Two British Neo-Con Stalwarts Admit: The Sanctions on Russia Have Failed

The almost unprecedented economic sanctions applied against Russia have not achieved the desired results, due to the refusal of the “non-West” to go along. That reality was recently acknowledged in two prominent British publications, The Spectator and the Telegraph. Alastair Crooke, a former senior British diplomat with almost 30 years of career at MI6, reported on the admission on May 21 in the Beirut-based Al Mayadeen media network.

Crooke quotes from the lead article in the May 13 edition of The Spectator (of which Boris Johnson was editor, 1999-2005):

“Unleashing financial ‘shock and awe’ on a scale never before seen, Russia was to be cut off almost entirely…. Putin’s Russia, went the theory, would be impoverished into surrender. Few people in the West are aware of how badly this aspect of the war is going. Europe has itself paid a high price to effect a partial boycott of Russian oil and gas.

“But these figures [on limitations to the EU energy boycott] do not explain the scale of the failure to damage the Russian economy. It soon became clear that while the West was keen on an economic war, the rest of the world was not. As its oil and gas exports to Europe fell, Russia quickly upped its exports to China and India — both of which preferred to buy oil at a discount than to make a stand against the invasion of Ukraine….

“The West embarked on its sanctions war with an exaggerated sense of its own influence around the world…. The results of the miscalculation are there for all to see…. The Russian economy has not been destroyed; it has merely been reconfigured, reorientated to look eastwards and southwards rather than westwards.”

Crooke goes on to quote Allister Heath, from his article in the May 10 Telegraph:

“Russia was meant to have collapsed by now. Britain, America and Europe’s gambit was that drastic trade, financial and technological sanctions, a cap on the price of Russian seaborne oil, and substantial help to Ukraine would be enough to defeat Moscow. It hasn’t worked…. The reason? China has quietly stepped in, bailing out Putin’s shattered economy on a transformational scale, swapping energy and raw materials for goods and technology. The sanctions are a joke.”

Alastair Crooke adds on his own behalf: “For some, reading these words, their reaction will be one of utter amazement: How come it took this long for the British Establishment to ‘wake up’ to that which all the world knew?” His answer: “delusionary hubris placed ‘blinders’ on Western policymakers; they could not see what was before their own eyes.”

However, the former diplomat cautions, the West is unlikely to change policy on its own:

“The Western neo-cons do not possess ‘reverse gear’; when defeated in one sphere, they never apologise; they simply move on to the next colour-revolution.”

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