Absurdity of Anti-Russian Sanctions

The anti-Russian sanctions, dangerous in terms of their purpose, absurd economically, dividing Europeans politically, legally are unfounded because they are against the international order and introduce an element of serious arbitrariness.

The Romans said: Whom Jupiter wishes to destroy, he first makes mad. The same we can say about anti-Russian sanctions advocated by the Americans and their allies in the European Union. Aristotle determined that every human institution had four causes: the final cause, the material cause, the moving cause and the formal cause.

The final cause is to weaken Russia and to create an unbridgeable gap between Ukraine and Russia. It means to separate one people with a quarter of the population from other three quarters. What would the Americans say if a foreign country organized the secession of the Southern States from the rest of the country? When such a secession occurred in 1861, it lead to a violent civil war that destroyed the southern United States. Now we observe a situation of the same kind. The war between Kiev and the rebels of Donbass is a real Civil War, but inside of the Ukrainian state.

The objective of this war was defined by the American geo-strategist Zbigniew Brzezinski: to create a definitive gap between Russia and Ukraine. But Russia did not fall into this trap. With unprecedented cynicism, Americans and some of their allies in Europe have accused Russia of being guilty of this conflict. The people of Donbass wanted referendums to gain at least some autonomy: the Kiev government called them terrorists. Where is the responsibility of Russia? The Americans and the European Commission accused Russia of interference and decided to introduce sanctions against the Russian Federation after destruction of a Malaysian Airlines plane whose causes are still unknown. But the real untold reason is to weaken Russia at the cost of the ruined Ukraine.

The material cause of the sanctions is primarily of the economic nature.

The material cause of the sanctions is the desire to prevent Russians to have visas to come to the West, to block their assets and certain financial transactions. The first sanctions are arbitrary and violate freedom of movement and property rights of sanctioned individuals: they violate western "human rights" but no court has pronounced about the sanctions. We are in full breach of the general principles of law.

Economically, the sanctions are absurd. Partners are losing money. Economic relations are based on reciprocity: one provides a service and the other pays. If you sanction a partner, you sanction the other one! If a buyer has no right to buy, the seller will lose his opportunity. Sanctions against Russia have a high cost for European countries. The volume of trade with Russia is the fourth in the European Union. According to the Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Miguel Garcia Margallo, in 2014 because of these sanctions the countries of the European Union have lost 21 billion dollars. Germany is closely linked to the Russian economy, Great Britain has significant financial ties with Russia, France has various business interests, even including the defense industries. The US trading with Russia is low, so Europeans are the first victims. Russia took retaliatory measures in the agri-food sector that penalized severely, for example, producers of pork and vegetables in France. Russia has the potential to overcome these obstacles by increasing trade with the Far Eastern or Latin America countries.

According to the unanimous view of economists, economic sanctions are always absurd because the economy is the domain of interdependence. We remember the Napoleon’s continental blockade against England, which was a complete failure. Moreover, the desire to separate Ukraine from Russia will ruin the Ukrainian economy, deprived of its natural markets in the Customs Union, including Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Armenia.

The moving cause are the States that introduce sanctions.

From the perspective of moving cause, the USA managed only to divide Europe. The European Union is split up into three categories of countries: the countries supporting sanctions without any nuance, hesitant countries and reluctant ones. Among 28 members of the European Union, only six countries can be considered as hardliners: the United Kingdom, steadfast US ally, Poland, Romania and three Baltic countries - Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. The hesitant are especially Germany and France, torn between the US pressure and pressure from their CEOs. Germany is ridden between the Russian markets and the unspoken idea to make Ukraine a colony with cheap labor force. Reluctant countries are Italy, Austria, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Greece, Cyprus, Spain.

Europe is far from unanimity. The sanctions are economically counterproductive. Just look at the map to understand the complementarity between the Western Europe and Russia. To integrate Europe and the United States into the so-called Atlantic economic union at all costs goes against the elementary geographical sense. Politically the sanctions mean a neo-colonialism, which is contrary to the principles of national independence and self-determination. A Gallup poll conducted in early 2013 in 65 countries has shown that the USA is regarded worldwide as the greatest threat to peace, Pakistan in second place. (source: Le Point, March 24, 2015). According to the French weekly, "Latin American respondents are unanimous. Argentina, Peru, Colombia, Mexico, Brazil agree that the main threat comes from their powerful northern neighbor. A sentiment is shared by some US allies such as Australia, Germany, Sweden and Finland, and not surprisingly, China and Russia." India fears Pakistan, the USA and Canada consider that Iran is the main threat. Russia is considered as the main threat in Poland and the Baltic States.

The formal cause means law enforcement.

From the point of view of the formal cause, sanctions are real monstrosity. The UN Charter in its first Article says that the UN aims are peace and security, and in Article 2 declares the right of peoples for self-determination. It is this right that is denied to Ukrainians of the East and South by the Kiev government. The US administration justified the anti-Russian sanctions by the so-called "illegal actions" in Ukraine (sic). No details are given. Moreover, the US government acts as if it were an international tribunal. There is even "usurpation of judicial authority", which should lead to sanctions against the USA.

Meanwhile the EU has no legal competence to sanction foreign countries and therefore punishes Russia without serious legal base.

The anti-Russian sanctions, dangerous in terms of their purpose, absurd economically, dividing Europeans politically, legally are unfounded because they are against the international order and introduce an element of serious arbitrariness. Sanctions attack property rights and economic freedom and are contrary to the spirit of the World Trade Organization.

The conclusion is clear: from the point of view of the four causes, the sanctions against Russia are not justified. Russia does not threaten world peace. Economically, the sanctions turned against European countries for the sole benefit of the United States. Politically, they divide Europe more and more. Legally, they have no real basis and are destroying the world order.

On May 9, 2015 President of Russia Vladimir Putin said in his speech at the military parade on Red Square in Moscow to mark the 70th anniversary of Russia's victory over Nazism: "The creation of a system of equal security for all states should become our common task. Such system should be an adequate match to modern threats, and it should rest on a regional and global non-block basis. Only then will we be able to ensure peace and tranquility on the planet."

In such a world there should be no room for unilateral sanctions triggered by a single superpower.

Views expressed are of individual Members and Contributors, rather than the Club's, unless explicitly stated otherwise.