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Vladimir Putin had telephone conversations with British Prime Minister David Cameron and Federal Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel.

The conversations continued discussion on the highly complex social and political situation unfolding in Ukraine and also issues concerning the organisation of a referendum in Crimea on March 16, 2014. Although the three leaders did express differences of opinion regarding the events taking place, they declared their common interest in de-escalating tension and returning the situation to normal as soon as possible.
Mr Putin noted, in particular, that the steps Crimea’s legitimate authorities are taking are in line with international law and seek to guarantee the lawful interests of the peninsula’s population. The Russian President also noted that the current authorities in Kiev have not taken any steps to rein in ultranationalist and radical forces in the Ukrainian capital and in many regions.
The three leaders exchanged views on possible international efforts to settle the crisis. They agreed to continue close working contacts, including at the foreign ministers’ level. Source.

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    PM Cameron and Chancellor Merkel discuss Ukraine

    Following the dinner, a Downing Street spokesperson said:
    The Prime Minister and Chancellor Merkel had a working dinner on Sunday evening after opening the CeBIT trade fair in Hanover.
    Their discussions focused on the situation in Ukraine, following on from last week’s European Council. They both agreed that the priority is to de-escalate the situation and to get Russia to engage in a contact group as swiftly as possible. They reiterated their view that the proposed referendum in Crimea would be illegal and that any attempt by Russia to legitimise the result would result in further consequences. They also agreed that we must keep working to support the Ukraine government, including identifying how the international community can help to stabilise the economic situation.
    They also discussed the priorities for the next European Commission.
    Finally, they talked about how the EU can strengthen its relations with other countries, particularly through trade and investment agreements with the United States and, in the longer term, China. They agreed to work together to generate more momentum on the EU-US trade talks with the aim of making substantive progress this year. Source.

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    The Prime Minister called President Putin to discuss the situation in Ukraine

    Following the call, a Downing Street spokesperson said:
    The Prime Minister called President Putin this morning to urge him to de-escalate the situation in Ukraine and to support the formation of a contact group that could lead to direct talks between the governments of Russia and Ukraine.
    The PM made clear that we, along with our European and American partners, want to work with Russia to find a diplomatic solution to the situation in Ukraine, including Crimea.
    The PM emphasised that we recognise the right of all Ukrainian people to choose their future and that the elections, currently scheduled for the end of May, provide the best way to do this. The international community should work together to ensure the elections are free, fair and inclusive.
    President Putin agreed that it is in all our interests to have a stable Ukraine. He said that Russia did want to find a diplomatic solution to the crisis and that he would discuss the proposals on the contact group with Foreign Minister Lavrov tomorrow.
    The PM and President Putin also discussed the serious economic challenges facing Ukraine and agreed that the international community would need to provide financial support in the months ahead.
    Both leaders agreed to stay in touch on the issue in the coming days. Source.

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    Bundeskanzlerin Merkel telefoniert mit dem russischen Präsidenten Putin

    Der Sprecher der Bundesregierung, Steffen Seibert, teilt mit:
    Bundeskanzlerin Angela Merkel und der russische Präsident Wladimir Putin haben heute erneut miteinander telefoniert.
    Die Bundeskanzlerin vertrat mit Nachdruck die deutsche Position, wonach das für den 16. März geplante sogenannte Referendum auf der Krim illegal ist. Seine Abhaltung verstoße gegen die ukrainische Verfassung und internationales Recht.
    Die Bundeskanzlerin bedauerte, dass weiterhin keine Fortschritte bei der Aufstellung einer internationalen Kontaktgruppe erzielt worden seien, die einen politischen Weg zur Lösung des Konfliktes in der Ukraine finden müsse. Sie wies auf die Dringlichkeit hin, hier endlich zu einem substantiellen Ergebnis zu kommen. Source.

