09:50 GMT +312 December 2019
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    A state flag of the Syrian Arab Republic by an Orthodox church in an old Christian block of Aleppo, Syria

    Western Sanctions Threats Against Russia 'Paralyze Diplomacy' in Syrian Crisis

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    The West is continuing to pursue its strategy in Syria, which risks repeating the Iraqi or Libyan scenario in the war-torn country. This policy, including recent threats to impose new sanctions against Russia, is "paralyzing diplomacy" in the conflict, Russian political commentator and journalist Viktor Marakhovksy said.

    Last week, in an interview with the Sun, British Foreign Minister Boris Johnson said that Washington and London are seeking ways to pressure Moscow to change its strategy in Syria.

    Johnson also said that shame is the "single most potent weapon" that the West could use to force Russia to change its policy.

    Earlier, he admitted that new sanctions against Russia are possible over the situation in Syria.

    Mark Toner, Deputy Spokesperson at the United States Department of State, also said that Washington was considering new sanctions against Moscow over the collapse of the Syrian dialogue.

    "We have not definitively suspended our diplomatic relations regarding Syria with Russia," Toner said on Friday. "We're on the verge because we have not yet seen them take the type of actions we are looking for them to take."

    The US is delaying the end of this dialogue because after a dialogue ends, a demonstration of force follows, Marakhovsky told the Russian online publication Svobodnaya Pressa.

    This would mean not only an escalation in the war and losses in US troops but also the risk of a direct military confrontation with Russia, he pointed out. But this scenario is unlikely, especially before the presidential election.

    "In fact, the State Department is on not between dialogue and its termination but between the absence of dialogue and the possibility to start it. But this will be done by the next president," the journalist said.

    He also commented on the possibility of a new round of sanctions against Russia, saying that if imposed they are likely to be symbolic.

    "Sanctions have already proved to be inefficient against Moscow. Moreover, there are differences within the European Union on the issue. Probably, if new sanctions are imposed they will be symbolic and will be designed to prevent big economic losses for the US and Britain," Marakhovsky suggested.

    Related:

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    Kremlin Puzzled Over US' Calls to Impose Anti-Russian Sanctions Over Syria
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    Tags:
    military conflict, sanctions, diplomacy, Boris Johnson, Syria, Russia, United Kingdom, United States
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