U.S. sanctions on Russia hurt Europe much more than Moscow

By Hanne Nabintu Herland

Read Hanne’s The Herland Report.

The strategy of imposing economic sanctions to hurt Russia for its invasion of Ukraine may produce an economic fallout that is very different from what many expected.

Who will be the economic losers from the Ukraine-Russia conflict in the short and long run?

With soaring oil, gas and other commodities prices, Russia’s economy is booming with money flowing like water into its reserves. The ruble is stronger than anyone could foresee.

The situation is not comparable to the end of the Soviet Union. At the fall of the Soviet Union, the oil price was historically low, and the Saudis flooded the oil market helping the Americans to create worsening conditions as the Soviet economy crashed.

The American strategists are, of course, fully aware sanctions today will not have the same effect on Russia amid the highest energy and commodity prices in years. They knew that sanctions on Russian commodities delivered to Europe would result in the prices going through the roof – and Russia gaining massively from that.

The American leadership also knows that as Europe is shutting itself off, the flow of natural resources will increase to the East from Russia at discounted prices, enriching and improving competitiveness for China, India, Pakistan and so on.

Europe will be massively hurt, much more than the United States, as it has had extensive trade with neighboring Russia.

After long fearing Germany’s and Europe’s steadily closer trade relations with Russia, the U.S. has seen the Ukraine war end that positive tone. One may guess the Pentagon is very pleased about the current developments.

No one threatens American soil, and Europe is the battlefield with massive destruction – once again.

So, why is Europe so eager to defend American interests and not their own by not questioning some of these sanctions?

The U.S.-led unipolar world has for long had Washington strategists who know which buttons to push to produce wished-for conflicts from which America gains economically.

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The American neoconservatives have for long viewed Europe as frail and divided. Neocon hawk Victoria Nuland, an assistant secretary of state, dropped her guard in 2014, stating, “F— the EU.” That said it all. Her words are well in line with the neocon worldview of ensuring no rivals develop.

The U.S. Defense Department long ago (1992) expressed its lack of respect for Europe, stating the need to weaken Europe, Asia or the former Soviet Union in order to make sure that the U.S. maintains the leading role.

The leaked memo was drafted by undersecretary for policy neocon Paul Wolfowitz, with the Pentagon aim to “establish and protect a new order” that accounts “sufficiently for the interests of the advanced industrial nations to discourage them from challenging our leadership,” while at the same time maintaining a military dominance capable of “deterring potential competitors from aspiring to a larger global role.”

Again, Europe was to be militarily dominated by the United States, weakened, deterred from aspiring a regional role and without a strong will to protect its legitimate interests.

The 46-page Wolfowitz document outlining the American strategy post-Cold War, stated that the U.S. aim would be “convincing potential competitors that they need not pursue a more aggressive posture to protect their legitimate interests.”

That job was later very well done, as Europe now totally depends on the United States for its defenses, with decades of remarkably low defense budgets.

The weakened Europe trusted Francis Fukiyama’s gospel that Western liberalism represented the “end of history.” The shock of war is now terrifying the very same people who hoped for peace in our time.

Yet, some questions still remain unanswered about the American sanctions strategy.

The choice to bar Russia from access to its own dollar reserves in Western banks, denying Russians access to their own accounts, has produced a remarkable will to switch to other currencies than the U.S. dollar.

This has further weakened the dollar as a world reserve currency, as trust in the Western banking institutions plummets. Was this a desired goal to the neocon leaders in Washington, to reduce the trust in the dollar?

Which non-Western elites will invest in Western properties after this, knowing it may be confiscated as soon as the U.S. is in conflict with the political leadership in their country of origin?

As trade has been politicized, billions are lost for Western companies in Russia, trust in the globalist transnational business model, which has led to the rise of the super-rich elite in the West, is disappearing. So, will the economic sanctions against Russia produce the desired result?

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