From today's Prime Minister's Questions, House of Commons, Westminister, London:
Question: Sir Tony Baldry (Banbury) (Con):
May I commend to my right hon. Friend some advice from Karl Marx, who, as European correspondent of the New-York Tribune, observed that there were“vital interests which should render Great Britain the earnest and unyielding opponent of the Russian projects of annexation and aggrandisement.”He went on to say that in“the arrest of the Russian scheme of annexation…the interests of…Democracy and of England go hand in hand.”Does my right hon. Friend agree that for the United Kingdom, Europe, the west and indeed the whole world, one of our most important foreign policy priorities for 2015 should be to see that Russia behaves, as one would expect a member of the Security Council to behave, in the interests of international law?
The Prime Minister:
I very much agree with my right hon. Friend. I have not spent as much time studying Karl Marx as he has, or perhaps even as the Leader of the Opposition has—I do not know what goes on in Camden these days.
In this respect, Karl Marx was right that the interests of the United Kingdom and democracy go together. We should stand up very firmly against the Russian aggression that has taken place, and we led the way in Europe in making sure that there were sanctions. What the combination of the lower oil price and the sanctions is showing is that it is not possible for Russia to be part of the international financial system but try to opt out of the rules-based international legal system. That is what is being demonstrated, and we should keep up the pressure."
“The only thing Russia can do [to get out of the mess into which Putin has driven his country] is to have the sanctions ended,” which would restore some normalcy to the financial system....I don’t see any other options,” says Anders Aslund.
BBC Economics Editor, Robert Peston says much the same: "Russia is massively leaking cash. And absent an entente with the West over Ukraine, which does not look imminent, it is challenging to see how the hole can be plugged."
This would require giving in to the West’s demands regarding Ukraine, i.e. a spool-back to the Minsk Protocol and holding fresh elections in separatist-held territories in accordance with Ukrainian law.
History shows, political leaders who wield great power seem to be embraced by an invisible impenetrable shield. But eventually, imperceptibly, inevitably, this shield self-levitates..and they then resemble vulnerable mortals...This is now happening to Putin. Bellicose bluster from Putin tomorrow [live feed 9a.m. GMT at this link] will expose his inadequacy even more..
In the weeks and months to come, according to Vitaliy Portnikov, unless Russian elites can somehow persuade Putin to 'get back to reality' and change tack soon, the degradation of the Russian economy, and the resultant break-up of the state, is inevitable. We should all be prepared for the consequences.
p.s . Igor Strelkov/Girkin says almost all humanitarian aid from Russia to the separatist-held territories in Eastern Ukraine is stolen and then mainly comes to light on the market. Is anyone surprised considering the gangster thugs and crazies currently running the place?