Russia Retaliates Against Western Sanctions
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org – Home – Stephen Lendman)
Congress is considering tough new sanctions on Russia, including on its vital energy sector.
It’s unclear if Trump will go along. It won’t matter if veto-proof legislation clears both houses – overwhelmingly in the Senate so far, yet to be considered by House members, though an anti-Russia majority of its members is likely to be similar to the upper body.
Last week, EU member states agreed to extend sanctions on Russia through yearend. European Council president Donald Tusk lied, claiming it was for “lack of implementing the Minsk Agreement.”
Russia alone among Normandy Quartet countries involved in Minsk continues going all-out for implementation. Ukraine undermined the process. Germany and France more hinder and help enforce its principles.
According to an unnamed Western diplomatic source, some EU members oppose extending sanctions on Russia, “believ(ing) an automatic procedure is inappropriate.”
They called for Germany and France to give clear recommendations – instead of automatically going along with counterproductive US policies.
In response to extended Western sanctions, Russia extended its own until December 31, 2018, according to a decree Putin signed on Friday, saying:
“Extend from January 1 to December 31, 2018, the effect of responsive special economic measures envisaged by the August 6, 2014, Russian presidential decree…and extended by presidential decree.”
On June 29, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said in response to extended Western sanctions, “we will respond adequately. Yesterday we discussed this issue with the president. The government will propose to the president that the counter measures should be extended for another year until December 31, 2018.”
During his mid-June annual marathon Q & A with reporters and others submitting questions, Putin said he’d decide on tit-for-tat sanctions based on actions by Western countries.
“We will see how our relations develop with the countries that imposed sanctions on us,” he said.
“As for endless expansion of sanctions, if our counterparts lift their economic sanctions, then we will do the same, since otherwise we will face issues within the World Trade Organization.”
On June 30, he signed a decree, extending Russia’s counter-sanctions until December 31, 2018.
US-dominated Western countries continue hostile policies toward Russia instead of responsibly seeking improved relations.
My newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
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