Tag Archives: anti-Russian sanctions

EU Condemns Russian actions

Brussels 25.05.2021 The European Council held a strategic debate on Russia.
– It condemns the illegal, provocative and disruptive Russian activities against the EU, its Member States and beyond. It reaffirms the EU’s unity and solidarity in the face of such acts as well as its support to Eastern partners. (Image above: Crimea bridge, Azov sea).

– The European Council expresses its solidarity with the Czech Republic and supports its response.
– The European Council reaffirms its commitment to the five principles governing EU policy vis-à-vis Russia. – It invites the High Representative and the Commission to present a report with policy options on EU-Russia relations, in line with these principles, with a view to its meeting in June 2021.
– The EU will continue coordination with like-minded partners.

Since March 2014, the EU has progressively imposed restrictive measures against Russia. The measures were adopted in response to the illegal annexation of Crimea and the deliberate destabilisation of Ukraine:

The EU imposes different types of restrictive measures:

Diplomatic measures
individual restrictive measures (asset freeze and travel restrictions)
restrictions on economic relations with Crimea and Sevastopol
economic sanctions
restrictions on economic cooperation

Diplomatic measures
In 2014, the EU-Russia summit was cancelled and EU member states decided not to hold regular bilateral summits. Bilateral talks with Russia on visa matters as well as on the new agreement between the EU and Russia were suspended.

Instead of the G8 summit in Sochi, a G7 meeting was held in Brussels on 4-5 June 2014. Since then, meetings have continued within the G7 process.

EU countries also supported the suspension of negotiations over Russia’s joining the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the International Energy Agency (IEA).

Individual restrictive measures
Asset freeze and travel restrictions
177 people and 48 entities are subject to an asset freeze and a travel ban because their actions undermined Ukraine’s territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence.

The measures were introduced in March 2014. They were last extended until 15 September 20

Moscow considers U.S. anti-Russian sanctions “unlawful”

Moscow considers sanctions against Russia over the situation in Ukraine unlawful, Russia’s RIA news agency reports, referring to the Kremlin spokesman. The measures extended for one year were announced by U.S. President Donald Trump, in a letter dated March 2 and published on the White House website, in which he underlining that the sanctions against Russia were imposed for its role in the Ukrainian crisis and annexation of Crimea, and they should remain in place beyond March 6.

Dmitry Peskov (pictured), spokesman for President Vladimir Putin, said Russia has never been the initiator of these sanctions.

“We consider them as unlawful and harmful not only for the people of our two countries but for the whole world,” Peskov said.

 

 

Lavrov: Russia open to dialogue with US & EU

The United States is trying to keep Europe in the Trans-Atlantic alliance and, at the same time, to brazenly ensure US energy companies’ interests, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said at a meeting with the participants in the Territory of Meanings on the Klyazma National Educational Youth Forum, TASS agency reports.

“While the struggle to preserve Western domination is underway, our American counterparts are using the current situation, including the anti-Russian approaches by its allies in Europe to, firstly, keep Europe within the so-called Euro-Atlantic solidarity, that is, to preserve the role of NATO, which cannot operate without the US and, at the same time, think about its economic interests,” Lavrov said.

“…The latest package of anti-Russian sanctions has definitely triggered opposition in Europe, because it makes it clear that it is necessary to purchase gas in the US, in spite of the fact that is much more expensive” – the minister continued.

“That is, [the US is trying] to keep Europe in the Trans-Atlantic alliance and, at the same time, think about the interests of its own energy companies. This is done impudently by using totally unfair methods of competition.”

 

 

Kosachev: USA lost perception of reality

Konstantin Kosachev, OPINION

Trump’s signature of the sanctions bill is news for the US domestic policy more than for the foreign affairs.
The idea that the bill will  come into force became clear after the overwhelming vote first in the Senate, then in the House of Representatives and again in the Senate. So the bad news on this matter was released a week ago. Bad – because this bill absolutely does not solve any problem, but provokes new ones, and among them the major one is the further degradation of Russian-American relations.

The main news is that Trump has surrendered. Of the three options – go into confrontation with the Congress (veto the bill), refuse to sign it (“I do not agree, but I can not do anything about it”) and sign – the president has chosen the third option. Now the responsibility for the dramatic consequences associated with the forthcoming implementation of this ill-fated bill is not only on its initiators, but also personally on Trump.
And the consequences will be the following:
1. The USA profiles itself to the whole world as a state that ignores international law. The image of the country in the world will not strengthen, but fall.
2. Demonstratively ignoring the interests of their allies, while promoting only their own, the United States is seriously undermining the Transatlantic solidarity.
3. The United States does not leave a chance for constructive cooperation with Russia – the most important partner in solving the major problems of development in modern world. This cooperation will inevitably continue to be selective for years (decades?), and not only from the American, but also from the Russian side.
4. The prospect of further resolution of the Iranian and North Korean problems, with all the difference in their current positions, also looks very bleak. Consequently, real threats will be amplified, not reduced.
In other words, the USA, with the adoption of this bill, demonstrated a loss of adequate perception of the realities of our times, and, consequently, lost any rights in claims of an “exceptional” role in global leadership.
And this last circumstance may turn out in the future to be the only good news in this highly unappealing story.

Konstantin Kosachev: Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Federation Council (upper house of Russian Parliament).

