MOSCOW, September 10 (RIA Novosti) – Western policy toward Russia over Ukraine has been built on two false premises, Tony Brenton, a former British ambassador to Russia, wrote in an article, published in The Daily Telegraph Wednesday.
“The first is that we must stop a revanchist Russia… In fact, before what the Russians (with some justification) saw as a Western grab last February for control in Kiev, there was no evidence of Russian revanchism,” Brenton said.
Ukraine and Russia have deep social, cultural and historical ties and what Moscow wants in Ukraine is influence, not territory, according to the former envoy.
The second false premise is that economic sanctions can have an impact on Russia, Brenton said, pointing out that since the Second World War the West has deployed sanctions against the country six times to no effect.
The former ambassador called sanctions “a potemkin policy” deployed in the absence of any effective alternative.
The renewal of economic ties between Russia and the West is essential for the normalization of the situation in Ukraine, Brenton added.
On Monday, the European Union officially adopted a new round of sanctions against Russia over its alleged role in the Ukrainian crisis. The new sanctions list reportedly includes Russia’s Rosneft, Gazpromneft and Transneft energy firms, as well as state-run companies with a turnover of more than $27 billion annually.
The European Union and the United States have already imposed several rounds of economic sanctions accusing Moscow of supporting east Ukraine independence supporters. Russia has repeatedly denied its involvement in the conflict. Moscow reacted to the sanctions by introducing a year-long ban on certain food imports from the European Union, the United States, Canada, Australia and Norway.