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US Will Not Accept Any European Opposition to Russia Sanctions

Russia is on its way to ease sanctions for some EU countries while Victoria Nulands travels to Europe to stoke war on the European continent

The US does not allow any other form of democracy except its own. This means that the US, as a godfather of democracy, knows best — always.  

The article originally appeared at German Ecionomic News. Translated for RI by Anita Zalaldinova.

<figcaption>Victoria Nuland and Ukrainian border guards: official representatives of two most democratic countries</figcaption>
Victoria Nuland and Ukrainian border guards: official representatives of two most democratic countries

US Secretary of State Victoria Nuland will travel to countries in the EU which oppose tougher sanctions against Russia. Greece and Cyprus are to participate in ‘bilateral talks’ about the issue. Americans obviously do not trust the European Commission which holds its own Member States together.

The US government is concerned about possibly unreliable fellows in the EU which might not follow its strive for tightening the line against Russia. Secretary for Europe Victoria Nuland said at the hearing in Congress that she wanted to travel to some of the states in the ‘coming days and weeks’ in order to ensure in ‘bilateral talks’ that those EU states, which had deprecated in the recent past, accept further US course. She was asked how she would react to the resistance of Greece, Hungary and Cyprus. Politicians did not say in which of these states Nuland will be making efforts at persuasion. Nuland noted that although there were appeals against sanctions, the abovementioned states had nevertheless voted unanimously at the Council of the European Union for the already imposed sanctions. The EU Commission does not apparently trust Nuland: One has to speak with the Commission in order to consult with the Council about which sanctions have a negative impact on the economy of Europe.

New Greek Foreign Minister Kotzias spoke against wanton sanctions. Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi during his visit to Moscow also mentioned the importance of reviving partnership with Russia. It is conceivable that the skepticism of Americans against the EU Commission is based on the fact that Federica Mogherini is an Italian EU delegate. Mogherini has also avoided overly aggressive accusations of Russia in her speeches so far.

Nuland, in contrast, has played a key role in the transition of power in Kiev: Russians intercepted her call with the US ambassador when she instructed him to make Arseny ‘Jaz’ Yatsenyuk a new leader. At the hearing Nuland said that the US have done nothing to infringe the ‘integrity’ of Ukraine – very unlike Russia, which had broken the Budapest Memorandum with its actions. The Agreement was concluded after the fall of the Soviet Union and obliged Ukraine to refrain from having its own nuclear weapon.

The entire hearing showed that the majority of senators are pushing for a tough stance against Russia and are frustrated by the reluctance of US President Barack Obama. Putin was called a ‘criminal’ and the situation was compared to one with the Cuban missile crisis. The majority of senators demanded arms supplies to Ukraine.

In order to support her strategy Nuland accused Russia of further infringements of the Minsk Agreement for de-escalation in the Eastern Ukraine. She said that Russian tanks and other heavy military equipment have been transported across the Russian border to the disturbed region in the recent days. This also included artillery, armoured vehicles and missile components. The population of the eastern Ukraine and Crimea, annexed by Russia, suffers from a ‘reign of terror’, Nuland said at the hearing.

Against this background Federal Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier called the US and Europe for unity in addressing the major crises in Ukraine and in fighting against extremist militia of Islamic State (IS). ‘We are strong when the transatlantic ties are strong, when Europe and the US act together, when Berlin and Washington cooperate’, Steinmeier said on Wednesday, a few hours before the departure for a three day visit to the US. ‘In these troubled times we have to pay great attention to the growing global chaos on both sides of the Atlantic’.

Steinmeier has recently claimed that Germany has received wrong information about the military situation in Ukraine from the US and NATO.

US President Barack Obama still does not want to deliver weapons to Ukraine. With more weapons no progress could be made in Ukraine, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said in February at the Munich Security Conference.

Steinmeier will meet with his US colleague John Kerry for dinner on Wednesday night in Washington. Talks with the National Security Adviser Susan Rice are planned for the next day. According to diplomatic sources during the visit to Atlanta on Friday the planned free trade agreement with the United States will be discussed. At the hearing in connection with Ukraine Nuland also mentioned TTIP – this is surprising because the agreement and the strategy in Russia have not been mentioned in the same breath by the official American side so far.

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