US to EU: Sanctions Are For Suckers!
By Finian Cunningham
June 23, 2015 "Information
Clearing House" - "Sputnik"
It’s a rich irony – in fact a richness worth about
$7.4 billion, and counting. In the same week that European Union
envoys voted to extend trade sanctions on Russia, news emerges from
the Paris Air Show that American aviation giant, Boeing, is moving
ahead to sell a fleet of its 747 cargo planes – to Russia.
That deal – reportedly worth about $7.4 billion –
will see Boeing supply Russian transport firm Volga-Dnepr
with 20 long-haul aircraft. That inventory is in addition to the
fleet of 14 Boeing 747s that the Russian company has already
purchased, according to media reports.
It was the EU that followed Washington’s supposed
sanctions policy against Russia after the Americans decried what
they claimed was Moscow’s annexation of Crimea last March. Never
mind the democratic mandate from the people of Crimea in a
referendum to re-unite with Russia, Brussels also weighed in with
similar recriminations and then slapped on a raft of diplomatic and
trade penalties last August. In the same month, Moscow retaliated
with its own sanctions that have hit European manufacturing and
agricultural exports, as well as American goods.
Moreover, it also emerged this past week that the
Pentagon is lobbying hard for the US Congress to ease trade
restrictions imposed on Russian-manufactured space rockets.
According to a report in the Washington Times, US Defence
Secretary Ashton Carter and other Pentagon officials are calling
on Senators to repeal a ban on Russian space technology. The
Pentagon says that a joint venture between Boeing and Lockheed
Martin needs to purchase 14 RD-180 Russian engines in order
to power Lockheed’s Atlas V space rocket program.
So there you have it.
The European Union,
caught in a debilitating trade war with Russia, is digging an
even deeper hole for its beleaguered economy with renewed
sanctions on Moscow – while the Americans are finding all sorts
of loopholes to skirt those same sanctions on Russia when it
However, given the volume of trade between the EU
and Russia is said to be about ten-fold that between America and
Russia, the sanctions policy has predictably rebounded much worse
for the Europeans.
Over the past year, those
sanctions and counter-sanctions have taken a severe toll on the EU’s
faltering economy, already reeling from stubborn recession, debt and
Europe’s strongest economy Germany, for example,
has reportedly seen its exports plummet by up to 20 per cent,
largely as a
result of the sanctions with Russia. German farmers are believed
to have lost over $600 million in revenues from being shut out of
the Russian market. And what’s bad for Germany is definitely bad
news for the rest of Europe.
At a time when the EU’s Eurozone bloc is facing an
existential crisis over Greece’s possible debt default and exit
from the single currency, the last thing, you would think, that
Brussels can afford is more economic turmoil. Yet this is exactly
what the EU bureaucracy seems to be courting with the extension
of sanctions against Russia. A final decision is expected to be
taken when EU foreign ministers meet later this week.
Russia lawmaker Konstantin Kosachev said of the
latest EU move: “I must admit it will be very interesting to see how
our European partners are going to get out of the sanctions trap
they have lured themselves into.”
Meanwhile, Russia’s economy
seems to have weathered the storm that was intended for it by the
Western embargoes. Strategic energy and trade deals with China and
other emerging Eurasian partners have helped steer the Russian
economy toward a more secure future.
It is the EU alone that stands to lose out from
the benighted policy of inciting a trade war with Russia – all
on the back of ideologically driven claims of Russian interference
in Ukraine and elsewhere – claims, it must be said, that have been
largely stoked by Washington and the NATO military alliance that
The unprecedented militarisation of international
relations and the standoff with Russia has proven to be an absolute
boon for Washington’s military-industrial complex. To be sure, the
Americans are not defending Europe and the other NATO members out of
Each new expenditure by NATO states – under the
impetus of an alleged “threat of Russian expansion” – is a boost
for sales of US-made fighter jets, missiles, tanks, warships and
Make no mistake. The crisis over Ukraine has been
engendered from the outset by Washington’s covert regime-change
operation in Kiev in February 2014, which overthrew an elected
government and ushered in a Neo-Nazi, Russian-hating regime.
Ideologically blinkered European leaders and bureaucrats in Brussels
have bought into the audacious American narrative of blaming the
crisis on Moscow and on Russian President Vladimir Putin’s alleged
plans to “resurrect the Soviet Union”.
Russian parliamentarian Konstantin Kosachev is
partly correct when he inferred that the EU is making more trouble
for itself. But as for his assertion that Europeans “have lured
themselves into a sanctions trap”, that is a moot point.
Last year, US vice president Joe Biden publicly
bragged during a Harvard University debate that Washington dragooned
European governments into adopting its anti-Russian sanctions
over the Ukraine conflict. President Barack Obama, he said,
personally browbeat European leaders into toeing the hostile line
The Europeans are indeed
caught in a sanctions trap that they are foolishly
self-perpetuating. But they are in this predicament because it was
the Americans who lured them into it.
One way of assessing the agenda at play and who is
behind it is to look at the balance sheet of costs and benefits.
Europe is the one that is losing out massively in the worst standoff
with Russia since the end of the Cold War more than two decades ago.
That cost is set to escalate even further as the EU pursues
ever-more one-sided economic mayhem with Russia. And, furthermore,
that cost includes the possible all-out war on the continent
of Europe if this totally contrived standoff spirals out of control.
On the other hand, Europe’s supposed ally and
chivalrous defender America has incurred negligible costs to its
economy. In fact, the East-West crisis that Washington has largely
initiated has brought huge lucrative gains for its
And, as if to rub Europe’s nose in it, if the
US-led sanctions do happen to cause certain economic problems
for Washington, then as we see this week with the $7.4 billion sale
by Boeing to Russia, exceptions can be expediently made by the
In other words, Washington is, in effect, telling
its hapless European allies: “Sanctions are for suckers!”
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See also -
Boeing’s 747 Jumbo Boosted by $7.4 Billion
Order From Russia: Boeing Co.
said it struck a $7.4 billion deal to sell 747-8 freighters to
Russia’s Volga-Dnepr Group, providing a much-needed boost to the
jumbo-jet program amid flagging demand for four-engine aircraft.