End of sanctions against Russia?

Should sanctions be ended against Russia.

  • Yes, business is more important and creates greater influence over Russia

    Votes: 8 38.1%
  • No, sanctions should be maintained.

    Votes: 6 28.6%
  • No, sanctions should be increased.

    Votes: 7 33.3%

  • Total voters
    21
There is an article behind a pay wall in the Times. In it, Italy is pressing the EU and the UK in particular to engage with Russia to end the refugee crisis in Libya...

'Italy is turning to Russia to help combat the immigration crisis, despite warnings from European allies about Vladimir Putin’s motives. “Italy has always had close ties with Russia, and now that we want a peaceful, unified Libya, we will be happy if Russia wants it too,” Mario Giro, the Italian deputy foreign minister, said.'

Given statements by senior Germans with regard to ending sanctions against Russia and the willingness of Trump to do business with Russia, will we see sanctions ending against Russia as the concomitant concession?

If so, this would be at a time when NATO is deploying moderate numbers of troops and resources to Sourthern, Central and Northern Europe to counter Russian aggression.

Should NATO be undermined by the wants of European States, should Baltic and Southern NATO members be further endangered?
 
Yes.

I have a vested interest though as one of my clients is a Russian financial services firm and they have indicated that a lifting, or toning down, of sanctions will be beneficial to my relationship with them :-D
 
Yes.

I have a vested interest though as one of my clients is a Russian financial services firm and they have indicated that a lifting, or toning down, of sanctions will be beneficial to my relationship with them :-D
I've just been watching this video - in English - of an interview with the German Ambassador to Latvia, he is in favour of negotiation with Russia should they begin implementing the Minsk Agreement - German ambassador: We don't want bad relations with Russia - the Italians seem to be opening the door to further negotiation by asking the Russians to help.
 
Putins won this round of Realpolitik, the West is still struggling to accept that reality on the ground but normal services will be resumed shortly.
 

4(T)

LE
I've just been watching this video - in English - of an interview with the German Ambassador to Latvia, he is in favour of negotiation with Russia should they begin implementing the Minsk Agreement - German ambassador: We don't want bad relations with Russia - the Italians seem to be opening the door to further negotiation by asking the Russians to help.

The Germans and Italians, of course, having lots of long standing "biznis" interests in Russia, and being very compatible with the business culture there...
 
Putins won this round of Realpolitik, the West is still struggling to accept that reality on the ground but normal services will be resumed shortly.
I hope your job doesn't involve being deep vetted ;)
 
There is an article behind a pay wall in the Times. In it, Italy is pressing the EU and the UK in particular to engage with Russia to end the refugee crisis in Libya...

'Italy is turning to Russia to help combat the immigration crisis, despite warnings from European allies about Vladimir Putin’s motives. “Italy has always had close ties with Russia, and now that we want a peaceful, unified Libya, we will be happy if Russia wants it too,” Mario Giro, the Italian deputy foreign minister, said.'

Given statements by senior Germans with regard to ending sanctions against Russia and the willingness of Trump to do business with Russia, will we see sanctions ending against Russia as the concomitant concession?

If so, this would be at a time when NATO is deploying moderate numbers of troops and resources to Sourthern, Central and Northern Europe to counter Russian aggression.

Should NATO be undermined by the wants of European States, should Baltic and Southern NATO members be further endangered?
This article:
Russia urged to intervene in Libyan migrant crisis

Linked to what Russia is already doing in Libya ie not supporting the UN approved GNA but the 'commander' in the east:
Russia turns to Libya with show of support for eastern commander
A visit to a Russian aircraft carrier by Libya's Khalifa Haftar has given the eastern–based commander a symbolic boost while also signaling Moscow's interest in a greater role in the region following its intervention in Syria.

Haftar is a figurehead for east Libyan factions who harbors national ambitions, and his renewed engagement with Russia comes at a time when the U.N.-supported government in Tripoli that he has shunned is once more in crisis.

Russian support could embolden Haftar in making a play for power in Tripoli, a move likely to fuel conflict and represent a major setback for genuine unity government in Libya.

Western states say the U.N.-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) provides the best chance of reversing Libya's slide into anarchy and warfare.

But as splits and resistance have weakened the GNA in the capital, Haftar has gained momentum in the east, with support from foreign allies who back his fight against Islamist groups.

