As the Russian Foreign Ministry has pointed out the language of sanctions is an uncivilised way to settle disputes between nations.
A lot of the language coming from people like US Secretary of State John Kerry sounds like fifties parents haranguing a naughty child. It seems unlikely that Mr Putin, a dan grade in Judo, is going to be controlled like this. Russia is not Panama.
Unfortunately a lot of Western politicians simply lack the maturity to deal with international relations. They act like school prefects ticking off an errant junior, rather than statesmen. Â Â Like school-prefects they are acting for a power behind them. School-prefects act on behalf of the head-master and the governing body. Western politicians act on behalf of the markets and the corporations. The Russian leadership (for now) can actually determine their own policy. This is why their actions are (in the main) rational. Western politicians are not able to think or speak for themselves. Â You Â rise to the top in the West not by your ability to think but by your ability to be subservient to power. I just don’t know if the Russians understand this. There are no serious “partners for negotiation” in the West because all the Western politicians just do what the markets require. There is no rationality about it. If the West was really, seriously, to negotiate here the whole question of how policy is determined in the West would come to light. Â In the West policy Â is driven by the markets. Not by the politicians. They just serve power and the markets. When they tell off Putin they are telling him off for not obeying the will of the markets, as they do. (This is why it is self-evident to them that they are ‘right’).
If Russia can achieve a diplomatic settlement in Ukraine it would be a tremendous achievement. It would detach Western politicians to some extent from subservience to the markets.
The language of sanctions though has a secondary purpose. It is to try to convince their own publics that Russia really is “naughty” or “out-of-step”. It is part of the propaganda war which has accompanied the West’s seizure of Ukraine. On behalf of the markets. (Sorry. ‘Freedom’).