13:08 GMT +318 June 2018
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    G7 Get-Together: Pinning the Blame on Russia

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    Andrew Korybko
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    The G7 met in Italy earlier this week and predictably tried to pin the blame on Russia for the Mideast's destabilization, and the US even floated the idea of broadening the anti-Russian sanctions as a result.

    US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson sought to advance the story that Russia was supposedly complicit in the alleged chemical weapons attack which took place in Syria's Idlib Province last week, having previously hinted that Russia was "negligent" in allowing it to happen despite its military presence in the country. Never mind that the facts surrounding this event itself are still very unclear and that the Russian Ministry of Defense said that no chemical weapons attack took place. Moscow asserts that the Syrian Arab Army bombed a "rebel" warehouse which was storing deadly chemical agents, thereby inadvertently releasing them into the air and contributing to casualties.

    Despite the West's narrative being debunked by facts, circumstantial evidence, and simple logic, Tillerson still toyed with the possibility of sanctioning Russia because of the so-called chemical weapons "attack." The only way to avoid these vague economic prohibitions, Tillerson said, would be for Russia to abandon its support for President Assad, the democratically elected and legitimate leader of Syria. That’s not going to happen, though, so there's a chance that Tillerson might carry through on his threats and encourage the US' G7 allies to follow his lead.

    No new sanctions have been promulgated so far, but in the event that they are, the economic bloc might go along with them owing to the newfound and surprising comradery between the US and its continental European allies, which was another noticeable highlight of this latest gathering. Italian Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano was so enthused leading up to the event that he joyously proclaimed to one of his country's national media outlets that "We need to remember that not 10 years ago, but 100 or 120 days ago, the concern in Europe was that the United States and the EU were moving apart. I welcome this renewed harmony." Evidently, in spite of the US and EU's divergent rhetoric over trade, Brexit, NATO obligations, immigration, and other pressing topics, all that it took to get them back on the same page with one another was some good 'ole Russia bashing.

    Andrew Korybko is joined by Mika Hirvonen, Swedish political commentator and Patrick Armstrong, Former analyst in the Canadian government.

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    Syrian conflict, G7, United States, Russia
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