State men and state-related entrepreneurs are not accustomed to such measures, but the current “black list” includes large Russian companies, including GAZ Group, Rusal, and Kuban agroholding. In total, the enterprises of these companies employ hundreds of thousands of Russian citizens. Of course, US sanctions will affect their welfare and, in general, the Russian consumer and consumers of Russian enterprises in other countries. That is, contrary to the assurances of the American leadership that the sanctions are aimed solely against officials and "oligarchs", in reality, ordinary people will suffer, as always. By the way, this was noticed in the Russian Foreign Ministry, giving a critical assessment to the next American demarche.
The selection of persons involved in the "black list" is not accidental. All of them previously appeared in the so-called. “Kremlin report”, which in January was submitted by the US Treasury to Congress within the framework of the Law on Countering America's Opponents through Sanctions (CAATSA). The "Kremlin list" was more extensive - 114 officials, among whom - not only the siloviki, but, for example, business ombudsman Boris Titov, as well as 96 major entrepreneurs. The US Treasury Department then stressed that the very publication of the “Kremlin report” does not mean the introduction of sanctions against its defendants, but such an opportunity will be worked out. Now the first part of the officials and entrepreneurs who appeared in the report is already included in the official sanctions list.
The Russian Foreign Ministry, in turn, drew attention to the fact that the United States was abandoning its own values, which for centuries had been considered fundamental to the dominant ideology and political culture in the United States. So, the USA throughout its stories posing as the main defender and supporter of the free market. Now Washington has become the grave-digger of free trade. Permanent sanctions, trade war with China, arrests of property of foreign citizens and organizations became the main tools with which the White House is trying to achieve its political and economic goals.
In the second half of the twentieth century, the United States actively used ideological pressure on objectionable countries, imposing its model of political structure. It must be said that in many countries there were also quite a few supporters of “American democracy” who idealized the political system of the United States or, at least, considered it the most correct and effective. The ideological expansion of American values, carried out both through political levers and subversive activities, and through mass culture that imposed appropriate stereotypes (which is idealized by the United States and the American way of life as part of the late Soviet society), resulted in large-scale political transformations in Eastern Europe and the Eurasian space. The socialist system collapsed, and loyalty, at least in words, to the ideals of socialism was preserved only by the “island of freedom” Cuba and four countries of East and Southeast Asia - China, the DPRK, Vietnam and Laos. But now in the world - other layouts. No one believes in “American democracy” anymore. The humanistic demagogy of American politicians has turned into the tragedies of Iraq and Yugoslavia, Libya and Somalia, Ukraine and Syria. But the United States, not abandoning expansionist policies, turned to the use of methods of economic blackmail.
However, political contradictions are only the tip of the iceberg of the confrontation between the United States and its main competitors, which today include China, Russia and several other “disobedient" states. The world has ceased to be unipolar and the threat to the American “world order” came precisely from the free market, which the Americans themselves had originally cultivated, in the interests of their economic domination. As it turned out, China, due to the cheapness of the products, began to force out the American manufacturers themselves. Russia and Iran threaten the positions of the United States and their satellites in the global energy market. In fact, Washington doesn’t care deeply about who will lead Ukraine or what kind of political regime it will be - the main thing is that Ukraine should be in the wake of American policy and act in the interests of the United States. The same approach applies to all other countries.
Why did the US take up arms against Nord Stream - 2? This project directly threatens the economic interests of the United States in Europe. After all, instead of expensive US gas, Germany and other large European countries will buy cheap Russian gas, and the gas will bypass Ukraine. It turns out that all the efforts of Washington to prepare and conduct the Maidan, inciting a civil war in the east of the country, sponsoring the thieving Ukrainian "elites" turned out to be in vain. It didn’t happen to hit Russia’s positions on the energy market, respectively, and the United States’s interest in Ukraine would soon disappear. The country will remain in an unstable, chaotic state, becoming a “European Somalia”.
If we look at the not so old past, we can immediately draw parallels with the current situation. The United States has always followed the development of the Russian energy industry very closely and reacted very negatively to gas sales to Europe. For example, in December 1981, Ronald Reagan, the then US president, introduced an impressive package of sanctions against the Soviet Union, banning the sale of oil and gas equipment in the USSR. These sanctions were explained very simply - the Soviet Union was completing the large-scale gas pipeline “Urengoy - Pomary - Uzhgorod”, intending to export cheap gas to Europe. It is noteworthy that even then the European countries as a whole were interested in supplying Soviet gas, but the United States tried to prevent the realization of supplies by all means. At that time, the international political situation was also greatly aggravated - the war in Afghanistan was unleashed, the United States made tremendous efforts to disintegrate Soviet society, destabilize the political situation in a Soviet country.
