Wednesday, December 23, 2015

US Extends Anti-Russian Sanctions

US Extends Anti-Russian Sanctions

by Stephen Lendman

Analysts believing recent G20 sideline talks between Putin and Obama, followed by Kerry meeting Lavrov and Russia’s president in Moscow changed anything better think again.

Washington’s longstanding anti-Russian agenda remains unchanged - aiming to replace its sovereign independence with US-led Western puppet rule, what Moscow won’t ever tolerate.

The latest evidence of US intentions came Tuesday. A hostile US Treasury statement extended earlier illegally imposed sanctions.

US Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) acting director John E. Smith lied, saying:

“It is critical that Russia takes the steps necessary to comply with its obligations under the Minsk Agreements and to ensure a peaceful settlement of the conflict in Ukraine.”

“By more closely matching our designations with those of our international partners and thwarting attempts to evade sanctions¸ we are once again demonstrating the United States’ unwavering resolve to pressure Russia to respect the security and sovereignty of Ukraine.”

Fact: Russia helped draft and scrupulously observes Minsk ceasefire terms.

Fact: Ukrainian fascists installed by Washington systematically breach them, blaming its high crimes on Donbass freedom fighters.

Fact: Absurd accusations of nonexistent Russian aggression persist. No nation works harder for peace and stability, none more committed against war and instability.

Months of US-led pressure exerted on Russia accomplished nothing. Washington claiming it’s committed to seek diplomatic conflict resolution in Ukraine is polar opposite official US policy - using its installed Kiev ally as a dagger against Russia.

Moscow said it’ll analyze Washington’s move and react accordingly. Countermeasures may follow. 

Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov called Tuesday’s move “a continuation of this unfriendly stance towards Russia, a continuation of the stance which has a devastating impact on bilateral relations.”

“Certainly, based on the reciprocity principle, the Russian side will initially review these (US) decisions (and) then pool proposals on possible countermeasures.”

Despite Putin urging mutual cooperation on vital issues, especially in combating terrorism and resolving the Ukrainian conflict diplomatically, Washington maintains unbending hostile relations.

Its hardline policies belie its occasional softer rhetoric. The sanctions list includes 14 individuals and entities linked to individuals involved in “evasion of existing US sanctions or are 50% or more owned by a designated entity,” the US Treasury said.

It also includes six “separatists (wrongfully) designated for threatening the security or stability of Ukraine” for wanting democratic rights, refusing to live under repressive fascist rule.  

Two former Ukrainian Yanukovych government officials were targeted “for being complicit in the misappropriation of public assets and/or threatening the security or stability of Ukraine.”

Hugely corrupt illegitimate fascists in Kiev enjoy full US support, their high crimes ignored, notably against their own people.

Twelve Crimean entities were targeted, the US Treasury saying sanctions will continue until “the return to Ukraine of control of its side of the international border with Russia.”

Crimea is legal Russian territory, affirmed by the overwhelming majority of its people, by open, free and fair national referendum - their international law guaranteed right of self-determination. There’s no going back.

Various Russian entities and officials are targeted. On Monday, EU nations succumbed to heavy US pressure - extending its sanctions on Russia for another six months, despite their ineffectiveness.

Moscow blasted the move rightfully. Maybe one day EU leaders will declare independence from Washington and act in their own best interests.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

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