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Go Back   Armchair General and HistoryNet >> The Best Forums in History > Current Events > Russia, Central Asia, and The Caucasus

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Russia, Central Asia, and The Caucasus Post-Soviet Russia and some neglected smaller neighbors.

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  #46  
Old 06 Sep 17, 03:36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Artyom_A View Post
Ehm, I see that you are moving to some ad-hominem type of arguments without providing anything on the substance. So just several points regarding the last part:
1. Russia's economical recession in 2015-2016 was first and foremost due to oil prices and then partly a logical continuation of a slowdown that started already before that. Western sanctions were a factor of a secondary importance.
Yes, and the Russian economy was already slowing down beforehand. Because the Russian economy has a slew of structural weaknesses that it might need to adress, or it can be expected to continue to move crab-wise.

The sanctions are rather insidiously designed to try to augment that kind of dynamic (restrictions on financing, technology etc.). Which makes them less than obvious, and so allows the Russian government the opportunity of denying their effects, at least to the Russians. The food counter-sanctions by comparison are designed to be 100% instantly obvious. It's about the look of the thing.

Unlike what Legaionnaire might claim, no one in their right mind wants some kind of Russian collapse. There are all kinds of preferable scenarios for where Russia heads, and the sanctions (however crudely) have some of those in mind, but collapse isn't actually one.
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  #47  
Old 06 Sep 17, 04:28
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Originally Posted by Johan Banér View Post
The sanctions are rather insidiously designed to try to augment that kind of dynamic (restrictions on financing, technology etc.). Which makes them less than obvious, and so allows the Russian government the opportunity of denying their effects, at least to the Russians.
This kind of reasoning makes me remember this old fable:
http://naqshbandi.ca/pages/print.php...nguage=English

Then sanctions were designed as a means of pressure to make Russia abandon support of Ukrainians separatists. As such they had no effect whatsoever, and actually Russian stepped up this support after July 2014 which led to decisive defeat of Ukrainian governmental forces and the armistice concluded. So the whole "Western" plan (to isolate Ukrainian separatists and crush them by military force) has gone awry which they are however reluctant to admit. So the direct effect was simply zero. Any effect on Russian economy (real or imaginary) was supposed to be a means to an end not an end itself.
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  #48  
Old 06 Sep 17, 05:52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Artyom_A View Post
(...)
Then sanctions were designed as a means of pressure to make Russia abandon support of Ukrainians separatists.
I doubt that, they were meant as a reprisal for the annexation of Crimea.

https://europa.eu/newsroom/highlight...aine-crisis_en

Quote:
In response to the illegal annexation of Crimea and deliberate destabilisation of a neighbouring sovereign country, the EU has imposed restrictive measures against the Russian Federation.
Although no doubt what you describe may have been an effect some intended or desired.
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  #49  
Old 06 Sep 17, 06:54
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Here several different steps made at different moments of time are lumped together. Both US and EU imposed sectoral economical sanctions in July 2014 in response to ongoing separatist war in Ukraine. "Crimean" sanctions before that were mostly symbolic and economical irrelevant. From many statement of US and EU officials economical sanctions are separate from "Crimean" and are to be discussed separately. In particular it was said that economical sanctions can be cancelled in case of "peace progress" in Donbass (read: withdrawal of Russian support of separatists) while Crimea stays de-facto Russian.
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  #50  
Old 06 Sep 17, 07:49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Exorcist View Post
Same here. In a way, it is strange, in another way it is low comedy.

After 100 years, the Left is now seeing Russian the same way the Right always used to ... and all it took was one botched election?

Seriously?

The reason for the hostility of the left to Russia is very obvious : when yeltsin was ruling, no problem : Russia would become a liberal democracy,as the Clinton USA, but when Putin came and decided that Russia would follow its own way and would no longer be dependent on the liberal mothers-in-law of Washington, all hell brooke loose and the liberals started a new cold war . Russia must yield, otherwise it could give other countries dangerous ideas .
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  #51  
Old 06 Sep 17, 08:48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Artyom_A View Post
Here several different steps made at different moments of time are lumped together. Both US and EU imposed sectoral economical sanctions in July 2014 in response to ongoing separatist war in Ukraine. "Crimean" sanctions before that were mostly symbolic and economical irrelevant. From many statement of US and EU officials economical sanctions are separate from "Crimean" and are to be discussed separately. In particular it was said that economical sanctions can be cancelled in case of "peace progress" in Donbass (read: withdrawal of Russian support of separatists) while Crimea stays de-facto Russian.
Still I doubt that if Russian activities had been limited to the "drôle de guerre" in Eastern Ukraine, without a formal annexation of Crimea, the EU as such would have gone even that far.

Of course - the EU is not a uniform entity, of all those that eventually agreed to the sanctions, some would have different motives than others, and what was eventually implemented was a compromise all could agree on.
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  #52  
Old 06 Sep 17, 08:51
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Aside from the bizarre interpretations of the situation offered by ljadw, Russia is an object lesson in why "strong fences make for good neighbors". The only real problem is that while Russia might also want strong fences, it does not quite want them where the recognized borders currently are. Where there is disagreement, Russia has been using the weak-to-non-existant fences to put pressure on various neighbors. (Russia in turn hasn't really been subjected to anything similar — but then Russia is the party unhappy with the borders.)

