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Putin: Sanctions Violate International Law

by Stephen Lendman Friday, Nov. 14, 2014 at 7:36 AM


Putin: Sanctions Violate International Law

by Stephen Lendman

US-imposed sanctions are illegitimate by any standard. EU countries are pressured to impose their own. Harming their own self-interest.

Other countries are bullied to comply. Threatened with reprisals or worse.

Heavy-handed strong-arming is longstanding US policy. America's 1977 International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) is way over-the-top. No legitimate society would tolerate it.

Letting presidents claim unusual, extraordinary, or non-existent  foreign threats. Declare national security priorities. At times a national emergency. Regulate commerce accordingly.

Take full advantage against sovereign independent states. Iran, Syria, China and Russia among others.

Rogue states operate this way. Extrajudicially by its own rules and standards. Polar opposite legitimate ones.

Putin addressed the issue forthrightly. In Brisbane, Australia. At the G20 summit. Where right-wing extremist Prime Minister Tony Abbott insulted him weeks earlier.

Declined bilateral talks during Beijing's summit. Threatened to "shirtfront" him. A football term. Meaning violent chest bumping or tackling.

Both leaders met in Brisbane. At Abbott's request. Discretion overrode geopolitics.

Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said interaction between them excluded "harsh phrasing." No shirtfronting. No face-to-face insults.

No cordiality either. Abbott outrageously blaming Russia irresponsibly for the deaths of 38 Australians aboard MH17.

An official government statement lied. Claiming "possession of information suggesting that MH17 was destroyed by a missile from a launcher that had come out of Russia…"

"(W)as fired from inside eastern Ukraine and then returned to Russia." Truth is polar opposite.

MH17's downing was a US/Kiev false flag. Verifiable satellite and radar data show a Ukrainian Sukhoi-25 warplane tailing MH17 before its destruction.

Fuselage photos showed penetration holes consistent with 30 millimeter cannon (machine gun) rounds.

No ground-to-air or other missile was involved. Abbott lied claiming otherwise. Rogue leaders operate this way. Abbott is convenient US stooge. Shaming the office he holds. Like his Western counterparts.

Russia's Tass News Agency interviewed Putin. About Brisbane G20 talks, global economic conditions and illegitimate sanctions.

"The G20 is a good platform" for world leader discussions, said Putin. A chance to communicate face-to-face.

To "develop at least some sort of common understanding…" Discuss ways to resolve key problems. "(A) road map for joint work."

Short of implementing anything substantive. Unrealistic to expect it.

"For instance, at one of the G20 summits, a decision was made to enhance the role of developing economies in the activities of the IMF and to redistribute quotas."

"The US Congress blocked that decision. Full stop…The very fact that the US Congress has refused to pass this law indicates that it is the United States that drops out of the general context of resolving the problems facing the international community."

"(N)obody cares to remember" what's vitally important to highlight. Everyone talks about current problems, he added.

Including "sanctions and Russia…(I)n global terms," Washington sabotages responsible decisions proposed by other nations.

Sanctions "run counter to the very principle of G20 activities" and international law, he said. Security Council members alone may impose them.

Not individual countries. For any reasons they wish. Legitimate or otherwise.

International law is inviolable. Violators show criminal contempt. America a serial offender. More now than ever.

Sanctions violate WTO principles and General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) provisions, Putin explained.

America bears most responsibility. Breaching principles it endorsed. Vowed to uphold. Undermining "the entire system of international economic relations," said Putin.

Eventually he hopes good sense will replace irresponsibility. Imperial lawlessness. Ruthless policies against adversaries.

Asked if he'd raise this issue during G20 discussions, he said he'll "speak about it" if it comes up. Not otherwise. He called it useless to try on his own.

"All understand what they are doing. I mean, those who impose the sanctions. What's the use of drawing attention to this matter or asking for something? It’ll make no sense."

"Such decisions are made at the level of blocs or at the national level. They are made based on how our partners perceive their geopolitical interests."

"I believe that's just a mistake, even from (this) standpoint…" Today's world reflect "very narrow (horizon) planning."

Broader perspectives are shut out, he said. "Everybody lives from election to election."

During APEC discussions, international problems were discussed. Bilateral ones. Including illegitimate sanctions.

G20 is an economic forum. Policies harming one or more members harm all. Including developing countries.

"Everyone must understand that the global economy and finance these days are exceptionally dependent on each other," said Putin.

"Take our case: imagine our partners have restricted the access of our financial institutions to global money markets."

"As we attract capital from global financial markets, our financial institutions finance our companies that import finished products from the very same industrialised economies, thus supporting jobs in those countries, their social sector and economic growth."

"If we stop doing that, there will be disruptions. These are fundamental things. They are not lying on the surface. They are not obvious at first sight."

Russian trade with Germany produces 300,000 German jobs. No contracts. No jobs, Putin explained.

"(D)ebate forums are good for sincere and open talks," he said. At the same time, he stressed dealing with vital issues "in the calm of offices" over time.

Responsible change "takes time," he said. G20, APEC and other meetings are brief snapshots.

Deliberations occur outside their forums. At the same time, Putin plans lots of bilateral meetings. Including with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Germany is Europe's economic powerhouse. Comprising around 29% of Eurozone output.

Shooting itself in the foot by sanctioning Russia. At a time of economic weakness. Impending recession.

Its economy heavily export dependent. Q II GDP declined. Likely Q III as well. September factory orders fell 5.7%.

The most since 2009. Industrial production declined 4%. Exports were down 5.8%.

German weakness portends Eurozone trouble. Perhaps worse than earlier. The entire region is over 2% below its 2008 peak.

So-called recovery if more fiction than fact. Like America's economy. Force-fed austerity hugely benefitted bankers, other financial interests, corporate favorites, large investors, and wealthy elites.

Devastating ordinary people. Millions wanting jobs can't find them.

Ones created are mostly rotten low-pay temp or part-time ones. With few or no benefits.

US monthly jobs reports turn truth on its head. Big Lies substitute. According to Paul Craig Roberts:

"(T)he few (economists) who haven't sold their souls…know that the government’s economic data are pulled out of a magician’s hat and massaged to produce numbers contradicted by reality."

Jobs reported "don't exist." GDP growth is pure fantasy. When "declines in real median family incomes and consumer credit make it impossible."

Maybe Eurozone countries fake things the same way. Financial markets soar at a time of double-digit unemployment getting worse.

Youth unemployment around 45% in Italy, Spain and Greece. Part-time/temp employment over 50% regionally.

In Germany, 52%. In Spain, nearly two-thirds of its workforce. With rotten wages, fewer benefits and declining job security regionally.

Employers able to lay off or fire workers at will. So-called "labor market reforms" head things from bad to worse. A euphemism for lower wages. Fewer benefits.

Corporate and elitist interests benefit hugely. At the expense of most everyone else.

Poverty is a growth industry. Across Europe. In America. At a time of eroding social benefits when most needed.

Increasing numbers of households on their own sink or swim. No jobs. No income.

Most workers one missed paycheck away from homelessness, hunger and despair.

The only solution is world revolution. Nonviolent change. Reversing unprecedented wealth disparity. Disappearing social safety net protections.

Assuring living wages. Ending force-fed austerity. Neoliberal harshness.

Benefitting privileged few at the expense of the many. Letting monied interests run things.

Wrecking Western economies if they're not stopped. What better time to confront them than now.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

Visit his blog site at

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.

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