During the preparations for the Ge-neva talks between Russia and the United States, everyone wondered and wondered what would happen if the partners failed to reach an agreement, and this initially seemed very likely.
No agreement was reached, after which, however, nothing particularly terrible happened.
“You will laugh, but the Americans again want to impose sanctions.”
The laughable or at least cold-blooded reaction to the preparations for “hellish sanctions” is not due to the fact that sanctions are especially pleasant. But with the fact that the constant mention of fiery hell is somewhat monotonous. In Congress, among the people’s deputies of the United States, perhaps colleagues like pathetic speeches about sanctions. As Captain Iago said:
Invented! Conceived! And death and hell
A monstrous offspring will be born into the world.
However, on this side of the ocean, such speeches evoke only a tired reaction: “And, grandmother, started an empty one!”
Although it seems to be worse than nowhere. If Russia invades Ukraine (we have been told about the impending blitzkrieg for more than a month, although what kind of blitzkrieg is it that never happens, even if you crack?), it will receive various measures from Washington.
Disconnecting from SWIFT (this has been mandatory for several years, although they will not be disconnected in any way).
Sanctions on three or more banks of your choice. The original method, when a list of a dozen financial institutions is given ( Sberbank , VTB , Gazprombank , Russian Direct Investment Fund , Alfa-Bank , Rosselkhozbank , etc.), and the White House administration selects the three most guilty. Or those whose plotting will especially upset the Kremlin.
For example, Alfa-Bank – even though the authorities have been in London for a long time , but its slamming will be a terrible blow for the security forces. And, finally, personal sanctions against the President, the Prime Minister, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Minister of Defense. Which would mean a break in relations altogether. All diplomacy is based on the fact that the diplomatic agent speaks on behalf of his sovereign. If the US Congress and the administration announce that from now on the president of Russia is no one to call him, with whom will they then resolve issues of mutual interest? With Navalny? With Gozman? With Shen-derovich? Not even funny.
At the same time, it is reported that hellish sanctions are not just a creative fantasy of people’s deputies (they can fantasize a lot of things), it is supported by the US administration. It sounds scary, although relations within the administration have long been built on the principle of “one day a swan will doggystyle a pike,” and it is very difficult to understand which Washington tower wants what. There has been no single will for a long time.
Although the Genevan negotiator Sherman, supporting the project, clarifies that it can be not only about a direct military invasion (this goes without saying), but also in the case when there is no direct invasion, however, Russia’s policy “will somehow undermine (Ukrainian power . – Approx. Aut.) or force changes that the Ukrainian people did not ask for.” Translated into Russian, this means that sanctions can be applied regardless of the presence or absence of hostilities.
After all, the undermining of the positions of the Ukrainian authorities is permanent (Zelensky is there for this) and one can always say that Moscow is to blame for this. As well as “changes that the Ukrainian people did not ask for” are such changes (it doesn’t matter what caused and by whom) that the State Department does not like, which understands the will of Ukrainians better than Ukrainians themselves. And if they don’t like it, then again Moscow is to blame. Which entails the need for severe punishment.
The sanctions of the States, which do not fit with any idea of law in general and with the doctrine of crime and punishment in particular, can cause different reactions – laughter, fear, indignation, etc. From the point of view of the sanctioner, that is, the US authorities, the very concept of sanctions can be interpreted etymologically – from lat. sanctio “an inviolable law, an inviolable legalization”, which goes back to the verb sancire “to sanctify, to make immutable, to declare indestructible” and the adjective sacer “sacred”.
The will of the authorities of the United States is sacred and unshakable, as befits an undeniable shrine, and whoever opposes this will commits blasphemy with all the consequences.
And due to the absolute power of the American people, the sanctions imposed on their behalf are of an uncertain nature – the application of a measure of responsibility is left entirely to the discretion of an authorized body, for example, an absolute monarch. True, it is pointed out that indefinite sanctions are uncharacteristic of modern law, but the US Congress and administration know better what is typical and what is not.
It remains to be noted that, compared with the vague sanctions of past centuries, American practice is still relatively humane.
In the 15th century, Khan Akhmet threatened Tsar Ivan III with sanctions:
And also push your pointed cap
As a sign of obedience to Khan Ahmet,
Otherwise, I will drown your land in blood,
On the ridges along the boyars I will pass.
In the 16th century, the English king Henry VIII, who failed to betroth his young son Edward VI to the young Mary Stuart, imposed sanctions on Scotland that had done badly :
“His Majesty commands everything to be put to fire and sword. Burn Edinburgh to the ground and raze it to the ground, as soon as you endure and plunder everything that is possible.<…> Plunder Holyrood and as many cities and villages around Edinburgh as you meet on the way; give Leith and other cities to the stream and plunder, and where you stumble upon resistance, exterminate men and women without pity and children.”
Against the backdrop of Henry VIII, the current American administration is meekness itself.