Pundit predicts 'devastating consequences' of Russia sanctions

US sanctions will 'drive Europe into the arms of the Russians and Chinese' and may lead to Russian arming of Iran, says columnist Spengler.

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Guy Cohen,

Russian President Vladimir Putin, April 2017
Russian President Vladimir Putin, April 2017
Reuters

New sanctions against Russia passed by the House and Senate last week are "the dumbest and most self-destructive act of economic self-harm since the United States de-linked the dollar from gold on August 15, 1971, and it will have devastating consequences," predicted renowned columnist David Goldman, aka Spengler, in his latest opinion piece.

The sanctions legislation allows the US to impose heavy fines on European companies involved in energy infrastructure with Russia, and threatens several major projects now in progress. EC Commission chief Klaus Juncker warned Thursday, “The US bill could have unintended unilateral effects that impact the EU’s energy security interests. If our concerns are not taken into account sufficiently, we stand ready to act appropriately within a matter of days."

"Berlin, Paris and Rome will conspire with Moscow to circumvent the sanctions while attacking the United States at the World Trade Organization and other international fora," according to Goldman, who writes in the Asia Times.

"Russia has responded by expelling a large number of diplomats from the embassy in Moscow, but that is merely a symbolic gesture," Goldman explained. "There are more disagreeable measures that Moscow might take, such as providing advanced weapons to Iran, giving close air support to Iranian-controlled militias in Syria, and increasing military cooperation with China".

Under communism, the pundit added, "Russia sought to compensate for its economic inefficiency by turning Europe into an economic colony, and the most dangerous operations of the Cold War were undertaken to prevent this. Now, for narrow political reasons, Trump’s enemies propose to undo the whole structure of relationships that won the Cold War and drive Europe into the arms of the Russians and Chinese".

The White House has been sending mixed signals on whether President Donald Trump intends to veto the bill, which also imposes new sanctions on Iran and North Korea. However, the wide margins by which the bill was passed in the Senate and House indicate any presidential veto would be overridden.