Russian sanctions are about to blow up in our faces

The whole idea of sanctions is to isolate your enemy by giving incentives to keep 3rd parties from engaging with your enemy. But what if no one cooperates?
What if your allies keep doing business with your enemy? What if you are forced to sanction your allies? If that happens, who is the one being isolated?

We will soon find out with Turkey.

The United States has warned governments around the world that they could face sanctions over any "significant transactions" they make with Russia's military, senior U.S. officials have said.
...The officials confirmed that Turkey, which is negotiating the purchase of S-400 missile defense systems from Russia, is one of the countries that received the warning. Turkey has said it is also looking at alternative systems to purchase from NATO allies.

Turkey isn't "negotiating" to purchase weapons from Russia. They inked the deal months ago.
So the question is will we sanction our NATO ally?
Turkey, like our allies in Europe have already lost billions from existing Russian sanctions.

Turkey is hardly the only ally we are looking to sanction.

Despite having relied on the US to fight the Islamic State (IS), Baghdad has just taken delivery of a major shipment of Russian military equipment and is considering further such arms purchases.
Iraq announced earlier this week that 73 Russian T-90 tanks had arrived at its southern port of Umm Qasr. The tank purchase was agreed upon some time ago, but other reports suggest that Baghdad may now buy the Russian S-400 air defense system.
If Baghdad proceeds with the S-400 purchase, it could well oblige the Trump administration to impose sanctions on the country.
...The US is loathe to criticize Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi and his government because it is counting on him to win Iraq’s upcoming elections. However, State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert essentially explained on Thursday that if Iraq were to actually conclude a deal for the purchase of the S-400, it would likely trigger CAATSA sanctions.

It's not without some irony that 15 years after our sanctions on Iraq ended with our invasion, that we are looking to reimpose sanctions.
The list of potential allies that will soon be forced to sanction is long.

A new law meant to punish Russia for election interference could force the Trump administration to sanction some of its closest allies -- including Saudi Arabia and India -- a possibility that has put capitals worldwide on edge.
The dilemma shows how Moscow's election malfeasance is deepening Washington's acrimony, complicating US foreign policy, and could ultimately force some allies to choose between the White House and the Kremlin, at a time when Russia is aggressively expanding its influence, particularly in the Middle East.
...The client list of these blacklisted Russian entities includes US counterterrorism partners such as Morocco, Algeria, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt. Qatar is a Russian customer, as well as crucial NATO ally Turkey.
...In India, which the Trump administration has deemed a keystone of its Asia policy, there is unease and frustration. New Delhi and Moscow have been close allies since the Cold War. Russia is India's largest weapons supplier, providing it with the nuclear submarines that serve as a deterrent against China.

Following the letter of the law would mean us sanctioning virtually the entire muslim world, plus India.
There is a real risk here that Democrats simply don't appreciate.

That distrust is rooted in history, as the US sanctioned India for years under both Democratic and Republican administrations. "The line in India is, 'you keep saying we have to collaborate against China, but you want to sanction half our army, half our navy and military -- how serious can you be about our alliance?' "Iyer-Mitra said.
Indian officials fully expect the US to grant them a sanctions waiver, as it did under Iran sanctions, sources say. But a source familiar with discussions in New Delhi, who spoke anonymously to discuss sensitive diplomatic matters, said that even so, "senior Indian officials will tell you it's really troublesome - if India is pushed to choose between Washington and Moscow, the US might not like the choice it makes."

There is another side to this: how much are our sanctions hurting Russia?
The answer is, not much.

The Russian economy has returned to modest growth – amidst positive global growth, a recovery in trade, rising oil prices, and growing macroeconomic stability – according to the World Bank’s latest Russia Economic Report (no. 38 in the series), launched today in Moscow.

Russian debt is about to return to investment grade.

Basically the sanctions against Russia are not working, and if we keep pushing it, it'll be the U.S. that is isolated, not Russia.

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Steven D's picture

are the CYA of brain dead politicians.

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"You can't just leave those who created the problem in charge of the solution."---Tyree Scott

lotlizard's picture

@Steven D  
To underscore how inadequate the airlift’s capacity was in its early phases, the movie showed kids as well as grownups dying for lack of medicines and supplies.

A light went on in my head. I imagined Stalin, dressed up as Madeleine Albright. “Children in western sectors of Berlin die — effect of sanctions the blockade — regrettable — tough decision — but, we think, da, is worth it.”

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The Aspie Corner's picture

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Modern education is little more than toeing the line for the capitalist pigs.

Guerrilla Liberalism won't liberate the US or the world from the iron fist of capital.

dervish's picture

nobody gives a damn.

Once the dollar topples, it's game-over anyhow.

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"Obama promised transparency, but Assange is the one who brought it."

Amanda Matthews's picture

@dervish

to join the dinosaur and the dodo bird.

