Sunday, 10 August 2014

The Abbott Government imposed autonomous financial & travel sanctions on Russia on 19 June 2014 and the Nationals are surprised that it reciprocated?

It would appear that the political class in Canberra thought they could have it both ways - impose financial, trade and travel restrictions on a total of approximately sixty-four Russian politicians, banks, oil companies, businesses (including a soft drink manufacturer) and certain Ukraine separatists on 19 June 2014 - yet still have access to the Russian market for Australian primary products.

These sanctions were quite properly a response to the attempted unlawful secession of the Crimea region from Ukraine undertaken by Russian-backed separatist forces.

Russia did not respond in kind to these sanctions until after Prime Minister Abbott began to grandstand in the media in relation to the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 in Ukraine airspace on 17 July 2014.

His intemperate language and rush to judgement before any crash site investigation all but guaranteed the response our primary produces received this week, when they were included in the twelve month sanction period announced by the Russian Government which covers beef, pork, fish, fruit, vegetables and dairy product imports.

Abbott's subsequent kneejerk reaction threatening a tit-for-tat widening of his own sanctions will only lead to further economic pain for this country according to a former Australian ambassador to Russia, Cavan Hogue, who stated; "So I think we would have probably been better served by just keeping our big mouths shut.....Right from the beginning we've been attacking the Russians. Now, Putin is far from perfect. He's a very authoritarian character. But it's a very complicated situation....So public insults just doesn't seem to me to be getting anywhere, particularly from Australia."

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