WASHINGTON, October 4 (RIA Novosti), Liudmila Chernova – Speech of the US Vice President Joe Biden can backfire on Washington, as it embarrasses the European Union members and demonstrates the US has intimidated them, Paul Craig Roberts, former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury, believes.
"One of the possible consequences is that his speech embarrasses European governments by showing that Europe is Washington's vassal," Roberts told RIA Novosti on Friday. "The other is that by pressing Europeans to act against their own interests, Washington might have been too much of a bully and hurt its future influence in Europe."
US Vice President said Thursday that the United States and US President Barack Obama, in particular, had forced the European Union members to "take economic hits to impose cost" on Russia.
"It is true that they did not want to do that. But again, it was America's leadership and the President of the United States insisting," Biden noted, speaking at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government.
"It is a known fact that Western European peoples and business interests, and even the governments themselves oppose Washington's sanctions on Russia," Roberts noted, underlining that many Europeans know full well that Russia is not responsible for the trouble in Ukraine. "They know that the cause is Washington's use of the CIA and the NGOs established by the National Endowment for Democracy and other US "democracy groups" to orchestrate protests and use the protests to overthrow the elected government of Ukraine."
"Washington forced its European vassal states to impose sanctions on Russia," the former assistant Secretary of the Treasury said, adding that one of the US aims was to portray Russia, not Washington, as the government that is interfering in the internal affairs of Ukraine and must be punished.
"By punishing Russia, the sanctions support Washington's propaganda that it is Russia that is the aggressor," he asserted. "This image also serves to boost the budgets of Washington's military and security complex in order to defend NATO countries against the alleged "Russian threat."
Another aim of the sanctions is to break up Europe's economic and political relationships with Russia, according to Roberts.
"Washington is afraid that growing relationships between Europe and Russia will loosen Washington's hold on Europe. European countries do not have independent foreign policies, and Washington wants to keep it that way," Roberts stated.
In addition, Roberts thinks its goal was also to answer the Republicans' claims that Obama had taken a weak position in foreign policy and toward Russia, as Biden's speech comes one month before the November general elections in the US.
"Biden emphasized that Obama was strong and forced Europe to take action against Europe's own interests. In other words, Obama gives orders to Europe just as Stalin gave orders to the Warsaw Pact," former assistant Secretary of the Treasury said. "Obama, like Stalin, is a man of steel. The speech is a domestic political message designed to neutralize Republican criticisms of the Democrats' foreign policy," Roberts explained.
Over the past few months, the United States has introduced several rounds of economic sanctions against Russia, blaming Moscow for meddling in Ukraine's internal affairs – claims that Russia has repeatedly denied. The EU and US allies have followed in Washington's footsteps, drawing up their own blacklists.
In August Moscow responded to western sanctions, implementing a one-year ban on certain food imports from the European Union, the United States, Australia, Canada and Norway.