The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MID) characterised the recent scandal with the denial of British visas to more than half of the Russian delegation to FIA (Farnborough International Airshow) as “clearly unfriendly”. Employees of the Russian companies hit by the denial… Rostekhnologii and United Aviation Corporation (OAK)… also voiced suspicions that the UK authorities’ move might be a part of unfair competition schemes used against Russian industry by the USA and some EU countries.
The UK government provided a very short explanation about why they denied visas to top Russian managers… V V Artyakov, deputy CEO of Rostekhnologii and his colleague S V Chemezov, a member of the board of directors of the Russian weapons’ exporter Rosoboronexport… to come to the Farnborough expo. a spokesman for the Foreign Office said, “Due to Russian actions in the Ukraine, no representatives of the Russian government were issued Her Majesty’s Government’s invitations to the FIA”. Chemezov was on the list of persons hit by American “personalised” sanctions in spring 2014, but one can’t find his name in similar lists of Russian citizens compiled by the EU and the UK. It isn’t immediately clear why the “representatives of the Russian government” happened to include not only 5 of 17 members of Rosoboronexport’s delegation, but also more than one-third of the representatives of the United Aviation Corporation (OAK)… which constructs civilian aircraft, including the famous Superjet 100, a passenger plane designed by the famous Sukhoi aircraft construction bureau. Izvestiya quoted an OAK source as saying, “Russian companies participated in Farnborough airshows since 1984 (the height of the Cold War), and Russian aviation professionals can’t remember a single case of similar treatment”.
However, is this the first such case of unfair competition made easier by presumably “morally motivated” sanctions? No. Such sanctions were commonplace during the Cold War, but after its end, these sanctions just became more hypocritical… the West never abandoned them. Konstantin Makiyenko, an expert of the Centre for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies, said, “All NATO member states except Greece enforce an unofficial ban on Russian arms exports. In other markets, such as the Indian or the Middle Eastern markets, the USA and their allies tried to push the Russian arms exporters out by using legal, and sometimes illegal, means”. Russia’s military-technical coöperation with Iraq is a good example of this kind of “silent war” against Russian military technologies. Back in autumn 2012, news about a 4.2 billion USD (145 billion Roubles. 4.55 billion CAD. 4.5 billion AUD. 3.1 billion Euros. 2.45 billion UK Pounds) arms deal, sealed by Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and President V V Putin during al-Maliki’s visit to Moscow intrigued the entire Middle East. It was the biggest deal since the overthrow of Saddam Hussein by a British-American invasion in 2003, and included 30 Mi-28N helicopter gunships and 42 Pantsir-S1 mobile air defence SAM/AA gun systems. At the time, Kommersant reported that the countries agreed to launch negotiations on Iraq purchasing Russian MiG-29M/M2 fighters.
However, already in November 2012, the Western media launched a real PR war against the deal. The Voice of America reported that Iraq cancelled the deal due to “apparent graft and corruption”. The Obama administration in Washington didn’t make a secret out of its desire to foil the deal, which could threaten the near-monopoly of American weapons on the Iraqi arms market. Yelena Suponina, an expert on the Middle East at the Russian Institute for Strategic Research, said, “Ultimately, the deal went through, but it was significantly lower than reported initially. The final amount was about 2-2.5 billion USD (68.9-86.1 billion Roubles. 2.15-2.7 billion CAD. 2.13-2.67 billion AUD. 1.48-1.85 billion Euros. 1.17-1.5 billion UK Pounds), the deal came into force in spring 2013, but the Obama administration, of course, did everything within its power to leave Iraq without Russian weapons”.
Ironically, this stratagem of the US government worked against American national interests… in 2014, the Iraqi government found itself almost defenceless against the onslaught of Sunni religious extremists from the Islāmic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). ISIS pumped up its muscle in Syria, thanks to Western aid to the armed insurgency against Syrian president Bashar al-Assad. As is well known, neither the USA nor the EU saw anything illegal in supplying weapons to Syrian insurgents, however, many of these weapons ending up in the hands of ISIS Islamists. Recently, Moscow had to rush 25 Su-25 aircraft to the Iraqi government in Baghdad; this was the only way that the Iraqi government, whose pilots are accustomed to flying Soviet-made aircraft, could muster any air force at all to fight against the ISIS aggression. This time, the US government didn’t object… its disastrous actions taught it a hard lesson. F A Lukyanov, the editor-in-chief of the Russia in Global Affairs, said, “The situation in Syria and Iraq indicates a total defeat of the policy of both George W Bush and Barack Obama in these two countries”.
However, even Russia’s arms deals with Iraq, sabotaged by the West, by far weren’t the first examples of unfair competition by the USA and the EU. Even some Western media, which haven’t yet lost their pretence at objectivity, admit it. Back in 1997, the German magazine Der Spiegel reported, “The Russian state-controlled arms exporter Rosvooruzheniye (Rosvor) wanted to open an office in the USA, in a bid to take part in competition for delivering the best equipment for UN missions. This is logical, since UN headquarters is in New York City. However, the USA couldn’t let the 500 million USD (17.2 billion Roubles. 539 million CAD. 534 million AUD. 370 million Euros. 292 million UK Pounds) business of supplying UN missions out of their hands. So, Washington just rejected Rosvor’s bid to open a small office in NYC”.
After this, the USA and the EU continued to lecture Russia on the need to separate business from politics (tell that to the aviation professionals who couldn’t meet their Russian colleagues in Farnborough). We also hear a lot about the need to be humane (from the authors of interventions in Iraq and Libya, who now condone the junta air raids against Lugansk and Donetsk) and about the need to respect democratically elected governments (this comes from people who justified the use of Molotov cocktails during the toppling of internationally recognised Ukrainian President V F Yanukovich earlier this year).
Great Western values… and no hypocrisy!
15 July 2014
In view of the verified enormities and atrocities committed by the Uniate junta, including shelling of Russia (with baldfaced lies denying it… don’t forget the Uniate cry of “Knife the Moskali!”), the British barring of Russian professionals is very odd, indeed. In fact, it’s worse than Kafkaesque or Jabberwockian. It’s an utter rejection of the real world in favour of a crackbrained notional construct that only exists in the fevered and objectively disordered minds of the Western Establishment. I’d say that the Queen of Hearts was quite grounded, in comparison. “Off with their heads”, indeed!