Paul Craig Roberts
Official statements from the Russian government indicate that the president and foreign minister continue to rely on the good will of “our Western partners” to work out a reasonable diplomatic solution to the trouble in Ukraine caused by Washington. Not only is there no evidence of this good will in Western capitals, the hostile measures against Russia are increasing. Moreover, hostile measures are on the rise even though their main effect is to disadvantage Europe.
For example, the socialist president of France has followed Washington’s orders and refused to deliver a ship that it owes to Russia under contract. The news reports are so incompetent that they do not say whether Russia has paid for the ship or whether payment was awaiting completion. If Russia has not already paid, then the failure to deliver will harm whoever financed the construction of the ship. If Russia has paid, then the idiot French president has placed France in violation of a contract and under international law France is subject to heavy financial penalties.
It is not clear how this hurts Russia. It is Russia’s strategic nuclear force that the West has to fear, not a helicopter carrier. What Hollande has taught Russia is not to do business with France or any country in NATO.
Russia should promptly take the contract violation to court. Either France will be sanctioned with penalties that could exceed the value of the contract or the West will prove that in its hands international law is meaningless. If I were Russia, I would give up a helicopter ship in order to establish this point.
Marine Le Pen, the only leader France has, is not in power, although her support is growing. Le Pen says that Hollande’s obedience to Obama “will have a huge cost for France: the lost of millions of working hours and a fine of 5 to 10 billion euro.”
Holland sought to justify his kowtowing to Washington with a lie: “Russia’s recent actions in the east of Ukraine contravene the fundamental principles of European security.”
To the complete contrary. It is the stupid actions of Hollande, Merkel, and Cameron who are endangering European security by enabling Washington’s drive to war with Russia.
According to news reports for whatever they are worth, Washington and its EU puppet are preparing more sanctions against Russia. Considering the incompetence of Washington and the EU, it is unclear who will be bitten by the sanctions–Russia or Europe. The point is that Russia has done nothing to deserve any sanctions.
The sanctions are based on Washington’s lie that, in Obama’s words (September 3),
“Russian combat forces with Russian weapons in Russian tanks” are deployed in eastern Ukraine. As Professor Michel Chossudovsky reports on Global Research, observers from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) “have registered no troops, ammunition or weapons crossing the Russian-Ukrainian border over the past two weeks.”
These passages are from Professor Chossudovsky’s report on the OSCD findings:
“The OSCE Observer Mission is deployed at the Russian Checkpoints of Gukovo and Donetsk at the request of Russia’s government. The decision was taken in a consensus agreement by all 57 OSCE participating States, many of which are represented at the NATO Summit in Wales.
“The OSCE report contradicts the statements made by the Kiev regime and its US-NATO sponsors. It confirms that NATO accusations pertaining to the influx of Russian tanks are an outright fabrication.
“NATO backed up Obama’s statements with fake satellite images (28 August 2014) that allegedly ‘show Russian combat forces engaged in military operations inside the sovereign territory of Ukraine’. These statements are refuted by a detailed report of the OSCE monitoring mission stationed at the Russia-Ukraine border. The NATO reports including its satellite photos were based on fake evidence.
“It is worth noting that the OSCE carefully categorizes movements across the border, which largely consist of refugees.”
Just as Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya were attacked on the basis of transparent lies and Syria and Iran were set up for attack on the basis of transparent lies, the sanctions against Russia rest solely on transparent lies. According to the UK Telegraph, the new sanctions will ban all Russian state-owned oil and defense companies from raising funds in European capital markets. In other words, any Western oil enterprises operating in Russia would be exempted.
One Russia response to sanctions should be to confiscate any Western firms operating in Russia as compensation for damages inflicted by the sanctions.
Another response is to obtain financing from China.
Another response is to self-finance energy and defense needs. If the US can print money in order to keep 4 or 5 mega-banks afloat, Russia can print money to finance its needs.
The lesson that Washington is teaching the larger part of the world is that a country has to be insane to do business with the West. The West views business as a hegemonic tool that is used to punish, exploit, and loot. It is astonishing that after so many lessons, countries still seek IMF loans. It is impossible not to know by now that an IMF loan has two purposes: the looting of the country by the West and the subordination of the country to Western hegemonic policy. Yet idiot governments still apply for IMF loans.
All of the escalation of the Ukrainian situation is caused by the US, EU, and Kiev. Apparently, Washington interprets Russia’s low-key response as evidence that the Russian government is intimidated. But when Putin holds all the cards and can wreck Europe by turning off the flow of natural gas and can reincorporate the entire Ukraine back into Russia in two weeks or less, how can Washington impose its will?
Is Russia so desperate to be part of the West that it will succumb to being another of Washington’s puppet states?