Anti-Russian sanctions are useless and part of efforts by the United States and the European Union to justify the need for bigger military spending and NATO's eastward expansion, Gianmatteo Ferrari, a member of the Italian Lega Nord party, told Sputnik News.
“Sanctions are useless … This is very well known both to American and EU politicians. The United States and the European Union have an extreme need to have an ‘enemy.’ Without an enemy they do not justify the scary US military spending and NATO. Without an enemy they not justify the continued expansion of NATO in the East. Without an enemy and without ‘fear’ people would probably not accept EU austerity measures,” Ferrari said.
Ferrari said that neither the United States nor the European Union are interested in putting an end to the Ukrainian conflict. According to Ferrari, sanctions were only aimed at restraining Russia’s competitive advantage over the United States.
“The US and the EU do not want to solve the Ukraine crisis. Everyone knows that. If they do, they have no excuse for imposing sanctions on Russia. These sanctions have the dual aspect of justifying the US, EU and NATO military spending, and the other also serving as unfair competition. Sanctions, in fact, go to those areas where Russia exceeds and the US is in trouble,” Ferrari added.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov called the new US sanctions a “Russophobic obsession” going beyond all measure. Lavrov also criticized the European Union for keeping sanctions despite the fact that the Russian side of the Minsk accords on Ukrainian crisis settlement has been fulfilled.
This month, on 20 June, the US Department of the Treasury Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) called sanctions once again against some 40 individuals and entities on the pretext of their alleged involvement in the ongoing conflict in Donbass.
The new sanctions include freezing of assets subject to US jurisdiction and preventing American citizens from doing business with sanctioned parties. The Department of the Treasury’s move comes after the US Senate voted in favor of extending sanctions against Russia over its alleged involvement in the 2016 US presidential election.
Another sanctions bill is currently advancing through Congress, while EU leaders have agreed to extend the bloc’s economic sanctions against Russia by six months until January 31. The 28 EU heads of state and government made the decision on June 22 during a two-day summit in Brussels.
Former East German spy chief Werner Grossman told Sputnik Deutschland, that Western sanctions against Russia were part of a long-term policy aimed at destabilising the country,
“If Russia, as the successor to the Soviet Union, were not armed with nuclear weapons, there would probably have been another war, or we would be facing one.”
Grossman, who served as deputy minister for state security and head of the foreign intelligence service in the German Democratic Republic, agreed with president Putin’s recent statement replied that no one would survive a nuclear conflict.
The retired spy boss believes that the anti-Russian policy pursued by Western countries, including Germany, is unlikely to change anytime soon. In particular, sanctions won’t be lifted because they serve a political purpose for the ruling elites of the West.