If the involvement of the GRU officer Bashirova-Chepiga to attempt to Skipala confirmed, then new Western sanctions against Russia are inevitable, said German political scientist Stefan Meister.
A leading expert on Russia, German society for foreign policy Stefan Meister (Stefan Meister) in an interview with DW appreciated the political consequences of fresh revelations about the possible involvement of the GRU officer in the British attempt in Salisbury for a former double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter.
Mr. Meister, what does it mean in the geopolitical context of yesterday’s post that attempted Skrobala may have been involved career officer of the Russian military intelligence GRU Colonel Anatoly Chapiha (possible real name Ruslan Bashirov, accused of attempted Skrobala. – Ed.) ?
Stefan Meister: I think that this could lead to further escalation in relations between the West and Russia. If it is proved that Russian military intelligence is using highly toxic substances committed murder in the UK. Moreover, if the identity of the killers.
Then it’s not just an event from the sphere of crime, he has a political component, which can further worsen Russia’s relations with the EU and the USA. And all this in a situation in which Europe tries again to get closer to Russia.
– Many say that we are dealing with the use of chemical weapons on the territory of a member country of NATO. Does this mean that the Alliance should put in place an article on the collective defence in case of an attack on one member of the Alliance?
– All depends on the amount of weapons used. But this is clearly a question to be considered by NATO. Will have to really consider how NATO can be introduced sanctions against Russia. Including given the pressure that now comes from the United States. But I don’t think it will lead to any particular response.
– What distinguishes the case of the Skripal from poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko in 2006?
– The political context has completely changed. Appeared the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, plus a serious deterioration of relations between Russia and the West, which took on a whole new scale. Western governments, primarily the UK and the USA, have a much more strongly in regard to the investigation of these crimes, and in regard to responses.
What could be the response?
– View what you will be able to negotiate the government. There is a big discussion. But I will be talking about sanctions and not about anything else. But it is likely that it will be on a larger scale than before the sanctions from the EU.
– What sanctions can there be?
– It is necessary to look closely at the list of sanctions against Russia, have already entered the United States. And it may be that some of these sanctions will be applied and the EU. For example, in the field of military technology, and may be in the field of financial instruments. We can talk about specific projects in respect of Russia – in this case on the “Nord stream-2”. I think we can talk about a whole list of areas in Economics and technology, which can be sanctioned.
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