By Vladlen Semivolos

There have been extensive discussions lately in the international media on the issue of the sanctions against Russia and their impact on our society.

After Moscow launched special military operation in Ukraine with a view to put an end to the genocide of the Russian population of Donbass, the West introduced harsh political and economic measures against our country.

High-level politicians from the Western bloc placed a great deal of hope on the sanctions predicting that they will crush Russia, cripple and tear our economy apart.

In fact, Russia has been living under sanctions for more than a hundred years now – since the establishment of the Soviet Union in 1922. They never stopped.

The West tried to punish us for having different ideals, different way of life, and our belief that all people are equal regardless of the color of their skin. Former slave owners see things differently.

They hate us and are afraid of us because we do not bow before them, because of the huge size of our country, because we survived every intervention the collective West started against Russia, trampling into dust the “unbeatable” armies of Napoleon, Hitler and others and having the habit of ending wars in the capitals of the invaders.

They also hate us for the support we provided to the developing nations in their anticolonial fight, their struggle for independence. We remember that Africa on its part has also suffered greatly.

A number of prominent African politicians who fought for the bright future of their countries were brutally killed by the West on the assumption of their ties with Moscow.

One must not ever forget these terrifying pages of the recent African history.

In the Soviet era, we lived under the sanctions of the Coordinating Committee for Multilateral Export Controls (CoCom) designed to prevent the purchase and supply of high-tech equipment to our country.

I can also recall the Jackson-Vanik amendment that denied to the USSR the most favored nation status. It was replaced in 2012 by the Magnitsky Act that sanctioned our individuals and companies for alleged human right violations.

Then came the sanctions imposed on us after what they called the “annexation of Crimea” in 2014.

The West just could not accept the free will of Crimeans to rejoin the Russian Federation, after the US and Europe supported the illegitimate and unconstitutional coup d’état in Kiev.

The latest sanctions wave is unprecedented. As President Vladimir Putin stated, we are now the champions in the number of sanctions introduced against the Russian Federation.

Still, these restrictions have little to do with Ukraine. Their objective is strategic – to marginalize and isolate Russia, to contain Russia, to hamper Russia’s development and to reduce to a zero level Russia’s role in world politics, economy, trade, sports, art, science and education.

These sanctions were adopted by the US and some of their Western cronies, which have long lost the independence in their foreign policy, bypassing the UN Security Council and thus are illegal in terms of the international law.

They reflect the US political course to impose on the humanity the so-called rules-based order, where the West is establishing the rules and rest of the world unconditionally lives by these rules.

Completely in line with such philosophy, the US seeks to enact a legislation to punish African states that enjoy multifaceted and mutually advantageous relations with Russia. Meaning – either you obey or feel the consequences.

A typical example of autocracy and dictatorship speaking in the language of ultimatums. This is nothing but a continuation of the Western colonial policies towards Africa. Demonstrating a total disregard of the international law and disrespect to Africa as a whole.

Time has proved that sanctions against Russia, which is deeply involved in global economy and the international division of labor, backfired. Inflation in Europe rose to critical levels, the supply chains are disrupted, and the industrial output is severely hit.

In 2022, the EU will pay twice as much they paid for Russian energy resources last year – around €700-800 billion. Europe is paying €100 million daily only to Russian “Gasprom”. While the physical sales have dropped more than 3 times — from 400 million cubic meters to 130 million cubic meters.

A certain number of Western companies that were forced to leave Russia will later regret it. They bear multimillion losses: Netflix lost 70% of its value, Paypal – 60%, Facebook – 48%, NVIDIA – 44%, Тesla – 43%, Аmazon – 36%, Apple – 25%, Microsoft – 23%, Google – 24%. Huge consortiums, like BASF in Germany, are phasing down their production, some are closing down. For the record, the current political crisis in Britain is also a direct result of sanctions.

In contrast to Russia, the Western households are reducing the consumption of energy, their population face empty shelves in stores and raising prices for gasoline.

Europeans are substituting gas with firewood and dead wood, receive warm water and take showers by the hours. “Green energy” is forgotten.

Nevertheless, the Western leaders deny the obvious: rising prices, accelerating inflation, shortages of food and fuel and problems in the energy sector are the result of system-wide errors the current US administration and European bureaucracy have made in their economic policies.

However, disregarding the interests of their own people, they are still persistent in the promotion of these destructive policies – continue to put a blame on Russia for global energy and food crisis.

Some insist that since their sanctions do not target Russian wheat and fertilizers, it is Russia that bears responsibility for their shortage on the world market.

As President Vladimir Putin stated, the West is an empire of lies. This is exactly the case. The truth is that the Western countries are impeding the export of Russian fertilizers and grain by imposing sanctions on our vessels, prohibiting port calls for them.

We are ready to supply the world with enough grain as soon as the sanctions are lifted. This year we would most likely be able to export 50 million tons of grain.

It is the Western sanctions that restrict their supplies to the countries in need, including in Africa, hurting the developing world.

The Westerners also amateurishly speculate that modern Russian armaments depend on foreign technologies and the sanctions will bring a serious blow to our military capabilities. Another miscalculation.

Contemporary Russian means of destruction are founded on new physical principles; we are well in advance of the collective West in this sphere.

We know that the sanctions drive is going to continue, that the West would try to intimidate us with more of them. We are well used to it.

Being under the sanctions did not stop us from completely rebuilding our country after the devastating war with Germany in 1941-1945, developing unique technologies that enabled us to create a nuclear bomb in 1949, launching the first man into space in 1961.

In the wake of sanctions, the Russian government elaborated the measures that helped our economy to adjust to the new situation.

We are expanding trade with friends and reliable partners and open new markets. For instance, since the beginning of this year, imports of Russian oil to India jumped 50 times.

Before the start of the Russian special military operation in Ukraine, Russian oil accounted for only 0.2% of the oil imported by India. Now the share of Russian oil in India is 10%. The trade with China surged by 29% accounting to 65, 8 billion US dollars.

New realities open wide possibilities for developing countries to enhance bilateral trade, investment and economic cooperation with Russia.

However, Russia has learned a lesson: from now on, we will never trust the Americans or the EU. We will rely only on ourselves and on our allies.

As the Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov recently underscored, the Iron Curtain against the West is on its way down. The Western countries should make sure they do not get anything caught in it.

We have many friends in Africa, Asia and Latin America that constitute the overwhelming majority of states and civilizations on this planet. We will not be alone or isolated. The world is not limited to the collective West.

Sanctions will make us even stronger. Restrictions imposed on our country in 2014, enabled us to become the major supplier of grain to the world, almost completely abandon the import of meat, fruits and vegetables from Europe. We became self-sufficient in many areas.

Given Russia’s vast natural resources, our huge industrial and intellectual potential, the unity and cohesion of the nation in the face of the grave threat from the West, we will survive the sanctions. The attempts to crush Russia are doomed.

Russia and our truth will prevail. There is no other choice for us.

The writer is the Ambassador of the Russian Federation to Uganda.

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1 Comment

  1. Grt Grt only Russian president can save this world from usa n allies and like king David Putin will win

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