Ron Paul:US sanctions against Russia an act of war
Former GOP congressman and presidential candidate Ron Paul says US sanctions against Russia over the Ukraine crisis are an act of war, adding that the American people are tired of US-imposed wars.
When you block the trade of goods and services with a particular country, it may not be quite as bad as dropping bombs, but it is a “symbol of a war,” Paul told Britain’s Channel 4 News on Monday.
The American people want no part of a conflict with Russia, just as they wanted no part in a war against Syria last summer, but the US administration is still “playing games” by threatening Russia and adding sanctions, Paul added.
“We’ve been involved too much and I take a non-interventionist foreign policy position. It’s not our business, it doesn’t serve anybody’s interest, it’s part of the same thing that led us into the disaster in the Middle East, a lot people die, a lot of money spent and we’re still suffering the consequences of the war in Iraq and Afghanistan and there’s the threat of war in Syria. We don’t need another threat. The American tax-payers don’t want it and our government thinks they can get away with it,” he said.
“There’s are a lot American citizens who’ve joined with me in saying we have had enough of this, we’ve had enough of this intervention, we’ve had enough of this wars and we’ve had enough of this debt and the American people are getting sick and tired of it,” said Paul, who sought the presidency of the US on three occasions: as the Libertarian Party nominee in 1988 and as a candidate in the Republican primaries of 2008 and 2012.
The US and Russia are at loggerheads over the worsening crisis in Ukraine.
The Autonomous Republic of Crimea declared independence from Ukraine on March 17 and formally applied to become part of Russia following a referendum a day earlier, in which nearly 97 percent of the participants voted in favor of the move.
On March 21, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed into law the documents officially making Crimea part of the Russian territory. He said the move was carried out based on international law.
On April 17, Russia, Ukraine, the US and the European Union agreed over steps to "de-escalate" the crisis in eastern Ukraine, where anti-Kiev protesters seized buildings in several towns and cities.
But, Ukrainian authorities have ordered a military offensive against the protesters, claiming that Russian special forces are fueling unrest in the country.
Last week, Russia began military exercises close to the border with Ukraine, saying the drills are in response to Kiev's intensified crackdown on pro-Russia protesters in the east and south.
Moscow called on the US to force Kiev to halt its operation in Ukraine's eastern and southern regions. But, interim authorities in Kiev said they are ready to fight Russia.
On Monday, 150 US troops landed at the Amari airbase in western Estonia as part of a contingent of 600 to participate in a series of military drills throughout the year.
At least 450 US soldiers already arrived in Latvia, Lithuania and Poland over the last week for joint war games, according to the US Department of Defense.
The US military build-up at Russia’s doorstep has raised concerns of a direct confrontation between Washington and Moscow over Ukraine.