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Is Russia Paying For Snowden's Sins?

Popularity 7Viewed 4590 times 2015-4-15 11:12 |Personal category:Politics|System category:News| knowledge, because, linked, little

The answer is yes, but the equation seems a little intricate in the Russia-EU-US sanctions issue. It is common knowledge that Russia is facing these sanctions because of assumed involvement in Ukraine but behind the curtains most international relations analysts and the intelligence community know that these sanctions are intricately linked to the asylum Russia has given to US whistleblower Edward Snowden.

 The probability cost of these sanctions is the assumed benefits or information Russia could be receiving from Snowden. Some security analyst would agree it’s worth it but others would disagree. The sanctions are piling up and the Russian economy, that means the masses are feeling the impact. Russia’s involvement in the Ukraine crisis hasn’t been proven with credible evidence beyond reasonable doubt, so why does the sanction keep piling up, one may ask.

 The crux of the matter here is America saw it as an opportunity to score points against Russia over the Snowden issue. China did not want anything to do with the Snowden issue hence the reason it strayed far from it but was glad the truth was finally out. The Russian security service FSB according to Snowden’s lawyer, Sarah Harrison approached Snowden and offered him immediate entry into Russia in exchange to work for them, but she said Snowden rejected the proposal.

Harrison made the revelation in an interview during the premier of Snowden’s new documentary (Terminal F- the Moscow terminal where Snowden was stranded before Russia gave him asylum) detailing the American’s escape from China to Russia. In an exclusive interview from London, Julian Assange the founder of WikiLeaks denied a theory of possible involvement of Chinese and Russian special services in the NSA whistleblower’s departure from China to Russia.


According to him, WikiLeaks provided logistical and legal support for the NSA fugitive, with Harrison accompanying Snowden during his several last days in Hong Kong and his trip to Moscow. Assange said the diversions used to cover Snowden’s departure came from their experience of opposing government agencies over the years.

One of the diversions they used as revealed in the documentary was the misinformation that Snowden was onboard the plane of Bolivian President Evo Morales, who had visited Russia at the time of Snowden’s debacle and publicly stated that he would grant him asylum if asked. Acting on the tip, the US government pressured European nations to close their airspace to the plane, forcing it down and subjecting it to a search. That scenario triggered a major diplomatic scandal and, according to some critics of Washington, exposed the real nature of its relations with European nations.

So here we see the EU doing the bidding of Washington. The White House had been waiting for an opportunity and Ukraine gave it one. It is taking advantage of the Ukraine crisis to settle scores with the Kremlin. Russia did not annex Crimea with any brutal force. Crimea voted and the people chose to be a part of Russia. It is rather NATO’s involvement in the region that escalated the crisis. Many security analysts have argued that the crisis was artificially engineered to provoke Russia.

Sanction on Russia isn’t hurting just the Russian economy; other European countries that have huge trade deals with Russia are also feeling the impact, especially the weaker one. The sanctions have become counterproductive for the European Union that depends heavily on Russia. A host of MP’s in the Union are threatening to block the extension of sanction in July.

The Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’ recent visit to Moscow in defiance of the EU’s neocolonial approach towards Greece has sparked controversy according to critics. Some believe that the visit was unlikely to change EU’s sanctions against Russia, but it might be enough to create a domino effect. European commentators believe that other countries like Portugal, Spain or even Hungary, or Czech Republic don’t agree with these sanctions and even within Berlin, there are some parts of the financial elite that would like a rapprochement with Russia. The French President in an interview called for the lifting of sanctions because it wasn’t good for Europe.

“If Russia has a crisis, it is not necessarily good for Europe,” Hollande said during a two-hour interview with radio station France Inter. “I'm not for the policy of attaining goals by making things worse, I think that sanctions must stop now” he said.


(Opinions of the writer in this blog don't represent those of China Daily.)




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