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Putin flexing with sanctions on the Western-hemisphere and their reactions to it.

Well, we knew it was coming. We all did who have followed recent events. Putin is a big-man in his own way. He leading his country and does it in his style and fashion. It is understandable that the western-hemisphere is reacting to. They see the action of the Kremlin and Russians as stepping a bit too far, the same does the Russians who seem to think the European involvement in Ukraine. Well, to be honest I am not going to grind directly on the matters of Donetsk, Crimea or separatist or Russian involvement in certain districts of Ukraine. This piece will be about the certain new press releases and their press statements from nations and boards on the matter of new Russian sanctions as counter to the ones set by the EU and Western nations.

Russian Press release on the 6th August:

“Vladimir Putin signed Executive Order On Special Economic Measures to Protect the Russian Federation’s Security” (…)”Russian state bodies of power, federal authorities, local self-government bodies, legal entities established in accordance with Russian law, and physical individuals under Russian jurisdiction shall, in carrying out their activities, respect for a duration of one year following this Executive Order’s entry into force a ban or restriction on foreign economic operations involving the import to Russia of particular kinds of agricultural produce, raw materials and foodstuffs originating in countries that have decided to impose economic sanctions on Russian legal entities and/or physical individuals, or have joined such decisions”(…)” The Russian Federation Government has been given instructions accordingly. In particular, the Government has been instructed to take measures to ensure balanced goods markets and prevent accelerating price rises for agricultural products and foodstuffs; to organise together with regional authorities timely monitoring of goods markets; and act together with associations of goods producers, retailers and organisations to take measures to increase supply of domestic goods” (Kremlin, 2014).

“The Executive Order takes effect upon its signing” (Kremlin, 2014).

Bernama reports that Prime Minister Dmity Medvedev said at a cabinet meeting:

“The current situation as it is, the Russian government is considering a number of retaliatory steps” (…)”I will mention some of them, but that does not mean that they will be introduced at once. The measures include a ban on transit flights by European and US air carriers to Southeast Asia, to the Asia-Pacific Region” (Bernama, 2014)

German response to the sanctions from Russia:

The Federal German government gave its statement. This through deputy government spokesman Christiane Wirtz, here is their statement:

“that the massive presence of troops at the border is not helping de-escalate the situation” (…)”The German government would thus naturally welcome a withdrawal of the Russian troops from the border in this area” (…)”to stabilise and further de-escalate the situation” (…)”The presence of troops in the area is not a step towards making the situation more peaceful” (…)”particularly help bring about the called for de-escalation,” (…)”to do nothing that could further destabilise the situation in Ukraine” (…)”We demand the greatest possible transparency” (…)”The UNHCR does not have any first-hand figures for the number of refugees that have left Ukraine for Russia” (…)”currently no legal basis” (Bundesregierung, 2014).

The EU measures:

  • Imposing an arms embargo
  • Russian state-controlled banks will have it more difficult to get funds in the EU capitol market.
  • Export of Hi-Tech goods and oil equipment stopped.
  • Export of Duel use goods which is used by the Russian Army is stopped.

This is after the second range of sanctions made by the EU on the 28th July from the European Commission.

(Bundesregierung, 2014)

Writz comments on the sanctions:

“that the European Commission does offer assistance for special cases and special situations” (…)”It should surprise nobody that sanctions come at a price – especially those who have for months been declaring that harsh sanctions are a test of the credibility of European politics. The German government is in touch with the German private sector, I have been in contact with businesses since March, so as to keep the consequences to a calculable level at least. It should also be possible to adapt and scale back sanctions if political progress is made in efforts to resolve the conflict”. Frank-Walter Steinmeier comments on the matter as well: “That is why, in spite of all difficulties, we are keeping channels to Russia open” (…)” Experience shows that whoever increases political pressure to convince the other side to negotiate, must himself also be willing to negotiate” (Bundesregierung, 2014).

It needed only less than 24 hours before the world is answering this. The first one I will show is the EU.

Statement by the EU Commission spokesman on the 7th August:

“The European Union regrets the announcement by the Russian Federation of measures which will target imports of food and agricultural products. This announcement is clearly politically motivated. The Commission will assess the measures in question as soon as we have more information as to their full content and extent. We underline that the European Union’s restrictive measures are directly linked with the illegal annexation of Crimea and destabilisation of Ukraine. The European Union remains committed to de-escalating the situation in Ukraine. All should join in this effort. Following full assessment by the Commission of the Russian Federation’s measures, we reserve the right to take action as appropriate” (EU, 2014).

This is not the only appropriate comment have been sent out after the Russians decided to retaliate the measures made by the west. At this point the UK Government had to give a response.

The response comes from the United Kingdom HMG with the Honor Phillip Hammond MP of Department of Environment, Food & Rural Affairs and the Honor of David Lidington MP of Business, Innovation and Skills. Here is what they say:

“Russia has no grounds to impose sanctions and should use its influence with violent Russian-backed separatists to stop destabilising Ukraine” (…)”We have been pushing for a strong and determined international response to Russia’s unacceptable behaviour in Ukraine. We have been clear that we are prepared to play our part and that there will be costs, but this does not diminish our commitment” (…)”Instead of retaliating, Russia should be using its influence with the violent Russian-backed separatists to stop destabilising Ukraine” (…)”We are still considering the impacts of the ban but we do not expect it to have a significant overall effect on our agricultural industry – the affected agricultural exports to Russia account for some 0.2% of our food, feed and drink total agricultural exports” (…)” We will continue to work closely with trade associations and industry to help them monitor the impact of this ban on their business” (UK,2014).

