Ukraine: West for more sanctions on Russia, if Minsk agreement violated!
-Dr. Abdul Ruff Colachal
In the post Cold War for the first time USA and Europe consider now Russia a serious enough threat to their global political interest and hence they think economic measures alone can weaken the Kremlin that would make the Russians angry with President Vladimir Putin who continues to be defiant to US accept the US demands on Ukraine and eventually effect a regime change in Moscow.
President Putin says the recent murder of the Russia’s opposition leader is a work done by the enemies of Russia to discredit his presidency.
The Minsk ceasefire agreement between Russia and West appears to be fragile as there is fight going on in Ukraine.
US President Barack Obama and European leaders have warned Russia that they are ready to step up sanctions if there are further violations of a cease-fire agreement in Ukraine. The threats came in statements issued on March 03 after a video conference that brought together Obama and the leaders of Britain, France, Germany and Italy, as well as the head of the European Council. The virtual meeting took place amid continuing violence in Ukraine despite the two-week-old cease-fire accord reached in Minsk.
White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Obama used the call to condemn Russia for not following through on its agreements. “It was an opportunity for the president to condemn the continuing failure of Russia and the separatists it backs to abide by the commitments to which they agreed,” White House spokesman Earnest said.
Obama and the European leaders agreed that a major breach of the cease-fire pact would make a strong reaction from the international community necessary, the office of French President Francois Hollande said in a statement. “Leaders will be ready to decide on further sanctions if the Minsk agreements are further violated,” said a European Union statement that was echoed by one from German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesman.
European leaders said they agreed that the OSCE needed a broader role as observers of the cease-fire and removal of weapons. Kiev announced its highest casualty toll in several days, with three Ukrainian servicemen dead and nine wounded. The French statement also said the parties wanted to bolster the resources of monitors from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), a European rights and security watchdog.
Reports suggest, Ukraine’s parliament is expected to back Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko’s request for international peacekeepers to monitor the conflict. That idea, however, has faced a chilly reception in Europe.
Meanwhile, economic thrashing of Russia by the western powers has begun to show the negative results in Russia. Russia is the seventh most miserable economy in the world, according to Bloomberg’s 2015 misery index of saddest consumers. Russia is a new entry in the top ten most miserable nations. The misery equation — inflation + unemployment = misery — found that Russia’s misery rate is around 20 percent, Bloomberg calculations showed. Inflation doubled to 15 percent over the past year as Western sanctions over Moscow’s actions in Ukraine and a 50 percent fall in the price of oil, Russia’s main export, have halted economic growth and almost halved the value of the ruble currency. Unemployment is climbing slowly, though it remains comparatively low at just over 5 percent. Ukraine was rated second in the Bloomberg’s 2014 misery index. Bloomberg placed Greece and Spain fifth and sixth with misery index scores of over 20 percent. Eighth most miserable is Croatia, followed by Turkey and Portugal.
Meanwhile, the top US military officer, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Martin Dempsey, told a Senate hearing the United States should “absolutely” consider providing lethal weapons to Ukraine. He acknowledged that Russia could take Ukraine if it wanted. But Dempsey said the United States should look for opportunities to level the playing field between Ukrainian forces and Russia-backed separatists, in the unlikely event “the Russians are actually telling the truth” when they deny aiding their sympathizers in Ukraine.
Meanwhile, the strenuous efforts of USA to divide the Russo-China political and economic bonds have not succeeded and US war strategists believe, rightly so, that Russia is not going to offend China in any manner that would give way for confrontations in near future.