How are the US sanctions doing?
Since President Trump signed off on the sanctions bill, most of the media has wanted to hear a response from Russia. But Putin’s press secretary said: “there will be no response.” Well, the Kremlin is playing its own game and it will not always be visible to the public.
The dark and terrible corridors of the Kremlin keep centuries-old secrets even today, and the secrets of today will also remain secrets forever. Most of the media would like to receive Putin’s response to the signing of sanctions against Russia and other countries but here’s what they got instead: Putin sunbathing. Putin diving. Putin quadbiking. Putin horseback riding. And Putin as a wilderness expert, talking about mushrooms.
We have already heard some questions: did anybody tell Putin, that president Trump signed off on a sanctions bill? Does he know about it? Does the internet exist in Siberia at all? He is enjoying his life and his vacation, but McCain is about to eat his own hat. What is going on?
Media says: The new Vladimir Putin propaganda set is now available on Russian state media, where you can follow the autocratic president on his adventures to a Siberian lake with fun accessories, friendly ministers, and brand-new outfits. Sporting camouflaged diving gear and matching ensembles for all kinds of weather, Putin took a two-day holiday in the remote Tuva region this week.
Yes, it is propaganda! But propaganda of what? I thought propaganda is supposed to be political, but what’s political here? He is diving, is that propaganda for russian submarines? Is his horseback riding an expression of him riding Trump’s neck? Or maybe he is about to declare that Russians spies are everywhere and that their microphones are all over the world, even in Siberian mushrooms and of course in the White House. Was anybody eating mushrooms during the 2016 election campaign?
Well, speaking seriously, Putin is not worried about sanctions, because he knows his country and knows that sanctions against Russia will not work, as they did not work against China and other countries. Putin knows that the sanctions passed by Congress prohibit the removal of old sanctions, that President Trump can impose new sanctions if he considers it necessary, and that’s what Putin will answer to, but until then these sanctions are a nothingburger.
So, if Russia does not feel like it needs to respond, why was Congress trying so hard to push through that nothingburger? The answer is simple: Russia’s total trade with the US is as little as $30 billion. Their total trade with the EU, on the other hand, is $450 billion. Of course the EU and Russia will defend their business, and the US has nothing to defend in Russia.
That former $30 billion trade market has probably become $10 billion by now. There is nothing to care about. The US is trying to sell Europe liquefied natural gas (LNG), delivered by a specially built vessel, but that gas costs 2.5-3 times as much as Russian pipeline gas.
Of course Europe will play against the US and American shale gas is not going to take off in Europe. That’s why Putin is so relaxed and McCain was fighting for nothing. And Mister Trump said that he signed the bill but that it goes against the American people. So, if someone made a mistake in writing the bill, why did Trump make another mistake by signing it? Is Trump not tough enough? Maybe he needs to go to Siberia and get some lessons on surviving in the forest, the jungle, on horseback riding or even fighting with wild animals, or congressmen.