At this point, regular readers of Op-Ed News are aware of who destabilized Ukraine and forced Russian-speaking Ukrainians in the East to take up arms.But the European and US media have echoed the charges of their governments that "Putin did it." And because he didn't fix it they have slapped sanctions on him and the Russian Federation. Since we find little in our press about the viewpoints of those outside our country, especially in a country that we have long labeled as an enemy, I thought it would be helpful to hear what this person has to say.
The writer is a Russian-born blogger who hosts a web site called the Vineyard of the Saker. A vegetarian, he was on a short vacation with his wife in celebration of their wedding anniversary when he wrote this on August 7, 2014.
I just took a short break from my life in "meatspace" to comment upon the great news of the day: Russia is introducing a full 12 months' embargo on the import of beef, pork, fruits and vegetables, poultry, fish, cheese, milk and dairy products from the European Union, the United States, Australia, Canada and the Kingdom of Norway. Russia is also introducing an airspace ban against European and US airlines that fly over our airspace to Eastern Asia, namely, the Asia-Pacific Region, and is considering changing the so-called Russian airspace entry and exit points for European charter flights.
Furthermore, Russia is ready to revise the rules of using the trans-Siberian routes, and will also discontinue talks with the US air authorities on the use of these routes. Finally, starting this winter, we may revoke the additional rights issued by the Russian air authorities beyond the previous agreements. This is such an interesting and major development that it requires a much more subtle analysis than just the crude calculation of how much this might cost the EU or US. I will attempt no such calculation, but instead I would point out the following elements:
First, this is a typical Russian response. There is a basic rule that every Russian kid learns in school, in street fights, in the military or elsewhere: never promise and never threaten - just act. Unlike western politicians who spent months threatening sanctions, all the Russians did was to say, rather vaguely, that they reserve the right to reply. And then, BANG!, this wide and far-reaching embargo that, unlike the western sanctions, will have a major impact on the West, but even much more so on Russia (more about that in an instant).