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    Almanya Federal Cumhuriyeti Şansölyesi Merkel ile gerçekleşen telefon görüşme

    Başbakan Sayın Recep Tayyip Erdoğan ile Almanya Federal Cumhuriyeti Şansölyesi Sayın Angela Merkel arasında dün gece (8 Mart) bir telefon görüşmesi gerçekleşmiştir.
    Görüşmede, ikili ilişkilerin yanı sıra, ağırlıklı olarak Ukrayna’daki son gelişmeler ele alınmıştır.
    Ukrayna’da ve özellikle Kırım’daki olayların son derece kaygı verici olduğu, Ukrayna’nın egemenliğinin, toprak bütünlüğünün ve siyasi birliğinin mutlaka korunması, Kırım’daki çatışma ihtimalinin ortadan kaldırılması gerektiği; 16 Mart’ta yapılması öngörülen referandumun bu bağlamda hem son derece sakıncalı hem hukuka aykırı olduğu konularında iki lider mutabık kalmışlardır.
    Başbakan Erdoğan ve Şansölye Merkel, mevcut krizin aşılmasında uluslararası hukuk ile ikili ve çok taraflı anlaşmalar çerçevesindeki yükümlülüklere uyulmasının büyük önem taşıdığını vurgulamışlardır.
    İki lider, Ukrayna’daki krizle ilgili olarak Uluslararası Temas Grubu ve Araştırma Komisyonu kurulmasına yönelik çalışmaların önem taşıdığını teyid etmişlerdir.
    Liderler, hâlihazırdaki durumun ciddiyetini göz önünde bulundurarak, BM Güvenlik Konseyi, AGİT Bakanlar Konseyi ve Avrupa Konseyi Bakanlar Komitesi’nin en kısa sürede krizi ele alması gerektiği hususunda görüş birliğine varmışlardır.
    Başbakan Erdoğan, Türkiye’nin Ukrayna ve Rusya’yla yakın ilişkileri, Kırım Tatar toplumuyla özel bağları ve doğrudan temas imkânları çerçevesinde, Uluslararası Temas Grubu’nun çalışmalarına katkı sağlamaya hazır olduğunu da ifade etmiştir. Kaynak.

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    Declaration by Congress President on proposed Crimean Referendum

    Strasbourg, 7 March 2014 – Reacting to the announcement of a referendum in the Crimea on 16 March on whether it should join the Russian Federation, Congress president Herwig Van Staa declared:
    “I cannot but deplore this initiative. To hold a referendum, at such short notice, using closed questions, without consultation with the national authorities and in the unauthorized presence of military forces, in flagrant violation of international law, is a travesty of the democratic process and one that I condemn. It would be a serious step backwards for the democratic development of this region.

    As President of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe, Europe’s Pan-European Assembly of elected representatives of Europe’s towns and regions, I strongly support the development of greater regional autonomy in our member states. Moreover, in its 2013 Recommendation to the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, on Regions and territories with special status in Europe, the Congress urges member states to make greater use of the special status model to address the specific needs of regions with special historical and cultural characteristics, of which the Crimea is a striking example.

    I would like to point out that the Crimea already enjoys a special status of autonomy within Ukraine. If the people of Crimea wish to further deepen and extend that autonomy, the legal framework exists, within the Republic of Ukraine to revise those constitutional provisions. The Congress would be ready to assist and advise on any such developments.”

    Déclaration du Président du Congrès sur la proposition de référendum en Crimée

    Strasbourg, 7 mars 2014 – Réagissant à l’annonce de la tenue d’un référendum en Crimée le 16 mars sur l’annexion à la Fédération de Russie, le Président du Congrès Herwig Van Staa a déclaré ce qui suit :
    « Je ne peux que déplorer cette initiative. Je condamne, comme étant une parodie de processus démocratique, la tenue d’un référendum dans des délais aussi brefs, au moyen de questions fermées, sans consultation des autorités nationales et dans un contexte de présence non autorisée de forces armées en violation flagrante du droit international. Un tel référendum constituerait un grave recul pour le développement démocratique de cette région.

    En tant que Président du Congrès des pouvoirs locaux et régionaux du Conseil de l’Europe, assemblée paneuropéenne d’élus locaux et régionaux, je soutiens fermement le progrès de l’autonomie régionale dans nos Etats membres. Par ailleurs, dans sa Recommandation de 2013 au Comité des Ministres du Conseil de l’Europe sur les régions et territoires à statut particulier en Europe, le Congrès appelle les Etats membres à davantage utiliser le modèle du statut particulier pour répondre aux besoins spécifiques des régions ayant des caractéristiques historiques et culturelles spéciales, dont la Crimée offre un excellent exemple.