Norwegian counter to the Russians:

Norwegian Foreign minister Børge Brende has also addressed the matter. Børge Brende is saying: “That Russians import embargo is unreasonable. That the Russian goes to this measures show how important that we as allies and partners react to the Russian destabilization of Ukraine. I am agreeing with the EU and the way portray their actions as a political motivated” (…)”We will take the Russian measures seriously, but it’s still early to see the outcome for the Norwegian businesses. We are going through the measures with EU and other who have been targeted. With them are we trying to find the best solution to deal with this” (…)”instead of reduction of the conflict in eastern-Ukraine, instead Russians to uphold it and escalating it. There going significant numbers of arms across the boarders from Russia to Ukraine. It is essential that the Russians will be met with clear and sound reaction from the international community. And out of the regarding the Norwegian state in foreign and security political, we have to stand by our partners and allies” (Regjeringen, 2014).

Lithuanian response to Russia on the 7th August:

President Dalia Grybauskaitė says: “Such reaction from Russia was predictable. But the impact on our economy will not be significant. Lithuania has already gained much experience during the economic blockade in the first years of independence, the crisis, and the last-year sanctions on our carriers and manufacturers of dairy products. Our business already knows how to counter the hostile challenges of our big neighbor. It is able to find new markets and hedge against risks. This makes us even more flexible and strong” (Lithuania, 2014).

Latvian response to the Russia sanctions:  

In another Baltic state Latvia, Prime Minister Aimdota Straujuma has called in for a emergency meeting on the Russian sanctions. The date hasn’t been set yet, but the report says it’s likely to be on Monday the 11th of August. At the meeting they will evaluate and asses the sanction and calculate the result and change it could have on the economy of Latvia (Leta, 2014).

The Finnish response to the Russian sanctions: 

In Finland Prime Minister Alexander Stubb has commented on the matter: “It was to be expected that Russia would respond to the sanctions issued by the EU. The impact of the Russian sanctions on the Finnish economy and Finnish businesses must be carefully examined before the government budget session. I will give a Prime Minister’s announcement to Parliament as soon as it convenes. The measures will affect a number of other EU countries and the Russians themselves, too” (…)”Finland will continue diplomatic efforts to resolve the crisis both with its EU partners and through bilateral means”. The Finnish MP of Agriculture and Forestry Petteri Orpo is saying: “Russia is our food industry’s main export area. Dairy products account for about 87 per cent of our exports to Russia as regards the products on the list of banned imports. We will hold a meeting today at the ministry to discuss measures to minimise the effects of the Russian import ban and to open new export markets”. Lenita Toivakka the MP of European Affairs and Foreign trade says: “I am very concerned about the effects of the Russian retaliatory sanctions on individual companies. I will personally visit the companies that are hit the hardest by the measures” (Finnish, 2014)

After thought:

We can see and I am sure if I did more digging, there would end up more rabbit out of the hat. Because all the ones that are hit by the sanctions would response to it and make sense of it. Therefore we see now that all this governments’ officials and MPs and spokesmen are telling how it is in their area and how they see the whole conflict between Russia and Ukraine. We could dedicate ourselves to see into the difference between and glean the various contexts and how the boarder countries are reacting compared to those who are further away from Moscow. Still, the tone is subtle, and honest. Also, even some seem heartbroken and disgusted by the flexing from Putin. The EU Commission, German Federation, Norway, Lithuania, Latvia, Finnish and UK, I have complied today. I hope you have seen it and gotten something out of it.

Links:

Bernama – ‘Russia Working On Measures To Close Its Airspace To Asia, Pacific-bound Flights’ (07.08.2014) Link: http://www.bernama.com/bernama/v7/wn/newsworld.php?id=1058640

 

Bundesregierung (Federal German Government) – ‘Russia must withdraw troops’ (06.08.2014) Link: http://www.bundesregierung.de/Content/EN/Artikel/2014/08_en/2014-08-06-ukraine-eu-sanktionen_en.html

 

Kremlin – ‘Executive Order on special economic measures to protect Russia’s security’ (06.08.2014) Link: http://eng.kremlin.ru/acts/22780

 

Leta – ‘Emergency government meeting called in connection with Russia sanctions’ (07.08.2014) Link: http://www.leta.lv/eng/home/important/CFEA7FFD-D875-4B81-89E4-C4D173021D14/

 

Lithuania – ‘Kremlin sanctions will hit Russian people’ (07.08.2014) Link: http://www.president.lt/en/press_center/press_releases/kremlin_sanctions_will_hit_russian_people.html

 

Finnish – ‘Government to assess effects of retaliatory sanctions’ (07.08.2014) Link: http://valtioneuvosto.fi/ajankohtaista/tiedotteet/tiedote/en.jsp?toid=2213&c=0&moid=2217&oid=422109

 

Regjeringen – ‘Brende: – Beklager russisk importforbud’ (07.08.14) Link: http://www.regjeringen.no/nb/dep/ud/pressesenter/pressemeldinger/2014/Brende—Beklager-russisk-importforbud.html?id=765590

 

EU – ‘Statement by Commission spokesman on the announcement of measures by the Russian Federation’ (07.08.2014) Link: http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_STATEMENT-14-249_en.htm?locale=en

 

UK – ‘HMG reaction to Russian sanctions’ (07.08.2014) Link: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/hmg-reaction-to-russian-sanctions

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