About Deserved & Criminal Sanctions

Firstly, the sanctions imposed by the EU against Russia led to a result diametrically opposite to that expected by the EU countries. For some reason, they strengthened the Russian economy and caused damage to the European one. Secondly, the sanctions imposed by the US against Russia were more harmful to the interests of EU countries than to Russia.

A third problem has recently occurred. Russian counter-sanctions gradually expanded and deepened, and after the failed Polish attempt to overthrow Lukashenko, the threat of Belarusian counter-sanctions was added to them.

“Friends and partners”, using an excuse to actively threatening Russia with sanctions, and often without a reason, started to cautiously express the hope that Moscow will refrain from retaliatory steps that can cause excruciating pain to civilised Europeans. Everyone knows that sanctions are necessary only for the promotion of democracy. But it is absurd to promote democracy in Europe, which itself promotes it around the world. And Russia should gratefully accept the penalties imposed on it by the “civilised world” for its lack of democracy, and strive to develop democracy and earn encouragement.

We will return to this bright idea of “friends and partners” later. Exclusively to show that, when brought to a logical conclusion, it may not be as productive as they think. In the meantime, let’s shift our attention from the owners to the servants.

All the Baltic states, in unison, being extremely outraged by the cynical behaviour of the “bloody regime” of Lukashenko, who brutally suppressed “peaceful protests” of the striving for freedom (from the economy, statehood, and common sense) “people of Belarus” (more precisely, of its smaller, pro-western part, which is indeed the real people, unlike the fake people, who make up the majority), decided that it was not worth having anything in common with the “last dictator of Europe”, and started to impose sanctions against him.

Obviously, emotions have overwhelmed the Balts so much that they have completely lost sight of some areas of joint activity with Belarus, forgetting, in particular, to impose sanctions against Belarusian goods in transit through the Baltic ports, which make up from a third to a half of their cargo turnover. Impressed and ashamed by the anger of the Balts, Lukashenko decided to help them restore justice and announced his intention to reorient Belarusian transit from the Baltic ports.

And then suddenly the Baltic states announced that they were counting on Minsk not to carry out plans to reorient transit. On the one hand, they can be understood, the transit that left them will go through Russia. Just then Mishustin dropped in to visit Lukashenko. It is said that among other things they discussed the reorientation of transit. After all, it is logical that one “bloody regime” under sanctions starts cooperating with another “bloody regime” under the same sanctions.

The Balts should be proud that not a single euro will be accepted by them from the hands of the “enemies of democracy”. But for some reason they are upset.

The situation is similar in Ukraine. Russia has recently expanded the list of Ukrainian citizens subject to personal sanctions. Kiev erupted with a statement of incomprehensible status. It was published on the website of the President of Ukraine in the “news” section. The text is not signed by anyone who has the right to speak on behalf of the Ukrainian state: neither the President, nor the Prime Minister, nor the Minister of Foreign Affairs. The authorship of the President’s Office or at least his press service is not specified.

In general, on the official website of the head of the Ukrainian state, someone posted an anonymous letter expressing displeasure with Russia’s actions and squirming by suggesting that “sanctions should be imposed against all Ukrainian politicians at once, or better yet, against the entire nation”.

Anonymous Ukrainians thought that in this way they were joking. But in fact, Ukraine has long ago imposed sanctions against the entire people of Russia. Russian businesses have been expelled from Ukraine, and most of their assets have been looted. Russian journalists were sent out of Ukraine in batches, and then simply stopped being allowed in. If someone, due to an oversight, enters, then they will immediately be forced to leave.

Already in 2014, Russian men aged 16 to 60 were banned from entering Ukraine. And this hasn’t been canceled. We must admit that this rule does not always apply (more often it does not), but it makes it possible to block entry to Ukraine for any adult Russian male without explaining the reasons. However, if desired, women are not allowed too (without any additional regulatory documents). They are just turned around at the border, and “come on, off you go”.

By the way, not allowing Russians to enter Ukrainian territory is not the worst option. It is worse when they let you in and then don’t let you out, accusing you of working for all known and unknown Russian special services, as well as for the Kremlin, Staraya Square, and for some reason the Russian Orthodox Church. Further – it’s down to luck. Some will get off with a slight fright and in a week will simply be deported with a ban on entry. Some will have to spend several months in a Ukrainian prison, while others may stay there for years. On a simple unfounded, without any evidence, accusation of intent to undermine the foundations of Ukrainian statehood.

Against this background, millions of Ukrainian citizens go to Russia to earn money and per year hundreds of thousands of them receive Russian citizenship. Ukraine rarely gives its nationality to Russians. Even Russians who fought on the side of Ukraine against Donbass are struggling without legalisation, under the threat of expulsion to the clutches of “bloodthirsty tyranny”.

And that hundreds of Ukrainian politicians are barred from entering Russia and being able to do business here, so they should be proud of it. Now nothing connects them to the “aggressor state” and they will not even accidentally earn a kopeck together with it. By the way, when Petro Poroshenko learned that Russian sanctions were imposed on him, he said it exactly in this way: I am proud, this is recognition of my services in the fight against Russia. And an unknown anonymous person on the Ukrainian presidential website goes into hysterics, accusing Russia of destructive behaviour only because Moscow made it easier for Ukrainian politicians to break all personal ties with Russia (after all, they have long since severed state ties).

I look at all this, and a seditious thought occurs to me. The US is imposing more and more sanctions against us and is trying to encourage the EU to impose more and more sanctions in order to torpedo the construction of Nord Stream 2 and thereby undermine the expanding Russian-German cooperation, as well as cooperation between Russia and the EU. Our European “friends and partners” are surprisingly inconsistent in this matter. They are ready to impose sanctions against Russia even because of Navalny‘s health problems, but they do not want to cancel the Nord Stream 2 project, which actually caused all the fuss.

Maybe Russia should help them: to say that if they continue to rant about sanctions, it itself will impose sanctions against Nord Stream 2 and freeze its construction until the fate of the Skripals, including the cat, is clarified, the Navalny problem is resolved, and the trial of flight MH-17 is over. And if the solution of at least one of these issues does not satisfy Moscow, the construction will not be thawed. And we will also think about whether there will be additional pretensions.

If someone tries to file a lawsuit, we will introduce additional sanctions against the applicant, against their state, and against the entire leadership of this state (including members of parliament), against judges, and against witnesses, and we will think about who else to impose them against.

It looks, of course, a little confrontational, but we must help our “friends and partners” to show consistency and integrity. Moreover, acting in the style and in the spirit of the US, which, as we know, is a patented standard of world democracy, we seem to be also joining civilisation, becoming more democratic, and therefore deserve encouragement in the form of lifting some of the sanctions against Russia.

After all, this happens in accordance with western logic – I have not confused anything, have I?

Rostislav Ishchenko

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