The Nation’s mystifyingly hypocritical interview with Minister David Parker
12 November 2017
To Lisa Owen,
Dear Ms Owens
You challenged, Trade Minister David Parker rather contemptuously in an interview on 11 November 2017, over a potential trade deal for NZ with Russia and Kazakhstan, insinuating this would not be suitable for what you termed, “liberal democracies,” presumably such as New Zealand, European countries and America. It is questionable that America, being the most war-mongering aggressive nation on Earth, is a liberal democracy, particularly as it has illegally bombed, assisted by unquestioning allies, several defenceless countries over the past 16 years, killing millions of people and creating millions of refugees. There’s the additional factor also that you don’t treat NZ’s trade with China or Saudi Arabia in the same critical vein as you treat trade with Russia. Yet many would find this hypocritical.
And why shouldn’t New Zealand work out a trade deal with Russia? Germany, Italy and France and other EU countries want trade with Russia. Russia is a crucial business partner for Germany.
German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel has criticised the latest US sanctions against Russia saying Europe is concerned not only about economic consequences but about unintended consequences that “could lead to a new ice age between Russia and the West.” The Foreign Minister has said new US punitive measures expose European companies involved in energy projects in Russia to fines for breaching US law. Germany’s Economy Minister Brigitte Zypries has even urged the EU to retaliate against the US if the new sanctions on Russia should end up penalising German firms. “We consider this to be a violation of international law,” Minister Zypries has said. “The Americans cannot punish German companies because they operate economically in another country. There are (partnerships) for natural gas and petroleum pipelines.”
France, also has said the sanctions “contradict international law” due to their “extra-territorial reach.” Italy has lost €11–12 billion in exports and 200,000 jobs due to the sanctions. Russia is the closest and most suitable market for Italians.
In 2017, the UN Special Rapporteur Idriss Jazairy on the negative impact of the unilateral coercive measures on human rights, published a report on the impact of sanctions. This reported that EU countries were losing at least €3.2 billion a month” because of them. He also noted the sanctions were “intended to serve as a deterrent to Russia but run the risk of being only a deterrent to the international business community, while adversely affecting only those vulnerable groups which have nothing to do with the crisis” (especially people in Crimea, who “should not be made to pay collectively for what is a complex political crisis over which they have no control.
Finally, I must say that it is worrying that the attitudes and propaganda of the most aggressive, meddling and misleading country in the world, are taken up by western mainstream media as if they are gospel truth, when the evidence in front of us is so very different.
Kay Weir, editor Pacific Ecologist
The Pacific Institute of Resource Management
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