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I'm tired of this back-slapping "Isn't humanity neat?" bullshit. We're a virus with shoes, okay? That's all we are. - Bill Hicks

Politics is the entertainment branch of industry. - Frank Zappa

Amanda Matthews's picture

peace on the planet, things are bound to get a little flakey. And because our PTB consistently get caught lying, why would we think anyone could or would trust us? And since we have a record of having no doubt sbout our ‘right’ to kill innocent people from war rooms thousands of miles away just because they’re in the wrong place at the wrong time (like in their own neighborhoods for instance) they probably think there’s good reason to hate us. And because we speak openly about ‘regime change’ in regard to any country that doesn’t carry our water, why would anyone be surprised if they don’t want to be our ally?

What is there left to like or trust? TPTB in America have shown time after time that in order to do business with America, you HAVE to accept American economic and foreign policy without any backtalk, hesitations, or question. The rest of the world is getting sick of it.

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I'm tired of this back-slapping "Isn't humanity neat?" bullshit. We're a virus with shoes, okay? That's all we are. - Bill Hicks

Politics is the entertainment branch of industry. - Frank Zappa

Meteor Man's picture

American politicians have killed Kabuki. America has turned in to a very poorly scripted soap opera with horrible actors. Repeating the same fundamental errors again and again. The same worn out script over and over and over.

And the media keeps pretending there is a substantive reality to every dreary rerun.

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"They'll say we're disturbing the peace, but there is no peace. What really bothers them is that we are disturbing the war." Howard Zinn

CB's picture

predicated on borrowing. Their current debt is not any larger than it was prior to the oil price crash and sanctions. They now have a healthy foreign reserve balance. They even increased their purchases of US treasury notes and gold.

Russia is currently looking at block chain technology for voting.


Moscow Begins Crypto-Elections Testing: Thumbs Nose at U.S

February 22, 2018

The irony is so thick you’d think it was made from ballistic jelly. But, that’s exactly what’s needed to contain this shot across the election-tampering bow the Russians just pulled off.

According to Coindesk, the city of Moscow is unveiling an Ethereum-based version of its voting system called Active Citizen. By putting the votes on the blockchain, as long as the code is solid, then the results cannot be disputed.
...
The Real Message

But, make no mistake, the message here is clear. Russia is moving towards a transparent, functioning democratic system. These small matters are simply beta-tests for wider adoption of this technology over time.

The first real milestone should be a local election with the final goal being national elections.

While trust in government institutions in the West is falling at an alarming rate, the evil, corrupt Russians led by chief Mafioso Vladimir Putin are acting to add faith in their system.
...
Mueller’s witch hunt for Russian bogeymen is the exact wrong way to restore faith in these systems. All it’s doing is further alienating voters from the process. The message from him and Assistant Attorney General Rod Rosenstein last Friday was clear.

“You are too stupid to have voted for Donald Trump honestly. We uncovered the truth that your perceptions were clouded by a bunch of Russian trolls looking for some cheap Google AdWords money.”

I guess that stuff plays on the D.C. cocktail party circuit and college campuses, but it doesn’t play pretty much anywhere else.

And it’s the deadly seriousness with which these people drone on about the ‘sanctity of our elections’ that is the most ironic.

So, while the entrenched powers in D.C. still stamp their feet and complain about an election outcome they didn’t like, Russia is moving to ensure one of Josef Stalin’s most oft-quoted maxims is no longer applicable to theirs.

“Those who cast the votes decide nothing; those who count the votes decide everything.”

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@CB

Their current debt is not any larger than it was prior to the oil price crash and sanctions.

Their public debt is around 10% of GDP (as opposed to us with over 100% of GDP).

It makes them less vulnerable to economic sanctions

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CB's picture

They are now the world's largest supplier of wheat and are gaining on other agricultural products. Exports of ag products has surpassed armament exports.

Demand for Russian ag products is increasing at a rapidly expanding rate. One of the reasons is that the Russian government under Putin's watch has banned GMO products throughout the country.

Putin: Russia Will be World’s Largest Supplier of Healthy Organic Food
Dec 3 2015

Russian President Vladimir Putin has told the Russian Parliament that Russia should become the world’s largest supplier of organic foods, in a message released to the media on Thursday.

“Not only can we ourselves eat it, but also taking into account our land and water – which is particularly important resources – Russia could become the world’s largest supplier of healthy, environmentally friendly, high-quality food that has long been missing in some western producers,” Putin stated.

“Especially as the demand on the global market for such products is growing,” he continued.

As Putin said, it is necessary to have a nationwide approach on the issue and also by 2020 to fully meet the Russian demand for locally produced Russian food.

2015 has been a year of change in Russian agriculture with the Russian government announcing a whole new approach to food production and labeling.
...
“Russia has chosen a different path. We will not use these technologies”, he said.

As a result of this decision Russian products will be “one of the cleanest in the world” in terms of technology use, Dvorkovich continued. A bill for a full ban on the cultivation of GM crops is currently going through the State Duma.

