The US is aggressively pushing NATO allies in Europe towards sanctions, while some of them are resisting for their own economic interests because it is harmful to them, Sara Flounders, the head of the International Action Center told RT.
RT:Russian lawmakers have withdrawn permission for troops to be deployed in Ukraine. Given this, why do the US and the EU continue to consider putting sanctions in place?
Sara Flounders: Really because there is no reasonable measure or accommodation or understanding that Russia can take that will satisfy the US. Really, the crisis in Ukraine is about expansion of NATO, it is about an entirely aggressive plan by the US, by the Pentagon, which is determined to encircle Russia. So this new piece of legislation like the other steps and the other efforts of discussion that have been put forward by Russia have come to nothing. The US is aggressively pushing its NATO allies in Europe for sanctions, and some of them are resisting for their own economic interests because it is actually very harmful to them. But of course it would be good for Wall Street, and this is part of the reason to push for sanctions because they do not want to see normalized trade between Russia and Ukraine with Germany, France and the EU countries. The excuse of sanctions is really one way to shut this down.
RT: The US Secretary of State John Kerry said President Putin must prove 'by actions, not just words' that he is committed to peace. What is he expecting do you think?
SF: Anything that Russia does short of put up a white flag of surrender is not going to satisfy the US at this point. It is very important, when you look at what happened in the Ukraine which was an effort through a fascist grouping to seize and overthrow an elected government and then to organize elections that millions of people refused to participate in. Each step both of the illegal government and after the elections were immediately recognized by the White House, immediately, a government that has no standing at all. This shows that there is this confrontation that the US is determined to make, and what they are demanding of Russia is that Ukraine be handed over to NATO. That’s completely outrageous, unacceptable, and an attack on the sovereignty of Ukraine and of course it is also meant as an attack on Russia with an expansion of NATO. This is extremely dangerous policy, very aggressive policy, and yet it is being pursued, and the US is demanding that the EU countries go along with it.
RT: Could there be ramifications for the US and EU if they go ahead with more measures against Moscow?
SF: No, I do not think that they will, I certainly hope not. And whether the sanctions can even be implemented, the US is making demands on a lot of countries around the world imposing sanctions right and left. That is also a source of their great frustration with Russia at this point. The US was attempting a total take over in Syria, and Russia and China stood up with a veto. They had a very aggressive policy towards Iran. Nevertheless, Russia has continued its relations with Iran. So the anger at Russia today and the anger at Putin’s policies are that Russia refused to accommodate itself for the expansion of NATO and to aggressive moves that are only of benefit to Wall Street and to none of the other countries that want normalized trade, normal economic and political exchanges. There is a lot at stake in Ukraine, and as I said it chose a very aggressive move by the US, it also is an aggressive move by the US that the people in the Eastern and Southern Ukraine calling for a referendum and putting forward their own demands for saving the economic future of Ukraine. It is very important to listen to them, because they are also demanding a voice in the future of their own country.
RT: How far do you think Washington can go with its measures against Moscow? Do you think sanctioning Moscow will help to bring peace to Ukraine?
SF: I certainly hope that other European countries, the EU, do not go along with this. There have been many efforts to forestall it because they know that it will cause them a great deal of harm. It involves trade of course, involves the exchange, the industrial capacity of Ukraine, but it also is an effort to reign in and to impose on Russia economic demands that are completely at odds with Russia’s own economic and political future. This is Wall Street speaking at a time of growing global economic crisis, so they are in a ruthless mood.
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