This has been an interesting week for Russia. First, and contrary to my own expectations, Iulia Skripal has been allowed to make a recorded statement on video where she is seen writing a statement in English and Russian. This falls far short of even the basic British obligations to allow consular access to both Skripals, but it is a sign that the Brits are finally starting to feel the pressure. This is just a small first step, but thank God for small things. Now let’s just hope that the pressure to free both Skripals will not abate.
Second, the St Petersburg Economic Forum has started with what promises to be a big success: 14,000 participants, including many top western business and even representatives of the British oligarchy (to the great despair of The Times). Now that the “economic block” of the Russian government is firmly in the hands of the Atlantic Integrationists and even Alexei Kudrin has declared that the impact of the economic sanctions is only 0.5% of the Russian GDP, and against the background of US arrogance gone berserk (see Pompeo’s 12 point ultimatum to Iran) thereby deeply frightening many European investors, Russia appears to be an island of comparative stability and predictability. Turns out, there are billions of dollars to be made in Russia, who would have thought?
Third, for all the saber-rattling heard over the past years from NATO, a former Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR), General Breedlove, has gone on record that NATO is in no shape to fight Russia. The Baltic statelets and the Swedes can continue to prepare for a Russian invasion of the want, but this nonsense is slowly losing its traction with EU politicians.
Finally, the President of Bulgaria has had to fly to Moscow to ask the Russians to re-start the “Bulgarian Stream”. Yes, the very same “stream” which Bulgaria reneged on under EU pressure. The logic of the Bulgarians is simple and irrefutable: if the Germans get to open their own “stream” then so do we. Makes sense.
True, there was this latest idiocy by the Dutch who now are saying that it was a “Russian” unit which shot down MH-17.