We are now into the second week of August, and nobody can be unaware that the EU, in concert with the USA, has imposed sanctions on Russia.
We’ve been told that these sanctions would hurt Putin and make him relent, give in, and do what the EU wants him to do. Above all, those sanctions would only have a minimal effect on the EU economies. Anyway, since Putin did nothing, more and more sanctions were surely needed.
Then we heard that Russia stopped the import of apples from Poland … how we laughed: apples!
Then we heard that other food exported to Russia from EU countries, mostly the Baltic States, would also be stopped. Cheese, fish, that sort of thing. And no more Coca-Cola, Big Macs, nor US chicken …
The papers were full of how the poor Russians would now surely starve, and how terrible it is that Putin’s sanctions were aimed at his own people.
While the EU contemplated and imposed more sanctions, it was at best under-reported here that Russia has meanwhile been handing in a complaint to the WTO about the EU sanctions. After all, what could the WTO do? So that was not really worthy of a report or an opinion piece.
Then, after the first sanctions were imposed by Russia on EU countries, we heard from the USA how a former advisor to Reagan was outraged that Russia would do such a thing: that was purely political malice by Putin, and interference with economic competition. It could not be allowed!
A few days later, we suddenly read that Brussels is also going to the WTO, now complaining about these Russian sanctions: they are political and unreasonable. After all, the EU sanctions were absolutely not political, not meant to do anything bad except express displeasure with Putin not doing what Frau Merkel demanded. And they were only aimed at the Russian oligarchs. Who could complain about that!
So, according to the EU, there are now good sanctions which can be imposed on a country, but that country must not impose sanctions on the EU. And these are the people who are spending our money …
There’s more: now we hear that Poland is already asking for €500 million from Brussels as compensation for the loss of their apple trade with Russia. Greece is also demanding compensation, and the Baltic States are bound to follow.
This is of course on top of what we, as EU taxpayers, have already paid to the Ukraine and will have to pay in future. And never mind about the possibility of rising energy prices: we have our wind turbines, and what is happening to the economies on the Continent is of no concern to us, is it?
While the various journalists in the German quality papers are crying crocodile tears about the poor Russians, doomed to eat grass this coming winter, it has escaped their notice that there are a few more countries outside the EU who are happy to oblige and import their food items to Russia. One is quite close to home – it is called ‘Turkey’.
Meanwhile, Aeroflot is ordering 16 Boeing 777 – from the USA.
You couldn’t make it up!