Brussels’ New Russia Sanctions Fuel for Eventual EU Bonfire
Finian CUNNINGHAM | 31.01.2015 | OPINION

Brussels’ New Russia Sanctions Fuel for Eventual EU Bonfire

The EU leadership just can’t help itself, with the renewal of sanctions against Russia this week exposing the Brussels bureaucracy more than ever as an aloof plutocracy despised by the people it increasingly lords over. The European Council, led by former Polish president Donald Tusk, decided to extend travel bans and asset freezes on a list of Russia officials allegedly over the violence in Ukraine. The latest sanctions move will only sharpen economic pain felt by millions of workers across Europe who are caught up in the sanctions war between Brussels and Moscow. At a time of record levels of poverty and unemployment in EU states, the hostility of the Brussels leadership towards Russia will be seen as more proof that the mass of people are being ruled by a callous cabal that is completely out of touch with reality.

The inauguration of Alexi Tsipras as Greek prime minister also this week marks the election of the first EU government that is explicitly anti-austerity and vowing to repudiate the authority of Brussels. German leaders, in particular, have been «stunned» by the new Syriza administration winning power in Athens, according to a Reuters report. The deep fear among the Berlin-dominated EU leadership is that the new Greek government will galvanise a wider popular revolt against Brussels. That revolt has been smouldering for years over popular discontent with a centralised EU that is slavishly in hock to capitalist austerity, Washington-led Atlanticism and NATO’s ever-expanding global militarism.

Moreover, the leftwing Syriza government has denounced EU sanctions against Russia as baseless and has openly welcomed fraternal relations with president Vladimir Putin and Moscow. The first official delegate to be received by prime minister Tsipras was not one from a fellow EU member state, but rather Russian ambassador, Andrei Maslov, who delivered a personal letter of congratulations from Putin to Tsipras.

So Greece represents a potentially important pole within the EU that rejects both the doctrinal policy of economic austerity and the US-led drift in the aggression towards Russia over the Ukraine conflict. German leaders are already concerned by sympathy towards Russia in the Balkans and across southern Europe. Many members of the 28-EU bloc have voiced dissent to further sanctions, including Hungary, Austria, Slovakia and Czech Republic. The Greek Syriza government could thus provide a leadership role in taking Brussels to task for its plutocratic ways, in particular the reckless collision course it is pursuing with Russia at a time of acute economic hardship. Syriza is articulating a coherent protest against Brussels’ undemocratic policies, which are epitomised in the worsening stand-off with Russia.

As the Greek elections show, the people are not intimidated by austerity threats from Brussels, and they are contemptuous of how a total EU population of 500 million is being dragged into further conflict with Russia.

The contempt is heightened by Brussels kowtowing to Washington and NATO over-blown claims against Russia as the source of conflict in Ukraine.

Within hours of the massacre in the southeastern Ukrainian port city of Mariupol last Saturday, in which 30 people were killed and 100 injured by multiple rocket fire, the EU leaders were condemning the pro-Russian rebels over the atrocity and Moscow for supporting them. Brussels was singing off the same hymn sheet as NATO, the Western media, the US government and, of course, the far-right Kiev regime. 

Witnesses within Mariupol said that the Grad rockets were fired from positions outside of the city that are under the control of the Western-backed Kiev military forces – a violation that is in keeping with a bloody pattern of regime forces attacking other civilian centres in Donetsk and Luhansk. Up to a dozen people were killed in the town of Gorlovka over the past week from shelling of apartment buildings by regime forces.

But without any investigation, the EU leapt to the conclusion of censuring Russia for the Mariupol massacre, with the outcome being the renewal of sanctions this week against Moscow.

Incredibly, against the evidence of systematic crimes by the Kiev regime and certain basic facts, such as the fact that it was the Nazi-admiring junta that launched the war on the eastern regions of Ukraine back in April 2014, the blame is heaped on to people who are trying to defend themselves. Nearly 10 months later, 5,000 deaths have been caused – with at least half of the victims being civilians and most of them killed by Kiev forces.

Yet people like US ambassador to the UN Samantha Power continue to brazenly distort the facts. Ironically, Power is said to be an «expert» in genocide and international law. This week she cited the death toll of 5,000 in eastern Ukraine, but then went on to accuse Russia and «Russian-backed rebels» for the violence.

The London Financial Times excelled in double think when it accused Russia for the latest escalation of violence and for deleting any prospects for a peaceful settlement. This is while the Kiev regime has continued to lay siege on the towns and cities of Donbas, including an economic blockade on state pensions and salaries.

The FT headline read: ‘Ukraine fighting points to Russia designs for puppet state’.

That’s rich considering how the Kiev regime was installed by the West in an illegal coup last February, setting up a puppet state that is willing to let the IMF loot the country, open its borders to NATO forces and is carrying out ethnic cleansing of ethnic Russians. And when people are fighting for their lives, the Western media churn out elitist propaganda demonising Russia.

The FT reported: «An escalation of violence in eastern Ukraine in recent days has once again left western governments and military strategists trying to understand the strategy of pro-Russian rebels and their supporters in the Kremlin…The Minsk peace protocol, signed last September, is all but in tatters.» The newspaper quotes a talking head from the London-based Royal United Services Institute as saying that Putin wants to carve out a «Mickey-Mouse Russian puppet state» by cleaving off the eastern regions of Ukraine.

This kind of ideological trash-analysis is sluiced through Western governments and media and sucked up by EU leaders in Brussels. But like the Greek electorate, the EU mandarins arrogantly think they can continue foisting their economic and political nostrums on the whole of the EU population. The Brussels bureaucracy arrogantly thinks it can just keep on railroading the population with policies that are idiotic in the eyes of the people as if people can’t see through the stupid lies and misinformation.

Every time the EU elite opens its mouth, it invites further popular disdain and revulsion as a thoroughly undemocratic excrescence that the majority of people are fast running out of tolerance towards. Sanctions against Russia based on a politicised agenda of plutocrats in Washington and Brussels is more fuel for the eventual EU bonfire. 

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