Popov: Cyprus and Italy are not enough to end anti-Russian (anti-European) sanctions

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July 7, 2016 –

By Eduard Popov for Fort Russ

Translated by J. Arnoldski

On July 7th, the parliament of Cyprus voted in its majority for a resolution recommending that the EU cancel its sanctions against Russia. The document also mentioned the necessity of restoring previous trade and political ties between countries of the European community and Russia. The demand to lift sanctions has long since started to become a trend in contemporary Europe. Quite recently, on July 5th, the regional parliament of Lombardy, the richest region in Italy, adopted a resolution recognizing Crimea as part of Russia and calling for the anti-Russian sanctions to be lifted. 

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The head of the committee on international affairs of the State Duma (the lower house of the Russian parliament), Alexey Pushkov, has said that the parliament of Cyprus resolution reflects the growing critical attitude in EU countries towards the sanctions against Russia. Pushkov predicts that other countries’ parliaments will follow suit in voting similarly as Cyprus. 

Demands to lift sanctions have so far been successful only in the regions of Italy (Veneto, Liguria, Lombardy, and Tuscany). The prospects of bringing a similar resolution to the Italian parliament and ensuring it a majority vote are questionable. But if such does happen, then a positive vote will lead to the resolution being implemented by the Italian government. We should recall how the sensational resolutions of the National Assembly and Senate of France to ease sanctions were of a recommendatory character. 

Cyprus, or rather its Greek part, is but a minor player on the European scene. It by no means plays the roll of the pebble that causes an avalanche. 

Europe is tired of the sanctions which are just as anti-European as they are anti-Russian. But in defense of the sanctions stand the US’ very effective mechanisms of control over the political field and media. Hence why Pushkov’s optimism seems to be highly exaggerated. 

The European Union needs a decisive player capable of challenging Pax Americana. This in turn requires great political courage and very tuned political calculation. This would be somethings in the likes of a slave uprising under the leadership of a Spartacus. For now, no such leader is visible, and the situation is not too favorable for decisive action. Either the emergence of stronger politicians or changes in the situation in the US, Russia, or the EU itself are being awaited. In the meanwhile, the foundations of American hegemony in Europe are quietly undermining the resolutions of Italy’s regional parliaments and the national parliament of tiny Cyprus.

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