Russia vs. US — Tensions Continue

  • Gen. Wolters explained that Moscow is pursuing "destabilizing and malign activities across the globe."
  • Russia is expected to reduce the use of the US dollar to a minimum because of the threat of sanctions.
  • Alexei Navalny is not recognized as a corruption fighter by the U.S. nor a prisoner of conscience by Amnesty.

The US believes that Russia remains a threat to the existence of the United States and Europe despite the economic sanctions. The statement was made by the Head of the European Command of the US Armed Forces, Gen. Tod D. Wolters, at the Air Force Association forum. The forum takes place from February 24 to February 26.

Sergei Ryabkov is currently the Deputy Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation. In 1995, he worked in the Foreign Ministry’s Department of European Co-operation. In 2002, he was appointed a counselor at the Russian Embassy.

Furthermore, Gen. Wolters explained that Moscow is pursuing “destabilizing and malign activities across the globe,” with many of the actions taking place in Europe. In particular, Russia is trying to divide and weaken US partners and allies.

In addition, Russia, with China, continues to militarize the Arctic and is trying to create an economic springboard for regional influence.

Moreover, Gen. Wolters said that ensuring the security of the United States requires a global effort. “We live in an increasingly complex and contested world,” he said.

“Political uncertainty, energy competition and diffusion of disruptive technology are stressing the established rules-based international order, [and] threats and challenges seek to take advantage of these conditions through aggressive action, using all instruments of national power [that] are backed by increasingly capable military forces.”

Earlier, the candidate for the post of head of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), William Burns, called on the United States not to underestimate Russia. At the same time, he referred to the country as a “weakening power.”

According to Mr. Burns, during the presidency of Vladimir Putin, Moscow has the same capabilities as “rising powers” like China. In this regard, he found it necessary to coolly and soberly assess the threats coming from Russia.

In response to the statements by Gen. Wolters, Russia is expected to reduce the use of the US dollar to a minimum because of the threat of sanctions from the administration of the new US President, Joe Biden. The same statement also was made by the Russian Deputy Foreign Minister, Sergei Ryabkov, during the interview with Bloomberg.

“We need to barricade ourselves against the US financial and economic system to eliminate dependence on this toxic source of permanent hostile actions,” he said. “We need to cut back the role of the dollar in any operations.”

He explained that Moscow needs to implement these measures  against the background of how Washington signals its intentions to impose new sanctions against Russia.

However, despite the looming sanctions against Russia by the US, Alexey Navalny was removed from the Amnesty International list of  “prisoners of conscience.”

Alexei Navalny is a Russian politician and anti-corruption activist. He came to international prominence by organizing demonstrations, and running for office, to advocate reforms against corruption in Russia, Russian President Vladimir Putin, and his government. In 2012, The Wall Street Journal described him as “the man Vladimir Putin fears most.”

Says Amnesty, referring to comments Mr. Navalny made, “some of these comments, which Navalny has not publicly denounced, reach the threshold of advocacy of hatred, and this is at odds with Amnesty’s definition of a prisoner of conscience.”

In addition, the US State Department announced continued affords to fight corruption around the world, as it undermines the trust of citizens in their public institutions and does not allow developing countries to move forward. At the same time, Mr. Navalny is not on the list of being a corruption fighter.

It will be interesting to see how Mr. Navalny would be viewed by the Biden administration going forward. Mr. Biden promised equality and diversity, and Navalny is the opposite.

The US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, established the International Anti-Corruption Champions Award. The list includes twelve individuals from around the world who have actively exposed corruption in their countries. There are zero corruption fighters in Russia, according to the US State Department.

Overall, the tensions between Russia and the US will continue.

Christina Kitova

I spent most of my professional life in finance, insurance risk management litigation.

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