation as the world stage is set for the Armageddon end game. May the Lord come soon and rescue  Israel from its enemies, bringing them into covenant relationship again and establishing the kingdom of God on earth.

For the Bible in the News, this has been Jonathan Bowen joining you.

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