Russian Envoy Says Biden Sanctions Backfire, Damaging U.S. Economy and Power

The leading Russian envoy to the United States has warned that the extensive sanctions campaign pursued by President Joe Biden and his allies has backfired, instead damaging the US economy and international prestige during a dangerous period of global instability.

This was stated by the ambassador of Moscow to Washington, Anatoly Antonov News week that “the situation in Ukraine is extremely tense” nearly four months since Russian President Vladimir Putin launched a war against the neighboring nation in the wake of failed security talks between the Kremlin and the West.

Today, Antonov warns, “more and more countries are involved in the cycle of events in Eastern Europe” and “the negative consequences of the European security crisis in various manifestations are rapidly spreading around the world”.

He warned that the situation has the potential to turn into a confrontation involving the nations that possess the vast majority of the world’s nuclear weapons.

“The short-sightedness of the United States is also seen in current circumstances,” Antonov said. “Driven by a desire to inflict strategic defeat on Russia, local elites are raising the stakes in escalating tensions by inflating the Kiev regime with guns. It is not clear that this is the way to a direct military confrontation between the major powers, fraught with unpredictable consequences? “

And on the economic front, he said Washington’s vulnerabilities were already emerging at a time when U.S. inflation has soared to a four-decade high and the nation’s average gas price has surpassed an unprecedented $ 5 per gallon.

“Even plans to strangle our country with sanctions don’t work,” Antonov said. “The reckless imposition of restrictions only aggravates the situation in the US economy. So it turns out that in an anti-Russian fever, Washington is ready to shoot himself in the leg and dance at the same time. It seems absurd. “

“Furthermore,” he added, “the actions of the Americans will not affect the determination of the Russian Armed Forces to carry out the tasks set during the special military operation to protect the population of Donbass, as well as the denazification and demilitarization of Ukraine.”

US inflation rose to a new four-decade high in May, challenging hopes that price pressures had peaked and exacerbating Biden’s political woes as Americans struggle to cope with the cost of essential goods like food and gas. Above, President Joe Biden walks across the deck of the USS Iowa after talking about the economy and inflation at the Port of Los Angeles on June 10 along with a picture of Russian President Vladimir Putin smiling.
JIM WATSON / AFP / Getty Images

Ukraine and its international supporters, including the United States, have rejected Russia’s justification for the conflict, and the Biden administration has tried to blame Putin for instigating the war and for the chaos it has wreaked on international markets. .

Speaking at the Major Economic Forum on Energy and Climate, Biden said that “Russia’s brutal and unprovoked assault on its neighbor, Ukraine, has fueled a global energy crisis and exacerbated the need for security and stability. reliable and long-term energy “.

“And with the Russian war increasing inflation around the world, threatening vulnerable countries with severe food shortages,” the president added, “we must work together to mitigate the immediate consequences of this crisis.”

But as Biden’s Democratic Party gears up for a competitive mid-term election season, polls on the US’s perception of the economy paint a daunting picture.

A poll released Friday by the IBD / TIPP Economic Optimism Index showed that 53%, a majority, of those in the United States felt the country was already in a recession. And while the effects of the sanctions are easily felt in Moscow too, many Russians report more inconvenience than hardship at a time when US consumers were struggling to make ends meet.

On a diplomatic level, the conflict has led to a virtual rupture in relations between Moscow and Washington, bringing new uncertainties to the international order. But Antonov said the crisis has roots that precede his country’s February 24 foray into Ukraine and date back to Washington’s long-standing attempts to dominate the affairs of other countries.

“The global nature of what is happening shows that the roots of the current conflict are not in Ukraine,” Antonov said. “This is the decline of the American-centric world order. To be more precise, the collapse of the United States attempts to support a hegemonic role and proclaim itself a ‘guiding star’ for all countries.”

He argued that this approach dates back to the early days of the Russian Federation declared from the rubble of the Soviet Union. He accused “the American ruling class” of having “committed a series of serious miscalculations” in the aftermath of the Cold War which “boil down to one thing: ignoring our country’s role as the backbone of world order”.

