Putin is incandescent. There he was, thinking Don loved him – and now this. The Yanks call this a ‘sliding scale of pressure’.
Having scrutinised the evidence provided by Britain, the United States concluded that it was the Russians who used military-grade chemical weapons to poison the Skripals.
And, while they were at it, most of the rest of Salisbury as well.
Vlad had to ring friend Don direct, use a few choice expressions highlighting the loose sexuality of Don’s mother and ask him what the hell was going on.
At first friend Don whimpered and grovelled, but then he blew his top. “For crying out loud, Vlad,” he shouted, “they shoved the goddamn evidence under my nose! What was I supposed to do, disband Congress? Fire the whole damn State Department? Gimme a break, for Chrissake!”
He had a point. The good news was announced some 90 days ago, at which point the button was pushed for the statutory 60-day countdown before new sanctions had to be imposed.
To give credit to Don, Vlad has to admit begrudgingly that he did all he could to delay the sanctions. The trouble is, the Main Adversary’s government is set up in such a stupid, incomprehensible way that the president can only do so much.
‘So much’ in this case turned out to be just a paltry 30 days’ delay before the sanctions were announced, and another fortnight or so before they’ll go into effect. Every little bit helps and all that, but this bit is just too little for words.
Now the Russian economy will edge even closer to being well and truly buggered, thinks Vlad. Normally that wouldn’t bother him all that much, what with those Panama cellos stuffed with laundered cash still playing a merry tune.
But this time the Main Adversary has sanctioned the export of the kind of electronics and avionics that Russia simply can’t produce herself. How’s Vlad supposed to target his ICBMs without those gadgets? And how’s he supposed to scare the living bejeesus out of the Main Adversary without his ICBMs?
Let’s face it, the Russian economy only has three sectors, thinks Vlad, and they’re like the three legs of a tripod: knock one out and the whole shebang goes down.
First, there’s the pipe through which oil flows westwards, and dollars flow back. Second, there’s the giant laundry through which the dollars are diverted into private accounts in godforsaken places like Panama. And third, there’s the ICBMs reminding the Main Adversary not to get too bloody sanctimonious about this cozy arrangement.
Turning the US into radioactive ash and creating the Atlantic Strait between Canada and Mexico – the threat has been communicated to the Main Adversary thousands of times and in no uncertain terms. And still they play silly buggers!
And that damn scale could slide even higher if Vlad doesn’t let a swarm of Yank spies into the country, to inspect the relevant branch of Russia’s chemical industry. Within 30 days!
Give him a year, and all those novichok factories will look like fertiliser plants – compared to Vlad, Potemkin with his villages was a bungling amateur. But a month is just plain ridiculous.
Call this friendship Don? After all that Vlad did for you, you ungrateful twerp! Whatever next?
Actually, Vlad has a pretty good idea of what could come next. The menu for the next batch of sanctions includes such Russophobe atrocities as:
A ban on US banks providing credits to Russia; the US voting against any international banks providing such credits; a ban on the export of all American goods; reducing the level of diplomatic relations or discontinuing them altogether; banning state-controlled airlines, such as Aeroflot.
And if you think that’s bad, you ain’t seen nothing yet, thinks Vlad. There’s this bipartisan bill going through Congress about sanctioning Russia for meddling in US elections.
That’s what one gets for giving a little helping hand to a friend, moans Vlad. As if there’s something wrong with friendship. Well, there’s plenty wrong with the proposed sanctions.
The Yanks are talking about new sanctions against Vlad’s accompl…, no, he means friends; a ban on US participation in Russia’s energy-related projects; investigation of Russia’s sponsoring of terrorism.
And – here Vlad swallows so hard that his Botoxed cheeks almost burst open – they’ll examine Vlad’s assets and overall wealth! There’s nothing sacred for the Main Adversary.
So what if a successful man puts away the odd hundred billion for a rainy day? The Yanks like to talk about property rights, so what business is it of theirs how Vlad takes care of his retirement? What about his property rights?
Vlad’s face hardens, and his eyes narrow down to slits. He doesn’t give a flying buck about all the rest of it or, even if he does, he could just about live with it. But this last thing?
That’s like relieving yourself at the altar of Christ the Saviour, sacrilege to end all sacrileges. Worse than Vlad’s idol Stalin blowing up the original cathedral back in 1931.
Time to tell friend Don to get his finger out and bloody well do something about that. If he doesn’t, Vlad will lower the boom on friend Don so fast he’ll end up a little puddle on the floor.
Friends, thinks Vlad bitterly. A man can never count on them in this world. Oh, the good old days…