Will U.S. And EU Plan To Further Isolate Russia Backfire?

Will U.S. And EU Plan To Further Isolate Russia Backfire?

Will U.S. And EU Plan To Further Isolate Russia Backfire?

Will this work or will it backfire? Plans are afoot to isolate Russia even more than they are now. It seems the current sanctions haven’t gone far enough, so the EU and U.S. have been busily drawing up plans to make things even more painful for Russia.

At NATO and the European Union, and at the State Department, the Pentagon and allied ministries, blueprints are being drawn up to enshrine new policies across virtually every aspect of the West’s posture toward Moscow, from defense and finance to trade and international diplomacy.

~Snip

The European Union has drawn up plans to cut its heavy dependency on Russian gas by two-thirds by the end of this year, and end all fossil fuel imports from Russia before 2030. “It is not so much about sanctions, but it is about articulating a path to zero, making sure that we become independent of Russian gas and oil,” Dutch Foreign Minister Wopke Hoekstra said in a forum Thursday at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.

The EU’s dependance on Russia oil and gas imports is about 40%, in some cases more than that. With sanctions in place, the EU has to find alternative sources of fuel. Which led to Biden pledging tons of LNG by the end of the year. Which could backfire since he forgot to ask industry experts how to make this happen in that time frame. 

Another reason why this move could backfire is that Russia was promised a contract to build Iran’s nuclear power plants once the newly revised Iran Agreement gets shoved into place. While things are looking a tad bit iffy for the Iran Deal at the moment, that offer is seemingly still on the table. 

Secondly, as the Washington Post was sourcing information for the above story yesterday evening, CNN was already helping Russia ease its pain should additional sanctions be put into place. 

Until the Ukraine war, Iran was the most sanctioned country in the world, according to Castellum.Ai, which tracks sanctions. Russia now holds that record and the two countries are in what analysts call “a marriage of convenience” that is likely to grow stronger as the war in Ukraine escalates.

“Common interests in helping the other evade sanctions are important to these dynamics in Russia-Iran relations,” said Giorgio Cafiero, CEO of Gulf State Analytics in Washington DC.

Common interests such as putting money in the bank to continue to further each regime’s goals. For Russia, its oil, gas, and agriculture. Oil and gas sales coming to a halt will cripple the economy, most of all, the agriculture sector. So, Russia needs to find work arounds and are supposed to learn from Iran’s example! 

As many know, Iran has circumvented sanctions for decades. So, of course, Russia should do the same. 

Iran has in the past hidden millions of oil barrels off little-known ports in Asia to escape Western sanctions, Reuters reported in 2012. Barrel transfers in the dead of night from one vessel to another allowed Iran to masquerade under different flags, selling its oil to keen Asian buyers without catching the eye of Western monitors. Iran didn’t respond to a request for comment, Reuters added.

If world leaders want to isolate Russia and not have it backfire on them as it has with Iran, shouldn’t there be some way of monitoring and imposing additional penalties? Oh wait, like that’s ever happened with Iran. 

Here’s another reason why additional isolating sanctions could backfire on the U.S. and EU, the Russian people. According to this op-ed from a major Putin critic, the Russian people are NOT happy with Putin, yet the world isn’t reporting on that. 

When you are told that no one protests against the war in Russia, don’t believe it. Hundreds of people who took part in such protests are imprisoned in police stations and special detention facilities. The police grab them immediately and take them away. And there are no more media outlets in Russia that can talk about it.

Vladimir Kara-Murza, quoted above, has been a fierce critic of Putin for years. He’s testified to Congress and has been jailed multiple times. Just hours after this CNN interview, he was arrested and is still in jail. 

The Russian government has much to answer for regarding the ever growing number of stories of atrocities in Ukraine, as do quite a few of their soldiers. 

Also, I fear these plans will definitively backfire if no safeguards are put into place to deter Putin from following Iran’s example. 

No matter the level of truth, Tehran’s various smuggling networks and a clandestine finance system have indeed been a vital lifeline that gave the regime the perception they can take advantage of the current spike in oil prices and ridicule the world’s determination for retribution.

You can darned well bet Putin and his people are chatting with Iran. Therefore, I hate to say it, but this plan could backfire. 

Feature Photo Credit: Boxing glove rendition of conflict with Russia via Shutterstock, cropped and modified

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