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Russia’s isolation - Obama’s wishful thinking

May 29, 2014, 18:45 UTC+3 Zamyatina Tamara
US President Barack Obama

US President Barack Obama

© EPA/PETER FOLEY

MOSCOW, May 29. /ITAR-TASS/. The US President Barack Obama’s words about alleged success in isolating Russia globally are unfounded and represent an attempt to conceal sad results of his international policy, Russian political scientists say.

Obama described Washington’s position on the Russian-Ukrainian conflict as a perfect example of the US role as a global security guarantor. In an address to the US Military Academy’s graduates on Wednesday he said, “Our ability to shape world opinion helped isolate Russia right away. Because of American leadership, the world immediately condemned the Russian actions. Europe and the G-7 joined us to impose sanctions.”

Yet the reality proves Obama’s statement that the international public opinion mobilized against Russia was ungrounded. The Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told The Wall Street Journal on Monday his government would continue the dialogue with Russia. The $400 billion gas contract between Russia and China speaks for itself. Finally, the German Chancellor Angela Merkel keeps in touch with Vladimir Putin and is no advocate of tougher anti-Russian sanctions.

“All of Barack Obama’s statements about the Ukrainian crisis resemble Churchill’s Fulton speech and are an urge to renew the Cold War,” believes the director of the Institute for Globalization Problems, Mikhail Delyagin. “Washington still views Russia as an Evil Empire, though it is not Russia but the West under the US leadership that ignited the fuse in Ukraine. One cannot but recall that US Vice President Joe Biden, CIA Director John Brennan and Assistant Secretary at the Department of State Victoria Nuland have recently paid official and secret visits to Ukraine, supporting the illegitimate Kiev government in every possible way and driving the situation to the civil war in the south-east.” Describing these actions as an example of world order guarantor is absurd, to say the least, he believes, as they did not aid peace in Ukraine.

“Meanwhile, the US calls on its allies to exert tougher pressure on Russia are increasingly unpopular. Many influential countries such as Germany, Britain and France do not want to toughen sanctions against Moscow as they see them as a path to disrupt the EU economy,” the expert told ITAR-TASS.

“Though the upper house has given the Russian president the green light for bringing troops in Ukraine if the conflict escalates, it is unknown whether this is really part of the president’s plan,” the honorary chairman of the Council on Foreign and Defense Policy, Sergei Karaganov, told ITAR-TASS. “Therefore, Barack Obama’s statement to the effect it was he who made the Russian troops withdraw from the border with Ukraine resembles the boasts of Hoffmann’s famous character, Little Zaches, who credited all achievements to himself.”

“At first, the US really managed to garner international support for Ukraine’s EU aspiration and set the international community against Russia that allegedly hindered Kiev’s plans. But Washington’s vigor in the information war is waning, so Obama’s statement he allegedly succeeded in mobilizing the international community against Russia sounded rather inert,” said Karaganov. “Washington seems to overlook the changes underway. The politicians from different countries are beginning to realize what is really happening in Ukraine.”

Obama’s address is a presentation of the president’s foreign policy for the rest of his term, that is the following two and a half years, believes the director of the for the US and Canadian Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Sergei Rogov. “The greatest emphasis in his speech was that the US needs a middle ground between isolationism and excessive interference with other countries’ affairs and needs to retain global leadership with the use of non-military means.”

“Barack Obama cited alleged isolation of Russia under pressure from the international coalition in the Ukrainian crisis as an example of such “golden mean” policy. But the president failed to provide any conclusive evidence of the US economic sanctions’ real effect on Russia’s policy in relation to Ukraine. The US president was silent over the fact that such large countries as India, China and Brazil did not support his calls for Russia’s isolation. Nor did he say anything about the European Union’s more cautious stance on anti-Russian sanctions. Moreover, some EU countries oppose such sanctions due to the real economic interconnection between Russia and Europe, especially in terms of energy,” Rogov told ITAR-TASS.

“It is no accident Obama’s speech faced criticism from both left-and right-wingers. Neoconservatives criticize him for plans to abandon military force outside the US, while pacifists are angry at his interference with other countries’ internal affairs,” said Rogov. “Obama’s new foreign political strategy looks like a declaration not backed by any real facts. The US president’s statement that he managed to isolate Russia and acted as a guarantor of peace in Ukraine is an attempt to make his wishes look like reality," the expert concluded.

 

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