The US' extensive sanctions against many of Russia's top big business representatives are being cynically interpreted as unipolar bullying against potent economic competitors. Not a single allegation has been proven about Russia supposedly using a chemical weapon against a former UK-based spy during a dramatically failed assassination attempt, but that hasn't stopped the US from running with the narrative for its own self-interested reasons and taking tangible action against Russian businessmen. The purported basis for this decision was that these so-called "oligarchs" — a weaponized misnomer against what Russia insists are just "representatives of big business" — are tied to the government and therefore ‘enable' its allegedly destabilizing activities abroad.
There's a lot wrong with this storyline, but the main points are that it overlooks the nature of public-private partnerships that are just as common in Russia as they are elsewhere in the world, including the West. For as ridiculous as the accusations are against Russia, it's even more absurd to blame government-linked companies for a country's foreign policy, which is essentially the same as saying that all tax-paying and law-abiding citizens are culpable as well. Applying this standard to the West, that would be like asserting that Boeing — which has US government contracts — is responsible for EuroMaidan and should therefore be sanctioned, to use but one of countless examples.
Nevertheless, while the basis for the Skripal sanctions is fake, the consequences are all too real, with the ruble sliding earlier this week and companies owned by the country's big business representatives suffering hits on the stock market. State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin exposed the US' real intentions for these punitive economic restrictions while on an official visit to Iran earlier this week, when he declared that "sanctions and sanctions lists are an attempt to contain Russia's development [which] is similar to an attempt to contain Iran's development when such decisions were made against Iran." The conclusion from all of this is clear, and it's that the US is using false flag provocations as the pretext to wage asymmetrical and unconventional Hybrid War against Russia's global interests by bullying its big businesses in an attempt to hold back the country's future development.
Tate Ulsaker, founder of a market research company in Moscow that is still going strong since 1997 commented on the issue.
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