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    Yukos Story Fits in US-Led Campaign of Bashing Russia - Stephen Lendman

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    The decision to freeze and seize state-owned Russian property in Belgium and France in connection with a $50-billion compensation awarded to former Yukos shareholders by a Dutch court is part of a Washington-led campaign called "Bash Russia," analyst Stephen Lendman told Radio Sputnik.

    "Well, if it wasn't [Yukos] it would be something else. It's part of a pattern of 'Bash Russia.' The bashing is headquartered in America and European countries are pressured to go along and support policies that harm them as opposed to telling America, 'We simply won't play your dirty game,'" Stephen Lendman said.

    Earlier this week, Belgian and French authorities seized assets of state-run Russian companies worth $1.6 billion to pay back former shareholders of Yukos Oil Company, a now defunct Russian energy giant.

    Russian presidential aide Andrey Belousov said Russia would challenge these decisions, saying they were "made erroneously."

    Russian asset seizure is part of big US ambitions

    These latest developments with regard to Yukos take place against the backdrop of a broader US campaign to expand the presence of US forces and military hardware, as well as enhance war-games in Europe in response to the overhyped yet non-existent Russian threat and Moscow's alleged meddling in Ukraine.

    "Of course we know that the belligerent US policies of beefing up its military presence in Eastern Europe and installing so-called defensive missiles that are entirely for offense are targeting Russia," Lendman said.

    Earlier in June, reports emerged that the United States was also contemplating deploying missiles to Europe under the pretext of Russia's breaking of the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty.

    Moscow has denied any wrongdoing and expressed complaints of its own about US compliance with the treaty.

    Europe will "break away" from the US

    By playing Washington's game the European countries are "literally shooting themselves in the foot," Lendman warned. But the US should not hope this state of affairs will last forever.

    "I think sooner or later there will be enough angst in these countries. … I think Germany and France will finally get fed up with this system and start breaking away slowly. And if they do it, the rest of Europe will. Probably with the exception of Britain," the analyst pointed out.

    President Vladimir Putin meets with Chinese President Xi Jinping
    © Sputnik / Michael Klimentyev
    President Vladimir Putin meets with Chinese President Xi Jinping

    "America tolerates no independent nation," especially Russia and China

    Lendman is convinced that the aggressive anti-Russian strategy the United States opted for and diligently follows stems from a simple paradigm:

    "America tolerates no independent nation. Any nation that maintains its sovereign independence becomes a US target," Lendman explained, citing wars in Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq or Yemen as an example. "These are all independent countries," he noted.

    But no one scares the US more than Moscow and Beijing.

    "The countries that challenge America's supremacy the most are Russia and China. Russia can match America's nuclear might and China will be an economic powerhouse. It has already surpassed America on a purchase price basis. In a few more years, maybe around 2020, China will on any economic basis become the world's number one economic power," Lendman said.

    The strengthening of these two countries "drives the people in Washington apoplectic."

    Regime change — Washington's strategy against independent countries

    The United States views Russia and China as adversaries that need to be dealt with and the best strategy to achieve this goal is through a regime change.

    "So these are the final two countries [Russia and China] that Washington wants eliminated as rivals. Elimination game is a regime change game," Lendman said.

    The political analyst doubts that Washington will wage a war against the two rising nations but warned that at the moment decision-making in the US is in the hands of "the crazies and the lunatics." This means anything could happen.

    "And this is the scariest thing of all," the analyst concluded.

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    Tags:
    France, property, geopolitics, court, seizure, assets, Yukos, Stephen Lendman, China, Europe, United States, Russia, Belgium
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