Russia’s Envoy Says Biden Sanctions Are Counterproductive, Harming US Economy, Power

Russia’s top envoy to the United States has warned that the sweeping sanctions campaign by President Joe Biden and his allies has backfired and instead damaged the US economy and international prestige during a dangerous period of global instability.

Moscow’s ambassador to Washington, Anatoly Antonov, said news week that “the situation in Ukraine is critically tense” nearly four months since Russian President Vladimir Putin launched a war against the neighboring nation after security talks between the Kremlin and the West failed.

Today, Antonov warned, “more and more countries are becoming involved in the cycle of events in Eastern Europe” and “the negative consequences of the European security crisis in various manifestations are rapidly spreading throughout the world.”

He warned that the situation had the potential to turn into a confrontation between the nations that possess the vast majority of the world’s nuclear weapons.

“America’s myopia is also seen in the current circumstances,” Antonov said. “Driven by a desire to inflict a strategic defeat on Russia, local elites are raising the stakes in escalating tensions by inflating the kyiv regime with weapons. Is it not clear that this is the path to a direct military confrontation between the major nuclear powers? powers, full of unpredictable consequences?”

And on the economic front, he said Washington’s vulnerabilities were already emerging at a time when US inflation soared to a four-decade high and the national average price of gasoline topped $5 a gallon without precedents.

“Plans to strangle our country with sanctions also do not work,” Antonov said, “The thoughtless imposition of restrictions only aggravates the situation in the US economy. So it turns out that in an anti-Russian fever, Washington is ready to shooting in the leg and dancing simultaneously. It seems absurd.”

“In addition,” he added, “the actions of the Americans will not affect the determination of the Russian Armed Forces to fulfill the tasks set during the special military operation to protect the population of Donbass, as well as the denazification and demilitarization of Ukraine.” “

Vladimir, Putin, Joe, Biden, United States, economy, inflation
US inflation rose to a new four-decade high in May, defying hopes that price pressures had peaked and deepening Biden’s political woes as Americans struggle to cover the cost of items. essentials like food and gasoline. Above, President Joe Biden walks on the deck of the USS Iowa after speaking about the economy and inflation at the Port of Los Angeles on June 10 alongside a smiling image of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Ukraine and its international supporters, including the US, have rejected Russia’s justification for the conflict, and the Biden administration has tried to blame Putin squarely for instigating the war and for the havoc it has wreaked on international markets.

Speaking at the Principal Economic Forum on Energy and Climate, Biden asserted that “Russia’s brutal and unprovoked attack on its neighbor, Ukraine, has fueled a global energy crisis and sharpened the need for reliable long-term energy security and stability.” term”.

“And with Russia’s war driving up inflation around the world, threatening vulnerable countries with severe food shortages,” the president added, “we have to work together to mitigate the immediate consequences of this crisis.”

But as Biden’s Democratic Party gears up for a competitive midterm election season, surveys of America’s perceptions of the economy paint a grim picture.

A survey released Friday by the IBD/TIPP Index of Economic Optimism showed a majority 53 percent of Americans felt the country was already in a recession. And while the effects of the sanctions are also easily felt in Moscow, many Russians report more inconvenience than difficulty at a time when American consumers were struggling to make ends meet.

At the diplomatic level, the conflict has meant a virtual rupture in relations between Moscow and Washington, bringing new uncertainties to the international order. But Antonov said the crisis has roots that predate his country’s incursion into Ukraine on February 24 and goes back to Washington’s longstanding attempts to dominate the affairs of other countries.

“The global nature of what is happening shows that the roots of the current conflict are not in Ukraine,” Antonov said. “This is the decline of the US-centric world order. To be more precise, the collapse of the US’s attempts to maintain a hegemonic role and proclaim itself as a ‘guiding star’ for all countries.”

He argued that this approach dates back to the early days of the declared Russian Federation from the rubble of the Soviet Union. He accused “the American ruling class” of having “made a series of serious miscalculations” after the Cold War that “come down to one thing: ignoring our country’s role as a fundamental factor in the world order.”

