Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Russian Sanctions, the British style: raw evidence

We will write a proper post about this issue. Meanwhile, we believe it is important for you to have access to key documents regarding arms transfers to Russia form the United Kingdom in light of 1) the conflict in Ukraine, and 2) the downing of Flight MH17 of Malaysian Airlines by Russian-backed rebels.

Please bear in mind our previous post ‘This is how the economic sanctions on Russia imposed by the Westcurrently work.‘ (or @WordPress) In particular, let’s draw attention to the colloquial distinctions we made about who the good and the bad Russians are.

After the recent wise words by British PM David Cameron that some European countries are not doing enough to restrict arms and defense transfers to Russia (he likely had France in mind), it seems that he was oblivion to the fact that the U.K. was as active as the France transferring military components to Russia in spite of the alleged strengthening of sanction on Russia after the shooting down of Flight MH17. We will offer key quotes on a subsequent post.

The House of Commons Committees on Arms Export Controls recently released a key report:
Volume I: Scrutiny of arms Exports and Arms Control (2014): Scrutiny of the Government's UK Strategic Export Controls Annual Report 2012 published in July 2013, the Government's Quarterly Reports from October 2012 to September 2013, and the Government's policies on arms exports and international arms control issues.      First Joint Report of the Business, Innovation and  Skills, Defence, Foreign Affairs and International  Development Committees of Session 2014–15:

  • Volume I: Report, together with formal minutes: PDF
  • Volume II: Memorandum from the Chair of the Committees: PDF

If you examine Volume II,  per pages 498-510 of ‘Annex 9: Extant arms export licences to Countries of concern’, you will find plenty about Russia. Whoops the daisies! Off course it is about how you integrate some of those items together. In the end, you do not want the wrong mix finishing in the wrong hands, e.g. Russian-backed rebels shooting down civilian planes. However, 10 Downing Street spin doctors were selling the idea that the U.K was a sanctions example as opposed to other European Countries – not exactly then!

Regarding Annex 9, ‘The Chairman of the Committees on Arms Export Controls wrote to the BIS Secretary of State, Vince Cable, on 10 April 2014 requesting details of extant UK strategic export licences to each of the 27 countries listed as the FCO’s Countries of human rights concern.’ (page 498).

Hence, in light of PM Cameron answered questions on the Commons this week, please read the letter of July 23, 2014, written by The Chairman of the Committees on Arms Export Controls, Sir John Stanley, to the PM: PDF

The Chairman of the Committees on Arms Export Controls basically asks for 'clarification on what is now the Government's policy of arms to Russia'!

Indeed, this is food for thought, which  brings back to the forefront our previous post on Russian sanctions.

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