(Source: Facebook)

Kosachev FB

“Full-scale trade war on Russia”

The US has actually declared trade war on Russia by tightening sanctions against it, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said in a Facebook post. He is confident that these measures will have no sense and that Russia, nevertheless, will be able to develop, according to TASS news agency.

“We will quietly continue our work to develop economy and the social sphere and will be engaged in import substitution, as well as address most important state tasks, counting upon ourselves, first of all,” the prime minister stated. “We have learnt to do it in the recent years in the conditions of almost closed financial markets, fear of foreign creditors and investors to bankroll in Russia on pain of sanctions against third parties and countries,” he added. “It benefitted us in some way, though sanctions are senseless as a whole,” Medvedev stated. “We’ll pull through,” the prime minister affirmed.

 

Trump dabbs anti-Russian measures ‘significantly flawed’

U.S. President Donald Trump signed a new sanctions law against Russia that Congress had approved overwhelmingly last week, criticizing the legislation as having “clearly unconstitutional” elements.

After signing a bill that runs counter to his desire to improve relations with Moscow, and which also affects Iran and North Korea, the Republican president laid out a lengthy list of concerns.

“While I favor tough measures to punish and deter aggressive and destabilizing behavior by Iran, North Korea, and Russia, this legislation is significantly flawed,” Trump said in a statement announcing the signing.

The Republican-controlled Congress approved the legislation by such a large margin on Thursday that it would have thwarted any effort by Trump to veto the bill.

Moscow to Washington – ‘quid pro quo’

Kremlin has been actively preparing a response to the highly probable sanctions from the US awaited by the end of this week. According to Kommersant newspaper sources, the Foreign Ministry suggested the Russian authorities seizure of  the summer residence of the American Embassy in woodland ‘Serebryany Bor’ (‘Silver forest’), situated on artificial island of Moskwa river, and their storage facilities. This will be a symmetrical response to the arrest imposed on Russian diplomatic property in the US by the previous administration.

In addition, 35 American diplomats can be expelled from the country – the same number of staff of the Russian Embassy in Washington was ordered to leave the US in December last year. Also, the Russian side is considering the possibility of limiting the maximum number of employees of the American diplomatic mission in Moscow, currently exceeding the number of Russians in the embassy in Washington.

“Kommersant” also describes possible asymmetric economic measures.

Kremlin can create complications for the United States in the UN Security Council, where the States are seeking to increase pressure on North Korea.

Moscow’s economic sanctions against Washington can be expressed in direct circumcision of trade turnover, restrictions on the work of American companies in the country and some form of withdrawal of investments already made by them in Russia.

Possible restrictions on the part of exports from Russia to the United States may be quite sensitive, but with no less serious adverse effect.

Kommersant points out that the United States has been critically dependent on deliveries of a Russian enriched uranium product for its nuclear power plants over the last decades. Since 2015, the supplies have gone through direct commercial contracts with US energy companies and Russia has received a quota of 20% of the market. The possible halt of supplies will hurt both sides: the US will have to seek replacement of the Russian deliveries in the market with a small number of players, and Russia to quickly find a replacement for American buyers.

Another double-edged area is the supply of titanium. The US remains the main export market for Russian VSMPO-AVISMA, the world’s largest titanium producer operating in business with aerospace companies around the world. In 2016 the country provided the company with 32% of shipments and 48% of export sales. It is Russia that covers more than a third of the needs of the aircraft-building  Boeing.

Even stronger economic impact can be caused by the limitation of the work of American companies in Russia. They are most widely represented in the consumer market and in IT.  Moscow has already successfully tested in the case of Europe. American Coca-Cola and PepsiCo are the absolute leaders in the production of soft drinks: companies in Russia have their own plants for the production of soda and juices. No less popular in Russia are American IT companies Google, Facebook, Apple, Adobe and Microsoft. Also, the ban can affect the pharmaceutical  market.

The US Congress announced that the upper house – the Senate – could vote on the draft law on sanctions until the end of this week.

Russia warns about retaliation on US sanctions

Russia warned  about the retaliation on  new U.S. sanctions package against Kremlin approved by the House of Representatives  unanimous vote in the U.S. House of Representatives. Russian appeared in the same context as Iran and North Korea, indicating the further degrade of already suffering a serious setback bilateral relations.

“.. In fact, further degradation of bilateral cooperation is becoming inevitable,” -Konstantin Kosachev, chairman of the Russian Foreign Relations Committee and member of the ruling United Russia party, said on his Facebook page.

Russia was responded with the warning  after the U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly voted to impose new sanctions on Moscow and to force President Donald Trump to obtain lawmakers’ permission before easing any sanctions on Russia.

Moscow had initially hoped that President Trump administration would work to repair a relationship which has degraded to a post-Cold War low under President Obama administration, but has experienced a disappointment as allegations of anti-Russian campaign, launched by the US Democrats after losing the elections, have been winning grounds.

The allegations of Moscow interfered with last year’s U.S. presidential election and concerns over Trump associates’ Russia ties have confused the initial plan of a ‘restart’ with a new administration according to the to President Trump election promises.

Russian have been firmly denying any interference  in the US elections campaign supporting Trump against Clinton.

“These developments have no reference to common sense, – the deputy Minister of foreign affairs Sergey Ryabkov commented in a Tweet (see below). – The authors and sponsors of these measures make a serious step towards destruction of perspectives of normalisation of the relations with Russia”.  (Photo: illustration).