And while Antonov maintained that Russia only grew stronger after subsequent crises in its history, he said that “American authorities decided to dispute this obvious fact and began to aggressively impose ‘democratic’ values ​​on us, even though those ideals are often alien to the Russians. In this pursuit, he said that US leaders “began to interfere in Russia’s domestic politics and posed national security threats to us, moving ever closer to our borders.”

The expansion of the US-led NATO military alliance has become a major theme of US-Russian tensions over the past three decades, especially since Putin first came to power in the early 21st century. Most of the countries that were once part of the former Soviet-aligned Eastern Bloc have joined the Western coalition, agreeing to host troops and weapons systems from the US and its allies in response to concerns of aggression from a resurgent Russia.

These frictions reached a boiling point eight years ago when an uprising in Kyiv brought to power a government seeking to distance itself from Moscow and forge new ties with the West. Around the same time, a Russia-aligned separatist insurgency broke out in the Donbas region and Russia annexed the Crimean peninsula in an internationally disputed referendum.

As efforts to resolve the conflict repeatedly stalled, Russia began amassing troops along Ukraine’s borders last year and called for a shakeup of Europe’s security order to roll back NATO activities in the former Soviet sphere of influence. When the United States and its Western allies rejected these demands, Antonov said it was “the last straw.”

Rocket, attack, Lysychansk, Donbas, Ukraine, war, Russia
A man drives his motorcycle past the tail of a rocket stuck in the pavement in the city of Lysychansk in Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region on June 17, as the Russo-Ukrainian war enters its 114th day. they have experienced significant resistance since entering Ukraine and have withdrawn from northern parts of the country, including near the capital Kyiv, to concentrate on the eastern and southern axes, where they have regained momentum in recent weeks.

As the West struggles to inflict enough pain on Russia to convince Putin to change Ukraine’s course, Antonov said “it’s time to get used to the idea of ​​the impossibility of building a world order in which all countries must follow instructions.” of Washington, and where Western values ​​are above the law”.

This new order, he said, would be based on “polycentrism,” with growing roles for countries in Africa, Latin America, the Middle East and other parts of Asia. Many countries in these regions have not shared the West’s appetite for confrontation with Russia and have instead adopted more neutral stances.

Antonov also said that the UN Security Council would have a central role here, whose permanent members have been increasingly divided into a western camp made up of France, the UK and the US and an eastern camp made up of China. and Russia. The split has made progress on major international issues like Ukraine impossible due to rival veto powers.

When it comes to US policy toward Russia, Antonov argued that Washington “should stop harboring illusions about our country’s ‘defeat'” and instead “must recognize that there is no alternative to pragmatic relations with Russia.”

“We are great powers that have a special responsibility for peace on Earth. We are the ones on whom strategic stability depends,” he asserted. “Without the coordinated efforts of both states, it is impossible to solve the problems of terrorism, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, climate change, the fight against epidemics and food security. We are doomed to cooperate.”

And Ukraine, he said, would be “a litmus test showing the willingness of Western states to take Russian concerns into account.” In this sense, “further progress towards the stabilization of European security will depend on the outcome of the process of resolving the crisis in Ukraine,” according to Antonov.

“Today, in fact,” Antonov said, “the question is whether we can together build a multipolar world order based on equality and taking into account the interests of all states, regardless of their power and potential.”

And while he warned that the threat of a broader confrontation remains real, he said this is not in the interest of either side, especially given the second-order effects of the current conflict.

“No one is interested in confrontation. Everyone needs stability,” Antonov said. “This is particularly evident in the context of the current turbulence, when even failures in supply chains have a food crisis and trigger chaos in energy markets. And this is just one example.”

He also said the guarantees Moscow sought in the run-up to the conflict were still open, though the deal may differ given the start of the war and the West’s response.

“Let me remind you that no one has taken draft Russian agreements on security guarantees off the table,” Antonov said.

“Of course,” he added, “after the special military operation is over, its content will have to be adapted to the realities.”

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