The Kremlin on Monday said it was more than happy to be locked out of international institutions as it poured scorn on Western attempts to punish Russia over its invasion of Georgia.
Dmitry Medvedev, the Russian president, said he was not bothered if more than a decade of post Cold War rapprochement with Nato was halted altogether. “We are ready to accept any decisions up to halting relations altogether,” he said. The president also issued a chilly warning to Moldova of a military response if it followed the Georgian example of trying to regain control of its own breakaway region of Transdniester, whose rebel leadership has long been backed by Russia.
The hard line approach was adopted by Vladimir Putin, the prime minister, who said he saw no merit in joining the World Trade Organization even though Russia has had an outstanding membership application since 1995. “We don’t feel or see any advantages from membership, if they exist at all,” he said.
Our “ally”, Great Britain, is already kissing Russia’s ass, and a fat lot of good it did.
The tough talk from the Russians on Monday, described by one western envoy as the “bring it on” school of diplomacy, seemed to have some of the desired effect as Britain swiftly issued a plea to Moscow not to suspend all contacts with Nato.
So far, however, the European Union’s response has proved embarrassingly ineffective as Russia has repeatedly reneged on the terms of the truce by maintaining its military presence in Georgia. The six-point peace plan, signed by Nicolas Sarkozy, the French President whose country currently holds the EU’s rotating presidency, has been criticised for being imprecise, allowing Russia to exploit ambiguities over troop withdrawal.
Let’s oblige the Cossacks. Kick them out of the G8, keep them out of the WTO, and start sanctions.
Bring our diplomats home and send theirs packing for Russia. Screw Putin’s sockpuppet.