Issue: Foreign Relations: Russia
Russia has a long and storied history. It has the potential to become a great nation in the world community of nations. However, in the modern age, this can never be accompllshed with gun powder. If Russia is to acheive the recognition that its leaders and citizens aspire to, it will have to demonstrate that it allows freedom of expression, freedom of the press, tolerance of its diversty of citizens, and respect for international law and boundries. This issue area will give attention to topics that impact on Russia'a relations to the nations of the world and their citizens.
The U.S. Government has established a program of sanctions to try to impact on the aggressive behavior of the government of Russia. The sanctions may be having some impact, but the economic message is apparently not reaching the citizens of Russia. Media is reporting that an overwhelming majority of Russians support the actions of Mr. Putin, who is in the position of controlling the information that they receive. We as individual Americans and American companies can take action ourselves to provide a person to person economic impact that will be felt by ordinary Russian citizens, who will have to question why. We can undertake behaviors which may cause us some irritation or "pain", but which are also likely to impact on ordinary Russian citizens. These persona behaviors will be in the areas of tourist activity, travel activity, purchase activity, transportation activity, and business activity. Basically, why should we support Russia with our own U.S.. dollars?
Tourism - We as individuals can choose not to visit any city or area in Russia, whether we make our plans ourselves, or participate in organized tours. Why visit St. Petersburg, Mr. Putin's favored home city? If a multi-country tour stops at any Russian city or port, insist that the tour operators take the port off of their itinerary if they want your dollar.
Travel and Transportation Activity - Do not fly on, or transport goods on, any airline, ship, train, or ground transport company owned by Russian citizens or organizations.
Purchase- Do not purchase, and do not stock in you business, any products (food,clothes, electronics, car parts, etc) that are made within Russia by any person or organization (Russian owned or multi-national).
Business - Do not continue any business activity involving persons supported by, or working for, Russian organizations.