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The Queen’s Chatham House Demands No Letup in Drive To Crush Russia, Putin

March 10, 2022 (EIRNS)—In a March 8 article posted to its website, under the headline “Devising the Strategy To Deter Russia and Weaken Putin,” the British Crown’s very own Royal Institute for International Affairs (RIIA), otherwise known as Chatham House, warns that there can be no wavering in the drive to crush the nation of Russia and its President dVladimir Putin. A number of effective steps have already been taken, says Associate Fellow Jamie Shea, but more is required, including ensuring that enough combat forces are available to defend Europe, and that enough ships and aircraft have been sent to reinforce the Baltic states. NATO’s Reaction Force is revved up. The next step should be to break the pledge made to Moscow in 1997 not to station substantial combat forces or build military infrastructure on the territory of new member states. There’s no reason for NATO to respect this now, the author argues, as the conditions that existed in 1997 to justify it are no longer “relevant.”

Even though sanctions have been applied so effectively and in such a unified way, Shea explains, more must be done. Normally it takes some time for sanctions to be effective, and in the meantime, countries find ways around them. But now the priority must be to “front load the full sanctions package to maximize the pain on Russia and give it less time and scope to adjust,” while keeping “public opinion on [our] side for as long as possible,” given that people are worried about rising inflation and energy prices. Above all, governments “must avoid a situation whereby standing up to the Kremlin becomes the scapegoat for falling living standards and high prices at the fuel pump.”

Shea laments that from a policy standpoint, sacrifices will have to be made, which will mean offending the environmentalists: Keep the pressure on OPEC, especially the Saudis, to increase output, release 60 million barrels from the U.S. and others’ strategic reserves, and even burn more coal on a short-term basis. Shea insists that past mistakes must be corrected: Russia should have been more vigorously sanctioned after it “annexed” Crimea—what the royals call a popular referendum—and the City of London should not have been allowed to “thrive as a hub of shady Russian financial transactions despite G7 pledges to shut it down.” Weakening “Putin’s grip on Russia must now be the policy focus.” All of the economic, military, diplomatic, and legal tools to do this exist “of tying Putin and his regime [sic] in a host of criminal proceedings ... the yardstick is the perseverance and skillfulness in using these tools effectively.”

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