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U.S. Announces New Sanctions on Russia, Without a Plan on When They’d Ever Be Removed

May 9, 2022 (EIRNS)—At an unusual 7 a.m. Sunday morning press briefing, the inevitable White House “senior administration official” explained that in order to “strengthen Ukraine’s position on the battlefield and at the negotiating table,” the U.S. and EU are coordinating their activities on levying additional sanctions against Russia. After reviewing sanctions on financial services (including, implicitly, stealing Russia’s reserves) and on major exports such as oil, the new sanctions were unveiled, in five categories: professional services, broadcasting services, industrial engines, visa restrictions, and bank executive sanctions.

No longer will Russian firms be able to avail themselves of U.S. or U.K. accounting firms. The major three TV stations in Russia will no longer be able to run ads from U.S. companies, nor will they be able to purchase broadcasting equipment or software. Industrial engines (explicitly mentioned was agricultural equipment producer John Deere) may no longer be sold. And 2,600 new visa restrictions are being slapped on Russian and Belarusian officials, and new sanctions on Sberbank and Gazprombank executives.

When asked what Russia would have to do in order to have the sanctions reversed, the official was not exactly forthcoming. (Do they actually expect this policy to end, or is a permanent sanctions regime the intent?) The three-part answer:

“One, we would never do a deal on sanctions rollback without Ukraine at the head of the table.

“Second, if we get to the point at which this is being discussed, it really would depend on the overall shape and scope of the diplomatic agreement that’s being negotiated.

“Third, any kind of deal like that requires trust, and Putin hasn’t given the world any reason to trust his word.”

So, does the war just last forever?

As far as the supposedly much beloved Russian people, the official said that “these sanctions are not an end in themselves; they’re intended to change the strategic calculus of the target.” Explaining that Putin’s mandate is based on suppressing liberty but delivering a decent quality of life, “if thousands of body bags are coming home, if debit cards aren’t working, if shelves aren’t stocked the way they used to be, all people can buy anymore are knockoff clothes and phones and cars. And Russia is eventually in default and the country is bankrupt, the question we’re putting to him: Is that the endgame he was really looking for?”

On this Victory Day, it is useful to remember the deprivations and suffering experienced by the people of Russia and the Soviet Union, as well as the uncompromising dedication to win, and ask whether being forced to buy “knockoff clothes” is going to force a revolt among the Russian people to overthrow their President!

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