Yet another Cold War will not come about and Western sanctions are not dreadful to Russia, Vyacheslav Nikonov, a member of the State Duma lower house of the Russian parliament, points out in an article published in Rossiyskaya Gazeta on Wednesday.
The article, which deals with Russia’s stance in the light of the situation in Ukraine and threats of sanctions from the West, has been published under the headline “A Brief Telegram: Don’t Overstrain Yourself”.
“Yet another Cold War will not happen, the times have changed. The West is not a zone of economic growth any longer. It is, rather, a zone of stagnation,” Nikonov writes in reply to the article of Michael McFaul, US former Ambassador to Moscow, published in The New York Times on Monday.
Nikonov writes that only some 30 years ago the West accounted for 80% of global GDP, whereas now they account perceptibly for less than a half. “The European Union (EU) is yet to grow for another decade to reach out again to the indicators of 2007. In a couple of years, China will become a major economy in the world, getting ahead of the United States,” the MP points out.
Touching upon possible sanctions against Russia, he maintains that in present-day conditions efforts to isolate Russia would fail. “Its isolation does not work at all, even within its closest circle G7 where far from all share the radicalism of (Barack) Obama and of his chief expert on Russia (Michael) McFaul. Exclusion of Russia from G8 only deprives the Group of the leftovers of its significance,” Nikonov is convinced.
He recalls that the EU is one-third dependent on Russia-supplied energy, whereas Russia consumes one-third of European imports. “Are the Western constituents prepared to find themselves in another deep crisis due to the expression of the will of people in Crimea? Obviously not,” Nikonov writes.
Meanwhile, in his view, efforts to turn Ukraine into a showcase of prosperity and democracy will fail.
“The EU is not in a position to help even its own members Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal, etc. Will it be able to help Ukraine, too? No way! An Association Agreement will signify not only a loss of (Ukraine’s) ‘nezalezhnost’ (independence) but an economic collapse as well,” the MP believes.
He points out that Russia, by bringing Crimea back, “has overcome the paralysis of will, and political apathy”.
Nikonov believes that Russia will not allow drawing itself into confrontation, “which the US ex-Ambassador calls for”.