He enjoys close ties to Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, and has cultivated his friendship with Russia, visiting Moscow twice last year to ask for help in his anti-Islamist campaign.

His tour of the Admiral Kuznetsov in the Mediterranean on Wednesday was Russia's most overt show of support to date.

In a video-conference call from the ship reported by Russian media, Haftar and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu discussed the fight against "terrorist groups", also one of Moscow's stated targets in its Syria campaign.

Haftar's advisers declined to comment on the aircraft carrier visit and what it might mean for relations with Russia.

But following its intervention in Syria, Russia sees Libya as a way to anchor its return to the Middle East, said Alexei Malashenko, the chief researcher at Dialogue of Civilizations Institute, a think-tank with close ties to the Russian leadership.

"One single Syria is not enough. That's why we need one more state for the Russian presence not only in Syria but generally in the Middle East. Libya is a convenient territory for it. It's complete chaos and you can always say that Russia helps to fight terrorism."

Russian President Vladimir Putin may also take an interest in restoring his country's influence in Libya, analysts say. Before he was overthrown, Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi had been a long-standing Russian ally and Putin opposed the NATO campaign that helped to topple him.

Russia did not use its U.N. Security Council veto to block the resolution authorizing military action, and Putin, who was out of presidential office at the time, took the risk of demonstrating a split in Russian leadership by publicly criticizing it.

CONTRACTS

Russia has outwardly backed U.N. mediation in Libya, and says it will abide by an arms embargo on the country. But it could eventually stand to recover billions of dollars worth of weapons and energy deals lost when Gaddafi lost power in 2011.

A parliament and government in eastern Libya that are allied to Haftar have no direct control over oil revenues. But they have maintained rival branches of the central bank, which has had Libyan dinars printed in Russia, and the National Oil Corporation (NOC), which has tried unsuccessfully to circumvent U.N. resolutions and sell oil independently of Tripoli.

"We hope for a return of the Russian state to its role as a support of Libya's armed forces, which have been abandoned by most countries in their war against terrorism," said Abdallah Bilhaq, a spokesman for the eastern parliament, citing some $4 billion in pre-2011 arms contracts.

Naji al-Maghrabi, appointed to head the NOC by the eastern government, told Reuters his office had signed 29 contracts, including recent ones with major states such as Russia and China. He did not give details.

So far, Russia's support for Haftar appears to be mainly symbolic, said Karim Mezran, a fellow at the Atlantic Council's Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East, though that could change if Haftar tries to take Tripoli, as his opponents in western Libya fear he is actively preparing to do.

"If he is getting signs of possible tribes or groups or militias who are really ready to switch to his side he might take the Russian encouragement and move," he said.

The GNA has been hamstrung by its failure to win endorsement from Haftar's allies, and its leaders have appeared increasingly isolated and dependent on Western backing since arriving in Tripoli in March.
EU Ministers say sanctions are linked to Moscow's ongoing conflict in Ukraine and failure (along with Ukraine) to implement Minsk 2:
EU vows to stick to Russia sanctions despite Trump's bid for detente
The European Union will keep sanctions on Russia until Moscow drops its support for the separatist rebellion in Ukraine, foreign ministers said on Monday, as U.S. President Donald Trump promises better ties with the Kremlin.

The EU appears determined to maintain a united front on foreign policy goals that are at odds with Trump on many issues, including Iran, China and the role of NATO.

"There is no case for relaxation of the sanctions," UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said, speaking at an EU foreign affairs council meeting about measures implemented with the U.S. in 2014 against Russia's energy, financial and defence sectors. The European Union, although reliant on Russian oil and gas, says it will never recognise Moscow's 2014 annexation of Ukraine's Crimea peninsula and expects the Kremlin to abide by the Minsk peace deal brokered for eastern Ukraine.

"I cannot say where the U.S. administration stands on this but I can say where the Europeans stand on this," said EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, noting that she would discuss Ukraine, as well as the conflict in Syria, with White House officials in Washington at the end of the week.

She expects to meet National Security Advisor Michael Flynn and senior White House adviser Jared Kushner as well as U.S. senators, she said.

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence would visit Brussels on Feb. 20, Mogherini said. But EU diplomats fear any U.S. move to relax sanctions on Russia would make it difficult for the European Union to keep sanctions in place. Russia "doves" including Hungary, Italy, Greece and Bulgaria would push to re-establish business dealings.

