“…The cat Vaska is a rogue, the cat Vaska is a thief.”
– from I.A.Krilov fable, ‘The Cat and the Cook’
On Monday, the United States and their European associates imposed so called sanctions against Russia.
The European Union could not decide for a long time, whom to jam with sanctions — Russian President Vladimir Putin’s circle or persons who were directly responsible for the Russian intrusion into Crimea.
There were even some opinions not to punish those with whom future negotiations are to be held. And countries like Cyprus, Greece, Portugal, Spain and France also inertly supported implementation of strong sanctions.
Then, at last, sanctions were imposed. This is how they’ve been described in western newspapers:
“Sanctions against Russia: Europeans struck not so heavily as Americans” – wrote Le Monde. To blame and not to lose the opportunity of negotiations, to apply sanctions and to maintain the dialogue: sanctions imposed on March 17 against Russian and Crimean officials – are the maximum that Europe is capable of for at that period, the article continued. Countries of southern Europe, which are against hasty actions and “real?sts” from the north found a median line, the article concluded.
“New sanctions are directed against seven Russian and four Ukrainian officials, who went out of Ukrainian government control and are blamed by USA for aiding and abetting the Moscow invasion on strategically important Black Sea peninsula” — reported The Christian Science Monitor. Any assets possessed by these people within the range of US financial institutions will be blocked, the article explained.
The aim of Obama-declared sanctions against Russia and its allies in Ukraine was infliction of economic damage. The adequate reaction of the Russian bond and currency market: both bumped up, reported The Washington Post.
The Post went on to write that while Vladimir Putin announces his militant tendencies and even surpasses them, retaliatory actions of USA and their allies do not correspond with his threats and market expectations. If the West doesn’t sharply reinforce measures against oligarchs — “money bags” and banks that support the Russian regime — most likely new aggression would be the result. “It is not too late to force Putin to reconsider his course, but for that the West should advance and accept sanctions to bring real pain and not to wait for new acts of aggression to answer,” concluded the Post’s report.
Barak Obama threatens Putin with “consequences” in the case of the Crimean referendum, but even the Russian President could hardly suppose that they would be so weak, surmised The Wall Street Journal.
As Russian lawyer, political activist and politician, Alexey Navalny tweeted, “Obama only cheered up all our cheats and frauds and encouraged them.”
“As for me, some joker wrote the US presidential executive order,” wrote the Vice-Premier Dmitry Rogozin, one of the officials on the Obama list. “Most likely, after so many threats from the White House, those sanctions will only strengthen the assurance of Russian ‘strong men’ that confrontation is distasteful for Obama,” concluded Rogozin.
This week, Putin seemed to prove this by signing the treaty claiming Crimea as part of Russian territory.
The reaction of the West, as we see it today, is described by Ivan Krilov (1769 – 1844), Russia’s best known fabulist. In his famous fable, ‘The Cat and The Cook’, the cook ventures off to the pub, only to leave a cat named Vaska in charge of the kitchen. When the cook returns, he finds the cat eating a chicken. While the cook shames the cat, Vaska (just like President Vladimir Putin) eats everything up.
The idea of the fable is clear: a man who is deaf to shaming and exhortations, is still unseemly in his deeds. It also reproaches those world leaders who only talk, but do nothing.
“I would advise some cooks to inscribe these words on their walls: ‘Don’t waste time in useless speech, when it’s action that is needed’.”