The Russian support and financing of the rebels operating in the Ukraine – the same rebels which took a passenger plane out of the air, killing 298 people – was never likely to draw a positive response from the World’s major powers, yet Russia remains defiant and uncompromising in its stance.
The Russian people will of course suffer as a result of these sanctions – they are heavily reliant on cheap food imported from Europe, while the farmers of the West will lose one of their largest markets for the foreseeable future.
Russia’s food safety watchdog, VSS, has been instructed to break the news that stops all US produce entering the country. No list of banned goods has been released, and no further comments have been made available as of yet, however it is understood that these are direct orders from Vladimir Putin, keen to punish the West for their own sanctions placed on Russia.
Meanwhile, fighting on the ground in the Ukraine continues to escalate, with NATO reporting that they have seen up to 20,000 Russian troops amassed on the border and ready for combat. Also moved to the border are special forces, aircraft and air defence systems and tanks. While nobody could ever attempt to second guess the volatile Russians, it would seem that the writing is on the wall.
The West Tightens Sanctions
Since the gunning down of the Malaysian Airlines plane with a surface-to-air missile which could “only have been supplied by Russia,” The USA and the EU have tightened their own sanctions on Moscow, specifically targeting their financial and oil sectors.
As tensions increase between all sides, the next retaliatory move could be defining in the ongoing feud, perhaps the FIFA World Cup – due to be held in Russia in 2018 – will be the next target as the West looks to take its understandably strong stance on the conflict, a step further.