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US mission to isolate Russia is impossible: most world countries refuse to follow US sanctions

May 1, 2014   ·   0 Comments

 

The US is trying hard to make Russia feel isolated in order to “punish” it for challenging the results of the Cold War. However, the only visible result of this campaign is that Russian Internet users joke about #RussiaIsolated hashtag promoted by the State Department.

Can Russia be isolated? The short answer is ‘not really’. During the last several months, Moscow’s diplomats have been laboring hard to prove to the West that the world doesn’t revolve around Washington DC and that a country of Russia’s size and strength can’t be driven into a geopolitical corner. The giant gas deal between Russia and China, dubbed “the Holy Grail” by some Western analysts, is almost ready and is likely to be signed when Vladimir Putin visits Beijing in the next weeks. This deal will help Russia diversify its energy exports’ destinations, giving Moscow a future opportunity to redirect its main energy flows to the East, leaving the European market starved for energy.

During his visit to Japan, Barack Obama actually pushed Beijing into the warm embrace of the Russian bear by supporting Tokyo in a territorial dispute with China. The energy deals and the upcoming joint military drills in East China Sea at end-May prove that Washington’s strategy of containing both China and Russia has backfired.

China is not the only country looking to extend its cooperation with Russia. An oil-for-goods swap deal with Iran made the State Department livid because around 500,000 oil barrels per day sold to Russia will give it even more leverage in the global energy market while bypassing the “oil ceiling”, an artificial limit on Iran’s oil exports imposed by Washington. The recent news about another deal, involving and electricity-for-oil swap worth 10 billion dollars between Russia and Iran are likely to irritate Washington even more, but there is nothing it can do to stop the transaction.

Another country that is completely ignoring all attempts to isolate Russia is India. Gazprom and Rosneft, the state-owned energy giants, are looking for routes to supply oil and gas to India, while Indian companies are interested in gaining a foothold in the Russian energy sector by participating in joint exploration projects with Russian companies. All such projects, like the East Siberia – Indian Ocean pipeline are very expensive and will take a long time to materialize, but the mutual interest for creating an energy link between the two countries proves that India is not participating in the US-led campaign to block Russia’s international cooperation. Most experts expect that if BJP, the main opposition party in India, wins the upcoming parliamentary elections, the links between the two countries will strengthen even more.

China, India and Iran are not the only countries that refuse to isolate Russia. Vietnam, Peru, Israel and Turkey are looking for establishing free trade agreements with Russia and the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan. It can be argued that Washington’s attempts to restrain, to block and to punish Russia actually strengthen Moscow international ties with countries willing to drift away from a unipolar and US-centric world order.
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