Sputnik: In your view, what consequences can these sanctions have on US-Russia relations?
Guy Mettan: They're clearly contributing to the worsening of the relations between US and Russia. This escalation is not surprising in the present state of the world which has followed the past US elections and the conspiracist theory of the Russian meddling in the US electoral process. Since now 18 months, new sanctions are regularly taken without any real justification. As they don't rely on any evidence of a Russian misbehavior but just on suppositions, they can occur anytime against anybody without any concrete reason.
As Russia resists and adopts counter-measures, this dreadful game can continue without end.
The problem is that nobody is now able to stop this devil spiral. President Trump is locked by the alliance of his political enemies — neoconservatives republicans and liberal democrats — and is not more able to stop the process.
Every month a new case is generated in order to increase the tensions and deepen the gap between US and Russia: gas attack in Syria, sportspeople doping, bombing in Donbass, poisoning in Great Britain. So the next future looks not so hopeful.
I'm pretty sure that something will occur — A supposed governmental gas attack evidence in Syria? A provocation of Ukrainian forces in Donbass? A football fans riot in Russia? Anything in fact — which will be used to disrupt the course of the Football World Cup.
Sputnik: The move was already called hostile and baseless by some Russian officials, what is your take on that?
Guy Mettan: It is clearly a hostile act. The problem is that nowadays, economic sanctions are used as an arm of massive destruction against countries which are not complacent with US/western interests. After trying hard power — Afghanistan 2001, Irak 2003, Libya 2011, Ukraine 2014, Syria 2011-2018 — and soft power — propaganda war, disinformation campaigns, regimes changes and color revolutions attempts in Serbia, Ukraine, Kirghizistan, Moldova or Georgia through NGOs funded by devoted think tanks — with very mitigated success, US are now using massively economic sanctions as an arm of destruction against the countries depicted as enemies or unfair competitors.
Until recently, economic sanctions have been used against smaller powers like Cuba, Irak, Iran or North Korea. But recently, this economic weapon has been extended to new targets like Venezuela, Russia and, since last month, even against China, under the pretext of protectionist measures.
Sputnik: Do you think there will be any countermeasures introduced by Russia in the near future?
Guy Mettan: Russia has unfortunately not many choices. If Moscow doesn't retaliate, it will be considered as a sign of weakness and US will be still more encouraged to adopt new sanctions in order to force Russia to surrender. So in that crazy fight, the only possible answer would be to react without adding anything worse. Keep cool! One day, hopefully, western public opinions will consider this game as it is in fact: stupid, insane and deadly dangerous for the future of mankind.
The views and opinions expressed by Guy Mettan are those of the expert(analyst, speaker) and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.