17 August, Thursday


Is West preparing new sanctions attack on Russia?

Specialist view

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Britain is pushing western nations to impose new sanctions on Russia if it fails to cut ties with Syrian President Bashar Assad as the conflict over Syria escalates, the Times newspaper reported.

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson will demand that western nations draw up “very punitive sanctions” in response to last week’s chemical attack on Idlib. A paper on sanctions has been prepared for a meeting of G7 foreign ministers in Lucca, Italy, which starts today, the newspaper added.

Washington should try to tighten sanctions on Moscow to make Russia to cooperate with the United States, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders told NBC News.

Sanders said that "you may make them an offer they can’t refuse that means tightening the screws on them, dealing with sanctions, telling them that we need their help, that they got to come to the table".

According to him, "getting the United States involved in a perpetual warfare, sending troops to Syria will just continue the process of money going down a rabbit hole."

"I think ultimately the solution has got to be political," TASS cited the senator as saying.

US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said that nothing "is off the table" when it comes to imposing tougher sanctions on Russia and Iran.

"We're calling (Russia and Iran) out," she told CNN.

According to the deputy dean of the Faculty of Global Economics and International Affairs of the Higher School of Economics of the National Research University, Andrei Suzdaltsev, the United States has began to form a new policy towards Russia. "Let me remind you that the Trump administration has already formed its approach to Mexico, the UK and Canada, then Washington has tackled the problems of the European Union, simultaneously coordinating the policy towards China. Therefore, Russia is the last important state to whom the new Washington administration has not yet applied. It is understandable that a blow to Syria was a test of Moscow's reaction," he explained, speaking with the correspondent of Vestnik Kavkaza.

"Washington is checking if we could back out. If they understand that there is a chance to knock us out of Syria, the sanctions will be applied. If we let them know that we are determined to confront, the search for other formats of interaction will begin. The collision with Trump is unavoidable. If sanctions are introduced, they will simply portray the attitude of the West towards us, which means that their consequences can be very significant. I would not say that they will be introduced, but if this happens, it will cease a dialogue and a tough opposition will begin," Andrey Suzdaltsev stressed.

The political scientist recalled that Donald Trump's initial positive rhetoric was aimed at internal listeners. "When Trump spoke more or less attractively for us during the election campaign, the last thing he thought about was Russia. He used Russia as an instrument of pressure on Hillary Clinton. Therefore, Donald Trump still uses the Russian theme in the US political field. His policy is in the interests of the United States, and the US interests mean the preservation of world leadership," the deputy dean of the Faculty of Global Economics and International Affairs of the Higher School of Economics of the National Research University warned.

A senior research fellow at the European Research Centre of the International Relations Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Vladimir Olenchenko, explained that in spite of the fact that in the West, in some EU countries, there are indeed many supporters of tightening relations with Russia, in general the EU is guided by the US position.

There is now a serious struggle in the US between supporters of normalization of relations with Russia and supporters of their tightening, the expert noted.

He recalled that the West's toughening of relations with Russia would serve to destabilize the international situation.

Olenchenko said that while it is difficult to say, whose side will prevail, whether Trump and his closest associates will have enough will to resist this trend. "Clarity will appear after tomorrow's talks between Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. I do not exclude that Tillerson, speaking to Lavrov, will seek arguments for the domestic political audience of the United States to convince them not to tighten relations," he pointed out.

Thus, according to the expert, the current anti-Russian rhetoric, rather, is a matter of the US domestic policy. "The part of the society that previously expressed anti-Russian rhetoric has no other arguments, since it is difficult to find arguments in the US that would support them. So when the 'Trump group' proposes to carry out economic reforms, the circles opposing it have nothing to offer as a counterbalance to the economic and political program, and therefore they turn to the Russian threat," Vladimir Olenchenko concluded.

Vestnikkavkaza

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