Russian Minister of Agriculture Nikolai Fyodorov also believes that Russia must remain a GMO-free country. At a meeting of deputies representing rural areas organized by United Russia, he said that the government will not “poison their citizens.”

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snoopydawg's picture

@CB

Weapons and Death. Lots to be proud of. Not

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It is not until the tide goes out that you discover who has been swimming naked.

@CB Made me think of potatoes. Russian potatoes have been infected with all sorts of bugs, etc. even though they are the third largest producers of potatoes. If they could clean up the crop and become efficient large scale farmers, I would think that China and India would be a huge markets. Last I read that China was actually the largest producer of potatoes in the world. India was second.

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CB's picture

@MrWebster

Russian breeders to diagnose potato diseases
11/11/2014

Potato breeding laboratory of Siberian Scientific Research Institute of Agriculture has acquired a microplate photometer Multiskan FC, manufactured by ThermoFisher Scientific Inc. in Finland. It's to be used for a comprehensive analysis of breeding material of the seed stock. The electronic instrument is said to reveal diseases in a hundred potato tubers simultaneously, in a matter of seconds.

The device detects the eight most common viral and bacterial infections at early stages, by means of enzyme-linked immunoelectrodiffusion essay.

In the future, the electronic research of potato breeding material will contribute to the creation of seed stock collections.

Russian and Chinese potato crop zones run adjacent to one another and they have a close working relationship. China is the world's largest producer of potatoes.

China creates disease-resistant potatoes to promote crop as staple food
2015-7-13
...
A Chinese potato

At the CIP, there is a potato called “Cooperation-88,” which was developed through a joint program between the CIP (Peru) and Chinese scientists. More than 20 years ago, based on the potatoes provided by the CIP, the Chinese scientists bred a new type which can better resist late-onset diseases. This new type has been widely grown in Southwestern China and has been well received by local farmers. It has even been exported to Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. In 2014, the CIP officially brought this type into their genome bank. “Cooperation-88” has become China’s first well-nurtured type of potato that has been exported to the rest of the world.
...

In 2015, China launched a strategy to make potato a staple food, processing potatoes into steamed buns and noodles. Potatoes will stand side by side with rice, wheat and corn as China’s new staple food. This strategy has also captured the attention of the international community. “It is very unusual that a state can specify a commodity as a tool of development,” said Pamela Anderson, an expert at the CIP. “This shows the Chinese government pays serious attention to food safety.” Anderson added.
...

Here's an interesting aside about potato diplomacy between Sergei Lavrov and John Kerry.

Why did Russia give US secretary of state John Kerry potatoes?

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@CB Long time ago I read about Cornell developing through breeding a potatoe resistant to ton of diseases, etc. I actually thought of getting some and growing them for farmer markets.

Cornell-bred, blight-resistant potato variety -- New York 121 -- is sent to Russia for testing to stave off potato crisis
http://news.cornell.edu/stories/2001/06/potato-variety-sent-russia-stave...

I could not find them and writing to Cornell was well, too chickenshit. I don't Russians took up the strain.

But the problem if you call it that was the potaote was small. And Americans want their potatoes big and fat.

The fact that China and India were the biggest producers gotta say ruined some cliches about what people eat (having family from E. Europe). Two years ago I had a potatoe curry at an India restaurant and it was soooooo good. I asked an Indian about potatoes and said very common but not something Westerners associate with Indian cooking.

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Are they proud to be in the same corner as Josef Stalin?

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I've seen lots of changes. What doesn't change is people. Same old hairless apes.

I remember back when when trade was seen as creating peace because countries would be dependent on each other and less likely to engage in destructiove disputes. That the best way to undermine the old Soviet Union was by selling them jeans and exporting rock and roll.

And that seems to be the case. Germans depend on buying Russian energy as much as Russia is dependent on selling it. This thing with Russia and energy independence is just propaganda as EU has many sources of getting energy, only not as cheaply as from Russia. The US solution is for
Europe to use much more expense energy products from American suppliers.

As for the sanctions working. Russia seems to be developing self-sufficiently in a number of areas and investing in them. Food independence seems to be a goal that is seeing realizing in a number of areas. And of course, Russia now looks to China for new markets in various areas.

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dance you monster's picture

@MrWebster

Just like a schoolyard bully, we alternate between threatening them and taking their lunch jeans money.

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To ever leave the alliance. The opium trade has gone through Turkey to the US since before Skull and Crossbones (and it's agency, the CIA) even existed.

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@Battle of Blair Mountain
OK. We don't sanction Turkey.
We don't sanction India.
We don't sanction KSA.
We don't sanction Iraq.

Uh, then the sanctions are a joke.
That becomes a diplomatic liability.

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TheOtherMaven's picture

@gjohnsit
to make it seem as though "we" are actually "doing something". Blum 3

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There is no justice. There can be no peace.