Thursday, December 29, 2016

Russia's Preemptive Response to America's Latest Sanctions

While those of us who live outside of Russia rarely actually hear what Russia's political leadership has to say about its relationships with western nations, a quick trip to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation will provide us with a glimpse at the inside workings of Russia.

This is particularly pertinent given Barack Obama's December 29th, 2016 announcement about additional sanctions being placed on Russia for their supposed role in the 2016 election that saw his party's candidate, Hillary Clinton, suffer a humiliating loss at the hands of the supposedly unelectable Donald Trump.  Fortunately, Russia had already preemptively commented on the imposition of additional sanctions on December 28th, 2016.  Here is the comment on the situation from Russia's Foreign Ministry Spokesperson, Maria Zakharova:

"The outgoing US administration has not given up on its hope of dealing one last blow to relations with Russia, which it has already destroyed.   Using obviously inspired leaks in the US media, it is trying to threaten us again with expansion of anti-Russian sanctions, “diplomatic” measures and even subversion of our computer systems. Moreover, this final New Year’s “greeting” from Barack Obama’s team, which is already preparing to leave the White House, is being cynically presented as a response to some cyber-attacks from Moscow.

Frankly speaking, we are tired of lies about Russian hackers that continue to be spread in the United States from the very top. The Obama administration launched this misinformation half a year ago in a bid to play up to the required nominee at the November presidential election and, having failed to achieve the desired effect, has been trying to justify its failure by taking it out with a vengeance on Russian-US relations.

However, the truth about the White House-orchestrated provocation is bound to surface sooner or later. In fact, this is already happening. On December 8, US media quoted Georgia’s Secretary of State Brian Kemp as saying that the local authorities tracked down the origin of a hacker attack on his voter registration database after the election. The attack was traced to an IP address of the Department of Homeland Security. This was followed by an attempt to quickly cover up this information by a flood of new anti-Russian accusations that did not contain a single piece of evidence.

We can only add that if Washington takes new hostile steps, it will receive an answer. This applies to any actions against Russian diplomatic missions in the United States, which will immediately backfire at US diplomats in Russia. The Obama administration probably does not care at all about the future of bilateral relations, but history will hardly forgive it for this apr├Ęs-nous-le-deluge attitude." (my bold)

In case you were wondering, apres-nous-le-deluge translates to "after us, comes the flood" and refers to someone who acts irresponsibly without caring about what impact their actions will have in the future.  In this case, it refers to the outgoing Obama Administration and the incoming Trump Administration.

It looks like it's more business as usual in the ongoing ramping up of hostilities between the United States and its former Cold War adversary.

Addendum - December 30, 2016

Here's what the Kremlin had to say after the Obama announcement of December 29th:

"Reserving the right to retaliate, we will not stoop to the level of "kitchen" irresponsible diplomacy and further steps to restore U.S.-Russian relations will build on the basis of the policy, which will hold the presidential administration of D. Trump.

Returning to his homeland, Russian diplomats will spend the New Year holidays in the circle of relatives and friends - at home. We will not create problems for American diplomats. We will not send anyone home. We will not prohibit their families and children to use for their usual vacation spots in the New Year's holidays. Moreover, all children of American diplomats accredited in Russia, I invite you to New Year's and Christmas tree in the Kremlin.

It is a pity that the President Obama administration completes its work this way, but, nevertheless, I congratulate him and wish his family a Happy New Year." (my bold)

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