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Russophobic US-led Western actions continue sinking to new depths.
In short order, they hit a new low under Biden, hardliners controlling his geopolitical agenda, and their EU counterparts.
Last December, former US envoy to Russia Thomas Pickering said sanctions imposed on Russia by Washington weren’t working, adding:
“It’s a huge country, great resilience, lots of resources.”
Pickering predicted tougher sanctions by Biden, along with pushing US allies to go in the same direction.
Russia earlier warned Washington and Brussels that it reserves the right to respond in its own way at a time of its choosing to “unlawful self-defeating” sanctions by its policymakers over Navalny or for other unacceptable reasons.
On March 2, Brussels in cahoots with the Biden regime imposed unlawful sanctions on “high-profile” Russian officials.
According to the Official Journal of the European Union, they include the following individuals:
Prosecutor-General Igor Krasnov, Investigative Committee head Alexander Bastrykin, Federal Penitentiary Service head Alexander Kalashnikov, and Director of the National Guard Viktor Zolotov, among others.
Targeted individuals are barred from traveling to EU countries. Any assets held in the West will be frozen.
Shortly after the above was announced, the Biden regime followed suit with its own sanctions.
They include export controls on seven Russian officials, along with a Russian research institute.
US/EU actions were coordinated. According to a White House spokesperson, Russia was sanctioned for poisoning (sic), arresting and imprisoning Navalny, along with actions against protesters in Russian cities last month.
The spokesperson defied reality by claiming that the US “is neither seeking to reset our relations with Russia, nor are we seeking to escalate,” adding:
“We believe that the United States and our partners must be clear and impose costs when Russia’s behavior crosses boundaries that are respected by responsible nations, and we believe there should be guard rails on how these adversarial aspects of our relationship play out.”
“(A)s part of a robust inter-agency response to the poisoning (sic) and imprisonment of opposition figure Alexey Navalny, the Treasury Department is designating seven senior members of the Russian government.”
In addition, 14 Russian entities were blacklisted. Thirteen are private companies, nine located in Russia, three in Germany, one in Switzerland, plus a Russian research institute.
The spokesperson falsely accused them of involvement in chemical and biological weapons development and production — citing no evidence because none exists.
Further actions against Russia are coming, he added.
Tuesday’s coordinated US/EU actions escalated US-led hostility toward Moscow.
They further undermined mutual trust. Russian relations with the West are at a new low through no fault of its own.
In public remarks since taking office, Biden and hardliners around him expressed implacable hostility toward Moscow.
The US and EU sanctioned Russia on the phony pretext of human rights violations related to legal actions against convicted felon Navalny, cracking down on foreign orchestrated street protests on his behalf that turned violent, and expelling EU diplomats for participating in them.
Pretexts are easy to invent. If what’s explained above didn’t happen, something else would have been used as an excuse for sanctioning Russia.
Vladimir Putin earlier explained that the US sanctioned Russia 46 times during Trump’s tenure — by the White House and Congress, what Sergey Lavrov called “far-fetched pretexts.”
He also warned that Moscow is prepared to cut ties with the EU if unlawful sanctions by Brussels harm Russia’s economy.
Earlier he called what’s now unfolding in Washington and Brussels “sanctions for the sake of sanctions, for one’s own pleasure to punish.”
They “do not bring fruit and cannot divert us from our policy of protecting the nation’s interests.”
Lavrov’s spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said if more EU sanctions are imposed on Russia, an appropriate response “will follow inevitably.”
“It is absolutely unacceptable to use human rights and refer to democratic principles as a geopolitical instrument.”
“(W)e reaffirm our fundamental position that it is unlawful to impose unilateral restrictions in bypassing the UN Security Council.”
In response to US/EU sanctions announced Tuesday, Sergey Lavrov said the following:
The latest Western measures are “illegitimate and unilateral of the kind (that the US and) EU members who follow (its) example almost always resort to without any reason.”
An appropriate Russian response will likely follow ahead.
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Stephen Lendman is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG).
VISIT MY WEBSITE: stephenlendman.org (Home – Stephen Lendman). Contact at [email protected].
My two Wall Street books are timely reading:
“How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion, and Class War”
“Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity”