The US has started a media murmur campaign, citing official sources, both named and unnamed, that the US is considering taking its embargo regime against Russia, which it misclassifies as ‘sanctions’, and ramping that up into a physical military blockade of Russian ports and underwater pipelines.
The proposal to impose a “naval blockade” on Russia by US Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke would make it impossible to supply Russian fuel to the Middle East. An Austrian media columnist, in Contra Magazine, warned that the measure could lead to military clashes at sea.
According to journalist Marco Maier, it would be unlikely that Moscow would not respond to the blockade, since the Russian military would escort the oil tankers, which would cause maritime fighting.
It is furthermore, in the opinion of FRN, inconceivable that such clashes would not escalate unless Moscow acquiesced.
Knowing of the future of Russian retaliations, Zinke also commented on measures restricting Moscow.
“The US has the possibility to keep the sea lanes open or to block them, whenever necessary, to ensure that Russia’s energy resources do not reach the market,” said the secretary, noting that fuel trade plays a key role for the economic survival of Russia.
The Austrian columnist also said that Western countries often accuse Russia that its activity in the Middle East is aimed at imposing control over energy resources in the area.
“That is, they accuse the Kremlin of doing what the US, Britain and France have been doing in the last century,” Maier noted.
Zinke’s recent remarks produced a reaction in Moscow, where Russian Senator Aleksei Pushkov commented on the words of the American secretary and opined that “besides being stupid, it is a threat that, if fulfilled, would become a declaration of war, as stipulated by international standards.”
Speaking at an event in Pittsburgh on Friday, US Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said the US Navy could block Russia if necessary to prevent Moscow from controlling power supplies in the Middle East.
Responding to the question of how the US should deal with Russia and Iran, Zinke said that “there are two ways”.
He then proceeded to explain that there was an economic and a military option.
Last week, Energy Secretary Rick Perry reiterated that sanctions against the Russian pipeline Nord Stream II could still be adopted.