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Saturday, January 8, 2011

Russia Laughs at Europe

The EUObserver wrote on December 30:
“Commentators have warned that polite diplomacy alone will have zero impact on an increasingly wayward Russia as EU leaders lined up to criticise the jailing of oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky on Thursday…

"’There's nothing anyone can say outside of Russia that has any effect on the Russians. They just laugh as we condemn their actions,’ Bill Browder, the CEO of US venture capitalist firm Hermitage Capital, whose lawyer, Sergey Magnitsky, died in suspicious circumstances in a Russian prison last year, told this website shortly after the Khodorkovsky sentence.

“’The only action that has any effect on their behavior is targeted sanctions taken outside Russia against specific Russian officials. When they see that they could be personally punished for violating human rights or abusing their own people, they get scared,’ he added. ‘If they behave like cannibals at home, we shouldn't invite them to our dinner tables in Europe.’

“Andrew Wilson, a UK-based Russia expert at the European Council for Foreign Relations (ECFR) think-tank, noted: ‘Definitely, there is no rule of law in Russia. There is the opposite: the trial shows that everyone is fundamentally prosecutable.’…
“…the EU is currently finalising its approval of Russia's bid to join the World Trade Organisation. EU member France this week clinched a €1.4 billion arms deal with Moscow, while Germany is the lead EU investor in a new Russian gas pipeline. Beyond the Union, the International Olympic Committee aims to hold the 2014 winter games in Russia and the international football authority, Fifa, recently awarded it the 2018 world cup…

“Mr Browder added: ‘My advice to the big companies in the West is to avoid Russia entirely because investing there is like a game of Russian roulette and you should be prepared to literally have your head blown off if things go wrong… if you do have problems, as my company did, you don't just risk losing money, people get killed."
However, greed and the desire to make a profit will override Mr. Browder’s warnings. And sadly, political and economic interests seem to be much more important to the rulers and the mighty of this world than individual liberties and freedom.


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