France and Germany, who helped negotiate the Minsk peace deal with Russia and Ukraine, told the EU ministers' meeting on Monday it was crucial to ensure any discussion of sanctions remained directly linked to the conflict in Ukraine, which has killed some 10,000 people since April 2014.

In a pre-inauguration interview, Trump proposed relaxing U.S. sanctions in return for Russia scaling back its nuclear arsenal, a position EU diplomats rejected.

However, EU ministers have welcomed comments by Trump's new ambassador to the United Nations that Washington would not lift sanctions against Russia until the country withdraws from Crimea.
The end game (paywall):
Putin is reviving regional influence
President Putin’s interest in assisting Italy in tackling the flow of migrants from Libya is likely to be based more on a desire to revive Russia’s regional influence, rather than humanitarian concerns.

Sergei Lavrov, Russia’s foreign minister, discussed the crisis with Angelino Alfano, Italy’s top diplomat, in a phone call on Friday. Mr Alfano said that Italy recognised Russia’s “desire” to co-operate.

“Putin does not care about the migrant crisis,” Vladimir Frolov, a foreign affairs expert, said. “He cares about getting back the good old Soviet client zone in the Middle East and north Africa.”
Lets not forget who he supports (paywall):
War crimes don’t matter, says Assad
President Assad has said that he “doesn’t care” about a war crime case brought against his regime because defending his country is more important.

Addressing Belgian media in Syria, Assad accused the UN of bias and dismissed a potential court case brought against his regime in The Hague.

Amnesty International has revealed that as many as 13,000 inmates at a prison outside Damascus were hanged between 2011 and 2015 in a “calculated campaign of extrajudicial execution”.

According to Sana, the Syrian state news agency, Assad said: “We all know that the United Nations institutions are not unbiased. They are biased because of the American influence and the French and British, mainly. They are only politicised to implement the agenda of those countries.”
Lets not forget what happens to the opposition in Russia:
Russian opposition leader who survived Litvinenko-style poisoning re-admitted to hospital
“The causes of his critical condition are unclear,” Vadim Prokhorov wrote in a statement on Facebook.

“Volodya is currently unconscious. There was multiple organ failure. He is on artificial ventilation for his lungs, dialysis, and other life-support measures,” Mr Prokhorov added.

Mr Prokhorov said the symptoms resemble those of Mr Kara-Murza suffered during an almost fatal apparent poisoning two years ago.
Appeasement worked so well in 1938 :rolleyes:
 

FORMER_FYRDMAN

LE
Book Reviewer
I'd offer the Russians the sweetener of recognising their ownership of the Crimea in return for formally deploying NATO further east where it can actually do some good. I'd also chance my arm and try to inhibit their activities in eastern Ukraine as part of the same deal.

The case for Russia giving up the Crimea is relatively weak given how the Ukraine acquired it and we're not going to make them. We may as well get something material in return for accepting a reality we can do nothing about, particularly as it'll make it harder for them to play the same game in the Baltic.
 
This article:
Russia urged to intervene in Libyan migrant crisis

Linked to what Russia is already doing in Libya ie not supporting the UN approved GNA but the 'commander' in the east:
Russia turns to Libya with show of support for eastern commander


EU Ministers say sanctions are linked to Moscow's ongoing conflict in Ukraine and failure (along with Ukraine) to implement Minsk 2:
EU vows to stick to Russia sanctions despite Trump's bid for detente


The end game (paywall):
Putin is reviving regional influence


Lets not forget who he supports (paywall):
War crimes don’t matter, says Assad


Lets not forget what happens to the opposition in Russia:
Russian opposition leader who survived Litvinenko-style poisoning re-admitted to hospital


Appeasement worked so well in 1938 :rolleyes:
Have a 'like' as well.
 
The world needs more Vodka!
 
Except, how does Putin negotiate?

Removing sanctions or at least allowing some alleviation in them would be a potential deaths knell for the Baltics; he simply does not do negotiation and it would re-enforce his grip on Russia. On the other hand, some EU MS would be overjoyed, I can think of Slovakia, Germany, France (more Mistrals anyone) and Italy.

In addition, this would give him even greater leverage over the Med coast which he would only exploit to create greater unrest in the Lebanon, Egypt and Tunisia.

Dangerous game afoot now.
 