The simplest way for the situation to clarify and actually defuse most of it, is to harden the borders with Russia. Not in the sense that all kinds of traffic should not cross, but simply to make Russia accept staying on its side of them.

Frankly, it's what happened in the case of the infrastructure for the export of Russian natural gas. As soon as the EU removed (most of) the Russian ability to use the threat of shutting off deliveries, with no alternative sources available, Russia became a MUCH better neighbor, content to compete on price, quality and reliability of deliveries like everyone else.

What's being asked of Russia is to be a good neighbor. It's just that it seems to require actually shutting off avenues in which Russia could be a bad neighbor, because Russia prefers to use those.
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  #53  
Old 06 Sep 17, 09:00
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Artyom_A View Post
Ehm, I see that you are moving to some ad-hominem type of arguments without providing anything on the substance.
No, it was a direct reaction to a presumptuous statement from you. In regard to substance, you're only looking for "facts" that confirm your own opinion or point of view and clearly you will debate anything that doesn't coincide with your view, regardless of facts.

Quote:
So just several points regarding the last part:
1. Russia's economical recession in 2015-2016 was first and foremost due to oil prices and then partly a logical continuation of a slowdown that started already before that. Western sanctions were a factor of a secondary importance.
So... where is the "substance" you are providing to prove this? Russia's economic recession started with oil prices...agreed. The US is controlling the oil market and OPEC is forced to make a deal in order to stop the fall of prices further. If the US wants to hurt the Russian economy which relies on exporting raw materials, how do you suspect they will do it??? (flood the market in key sectors, such as...oil?).

Quote:
2. In 2017 up to this point the Russian economy was growing. By all expectations a moderate growth will continue in the future months and years.
Sure.... and Russian domestic inflation? Job growth? Domestic value of the Ruble vs. actual purchasing power?

Quote:
3. Russian military budget is not that limited, it's the third or fourth in the world actually. Still the planned expenditure in 2017 are considerably smaller than in 2015 or 2016, and in 2018 and 2019 they are planned to stay on the same level. So in reality a certain decrease in military spending right now.
The Russian economy is NOT 3rd in the world but their military spending is, now why is that? There is no external threat from NATO.
The only explanation is the Kremlin manufactures a fake threat from NATO to justify huge spending for a military that is the political tool of a dishonest agenda of bullying the neighbors into submission with overt threats. If that were the case, what would you expect those countries to do? Join NATO?
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  #54  
Old 06 Sep 17, 10:44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowygerry View Post
Still I doubt that if Russian activities had been limited to the "drôle de guerre" in Eastern Ukraine, without a formal annexation of Crimea, the EU as such would have gone even that far.
It wasn't quoted as a reason officially or from what I remember unofficially. Then the situation was that US and EU had to accept Crimea as fait accompli. They, of course, protested introduced sanctions etc, but everybody understood that there is no leverage to affect Russian position. Situation in Donbass as seen in the summer 2014 was another matter. The grand plan was that governmental forces liquidate rebels by means of military operations and Russia is kept from giving support to rebels using a threat of reprisals. As I said already this plan didn't work and the threat of reprisals didn't work. Now everything looks like freezing the conflict in a low-intensity phase. It doesn't seem that US and EU can do anything about it and they react in their typical manner: bury head in the sand and pretend that everything worked as planned.
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  #55  
Old 06 Sep 17, 10:51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ljadw View Post
The reason for the hostility of the left to Russia is very obvious : when yeltsin was ruling, no problem :
Worth to add that when Yeltsin was ruling everybody was indifferent to Russian interfering (sometimes military) in former Soviet republics. War in Transnistria, civil war in Georgia, war in Ossetia, war in Abkhazia, you name the rest. The West thought that it's strictly Russian business and nobody cared about the evil Russian imperialism. Everything changed in early 2000s under a new US administration.

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  #56  
Old 06 Sep 17, 11:13
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Originally Posted by Artyom_A View Post
Worth to add that when Yeltsin was ruling everybody was indifferent to Russian interfering (sometimes) military in former Soviet republics. War in Transnistria, civil war in Georgia, war in Ossetia, war in Abkhazia, you name the rest. The West thought that it's strictly Russian business and nobody cared about the evil Russian imperialism. Everything changed in early 2000s under a new US administration.
You are of course forgetting the First Chechen War.
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  #57  
Old 07 Sep 17, 01:00
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You are of course forgetting the First Chechen War.
Hasn't everyone?

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  #58  
Old 07 Sep 17, 06:38
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A few eye-candy pics to toss into the playpen, what do AG members think Trump and Putin really think of each other?-




















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  #59  
Old 08 Sep 17, 04:17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Artyom_A View Post
It wasn't quoted as a reason officially or from what I remember unofficially.
It says so right there on the official EU announcement of the sanctions I posted above.

Quote:
In response to the illegal annexation of Crimea and deliberate destabilisation of a neighbouring sovereign country, the EU has imposed restrictive measures against the Russian Federation.
Before that there were "diplomatic measures" only which I assume is considered one step below on the escalation ladder.

While you are of course free to ascribe different motivations to these sanctions on the part of the EU or some of its members, it cannot be said the EU wasn't clear on the issue, and it was quite formal too.

https://europa.eu/newsroom/highlight...aine-crisis_en

The sanctions and reasons they came about are posted there for all to see and review, a fair difference I might say with the Russian and US American "diplomatic measures" recently which seem to be pretty much at the whim of Trump and Putin.
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