Serge Duhanov: At the beginning of our conversation, I would like to talk about the sanctions war, which has been going on between Russia and the West for more than six months now. How do you assess its, let's say, intermediate results?
Paul Craig Roberts: I would not say that there is a "sanctions war." The Kremlin has been reactive, not proactive and merely responds to the initiatives of the West. If the Kremlin saw itself in a sanctions war, the Kremlin would long ago have turned off all energy and strategic minerals to the West, would have confiscated Western companies to compensate Russia for its stolen foreign exchange reserves, and would have cut off all accommodation of the West, such as ferrying US astronauts up to the space station, a feat the US government is too incompetent to accomplish.
The US sanctions against Russia are the best thing that has happened to Russia in decades. The sanctions forced the Kremlin to do what the leadership should have done on its own long ago: divorce itself from trying to build economic and political relations with a West whose ruling military and foreign affairs doctrines declare Russia to be "the principal enemy who must be prevented from attaining sufficient power to serve as a constraint on US unilateralism." That the Kremlin did not read the Wolfowitz Report and comprehend its meaning is extraordinary. The Russian desire to be part of the West made the leadership blind to the reality on the ground.
Washington's sanctions liberated the Kremlin from its delusions of "our Western partners" and forced the Russian leadership to turn toward China, India, Iran, Africa and Latin America, those parts of the world that have long suffered from Western abuse. The entire Western world is in serious and irreversible decline economically, politically, culturally, and morally. Overrun as they are by immigrant-invaders, Western countries no longer have sufficient unity to qualify as nations. They have become Towers of Babel and are mere geographical locations. It is extraordinary that Russia ever wanted to be a part of a hopeless mess.
Serge Duhanov: What do you see as the mistake of the West – if there is any - in the formation of sanctions policy? After all, judging by the promptness with which the first packages were accepted, they were developed in advance, that is, there was time to think calmly and calculate all possible risks.
Paul Craig Roberts: Washington drowning in its renowned hubris and arrogance assumed it could order Russia's collapse. And, if not, the Western and CIA-funded NGOs that were permitted by the Kremlin to operate unmolested throughout Russia would, as in Ukraine, overthrow the Russian government and install a Washington-compliant member of the pro-Western Atlanticist Integrationist as Washington's puppet ruler of Russia. The neoconservatives in Washington actually believed this. It worked for them in Ukraine, while the Kremlin turned a blind eye, and they assumed it would work in Russia also with an equally blind Kremlin eye.
Serge Duhanov: And now about the actions of the Russian government. Where do you think it has succeeded in protecting the national economy, and what would you fix if you were a consultant of the Russian Government?
Paul Craig Roberts: I don't think the Russian Government has done much. The West did it for them. Washington's sanctions punish Washington's European Empire, not Russia. Unless the Kremlin rescues Europe by providing energy and other needed resources, NATO is likely to break up as the consequence of the energy-free winter Washington has imposed on all of Europe. Only the Kremlin can save NATO.
Nevertheless, I would fire the central bank head who set up for the West the theft of Russia's foreign exchange reserves and who has held back Russia's economic progress by refusing to understand that the Russian central bank is capable all by itself without Western loans or investments to finance Russian economic development. Like many members of Russian ruling circles, the central bank chief is a victim of brainwashing by Washington's neoliberal economists. A Western brainwashed central bank chief is the last thing Russia needs.
Serge Duhanov: How promising do you think the reversal of Russia's trade and economic policy to the East and South (China, India, Iran, Turkey, the Middle East, Africa) is? The more so that the trade with these countries is increasingly conducted in national currencies.
Paul Craig Roberts: Unless the Kremlin loses its nerve and abandons its Chinese, Iranian, and Indian allies, Globalism-the mechanism through which the West exploited the world-is finished. With no one to exploit except its own people, as was done in Greece where Greek women were forced into prostitution by IMF austerity policies, the idiot West, which has relocated its manufacturing to Asia and relies on other parts of the world for its food, is a basket case. The West's own policies, together with the massive inflows of third world immigrant-invaders, most of whom do not assimilate and all of whom have privileged status, have destroyed the Western world.
Perhaps this is why Russia and China are so tolerant of the West's insults and provocations. Both know that the Western World has committed suicide. Why go to war with a dying enemy.
Dr. Paul Craig Roberts – Chairman of the Institute for Political Economy, US economist and ex-Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration.
Serge Duhanov is a journalist, specializing in international relations and national security issues. Не worked as the NOVOSTI Press Agency's own correspondent in Canada (Ottawa, 1990-1992) and the US Bureau Chief (Washington, 1996-2001) of the newspapers Business MN, Delovoy Mir and Interfax-AiF.