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‘We Can’t Afford To Lose.’

Ukraine is a “gold mine” with $12 trillion worth of critical minerals, US Senator Lindsey Graham insisted in a TV interview. He said the West “can’t afford to lose”, and called to prevent Russia and China from accessing the natural resources.

A prominent US lawmaker has referred to Ukraine as a “gold mine”, insisting the West must maintain access to its estimated $12 trillion worth of critical minerals.

US Senator Lindsey Graham made these comments in a June 10 interview on the CBS program “Face the Nation”.

“They’re sitting on $10 to $12 trillion of critical minerals in Ukraine”, Graham said.

“They could be the richest country in all of Europe. I don’t want to give that money and those assets to Putin to share with China”, he added.

Graham, a Republican, recalled that, when Donald Trump was president, he sent Ukraine military aid in the form of loans.

The senator strongly implied that Ukraine should pay the West for weapons shipments with its large mineral reserves.

“What did Trump do to get the weapons flowing? He created a loan system”, the Republican senator said.

“If we help Ukraine now, they can become the best business partner we ever dreamed of”, Graham continued. “That $10 to $12 trillion of critical mineral assets could be used by Ukraine and the West, not given to Putin and China”.

The US senator then argued that the West “can’t afford to lose” the war in Ukraine.

“This is a very big deal, how Ukraine ends. Let’s help them win a war we can’t afford to lose. Let’s find a solution to this war. But they’re sitting on a gold mine. To give Putin $10 or $12 trillion of critical minerals that he will share with China is ridiculous”, he repeated.

Washington Post: Ukraine War Is ‘Battle For The Nation’s Mineral And Energy Wealth’

The Washington Post published a report in 2022 that referred to the war in Ukraine as “a battle for the nation’s mineral and energy wealth”.

“Ukraine harbors some of the world’s largest reserves of titanium and iron ore, fields of untapped lithium and massive deposits of coal. Collectively, they are worth tens of trillions of dollars”, wrote the leading US newspaper, which is the personal property of billionaire oligarch Jeff Bezos.

The Post added that Ukraine has “myriad other reserves, including stores of natural gas, oil and rare earth minerals — essential for certain high-tech components — that could hamper Western Europe’s search for alternatives to imports from Russia and China”.

The major media outlet referred to Ukraine as “a raw-material mother lode”, that is “home to 117 of the 120 most widely used minerals and metals, and a major source of fossil fuels”.

According to the Post, at least $12.4 trillion of natural resources are located in the eastern part of Ukraine, where most of the fighting has happened in the war.

Ukraine’s Ruling Regime Is Increasingly Anti-Democratic

Ukraine’s NATO-backed leader, Volodymyr Zelensky, has overstayed his term in office, which ended in May, and thus no longer has a democratic mandate. France’s major newspaper Le Monde referred to him as “a president with no term end”.

NPR reported in 2022 that Zelensky imposed state control over all media outlets, shutting down those that criticized his government.

Zelensky’s regime also banned all significant opposition political parties, including numerous socialist, communist, and other left-wing parties, which it deemed to be “pro-Russian”.

Two former US diplomats published an article in Newsweek in 2023 commenting that “Ukraine sure doesn’t look like a democracy anymore”.

Under more than two years of martial law, Zelensky’s regime has imposed harsh anti-worker laws, while implementing mass privatizations as part of the neoliberal shock therapy demanded by his Western sponsors.

In 2022, Zelensky virtually rang the opening bell of the New York Stock Exchange and announced that his country was “open for business”, pledging $400 billion in investment opportunities (more than double the size of Ukraine’s GDP).

US Seeks To Block China’s Access To Critical Minerals

Russia is one of the world’s top producers of many of the major minerals, metals, and fossil fuels. It does not need access to Ukraine’s resources.

The United States has, however, actively sought to block China’s access to critical minerals, as part of the economic war that Washington is waging against Beijing.

In February, US Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm revealed that Washington is “very concerned” about China’s significant influence in the critical minerals supply chain.

“It’s one of the pieces of the supply chain that we’re very concerned about in the United States. We do not want to be over-reliant on countries whose values we may not share”, Granholm said in an interview with CNBC.

The Joe Biden White House warned that “China controls most of the market for processing and refining for cobalt, lithium, rare earths and other critical minerals”. Biden signed an executive order soon after coming to power in 2021 to try to limit China’s involvement in the global supply chain.

This January, US senators from both the Republican and Democratic Parties introduced legislation called the Critical Minerals Security Act, which they wrote “would help secure U.S. access to critical mineral supply chains and counter Chinese industry dominance”.

Lindsey Graham Calls To Seize Russian Assets Abroad

In the June 10 interview with CBS, Senator Lindsey Graham recounted a meeting he had with Ukrainian leader Zelensky.

“Here’s what he [Zelensky] wanted most of all, for us to go after the Russian assets all over the world”, the US senator said.

“Take the money from the sovereign wealth funds of Russia and give it to Ukraine”, Graham insisted. “There’s $300 billion sitting in Europe from Russian sovereign wealth assets that we should seize and give to Ukraine.”

“We have Russian money in America we should seize”, he added.

The US and European Union have frozen more than $300 billion worth of dollar- and euro-dominated assets that were held in the foreign exchange reserves of Russia’s central bank. (Graham mistakenly referred to these FX reserves as “money from the sovereign wealth funds of Russia”.)

Numerous Western officials have suggested that they will seize these assets from Russia and use them to fund Ukraine, in violation of international law.

Such an action would further accelerate the global drive toward de-dollarization.

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