Article by: Slava Rabinovich
According to Putin, at the G-20 summit in Australia, “the media somewhat increased the tensions,” however “reality and virtual life in mass-media in this case were very different.” Soon after this, the President’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov, who is obliged to say something due to his line of work, said live on Echo Moskvi that Harper’s words were “absolutely within the range of courtesy”: “Really, Harper said that Russians should leave Ukraine. To which Putin said that it was impossible, as there were no Russians there.”
During the Action Forum of the United People’s Front, President Vladimir Putin claimed that the U.S. was not only trying to humiliate Russia, but also subjugate it. Putin assured it would not happen, however, he noted that America had managed to subjugate some countries, which are now called their allies. This statement was heard after the speech by one of the forum’s participants, who said that the U.S.A. were trying to humiliate Russia. Vladimir Putin corrected the speaker.
“They don’t want to humiliate us, they want to subjugate us. They want to solve their problems by using us, they want to subject us to their influence. Nobody ever managed to do this in history in relation to Russia, and nobody will manage to do this,” said the President.
While losing his last triggers of influence on foreign policy, Putin is heating up the Russian people’s hatred towards the U.S. up to the boiling point. The point the world has not yet seen. Even during the Cold War. And this finally makes Putin disagreeable, from the perspective of the U.S. He has been written off. But not only by the United States.
Putin also spoke in regard to Washington’s relations with their allies. Continuing his previous ‘thought,’ he adds: “And this happens because, unfortunately, many of the allies, which is obviously damaging to their national interests, are trying to defend others’ national interests on unclear grounds and with unclear prospects.” This finally makes Putin disagreeable from the perspective of the allies of the U.S. They wrote him off as well.
The Russian President made similar statements in the end of October at the plenary session of the International Valday Discussion Club. Back then President Putin said that America had decided to “reconstruct the world to suit its needs.” “It seems that the so-called victors in the Cold War decided to ‘squeeze out the situation,’ reconstruct the world to suit their exclusive needs, their interests,” he said. He also claimed that the U.S., by imposing economic sanctions on Russia, “are cutting the branch they are sitting on.” The same words were supported by the program article of Putin’s ally in the Security Council and the KGB, Nikolay Patrushev, in the government print publication Rossiyskaya Gazeta.
Putin simply lives in a different reality. It is most likely, and I really do believe so, that he sincerely thinks the things he speaks.
Putin’s trouble is that fact that throughout the past twenty-odd years, the Russian ‘elite’ has been straining Russian assets to the West, in the shape of money, gold and diamonds. And the U.S. finance intelligence has the entire Russian government in its hands. Not just that, but entirely.
There is a historical precedent: on March 1, 2011 David Cohen, Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, announced that the U.S. Ministry for Finance had frozen $30 billion Libyan assets, having rid the government of Libya, the country’s Central Bank, as well as Leader Gaddafi and his family personally of practically all the money they had kept in the West. The operation to seize the assets was developed over a long period of time; it was carried out in an instant.
The Libyan 30 billion dollars are the biggest amount of money which has ever been blocked in regard to sanctions in world history. At the time.
At the same time, besides seizing assets, Washington imposed a ban on any bank operations with finance or government structures in rebellious Libya. These measures were earlier implemented by the European Union, as well as Switzerland and Canada – the countries President Putin today contemptuously calls ‘U.S. allies.’ It seems President Putin has not studied recent history very well. As these countries became ‘U.S. allies’ not in Brisbane, in November 2014, but ‘somewhat’ earlier.
Later the issue of Libya was akin to a hurricane. The Pentagon claimed that they were developing plans in case of various emergencies and regrouping the army in the regions to be ready to take measures as soon as the decisions were made. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stated Washington was ready to support the rebellions by various means.
What will Mr. Cohen do with Russia? Will he seize the assets of the Central Bank of Russia, the Gold Reserves, the Russian National Wealth Fund, the Bank for Development and Foreign Economic Affairs etc? If we were to ask directly and get a direct response, then no. Because Putin will view this as an act of war and press the nuclear button. But if we look at ‘Cohen’s List,’ it includes over a thousand people and several big organizations. As well as thousands of shady organizations.
To wit, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, though he does not have a very good understand of how the world works, has quite a good grasp on the limits of what is permissible. On October 15, in an interview to American TV channel CNBC he said that “sanctions against the Russian Federation were very damaging to cooperation between Russia and the U.S.A., and we cannot talk about rebooting our relations without their abolition.”
But in November, a month later, in particular on November 14, 2014, Russian Prime Minister Medvedev openly asks and even demands the West to abolish the sanctions. He asks to “return to the normal, peaceful plain, to normal, productive conversation, and then everything will stabilize.” Dmitry Anatolyevich finally understands that the West is not joking around. That this entire gang may cease to exist. The end is not very sweet, it is very bitter.