The most important thing to remember about economic sanctions is that they are used by a nation against another to achieve political, not financial goals. Thus America’s use of sanctions on countries like Iraq, Iran, Syria, and now Russia are all intended to put pressures on those nations to force them to capitulate to U.S. will.
But for the first time in decades, U.S. sanctions against another nation have been met with unforeseen consequences. And on Oct. 31, the victim of this collateral damage is choosing to not go after the originator of the economic ‘weapons of mass destruction’, but after the one country that the sanctions were intended to be primarily focused upon. In a formal complaint made on the last day of October to the World Trade Organization (WTO), the European Union is seeking assistance from the global institution to intervene against Russian tariffs placed upon EU products, and try to reverse the effects of retaliatory sanctions put upon them for standing with the U.S. in their proxy war against the Eurasian state.
The European Union has filed a complaint against Russia with the World Trade Organization (WTO) contesting Russia’s heavy import duties on paper products, refrigerators, freezers, and palm oil.
The EU claims that Russia is charging higher tariffs than it promised a violation of the World Trade Organization agreement. If Russia doesn’t address the issue within 60 days, the EU can ask the WTO to give a ruling on the case.
“Russia diverges from what was decided at the time it joined the WTO in two ways: either it applies a higher duty rate, e. g. 15 percent instead of 5 percent, or it fixes a minimum amount that needs to be paid even if not justified by the agreed duty rate expressed in a percentage of the product value,” the EU’s press release, posted Friday, says. – RT
It was predicted about a month and a half ago that retaliatory sanctions against the EU by Russia could have a chilling effect on their economy, and quite possibly push the union into a hard recession. And sadly for many European economies this forecast was dead on as just last week, multiple nation states reported a return to a recessionary environment that was fragile to begin with since the credit crisis of 2008.
Russia is not without its own pain from months of U.S. sanctions as the Rouble and their banking systems fight to sustain solvency in the wake of American pressures against their currency and oil prices. And it is quickly becoming a game of chicken between the East and West on who can last the longest with energy sitting near or below $80 per barrel.
In the end however, it might be Europe who does the blinking and decides that standing with the U.S. over Ukraine to the detriment of their own economies is a battle not worth fighting. Already several EU states are experiencing anti-EU and anti-Euro political battles, with corporate interests also putting immense pressures on France and Germany to end their alliance with NATO and the U.S., and seek a more accommodating partnership with Eurasia and the Far East.
Europe has little to gain by going after Russia at the World Trade Organization when the root of the problem lies in U.S. policies meant to expand a Western presence on Russia’s border, and seek a continuance of a Cold War doctrine that is based on destroying any power than threatens their hegemony over the globe. And whatever choice they decide to make, or that is imposed upon them in the future, Russia’s growing partnerships with China and the BRICS means that Europe has little power to dictate their own terms in a new paradigm of economic affairs, and can only hurt their own interests further by standing with the U.S. in the current round of sanctions against Russia.