Staunton, September 2 – In advance of the G-20 summit in China, both Moscow and Washington have sent powerful signals of their intentions. In hopes of forcing the West to put pressure on Kyiv and to cut back or lift sanctions on Russia, the Kremlin increased its military presence not only near the Ukrainian border but in Syria, Vitaly Portnikov says.
But those aggressive moves instead of intimidating the West have had exactly the opposite effect, the Ukrainian analyst says. Instead of backing down in the face of Russian pressure, the United States has signaled that it is now prepared to take an even harder line than it has in the past and even to threaten Putin’s “purse” – the gas giant Gazprom.
In a comment to Ukraine’s Gordon news agency, Portnikov says explicitly that “the US has sent a signal that in principle Putin can lose control of his purse, Gazprom,” because the new sanctions the US is planning to counter Russian aggression will “seriously hurt this company and all its projects including those in Europe” (gordonua.com/news/politics/portnikov-ssha-poslali-signal-chto-putin-mozhet-lishitsya-svoego-koshelka-gazproma-148303.html