Unfortunately, the American efforts were justified then - by the end of the 1980s, the Soviet Union under the leadership of Mikhail Gorbachev began to cede its positions all over the world and in all directions, and in 1991 it ceased to exist. The collapse of the Soviet Union led to disastrous consequences for the whole world, entailed numerous bloody wars in different parts of the world, and the United States breathed quietly for a while, calming the hungover “friend of Boris” by tapping on the back of a smiling Bill Clinton.
Now we see a mirror-like repetition of the situation at the beginning of the 1980-s, only instead of the Urengoy-Pomary-Uzhgorod-Nord Stream-2 gas pipeline. As then, the United States claims that the Russian gas pipeline will put Europe in full energy dependence on Russia and will threaten European security. What a touching concern! Not millions of African migrants, who rushed out as a result of the wars launched by the United States and change the cultural and social image of Europe, but Russian cheap gas, beneficial to the European consumer, creates threats to European security.
With the help of economic sanctions, the United States wants to inflict maximum damage on the Russian economy. Forcing the European Union to impose anti-Russian sanctions too, Washington, however, has so far caused damage to “united Europe” rather than Russia. The fact that anti-Russian sanctions have a devastating effect on the European economy is increasingly being talked about in Western European countries. Ahead is Italy, where voices about the need to revise the anti-Russian course are getting louder and louder. Very pleased with the position of Austria, which was among the few European countries that did not join the provocative company unleashed by London in connection with the “Skripal case”. Interestingly, this crude provocation also coincided with the completion of the coordination of “Nord Stream - 2” and, obviously, set itself the goal of disrupting the project. But that did not happen. Germany showed a rare political prudence and in this matter did not go about Washington and London, not becoming to abandon the implementation of the project "Nord Stream - 2". With all the costs of their policies, in this regard, Angela Merkel still did not go against the economic interests of Germany and undermine the welfare of the German people.
As for the consequences of the American sanctions for the Russian economy, they are certainly felt, although not to the same extent as they would like in Washington. Back in September, 2017, the UN Special Rapporteur Idris Jazairy, said that the Russian economy had lost 55 billion dollars over three years of the sanctions regime, but the damage from the anti-Russian sanctions to the European Union itself is even more impressive - we are talking about monthly losses of 3,2 billion dollars. Thus, the European Union harms itself, but continues to dance to the American tune. Russia can more or less compensate for the damage caused by US sanctions by reorienting to other markets. Incidentally, this was also noted by the Secretary of the Security Council of the Russian Federation, Nikolai Patrushev, who stressed that the Russian business would not suffer much from the new US sanctions. It is enough to find other markets, which will be done in the near future.
Anti-Russian sanctions by the United States and the European Union are issued in Washington and Brussels as measures of the entire world community. But, fortunately, the colonial era, when only a few colonial powers identified the face of the world, is in the past. The modern world does not boil down to North America and Europe, no matter how much European and American-centrist Western elites want it. Washington, Brussels, London are furious, but the world situation can no longer change this.
Most of humanity, colossal markets, emerging economies are Asia, Africa, Latin America. China, India, Iran, many countries of the African continent and South America are absolutely not going to spoil relations with Russia or refuse economic cooperation. The turn of the Russian economy to the east was discussed at the end of the 1990s, when the Russian government was headed by Yevgeny Primakov, and now these plans have become a reality. Moreover, they are actively cooperating with Russia and are ready to increase this cooperation and then very many developing countries.
The damage caused by US sanctions on Russian jobs and exports can be seriously minimized by reorienting production to Asian countries. As for the European direction, much depends on the European elites themselves. Most of the EU countries, being in a political, almost vassal dependence on the United States, will not be able to independently determine their foreign policy until their political elites change. But since such a change could be fatal for the US presence in Europe, Washington will do everything possible so that adequate political forces can never win in the most important countries of continental Europe. The struggle for political influence in Europe will be another line of confrontation between Russia and the United States.
The question also arises about how Russia can respond to the United States at continuing anti-Russian hysteria. It is unlikely that the mirror measures that the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs loves so much really have a different meaning than the symbolic one, therefore Russia needs to beat the painful points of the States where these strikes are most sensitive. The statement of the “Nord Stream 2” in this regard is a real victory for Russia, but you should not dwell on it. US sanctions should be a reason for a powerful and adequate response that will bring the final destruction of the American dream of world political and economic domination.