And while Antonov claimed that Russia only became stronger after successive crises in its history, he said that “the US authorities have decided to challenge this obvious fact and have begun to aggressively impose” democratic “values ​​on us, albeit. these ideals are often foreign to the Russians. “In this research, he claimed that US leaders” have begun to interfere in Russia’s internal politics and pose national security threats for us, getting closer and closer to our borders. “

The expansion of the US-led NATO military alliance has emerged as a major issue in US-Russia tensions over the past three decades, especially since Putin first came to power at the dawn of the 21st century. Most countries once part of the former Soviet-aligned Eastern Bloc have since joined the Western Coalition, agreeing to host troops and weapons systems of the United States and its allies in response to concerns of aggression by the United States. a Russia in recovery.

These frictions reached boiling point eight years ago, when an uprising in Kiev brought a government to power that sought to distance itself from Moscow and forge new ties with the West. Around the same time, a Russian-aligned separatist insurgency erupted in the Donbas region and Russia annexed the Crimean peninsula in an internationally contested referendum.

As efforts to resolve the conflict have repeatedly stalled, last year Russia began amassing troops along Ukraine’s borders and called for a reorganization of Europe’s security order to cancel NATO’s activities in the sphere. of influence of the former Soviet Union. When the United States and its Western allies turned down these demands, Antonov said this was “the last straw”.

Rocket, attack, Lysychansk, Donbas, Ukraine, war, Russia
A man riding his motorcycle past the tail of a rocket is nailed to the sidewalk in the city of Lysychansk in Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region on June 17, as the Russo-Ukrainian war enters its 114th day. Russian forces have experienced significant resistance since entering Ukraine and withdrew from the northern parts of the country, including near the capital Kiev, to instead focus on the eastern and southern axes, where they have regained momentum in recent weeks.
ARIS MESSINIS / AFP / Getty Images

As the West struggles to inflict enough pain on Russia to persuade Putin to reverse Ukraine, Antonov said that “it is time to get used to the idea of ​​the impossibility of building a world order in which all countries must follow. instructions from Washington and where Western values ​​are above the law. “

This new order, he said, would be based on “polycentrism”, with increasing roles for countries in Africa, Latin America, the Middle East and other parts of Asia. Many countries in these regions did not share the West’s appetite for confronting Russia and instead adopted more neutral positions.

Antonov also said that there would be a central role here for the UN Security Council, whose permanent members have been increasingly divided into a western camp consisting of France, the UK and the US and an eastern camp consisting of China and Russia. . The split made progress on important international issues like Ukraine impossible due to rival veto powers.

When it comes to US policy towards Russia, Antonov said Washington “should stop entertaining illusions about our country’s ‘defeat'” and instead “recognize that there is no alternative to pragmatic relations with Russia” .

“We are great powers who have a special responsibility for peace on Earth. We are the ones on whom strategic stability depends,” he said. “Without the coordinated efforts of both states, it is impossible to solve the problems of terrorism, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, climate change, the fight against epidemics and food security. We are destined to work together.”

And Ukraine, he said, would prove to be “a litmus test that will show the willingness of Western states to take Russian concerns into account”. In this regard, “further progress towards stabilizing European security will depend on the outcome of the Ukraine crisis resolution process”, according to Antonov.

“Today, in fact,” said Antonov, “the question is whether we can build together a multipolar world order based on equality and taking into account the interests of all states, regardless of their power and potential.”

And while he warned that the threat of a broader confrontation remained real, he said this was in neither side’s interest, especially given the sprawling second-order effects of the current conflict.

“Nobody is interested in confrontation. Everyone needs stability,” Antonov said. “This is particularly evident against the backdrop of the current turbulence, when supply chain failures also have a food crisis and have wreaked havoc in energy markets. And that’s just one example.”

He also said that the assurances Moscow sought ahead of the conflict were still open, although the deal may differ given the start of the war and the West’s response.

“Let me remind you that no one has removed the draft Russian agreements on security guarantees from the table,” Antonov said.

“Of course”, he added, “at the end of the special military operation, their content will have to be adapted to reality”.