Will corporate America really hold Putin accountable or will it soon return to ‘business as usual’?

(Video: Fox News)

If corporate America doesn’t get serious about China’s involvement in Russia’s war on Ukraine, they are complicit in the genocidal atrocities Russian President Vladimir Putin is committing, according to former State Department spokesperson and current Congressional candidate in Tennessee, Morgan Ortagus.

Ortagus joined Steve Hilton on Fox News’s “The Next Revolution” Sunday to discuss the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, the impact of China’s support of Russia, and whether or not the corporations that immediately pulled out of Russia in protest will soon return to “business as usual.”

“Obviously, Putin is making this decision to go to war, to invade Ukraine, but who is supporting him?” asked Hilton. “China. It is China that is helping him wage this war. It is China helping him commit these atrocities. They are helping him evade the sanctions. Unless we get serious about that, nothing is going to change.”

As BizPac Review reported in early March, Western companies, including Apple, Disney, and Nike pulled their business from Russia soon after Putin invaded Ukraine, citing humanitarian reasons, yet each of them continues doing business in China, which continues to commit genocide against its Uyghur population.

Hilton pointed to the “Hollywood elite” who could be seen “sucking up to China” at last week’s Oscar ceremonies.

“Right now, Tim Cook and Apple — complicit not only in the genocide in China’s been going on for a while now, and we have been reporting, and the U.S. government has officially called it the genocide — now they are complicit through China’s support for Russia in this genocide,” Hilton said. “Until we get serious about the China part of this story, nothing’s going to change.”

“Well, I would just say amen and hallelujah to that,” replied Ortagus., adding that Hilton was “exactly right.”

“With an ongoing genocide in China, corporations and investment firms are still doing plenty of business there,” said Ortagus. “And how you see that translate to Russia in this current conflict, the war that they’ve inflicted on Ukraine is that I think — you and I talked about this very recently — from a Western perspective we haven’t given the knockout punch with sanctions that we could have given, number one. And, number two, I think that we are sort of playing it safe. We are trying to give them an off-ramp.”

Ortagus cautioned that in the next weeks and months we must pay attention to what leaders and corporations are doing around the world if Putin is to be truly held accountable for his actions in Ukraine.

“What I worry about — listen, we all want negotiations to be successful. None of us want more Ukrainians to pass away, obviously, but I think, Steve, what we have to really pay attention to over the coming weeks and months is, ‘what happens?’ Ortagus stated. “Does it go back to business as usual? Right? Do Europeans under Angela Merkel who decided even after Crimea — even after other incursions into Georgia and into Ukraine by Putin — she still decided, someone pointed this out today, she still decided that she needed a Russian gas pipeline in to Germany.”

“So what happens?” Ortagus continued. “All of these companies that said, ‘oh, we’re no longer doing business there’ — do they actually hold Putin accountable? Do we stick to this? Or is it something that was a temporary public relations measure to make the company feel better and say, ‘we’re doing the right thing?’ Do they go back to business as usual in a few months? And I worry because we haven’t sanctioned the central bank, because we haven’t done secondary sanctions on their oil and gas market, that we are giving them that out to go back to business as usual eventually.”

Ortagus pointed out that, while Putin’s pattern of brutal behavior has been known to the world for 23 years, he is still very popular in Russia, and that makes him less vulnerable to the sanctions imposed by the West.

“One poll I saw, a very legitimate poll, said that he’s up to 83 percent approval rating,” said Ortagus. “So he’s been able to get Russian citizens to sort of rally around the flag so to speak, and so he’s not necessarily suffering domestically, even with the sanctions that the United States and Europe have put on the Putin regime.”

Meanwhile, total trade between Russia and China — who earlier this year announced a “no-limits” partnership — surged 35.9 percent in 2021 to a record high of $146.9 billion, Reuters reported in early March, with Russia providing China with its major source of oil, gas, coal and agriculture commodities.


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