MARKITA Becarova Adamova, President of TOP 09, believes that the expulsion of eighteen spies in diplomatic cover is a weak reaction on the part of the Czech Republic when “the Kremlin has allowed itself a sovereign state”. What steps do you think would be appropriate?
I really don’t want to give princely advice from Washington here. This reflects domestic politics, which I cannot comment on.
Professionally, we can only say that all of our reactions must be measured by the way Russia has responded. We must always be mindful of what we want to achieve. We definitely don’t want anyone to talk to anyone.
The American or Russian side had no ideological or economic interest in the Cold War. Biden talks about de-escalation, and the sanctions he imposed are to some extent symbolic, says Komunisic
But, as we know, Moscow has seen about twenty employees of the Czech embassy. Deputy Foreign Minister Martin Bovichel said in a radio broadcast that the Russian Foreign Ministry had “the potential for a cautious escalation.” The Czech side shouldn’t leave it unanswered, right?
We will have to consider many possible answers, because the number is of course not random. It is a message.
Note that in the event of a Polish-Russian crisis, three diplomats recently expelled each other – plus two. In the case of the Czech-Russian crisis: eighteen – plus two. Therefore, from its point of view, the Russian side suggests to us that this is the same case as the Polish case. Now the ball is on our side. We definitely have to hold it, but when we’re kicking it, we have to think about where it’s going.
Is there a risk of a new cold war in relations between the Kremlin and the West?
That may be possible, but neither the US nor the Russian side has any ideological or economic interest in it at the present time.
On the American side, we clearly see – and President Biden spoke clearly about it – an interest in de-escalating relations. As a result, President Biden explained to President Putin the role of sanctions, which is the main cause for concern between the two parties, through his conscious choice of the lightest version of the sanctions that he could impose on the Russian side for reasons of his own.
I am sorry, but I want to ask: How do you understand that President Biden is offering Putin to conduct negotiations in a European capital on his own, while he tightens US sanctions on Russia.
Sanctions are a tool of political communication. The largest sanctions ever received by the Russian Federation in recent years were immediately after the occupation of Crimea. And here we have to be very realistic: The first year of these sanctions was 0.5% of Russia’s GDP. In the second year they increased, to 0.6 percent of GDP.
The current sanctions imposed by President Biden a few days ago basically mean what this afternoon is, which is that American banks will no longer buy Russian government bonds, but are allowed to buy them in third markets. So again, it’s more about “a look at what would happen if we didn’t start talking.” It is clear that the American side is now interested in stopping the escalation and talking to the Russian side.
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