    J’aimerais souligner que la Crimée dispose déjà d’un statut d’autonomie spécial en Ukraine. Si sa population souhaite accentuer ou étendre cette autonomie, le cadre juridique de la République d’Ukraine permet de réviser les dispositions constitutionnelles pertinentes. Le Congrès est prêt à offrir son assistance et ses conseils sur de telles initiatives. » Source.

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    How past mistakes will drive Ukraine’s future?

    By Scott Schenking – Now is the time when Putin wants to capitalize on Western past mistakes while learning from his own. Putin’s strategy in Ukraine: obfuscate, divide and remain. Russia will flood the international community and Ukraine with a continuous stream of false information. For nearly ten years Putin’s strategy in Ukraine remained unclear and ambiguous and it was in this atmosphere of confusion that his influence grew. Russia will create an atmosphere in which European countries – unsure of their relationship with Russia and Ukraine – will question not only Crimea’s right to self-determination but also all of eastern Ukraine. In this atmosphere Putin will obscure the very fact that Russia has invaded a foreign country with no justifiable pretext. As part of this strategy, Putin will attempt manoeuvres to provoke a response from the Ukraine government, its citizens, or the international community. It will be critical for the international community to remain united on supporting the complete territorial integrity of Ukraine especially in the face of potential military action. Only if unified can allies hope to control Putin’s next move rather than play the game according to his rules.
    Putin is a masterful political player and will seek every option available to divide the international community as well as to divide Ukraine itself. At some point, Russia will try to inflict harm on Western Europe by cutting oil and gas in “retaliation” for a move by Ukraine or the United States. Russian and European business loses will be blamed on US intervention and the Russian people and parliament will rally around Putin as a leader who is finally correcting the losses Russia has suffered during the last two decades. In Ukraine, Putin will capitalize on already existing divisions. He will remind Ukraine of how little progress they have made with the European Union while inflating the role of Russian investment in Ukraine. He will follow the Kosovo example and encourage regions to accept their right to self-determination and declare their own independence. If any region declares independence Russian troops will enter quickly to secure their “right” to self-determination from Kiev “aggression”.
    Finally, Putin has attempted to play diplomatically in the past to put Russia first in the region and it did not work for Russia in the 1990s. Now, he will play militarily and Georgia was only a precursor. It is reasonable to expect that Putin will not leave Crimea until the peninsula is de facto an independent state. One of the key concessions he will seek is a forced continuance of the lease, if not ownership, of the Russian naval base in Sevastopol but this is less about geostrategic positioning than it is about proving a capacity to assert Russian interest. He will follow lessons he learned from Kosovo and stay in the region on a near permanent basis, dragging out negotiations while making all attempts to wear down and divide the international community. While military options should not be a first resort of the international community we must not assume that Putin will leave Crimea under diplomatic or economic pressure alone. The international community must now accept that we have entered a new stage of relations with Russia in which Putin will aggressively pursue Russia’s interests with military force. Only a unified stance against Russia will remove Putin’s power. Full analysis.

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    Time for a strategy, not for hope!

    By Steven P. Bucci – The U.S. should do the following to send a clear message to Moscow:
    · Show U.S. commitment to NATO. First and foremost, the U.S. should be reassuring those NATO members in Central and Eastern Europe that their defense is guaranteed and that spillover from any possible conflict will be contained. This could mean temporarily deploying assets to the region required to defend the territorial integrity of NATO countries near Russia. More importantly, it should be made crystal clear to Russia that any armed aggression toward a NATO member will immediately cause the U.S. to call for NATO to invoke Article 5 of the Washington Treaty.
    · Enact sanctions on Russia. This is a moment for strong U.S. leadership, with Washington implementing targeted sanctions aimed directly at Russian officials responsible for violating Ukrainian sovereignty, including freezing financial assets and imposing visa bans. The White House should make it clear that any Russian military intervention in Ukraine would pose a threat to the free world, not least in a country that sits right on NATO’s border.
    · Enforce the Magnitsky Act. The Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act was passed by Congress in 2012 and denies U.S. visas to, and places financial sanctions on, Russian officials and individuals guilty of human rights violations. It should be swiftly enforced against any Russian officials involved in the incursions into Crimea and any human rights violations in Ukraine.
    · Work with European partners. The President himself should take the lead in urging European allies to adopt a robust stance against Russian expansionism and join the U.S. in a tough sanctions regime that will directly impact those in Russia’s government involved in any aggression in Ukraine. Working with the EU would be hopeless. Instead, the U.S. should work bilaterally and multilaterally with key European countries, bypassing the Brussels bureaucracy when possible.
    · Improve and deepen relations with Eastern Europe beyond defense. In addition to showing a renewed commitment to NATO, the U.S. should look at other means to demonstrate its support, such as creating new opportunities for liquefied natural gas exports to its European partners, many of whom rely on Russia for 100 percent of their energy needs.
    · Withdraw immediately from New START. New START is a fundamentally flawed treaty that dramatically undercuts the security of the U.S. and its allies. It is an extraordinarily good deal for the Russians, as it significantly limits Washington’s ability to deploy an effective global missile defense system. It does nothing at all to advance U.S. security while handing Moscow a significant strategic edge. Full article.

