Sputnik has discussed the new round of US sanctions on Russia with Dr. George Szamuely, political analyst and author of "Bombs for Peace: NATO's Humanitarian War on Yugoslavia".
Sputnik: In your opinion, what is the goal of the new US sanctions? What does Washington hope to achieve by this?
Sputnik: In your view, what should be Russia's response to the new round of sanctions? I think the interesting thing is that when you look at President Putin's attitude, his response, his humility, at the way that they interacted at the recent meeting in Helsinki, the willingness to go to America or be it they want some kind of agenda of course; and obviously the return invite back to Russia; what is President Putin's endgame? What is he trying to achieve? Because it's as though his hands are tied and he's just going along with it and showing his humbleness, but what is the end result going to be because there's just a continuance of separation and the unraveling of these two great powers' relationships?
George Szamuely: I think that originally Putin had great hopes that there would be some kind of a partnership between Russia and the United States which would be very helpful in addressing problems in the Middle East, particularly on Syria but maybe also on the Israel-Palestine question. He thought that maybe it would also be helpful on issues such as Iran and North Korea.
From Putin's point of view, I think he has to turn to a different global coalition of allies, primarily China, India and Iran. He has to just simply forget about the United States. Most important, I think he needs to ensure that Russia is as economically independent of the US as possible.
There should be no business at all with the United States because these sanctions are just going to be a nightmare, and particularly on the question of sovereign debt. So, sovereign debt, just cut it out altogether. Russia can pay for its sovereign debt through its own funds. It doesn't need to go to the international markets to finance its sovereign debt because if it tries to do that it's going to be very vulnerable and the Americans are going to really hit it if it tries to finance its sovereign debt. So Russia needs to be as economically independent as possible.
The views and opinions expressed by Dr. George Szamuely are those of the analyst and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.