GEOFOR: Dear Sir, US President Joe Biden has continued to impose one package of sanctions against Moscow after another since Russia launched the special military operation in Ukraine. McDonald's, Pepsi, Coca-Cola, Visa, MasterCard and other companies stop working on the Russian market, new restrictions are being introduced against banks and individuals, the largest Russian companies. All this is a new reality not only in the relationships between the two countries, but also in the whole world. Sir, what shall we be waiting for next? After all, soon the platforms for sanctions will simply end…
Dr. Paul Craig ROBERTS: If Foreign businesses forgo the opportunity to do business in Russia, that is their loss, not Russia's. It is an economic myth that foreign business investment is a benefit to a country, especially such a technological and scientific advanced country as Russia. Initially, the foreign business brings in some money--although none that the Russian central bank itself cannot create to finance domestic investment--but afterwards the foreign businesses take money out of a country. The companies repatriate their profits and pay them to their shareholders in dividends and capital gains. Really, think about it. How dependent is Russia on McDonald's, Pepsi, Coca-Cola, Visa, MasterCard? These companies simply siphon off income from Russia's own consumer companies. Perhaps the sanctions will teach Russia that globalism and interdependence are just the West's methods of compromising a country's sovereignty. Indeed, Russia should be happy about the sanctions as they should teach Russia that power and security reside in self-sufficiency.
GEOFOR: It is becoming increasingly clear how the restrictions against Moscow affect ordinary Europeans and Americans. First of all, we mean a record increase in energy prices and, as a result, gasoline price hike, which is already breaking all records at American gas stations. The other day, Biden decided to ban the import of oil and natural gas from Russia altogether. And an attempt to replace it with the crude oil from Venezuela, apparently, failed. Undoubtedly, the American economy has a large safety margin, and yet, is Washington ready for the consequences of such a sanctions war?
Dr. Paul Craig ROBERTS: The puzzling question is where are Russia's sanctions against the Western countries? It is Russia that holds all the power when it comes to sanctions. Indeed, Russia could have achieved its goal in Ukraine just by turning off energy to Europe. As the West is stealing Russia's foreign exchange, why does Russia pay its debts? Why doesn't Russia nationalize American and European corporate assets in Russia? If Russia is in difficulty, it is because she does not fight back. As far as I can tell, as the Western media is a lie machine and not a source of reliable news, the US ban on imports of Russian oil and gas applies only to the US. Europe cannot do without Russian energy and has not followed the US in banning imports. Russian oil imports into the US are only 7% of US oil use, so this small reduction in supply only to the US market cannot explain the large price rise. I attribute the price rise not to a supply reduction but to hysteria and to the Western oil companies seizing the opportunity to use "crisis" to raise prices.
GEOFOR: And now on Russia's ability to mitigate sanctions by reorienting its foreign trade and political priorities to the East and other regions outside the collective West. To what extent, in your opinion, can the deepening of relations with China and India, and with other BRICS member countries, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and other regional associations of Asia, Latin America and Africa be promising?
Dr. Paul Craig ROBERTS: The hostility of the West toward Russia has been clear for 30 years. Yet, instead of shielding herself from this hostility, Russia has made herself vulnerable to hostility by trying to integrate herself into the West. This is a nonsensical policy. Instead, Russia should be building her relationships with China and other parts of the world. There are far more potential customers in China, India, and the rest of Asia than the West offers.
GEOFOR: Despite the hopes of the Kiev authorities, undoubtedly extremely naive, the NATO today refuses to send troops to the territory of Ukraine and provide a no-fly zone, fearing a direct clash with the Russian military. Only financial assistance and supplies of certain types of weapons continue, which, however, do not always reach the front line. Tell us, did the North Atlantic Alliance actually "conned" the Ukraine? Or did it initially not plan and did not promise to directly intervene in the situation in the event of a conflict between Moscow and Kiev?
Dr. Paul Craig ROBERTS: The West has never regarded Ukraine as anything other than a weapons to be used against Russia. This was clear for years prior to the Maidan Revolution from the $5 billion Washington spent in Ukraine to purchase supporters for establishing a Ukrainian government answerable to Washington, not to the Ukrainian people.
GEOFOR: And the final question. Soon, in November, the midterm elections in the US are due to take place. Does the Republican Party probably bet big on November 8 as a serious bid ahead of the presidential election in 2024?
Dr. Paul Craig ROBERTS: As for US elections, Republicans are as Russophobic as Democrats. Biden was out of favor long before the special military operation. The inflation was caused by supply disruptions caused by the lockdowns. Normally, war helps a president by rallying the people behind him. This is why, although the US is not at war, Washington is pretending that it is, focusing voters away from Biden's failure to the "Russian threat."
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.