The myth that is propelling the Trump Manchurian candidate conspiracy theory is that Putin desperately needs sanctions removed, and therefore has installed a puppet in the White House to do away with them.
Here is Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, explaining why Russia is not looking for “mercy” from the West:
Since the first day of sanctions, western political analysts have written lenghty tomes about how western sanctions will crush Russia; about how the Russian economy will collapse; about how Russians will starve in the unswept streets; about how Putin is months — maybe days! — away from being deposed by an angry mob of hungry Russians, desperate for the sweet taste of Monsanto corn and color revolution.
What an absolute pleasure it has been to read, and laugh at.
The truth is that sanctions (and counter sanctions) might have saved the Russian economy. Struggling with rock bottom oil prices, Russia found salvation in its manufacting and agricultural industries, which were underdeveloped but highly competitive do to the devaled ruble. The tired cliche about Russia being “a giant gas station” (hat tip to John McCain) was always a childish exaggeration. But before the sanctions (and counter sanctions), Russia really was underperforming in terms of agricultural and manufacting output.
The sanctions essentially forced innovation and investment in these industries — with spectacular results.
And sanctions were supposed to hurt Russia’s energy sector the most. But we just learned on Monday that Russia’s oil and gas sector is as strong as ever.
Trump says that sanctions won’t be lifted until Crimea is “returned” to Ukraine.
Well, that settles it, then.
Meanwhile, the U.S. media can keep making up stories about this: