geopolitics

Explainer: Why does Russia now want payment in rubles?

For decades, Russia has been selling natural gas to countries in Europe.

Initially, those countries would pay Russia in their own currencies (Example: Germany using Deutschmarks).

In the modern era, those payments have been made in Euros.

This year, after Russia began its “special military operation” inside Ukraine, member countries of the European Union imposed economic sanctions against most Russian products, but left the door open for members to continue buying natural gas from Russia.

Is the Shanghai lockdown really about COVID?

There are some interesting words in the English language. Take the case of the verb “shanghai”. The word is derived from the name of the city on the east coast of China.

In the late 19th century, there was frequent shortages of sailors willing to crew ships to far off destinations, so ship owners would drug sailors and haul them on board. By the time they became woke, they were already en route to China and could not get off, hence the phrase “I was shanghaied”.