June 6, 2016 (Ulson Gunnar – NEO) – The US State Department’s Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) notified readers of a diplomacy campaign by the United States aimed at “urging” Europe to maintain sanctions against Russia. While the US claims the necessity of these sanctions are self-evident and beneficial to the US and Europe, such campaigns would not be needed if that were truly the case.
|Image: Ukraine’s own industries have been the first to collapse, not Russia’s, amid US-led sanctions on Moscow.|
The United States is dispatching an envoy to Paris and Berlin on June 7 and 8 to try to convince European allies “of the importance of maintaining sanctions pressure on Russia,” the U.S. Treasury said on June 3.
Like a geopolitical wrecking ball, US intervention in Ukraine first destabilized and destroyed Ukraine’s economy, before brushing into Russia and now with sanctions ongoing ever since, the effects have swung back to hit Europe and even the United States itself.
The crisis with Russia that erupted in February terminated Antonov’s most promising, albeit already troubled, joint venture: a short-takeoff, heavy-lift plane that the Russian military had sought for years.
Antonov was not alone. With the rupture, Ukraine, among the world’s top 10 arms exporters, lost the market that spurred the development of its military industry.
Economic and military experts said Antonov’s troubles epitomized the twin problems plaguing state-run companies in Ukraine, particularly the military sector, as it tries to slip Russia’s gravitational pull and hitch its fortunes to Europe.
|Image: The first and perhaps last Ukrainian-made tanks to arrive in Thailand as Bangkok shifts to Chinese alternatives amid Kiev’s faltering leadership.|
The rest of Ukraine’s space industry hasn’t been so fortunate. Russia was its biggest customer, and sales have cratered. That’s partly Ukraine’s doing: In June, President Petro Poroshenko halted all military sales to Russia, including some dual-use missile and rocket technologies made by Ukrainian companies.
By 2013, Ukraine’s deputy prime minister told the website Space News, the country was making about $600 million a year from commercial space ventures. But Russia still accounted for about 80 percent of sales at Yuzhmash, Vladimir Tkachenko, the company’s assistant general manager, told the BBC earlier this month.
|Image: Failing to deliver on tanks is one thing, failing to deliver entire ships is another. France has also paid a steep political and economic price for adhering to US sanctions against Moscow.|
|Image: Russian-made RD-180 rockets are used by America’s United Launch Alliance to put US payloads into space, but are now in jeopardy of being lost and flight schedules disrupted because of US sanctions. .|
Ukraine has proposed that Kyiv and the United States jointly develop and produce a rocket engine to replace Russian rocket engines currently used to launch U.S. military satellites.
The head of Ukraine’s Space Agency, Lyubomyr Sabadosh, said on May 31 that he proposed the plan to replace Russian RD-180 rocket engines, which the U.S. Congress has ordered to be phased out by 2019, on a visit to the United States last month.