Why does Trump extend ineffective sanctions against Russia?
Anti-Russian sanctions have no educational effect, but losses from them are sustained by all players on the international market, including European countries, Russia's Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said.
Medvedev recalled that the sanctions were initially introduced "against the backdrop of complications in relations between Russia and the West, when the U.S. and several European countries supported an armed coup in Kiev in February 2014."
"What was the main goal of those sanctions? To undermine our economy. As you can see, this attempt failed. Current sanctions only slow down the development of relations with European partners, and everybody sustains losses from this," he said in an interview with the Luxemburger Wort newspaper ahead of his visit to Luxembourg.
The PM reminded that Moscow was forced to introduce reciprocal restrictions and they are ready to lift these restrictions immediately, as soon as the other side makes a first step. "The European Union follows the U.S., like it has been enchanted, and continues to extend its sanctions year after year," he added.
"I can say with confidence that the EU has been and remains an important trade and economic partner for us. Despite existing difficulties and persistent U.S. attempts to slow down the development of our relations, I am sure that there are no objective obstacles for constructive cooperation between Russia and the EU," he said. "We have so many historical, cultural, economic and geographical ties that there is only one path for them, and that is a path of cooperation," TASS cited Medvedev as saying.
Yesterday, U.S. President Donald Trump extended for one year sanctions introduced earlier against Russia in Executive Orders linked to the crisis in Ukraine. "The actions and policies addressed in these Executive Orders continue to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States. The regime of national emergency declared in Executive Order 13660 is extended for one year," the notice signed by Trump says.
The senior research fellow at the European Research Centre of the International Relations Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Vladimir Olenchenko, answering a question from the corespondent of Vestnik Kavkaza of whether Russia has adapted to the EU sanctions pressure, he stressed that certain adaptation processes were underway in the EU as well.
"If we take April 2014 as the starting point, when the sanctions regime was imposed, at that time there was a certain structure of economic relations between Russia and the European Union, which included foreign trade, mutual investments and logistics. And when sanctions were imposed by the EU, Russia retaliated. This could not but affect the structure of economic exchange. Naturally, it caused a decline in foreign trade, a reduction in investment communication," the expert said.
According to him, Russia and the European Union had to switch to a different relationship mode. "The share of the European Union in all these points has been cut. For the EU, it meant that the Russian market was narrowed and to some extent closed for them. For us, possibilities of acquiring some goods, receiving and borrowing money, communications in the EU countries were narrowed, Accordingly, we began to build up our further economic activities considering this circumstance. Therefore, we proceed from the fact that Russia needs other partners, other contacts and other development directions," the senior research fellow at the European Research Centre of the International Relations Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences stressed.
Olenchenko noted that the essence of what is happening is the struggle between ideology and economy. "Unfortunately, politicians which are currently in power in the European Union believe that ideology is important. It is not their own, it was imposed on them by the United States. And the point is that the U.S. would like to establish some rules of conduct everywhere and make Russia unconditionally follow them," the expert said.
He explained that it is not known how long it will take for the West to "realize" the futility of such a regime. "Probably, it is a difficult process for the West to recognize that what they have been doing for the last five years is erroneous. Of course, it requires courage and political will. Or just new politicians are needed," Vladimir Olenchenko concluded.