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    The Dark Ages Have Descended Anew: No Truth Need Apply

    By Daniel Patrick WELCH – What the US has done in Ukraine is beyond criminal, and it is being painted the other way around by every media outlet except those outside of the western bubble. *That* is what I’m ‘thinking about.’ When our families are the ones being followed, targeted, persecuted, jailed and killed for nothing at all or merely because the color of their skin makes them “threatening” to the established order, then I have no patience for the father-knows-best tone and the patronizing ‘advice.’ I assume that my comrades and colleagues who have “lent their credibility” in this way are subject to similar opprobrium. Well, if it’s a fifth column, then it’s one I’m glad to be a part of. I have to offer my thanks to all who support my speaking out. It isn’t an easy choice, and it has costs. If it’s “selling,” then it’s a type of transaction I don’t recognize.
    Moreover, there is a bizarre trait(…)Full analysis.

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    The Bear Roars Back

    By Mark HACKARD – What the Western public views as the triumph of “freedom” and “people power” in Ukraine was nothing less than a coup d’etat funded and directed by Washington. Viktor Yanukovych, the country’s legitimate president, was both ineffectual and corrupt, and the sentiment against him from ordinary citizens was genuine. Yet Yanukovych was violently overthrown in a mass action almost certainly coordinated by Western intelligence services. If high-level US State Department officials are caught over the telephone arranging the future government in Kiev, then it’s safe to assume the full engagement of case officers, agents of influence and NGO front organizations on the ground. Where there is smoke, there is fire.
    Accounting for the subversive nature of US involvement in Ukraine, appeals to the inviolability of state sovereignty from the likes of the White House and Foggy Bottom carry exactly zero weight, and they are especially laughable in the context of American foreign policy. The authors of the bombardment of Serbia and the wanton destruction of Libya, the Masters of the Universe behind the concocted Iraq War, the phony narco-state of Kosovo and perpetual counterinsurgency in the Hindu Kush, the same figures who dispatch jihadists to murder Christians in embattled Syria, have deigned to sternly lecture Russia on the law of nations. Such conceit issuing from the self-styled herald of the end of history is not surprising, even as Ukraine is readied for a devastating cocktail of IMF asset stripping and austerity, violent national chauvinism and the imposition of grotesque cultural norms imported from the postmodern West.
    Ukraine represents only the intended prelude to the evisceration of Russia (…) Full analysis.

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    Crimea, democracy and responsibility

    by Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey – The West, as usual, has painted itself into a corner by instigating a movement it did not understand or know how to control, a movement that predictably turned into a monster rejected by so many of its “citizens”. Now how democratic is it to state that the result of a free and fair referendum will not be tolerated?
    The involvement of the west in the Putsch which overthrew Viktor Yanukovich is very clear to see, even at the level of personnel protesting in EuroMaidan (Independence Square) in Kiev, principally at the level of financing and advice behind the scenes from the famous NGOs (sorry, “agencies”). As usual, the west recognized the “new Government” in a predictable show of force for what?
    Let us move on to the other argument, that a Referendum does not a country make. And now let us ask a question. When Britain uses a referendum on nationhood in the Falkland Islands, when it declares that ninety-nine per cent of the Falkland Islanders voted in a referendum to remain a British territory and not become an Argentinian one, where are the dissenting voices among the NATO countries now howling in disdain over Ukraine?
    So, if a referendum serves London and its allies to dictate the status of the Falklands Isles, how come the situation is suddenly different when it comes to Crimea? If the process is void in one place, then what is the point of holding it in another and using it as a political justification for status and policy?
    Let us then see the west’s reaction to the most open and clear demonstration and manifestation of democracy, a collective will, shown in a referendum which is not only free and fair but which also garners massive public support. We see that the west is happy to use the word and notion of democracy in its carrot-and-stick modus operandi as it panders to the whims of the banking, weapons, drugs and energy lobbies which pull the strings of the politicians around whom they close ranks.
    Yet when democracy, real democracy, is on the other side, the west cries blue murder and states that(…) Full opinion.

