Mês: abril 2018

Skripal

The Slowly Building Anger in the UK at the Government’s Handling of the Skripal Case   Rob Slane Apr. 7, 2018   In her daily press conference on 5th April, the Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, mentioned a quiet resentment and fury that is building up amongst ordinary Russians over the way the Government of the United Kingdom has handled the case of Sergei and Yulia Skripal. Strange though it may seem, I sense a similar feeling of anger and resentment building up here in the UK, as it becomes clearer and clearer that the official narrative has little or no connection with reality. The anger and frustration is increasingly being displayed on comment boards underneath pieces reporting on the issue. And the feeling is not confined to those who would normally be labelled “conspiracy theorists”. It appears that even many of those who would not normally question official statements can see that something is seriously wrong with all this. More specifically, from whence comes this feeling? Here are just 20 of the many reasons for this growing anger: 1. It comes from being asked to believe frankly outlandish claims – such as the one that is central to the whole incident, that the Skripals, who are very much alive and well, were poisoned by a military-grade nerve agent with a toxicity 5-8 times that of VX. 2....

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Sanctions

The Moral Case for Sanctions Against Russia   Rather than talk in terms of strategy or punishment, American officials should return to a kind of thinking that Republicans used to love: values-based foreign policy.   Masha Gessen Apr. 6, 2018   On Friday, the Treasury Department announced that it was imposing sanctions against twenty-four Russian individuals and fourteen Russian companies. This was the third set of sanctions against Russia announced in the past month: on March 15th, the Trump Administration imposed sanctions on individuals and companies named by the special counsel Robert Mueller as agents of election meddling; a week and a half later, the U.S. expelled sixty Russian diplomats and ordered the closure of the Russian consulate in Seattle. Each of the last three American Presidents has taken office promising to improve relations with Russia, only to see the relationship sour further—yet the contrast between declared intention and reality is particularly jarring in the case of the Trump Administration. While Donald Trump once promised to bring about a “great relationship” with Russia, Russian-American relations are now arguably at their lowest point since the Cold War. Historically, sanctions against Russia have come in several different categories, each of which reflects a different theory of Russia and perhaps even of the world. Diplomatic expulsions are one category—about thirty countries have expelled Russian representatives in response to last month’s apparent nerve-agent...

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Warm War

The Warm War: Russiamania at the Boiling Point   Jim Kavanagh Apr. 2, 2018   Is it war yet? Yes, in too many respects. It’s a relentless economic, diplomatic, and ideological war, spiced with (so far) just a dash of military war, and the strong scent of more to come. I mean war with Russia, of course, although Russia is the point target for a constellation of emerging adversaries the US is desperate to entame before any one or combination of them becomes too strong to defeat.  These include countries like Iran and China, which are developing forces capable of resisting American military aggression against their own territory and on a regional level, and have shown quite too much uppitiness about staying in their previously-assigned geopolitical cages. But Russia is the only country that has put its military forces in the way of a U.S. program of regime change—indirectly in Ukraine, where Russia would not get out of the way, and directly in Syria, where Russia actively got inthe way. So Russia is the focus of attack, the prime target for an exemplary comeuppance. Is it, then, a new Cold War, even more dangerous than the old one, as Stephen F. Cohen says? That terminology was apt even a few months ago, but the speed, ferocity, and coordinationof the West/NATO’s reaction to the alleged nerve-agent poisoning of the Skripals,...

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