Introducing sanctions against Russia is a faulty idea by the United States because it will encourage further backbiting between the two nations, former US congressman Ron Paul told RT.
“If two countries get in war, one of the most important things they do is put on blockades, they prevent trade so the various countries can’t get their raw products,” he said. “What I keep thinking is why don’t we try to see it from the other perspective: How would we react if we couldn’t import something? What if China or Russia or somebody came in and said you cannot import certain things or we’re going to prohibit you from trading? And yet we too casually do that with others.”
Paul, the face of modern libertarianism and a former Republican presidential candidate, spoke to RT weeks after Crimeans voted to secede from Ukraine and join Russia. American lawmakers have decried the vote as invalid, calling it an annexation and violation of international law, and have introduced sanctions against the Russian economy.
“Any type of sanctions or retaliation is detrimental to both sides. I’ve often thought that if people understood what was going on they’d express objections to these kinds of bickering back and forth,” the former congressman continued.
Paul said the geopolitical drama does not account for individual Ukrainians.
“Governments get involved and they do dumb things and the people in the middle are always suffering so if they suspend anything it’s the little guy who usually gets punished,” he said. “If we’re talking about the average person, people who have jobs, they suffer the consequences and that’s very bad.”
Meanwhile NATO announced it would suspend cooperation with Russia over the ongoing crisis. The decision could affect cooperation on Afghanistan in areas such as training counter-narcotics personnel, maintaining Afghan air force helicopters, and a transit route out of the war-torn country. Other projects around fighting terrorism, drug trafficking, and dealing with the disarmament and non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction could also be impacted.
Paul, a longtime critic of NATO, said that de-escalation should be the current priority for all parties involved.
“I advocate not picking sides, so I see two sides going back and forth and my political position as an American is for our American government [to stop] picking sides and picking governments and interfering with elections,” he said.
“De-escalation in my view would involve us minding our own business…in particular the Ukrainian people should be the ones who decide which way they want to go rather than the governments of Europe or even the Russian government for that matter.”
You can watch the full interview with Ron Paul in next Monday’s edition of SophieCo.