Belgium, (Brussels Morning) Sanctions against Russia will only bring “economic devastation” and won’t help solve the conflict in Ukraine, MEP Clare Daly (The Left) denounced during a plenary session in Strasbourg yesterday.
Daly criticized the EU solution to the war in Ukraine accusing the bloc of creating “more war, pile in the weapons and splurge on militarism”. Her statement came as a response to the latest package of sanctions — the 5th — to the Russian Federation, announced yesterday by the European Commission’s President Ursula von der Leyen in tandem with the US administration.
The new round of sanctions will target Russian banks and established an embargo on Russian overall energy. Additionally, Russia is to be excluded from the G20 and other multilateral organisations. Yet, the delivery or arms to Ukraine must continue “and be stepped up”, according to a Parliament’s press statement.
“The EU economic war against Russia does nothing to help innocent Ukrainian citizens, victims of this illegal war. Russia is undeterred, while EU citizens face disastrous inflation, rocketing energy costs, and a historic decline in living standards,” denounced Daly.
“How is not selling Kerrygold butter to Russia going to save any Ukrainian lives? How is buying filthy fracked US gas going to stop the war? They won’t of course,” Daly went on stressing that sanctions have never succeeded in ending a military assault or achieving regime change.
The former British MP Chris Williamson noted that, despite the sanctions on Russia, its currency and stock market have strengthened.
“Meanwhile the cost of living crisis in the UK is turning into a catastrophe for people on low incomes thanks to our idiotic political class who want to prolong war in Ukraine rather than press for peace,” Williamson said in a tweet yesterday.
Despite broad agreement coming from the Parliament, with 513 votes supporting the new embargo (22 against and 19 abstentions), Daly is not alone in denouncing the dangerous consequences of Western sanctions on Russia.
“Western sanctions threaten to worsen the supply chain, inflation, and debt crises already threatening a vulnerable world economy. An obsession with punishing Russia could end up punishing us all,” said the veteran journalist Anthony Rowley.
Rowley says that if major powers continue to put security before the economy, inflation, supply chain disruptions and soaring prices of essential goods are just a taster of what will come.
“The United States and the EU are very energetic in the imposition of sanctions, trade barriers, technology barriers, and financial barriers towards Russia. I do not agree with this,” the US economist Jeffrey Sachs, director of the Center for Sustainable Development at Columbia University and a senior United Nations advisor told the Chinese media outlet Xinhua.
Suggesting a political way out of the current economic warfare, Sachs proposes a multi-polar world without a hegemonic power: “We should aim at a peaceful, multi-polar world, in which no country aspires to be a global ‘hegemon’ and in which alliance politics are replaced by the global rule of law, mutual respect, non-interference in the internal affairs of other nations under the UN principles, and the global rule of law and UN multilateralism.”
Assessing the impact of the sanctions on Venezuela during 2017 and 2018, the American economists Mark Weirsbrot and Sachs said they found sanctions have inflicted very serious harm to human life and health, including an estimated more than 40,000 deaths from 2017 to 2018.“These sanctions would fit the definition of collective punishment of the civilian population as described in both the Geneva and Hague international conventions,” the duo stated on behalf of the Center for Economic and Policy Research.