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    Who’s Who in Ukraine’s New “Semi-fascist” Government

    By Brian Becker – The U.S. and European Union countries played a key role in the overthrow of the elected government in the Ukraine headed by Victor Yanukovych and the Party of Regions. Listening to the politicians in Washington or watching the corporate media, it would be easy to believe that the coup in the Ukraine has ushered in new era of democracy for the people of that country.
    Nothing could be further from the truth. The new, self-appointed government in Kiev is a coalition between right-wing and outright fascist forces, and the line between the two is often difficult to discern. Moreover, it is the fascist forces, particularly the Svoboda party and the Right Sector, who are in the ascendancy, as evidenced by the fact that they have been given key government positions in charge of the military and other core elements of the state apparatus. (…) Full story.

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    La déstabilisation de l’Ukraine : Vue perspective et les dessous de la crise en Ukraine

    Par Prof Rodrigue Tremblay – Plusieurs indices pointent du doigt la Secrétaire adjointe aux affaires européennes et euroasiatiques au Département d’État des États-Unis, Victoria Nuland, comme l’éminence grise derrière le coup d’Etat en Ukraine.
    Voici ce qu’elle disait le 13 Décembre 2013:
    « Depuis l’indépendance de l’Ukraine en 1991, les États-Unis ont soutenu les Ukrainiens dans leur marche pour acquérir des compétences et des institutions démocratiques, car ils favorisent la participation citoyenne et la bonne gouvernance, qui sont des conditions préalables pour que l’Ukraine réalise ses aspirations européennes. Nous avons [le gouvernement des États-Unis ] investi plus de 5 milliards de dollars pour aider l’Ukraine à atteindre ces objectifs et d’autres qui assureront une Ukraine prospère, sécuritaire et démocratique ».
    Madame Nuland s’est rendue célèbre en traitant l’Union européenne avec désinvolture lorsqu’elle proféra les mots “Fuck l’UE”, dans un entretien téléphonique, le 6 Février 2014, avec l’ambassadeur américain en Ukraine, Geoffrey R. Pyatt.
    Néanmoins, les «investissements» politiques américains en Ukraine semblent avoir porté fruits parce les manifestations anti-gouvernementales se sont intensifiées considérablement, au début de 2014, culminant avec le renversement armé du gouvernement élu de Viktor Ianoukovitch, le 28 Février 2014. Cela s’est produit après que des tireurs d’élite eurent tiré des toits du carré Maïdan et abattu des manifestants et des policiers, un événement qui causa plus de 70 morts.
    Les responsables occidentaux et les médias occidentaux, de même que de nombreux observateurs ignorants, furent naturellement très prompts à condamner le gouvernement Ianoukovitch renversé pour les coups de feu qui avaient tué des manifestants et des policiers à Kiev.
    Toutefois, un appel téléphonique enregistré entre la responsable des affaires étrangères de l’UE, Catherine Ashton, et le ministre estonien des Affaires étrangères Urmas Paet, le 25 Février, semble plutôt indiquer le contraire. En effet, il a été allégué, à partir de preuves balistiques prélevées sur les victimes, que l’opposition pro-américaine était responsable de l’embauche de tireurs d’élite pour abattre des manifestants et des policiers à Kiev et non pas le gouvernement déchu de Viktor Ianoukovitch, que les responsables américains et les médias américains ont largement accusé. Le coup d’Etat ukrainien aurait pu reposer sur une opération classique de “false flag” ou de « faux pavillon ».
    Si cette évaluation est confirmée, ce serait une autre guerre à être provoquée par de faux prétextes, selon le modèle de la guerre en Irak, laquelle fut lancée en 2003 avec des fabrications similaires.(…) Lire article.

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