Sat Nov 26, 2016 10:16AM
German Chancellor Angela Merkel (back, C) hosts Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko (front, 2nd R) during talks for peace in eastern Ukraine at the chancellery in Berlin on October 19, 2016. (Photo by AFP)
German Chancellor Angela Merkel (back, C) hosts Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko (front, 2nd R) during talks for peace in eastern Ukraine at the chancellery in Berlin on October 19, 2016. (Photo by AFP)
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European Council President Donald Tusk has said he expects the European Union to approve a renewal of economic sanctions against Russia before the bloc’s summit in mid-December. Both the EU and Ukraine are hopeful that the US would continue to support the measure. 

William Jones, with the Executive Intelligence Review, says the sanctions against Russia over Ukraine have brought about economic problems for Europe itself.

Some EU states, he said, have vast economic relations with with Russia, especially countries like Germany which are primarily both export and import countries. “Therefore, they are victims of their own sanctions.”

“The Germans have shown readiness to come away from this demonization of Russian President Vladimir Putin and the demonization of Russia, which has been coming out of Washington in the last two or three years,” he told Press TV on Friday night. 

“There was a lot of pressure within NATO coming from the US to keep them on board; so, they’re willing to grit their teeth and accept the disastrous outcomes for their own economies,” he added.

Jones said there is a growing sense that this hostility has to change.

The tones coming out of US President-elect Donald Trump are also having "a friendly response from many of the European leaders who would really like to get rid of this sanctions dilemma,” he added.

The analyst said the West was on the path to political and military conflict with Russia up until to the point of the US presidential election, adding Trump’s readiness to work with Moscow has changed the situation away from confrontational rhetoric.

Jones also said “certain forces within the West were trying to pull Ukraine away from Russia.”

He characterized the 2014 political turmoil in Ukraine a coup which was carried out with the backing of the United States.

“The largely Russian population in Crimea felt threatened by the fact that there were right-wing elements in this coup; so, they decided to go with Russia,” he said of the region's referendum.

“The Ukrainian people, in one sense, are victims as well as perpetrators but the real perpetration came from the policy of NATO, of a new color revolution in Ukraine,” Jones argued.

Jones also touched on reports by the EU and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) about the situation in Ukraine, saying corruption is so “rampant” in the country that nobody wants to work with the country.

Bob Ayers, former US intelligence officer, said the West has not gained anything other than a “political statement” in sanctioning Russia.

“Sanctions are not necessarily designed to benefit the nation that imposes them, they’re designed to send a message that the behavior of the nation that the sanctions are targeted against is not acceptable,” he said. 

He said Ukraine is impossible to come to an agreement with the Europeans and Russians because “the EU and Russia have diametrically opposed objectives in the region.”

Touching on the situation of the Ukrainians, Ayers said that “major portions of their country attacked, invaded and annexed by Russia that is not something that makes them better off.”

“The Ukrainians are playing a very interesting game in that they find themselves in a position of they can’t rely on military support from Europe, and they’re afraid of what Russia may do.”

He also touched upon EU's hesitance to admit Ukraine’s membership in the bloc. “The EU is reluctant to accept into their membership a nation-state that has the potential for further incursions by Russia."

Ayers said the election of Trump is "a very interesting problem and dilemma for the Russians, the Europeans and the Ukrainians" because he has no political record.