Well there is no way short of the next war that Russia will give up the Crimea.
As for Ukraine, strong western help will be required but is their such a leader in the west ?
I said for many years that there where only 2 politicians in the west of Europe, Mutty and Vlad the Impaler.
One is no longer a major player, self inflicted wounds, and the other may just get what he wants and desires above all.

john
 
Except, how does Putin negotiate?
From a position of strength. Says he wants better relations with the West but does his utmost to undermine the EU and NATO and hack (as confirmed by Trump and his COS) the US elections.

Trump is a businessman, so he will want something for the relaxation of sanctions and has already spoken about reduction of nukes. The problem for Trump is the deal (whatever it is) when ratified and inevitably broken (but denied as broken) by Putin is what does he do? Based on the past, Trump will not be happy.

Removing sanctions or at least allowing some alleviation in them would be a potential deaths knell for the Baltics; he simply does not do negotiation and it would re-enforce his grip on Russia.
Yep, what's the answer though? Continue with sanctions until Minsk 2 is accorded with (by both sides) or give him what he wants until he needs another piece of land such as the Mariupol corridor to Crimea?

On the other hand, some EU MS would be overjoyed, I can think of Slovakia, Germany, France (more Mistrals anyone) and Italy.
Throw Greece, Hungary and possibly Romania in there as well.

In addition, this would give him even greater leverage over the Med coast which he would only exploit to create greater unrest in the Lebanon, Egypt and Tunisia.
It's already happening with his support of Haftar and there's not a great deal 'we' (as in the West) can do about it. To take the wind out of his sails they could always get Haftar to be the GNA Def Min again I suppose.

Dangerous game afoot now.
Has been for years now. Since about '99 and a certain gentleman who was upset at the loss of the Soviet Union coming to power, stoking nationalism and gradually provoking tensions and even war in his 'near abroad.'

Only one way to deal with bullies imo, but 'the West' doesn't have the stomach for outright confrontation with him and neither Syria or the Ukraine are the places to do it.
 

DaManBugs

LE
Book Reviewer
From a position of strength. Says he wants better relations with the West but does his utmost to undermine the EU and NATO and hack (as confirmed by Trump and his COS) the US elections.

Trump is a businessman, so he will want something for the relaxation of sanctions and has already spoken about reduction of nukes. The problem for Trump is the deal (whatever it is) when ratified and inevitably broken (but denied as broken) by Putin is what does he do? Based on the past, Trump will not be happy.

Yep, what's the answer though? Continue with sanctions until Minsk 2 is accorded with (by both sides) or give him what he wants until he needs another piece of land such as the Mariupol corridor to Crimea?

Throw Greece, Hungary and possibly Romania in there as well.

It's already happening with his support of Haftar and there's not a great deal 'we' (as in the West) can do about it. To take the wind out of his sails they could always get Haftar to be the GNA Def Min again I suppose.

Has been for years now. Since about '99 and a certain gentleman who was upset at the loss of the Soviet Union coming to power, stoking nationalism and gradually provoking tensions and even war in his 'near abroad.'

Only one way to deal with bullies imo, but 'the West' doesn't have the stomach for outright confrontation with him and neither Syria or the Ukraine are the places to do it.
An interesting take. What it doesn’t take into account is the fact that Putin, although a very nasty piece of work, is not a warmonger. His “reputation” as an expansionist was conjured up by the Septics when they forced his hand over Ukraine. In that case, he very smartly out-manoeuvred them and made them look like the bumbling incompetents they are.

Putin wants to make Russia into a world power and form a counterweight to the destructive imperialistic ambitions of the Septics, who are still working off the blueprint provided by Cheney, Wolfowitz ect called “The New American Century”. He also wants advantageous trade deals with China, South America and the EU. And don’t forget that it was the Septics who caused the disaster in Libya in the first place, when they wanted to remove Gaddafi as the lynch-pin in the formation of an African Union with its own pan-African currency based on a gold standard. That would’ve entirely removed any Septic influence on the continent at a stroke, and they weren’t about to allow that to happen.

I can’t say that I like your man Putin very much, but it’s not him who’s provoking unrest in the world. He’s made no move to re-occupy the Baltic States, in spite of all the hysterical shouting and the only reason that the EU nations went along with sanctions in the first place was because they had their collective arm twisted by the Septics.

