Mirror detachment: Russia left a chance for dialogue with the United States by retaliatory sanctions

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Moscow did not impose too harsh retaliatory restrictions against Washington, leaving Russian-American relations an opportunity to establish a dialogue, the State Duma and the Federation Council told Izvestia… On April 16, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov announced a number of measures that were taken in response to the unfriendly steps taken by the United States the day before. As Izvestia wrote, Moscow responded in a mirror-like manner to the expulsion of ten Russian diplomats.

The answer is necessary

It took Russia only a day to formulate retaliatory sanctions against the United States. On April 15, Joe Biden imposed a ban on banks and other US financial institutions from purchasing on the primary market bonds denominated in rubles and other currencies issued by the Bank of Russia, the National Welfare Fund and the Ministry of Finance after June 14, 2021. In addition, Washington ordered 10 employees of the Russian diplomatic mission to leave the United States., and also a sanctions list was formed, which included 32 individuals and legal entities who allegedly tried to influence the results of the presidential elections in the States in 2020. Five people and three organizations, which, according to the US, were involved in the “occupation of Crimea” and violations of human rights in the region, faced restrictions. Also, six Russian high-tech companies fell under the restrictions.

On the evening of April 16, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov announced the Russian response to the actions of the White House. Moscow launches a procedure that will end the practice of hiring Russians and third-country nationals to work in American diplomatic missions, as well as stop the practice of uncontrolled short-term travel of employees to work in the US diplomatic mission in Russia… Also, Assistant to the President Yuri Ushakov recommended Ambassador John Sullivan to leave for Washington for consultations… Meanwhile, as Izvestia wrote, Russia responded in a mirror-like manner to the expulsion of 10 diplomats. And finally eight American officials were on the sanctions listincluding US Attorney General Merrick Garland, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mallorcas, Presidential Adviser for Domestic Policy Susan Rice, FBI Director Christopher Ray, head of national intelligence Avril Haynes and former Donald Trump’s national security assistant John Bolton.

Also, the Russian Foreign Ministry announced that they intend to terminate the activities in Russia of American funds and NGOs controlled by the State Department and other US government agencies.… They explained that such work has been going on for a long time and will be completed, since the United States does not intend to reduce the scope of its subversive efforts.

According to Sergei Lavrov, the US sanctions are “on the shoulder” of Russia, and Moscow has every opportunity to introduce painful measures against American business. But the Russian Federation decided to keep them in reserve.

Curious that the Russian response followed a separate speech by Joe Biden on Russia… Among other things, the head of the White House noted in his speech that the time had come for de-escalation in bilateral relations, and stressed that he was very counting on the summit he proposed with Vladimir Putin. According to politicians and experts interviewed by Izvestia, it was clear that the US president was trying to sound peaceful, and his proposal for a dialogue can only be assessed positively, but the sanctions he imposed left Moscow no choice – Russia had to respond.

Sanctions in any case – even retaliatory ones – cannot be in line with the de-escalation Biden spoke of. But the fact is that Biden’s policy itself in the Russian direction is very contradictory.… On the one hand, he advocates a reduction in tensions, on the other, he immediately accepts sanctions. It is very difficult to perceive this at the same time. Therefore, it is natural that Moscow responded. And, of course, the sanctions policy complicates the idea of ​​how in this situation it is possible to organize a personal meeting of the presidents, ”Valery Garbuzov, head of the Institute of the USA and Canada of the Russian Academy of Sciences, told Izvestia.

However, according to the expert, there is still time until summer. If the sanctions exchanges are paused, the summit is quite possible… Another thing is that for such a meeting it is necessary to clearly work out the agenda so that it does not work out as in 2018 with Donald Trump.

– Although the meeting itself is also important. They will sit down, look into each other’s eyes. But without any decisions, such a contact globally does not change anything in relations, – the political scientist explained.

Not in favor of any breakthroughs is the fact that Joe Biden is actually copying the policy of Donald Trump in the Russian direction.

– In the morning, Trump talked about the desire to get along, and in the evening he signed sanctions. Now it’s the same, albeit a little differently. In such a structure, it is difficult for Moscow to follow a well-adjusted course: on the one hand, you must take the outstretched hand, and on the other, hit the other hand, which is nasty to you, ” concluded Valery Garbuzov.

Ready for dialogue

However, Russian response to US actions can be considered “soft” and leaves room for negotiations with Washington… According to the Deputy Chairman of the State Duma Committee on International Affairs Alexei Chepa, Moscow is doing everything to ease tensions in the world, and therefore does not get involved in fierce sanctions battles with the West.

We are not unleashing a political war, we are not for several years accusing America of illegal actions… We see attempts to interfere in our internal affairs, aggravate the situation on our borders. We have seen support for terrorist organizations over the years. At the same time, the United States blames everything on us. All this is causing additional escalation in the world. And we are doing everything to reduce it, – the deputy explained to Izvestia the sanctioned response of Russia.

He cited another example of Moscow’s wise reaction to yet another US attack: when Joe Biden in an interview gave an affirmative answer to a journalist’s question whether he considered Vladimir Putin a “killer”, the Russian president only wished him good health.

– And Sergei Lavrov, making a statement on retaliatory measures, does not burn all bridges, leaves hope for reason on the part of the US and the EU, – Alexey Chepa summed up.

In addition, Moscow understands that, before introducing any measures, it is necessary to think in advance – how to cancel them later. That is why Russia does not impose too harsh restrictions in response to restrictions on the part of the Americans, said Alexander Babakov, a member of the Federation Council Committee on International Affairs.

– Before entering a partnership, you need to understand how to get out of it, and vice versa. The EU and the US have already introduced a huge number of measures against Russia, and now their main headache is not to come up with new ones, but to understand how to get away from these already “sophisticated” measures… Russia, on the other hand, thinks ahead, – the politician told Izvestia.

As for the previously proposed meeting of the two leaders on the sidelines of the third – European – country, in such matters Moscow has always adhered to the position that dialogue is necessary in any case, the deputy recalled.

On April 16, Russia also ordered five diplomats from Poland to leave the country.… This happened again in response to the expulsion of Russian diplomats from that state, “in solidarity” with the United States, a day earlier.