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British Stalwarts for Ukraine War Admit Failure of Sanctions

May 23, 2023, 2022 (EIRNS)—Two prominent British publications now admit that the almost unprecedented economic sanctions applied against Russia are failing, reports Alastair Crooke, on May 21 in Beirut-based Al Mayadeen media network, in an article entitled, “Financial ‘Shock and Awe’ On Russia Pronounced ‘Dead’ by Two Establishment Journals.”

Crooke writes, with devilish delight, “Two very establishment, Anglo-American media in the U.K. finally—and bitterly—have admitted it ‘out loud’: Sanctions on Russia failed.” Crooke quotes The Spectator (for which Boris Johnson was editor, 1999-2005), in which its lead article on May 13 reads:

“Unleashing financial ‘shock and awe’ on a scale never before seen, Russia was to be cut off almost entirely.... Putin’s Russia, went the theory, would be impoverished into surrender.

“Few people in the West are aware of how badly this aspect of the war is going. Europe has itself paid a high price to effect a partial boycott of Russian oil and gas.

“But these figures [on limitations to the EU energy boycott] do not explain the scale of the failure to damage the Russian economy. It soon became clear that while the West was keen on an economic war, the rest of the world was not. As its oil and gas exports to Europe fell, Russia quickly upped its exports to China and India—both of which preferred to buy oil at a discount than to make a stand against the invasion of Ukraine....

“The West embarked on its sanctions war with an exaggerated sense of its own influence around the world.... The results of the miscalculation are there for all to see.... The Russian economy has not been destroyed; it has merely been reconfigured, reorientated to look eastwards and southwards rather than westwards.”

Moreover, in the May 10 Telegraph, Allister Heath also bemoans:

“Russia was meant to have collapsed by now. Britain, America and Europe’s gambit was that drastic trade, financial and technological sanctions, a cap on the price of Russian seaborne oil, and substantial help to Ukraine would be enough to defeat Moscow. It hasn’t worked.... The reason? China has quietly stepped in, bailing out Putin’s shattered economy on a transformational scale, swapping energy and raw materials for goods and technology. The sanctions are a joke.”

Crooke adds on his own behalf, “For some, reading these words, their reaction will be one of utter amazement: How come it took this long for the British Establishment to ‘wake up’ to that which all the world knew?”

He continues, “The Spectator, in fact, gives us the answer: An ‘exaggerated sense of Western influence around the world.’ ” Crooke adds, “Or simply put: delusionary hubris placed ‘blinders’ on Western policymakers; they could not see what was before their own eyes.”

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