There’s no doubt that Putin will continue to support the separatists in eastern Ukraine, just as there’s no doubt that the Septics will continue to support the Ukrainians fighting against them. To place all of the blame for what’s happened there on Putin’s shoulders is a propaganda trick that hasn’t quite come off. Whenever there’s another hatchet-job on Putin in the right-wing rags, it’s interesting to note that the overwhelming majority of those commenting on it seem to support him and see through the clumsy demonisation. Which genuinely surprises me, but it clearly shows that the negative Septic propaganda has no real traction.

MsG
 
An interesting take. What it doesn’t take into account is the fact that Putin, although a very nasty piece of work, is not a warmonger. His “reputation” as an expansionist was conjured up by the Septics when they forced his hand over Ukraine. In that case, he very smartly out-manoeuvred them and made them look like the bumbling incompetents they are.
I believe his 'expansionist agenda' credentials are evidenced by Transnistria, South Ossetia, Crimea etc.

Putin wants to make Russia into a world power and form a counterweight to the destructive imperialistic ambitions of the Septics, who are still working off the blueprint provided by Cheney, Wolfowitz ect called “The New American Century”. He also wants advantageous trade deals with China, South America and the EU. And don’t forget that it was the Septics who caused the disaster in Libya in the first place, when they wanted to remove Gaddafi as the lynch-pin in the formation of an African Union with its own pan-African currency based on a gold standard. That would’ve entirely removed any Septic influence on the continent at a stroke, and they weren’t about to allow that to happen.
Russia wants to be a Regional Power. It wants its place at the negotiating table, which it managed to do in Syria and wants influence over its 'near abroad.' I believe that Russia's goal of being a 'world power' is on the back burner for a while, bearing in mind its current economy. Maybe in time, but by then China will be in the lead.

I can’t say that I like your man Putin very much, but it’s not him who’s provoking unrest in the world. He’s made no move to re-occupy the Baltic States, in spite of all the hysterical shouting and the only reason that the EU nations went along with sanctions in the first place was because they had their collective arm twisted by the Septics.
Time will tell, but the EU has already said they will keep the sanctions if the US drops them. As he's threatened his neighbours in Finland and Sweden ragarding their thoughts on NATO, he clearly is trying to provoke unrest.

There’s no doubt that Putin will continue to support the separatists in eastern Ukraine, just as there’s no doubt that the Septics will continue to support the Ukrainians fighting against them. To place all of the blame for what’s happened there on Putin’s shoulders is a propaganda trick that hasn’t quite come off. Whenever there’s another hatchet-job on Putin in the right-wing rags, it’s interesting to note that the overwhelming majority of those commenting on it seem to support him and see through the clumsy demonisation. Which genuinely surprises me, but it clearly shows that the negative Septic propaganda has no real traction.

MsG
What surprises me is that a blatant land grab and direct men and materiel support of a rebellion in eastern Ukraine is somehow supported as being US demonisation. Oh well .............
 
Unbadged army, unmarked vehicles.

Where did they come from???

Hell no.

Sanctions should remain as a reminder that everyone know where the men equipment and missiles came from
 
Sanctions can sometimes force reasonable people to re-consider their un-reasonable actions; sanctions will not change the behaviour of the unreasonable or of anyone who believes their own actions to be reasonable.

Putin does not believe in reason in the way we do, he believes in strength. He sees sanctions as being the weapon of weakness. He has thrived off the adversity that sanctions have brought to his country and his people love him for having the strength to stand up to the West. When Turkey showed strength and shot down Russian aircraft, he recognised that strength and despite the crisis he forged a stronger alliance with Erdogan to fight both ISIS and the Kurds.

We need to be smarter in dealing with Putin.
 
Sanctions can sometimes force reasonable people to re-consider their un-reasonable actions; sanctions will not change the behaviour of the unreasonable or of anyone who believes their own actions to be reasonable.

Putin does not believe in reason in the way we do, he believes in strength. He sees sanctions as being the weapon of weakness. He has thrived off the adversity that sanctions have brought to his country and his people love him for having the strength to stand up to the West. When Turkey showed strength and shot down Russian aircraft, he recognised that strength and despite the crisis he forged a stronger alliance with Erdogan to fight both ISIS and the Kurds.

We need to be smarter in dealing with Putin.
Or harder and firmer?

My experience is that Russians respect power / force. They do not respect weakness. And now, you touch a trip wire; do we enter Russia?

This is almost a replay of the 17 and 1800s, tit for tat, not going all out but we are fighting.

I hope there are some minds that understand the Russian mentality AND can influence and educate pollies that Russia only respects power.
 

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