Ukrainian crisis and Turkey’s difficult diplomatic position!


rte_putin

© photocredit

Ukrayna’daki krizin nedeni sorumsuz politika

***

Ukraine Crisis Puts Strain on Turkey-Russia Ties

by Dorian Jones – The deepening Ukrainian crisis is placing Turkey in a difficult diplomatic position. At stake for officials in Ankara are Turkey’s commitments to its Western allies and its cultural kin, Crimean Tatars, against its economic and political relationship with Moscow.

Turkey’s diplomatic dilemma intensified in early May amid a rapid escalation of tension between Crimean Tatars and Russian officials. The early May troubles were triggered by the banishment of Crimean Tatar leader Mustafa Jemilev. Tatar protesters conducted several rallies seeking to have the ban on Jemilev lifted. Local Russian officials responded with a threat to prosecute Tatar leaders and ban their civic organization, the Mejlis.

Prior to the protests, Jemilev lobbied Turkish officials directly for support. “I told the Turkish government that I was banned from entering Crimea under fictitious pretexts,” Jemilev said on May 3 when speaking to reporters in Kyiv.

Ankara did indeed speak up on Tatars’ behalf. But the Turkish statement was carefully worded, indicating that … Continue.

*

Ukraine crisis shows defence matters more than ever

NATO mevcut realiteyi görmek istemiyor

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said Thursday (8 May 2014) the Ukraine crisis has made it more urgent that Allies work together to develop modern military capabilities and reverse the decline in defence spending. “The crisis shows us more clearly than ever that defence matters. That collective defence matters. And that cooperation between the two shores of the Atlantic is the best and most natural way to keep ourselves secure,” the Secretary General said after his talks with Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk.

The Secretary General was in Warsaw for talks with the Prime Minister as well as President Bronislaw Komorowsky on the Ukraine crisis and preparations for the NATO Summit in Wales. He also met with Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski and Defence Minister Tomasz Siemoniak.

Poland knows the importance of solidarity in the face of oppression and resolve in standing up for freedom and justice, Mr. Fogh Rasmussen said, praising Poland’s leadership role over the 15 years since its accession to NATO, as well as during the current crisis. “You are a leading voice in Europe and in NATO, as we assess the longer-term implications of this new situation for our own security,” the NATO Secretary General stated. He made clear that collective defence remains NATO’s central task: “ I am confident that Poles will continue to invest in security and will stay vigilant. And let me assure you that as a member of NATO, you are safe. Anybody who would try to test Allied solidarity will fail.”

As the Alliance prepares for the Wales Summit, NATO’s challenge is to continue with its current tasks, including its missions in Afghanistan and Kosovo, while adjusting its collective defence to meet the new reality created by Russia’s aggression against Ukraine. The Secretary General stressed that Allies had to strengthen their capabilities through stronger investment and stronger cooperation. “This challenge, too, will demand solidarity, resolve and leadership,” he said.

The Secretary General is travelling next to Tallinn, Estonia, where he will with Estonian President, Mr. Toomas Ilves, Prime Minister, Mr. Taavi Roivas and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Urmas Paet. On Friday he will join NATO ambassadors in a visit to the Alliance’s Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence. The Secretary General will deliver a key note speech at the University of Tallinn and visit the Baltic Air Policing mission at the Ämari airfield. Source.

    *

    Background:
    EU Foreign Affairs Council
    Monday 12 May 2014 in Brussels


    The Council will hold an exchange of views on recent events in Ukraine, including on the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission. Ministers are expected to take stock of the situation on the ground and discuss diplomatic efforts to promote de-escalation of the situation, the EU’s non-recognition policy regarding the illegal annexation of Crimea and EU restrictive measures.


    The Council is also set to decide on EU assistance to Ukraine in the field of civilian security sector reform. European security sector experts have been deployed to the EU delegation in Kiev and a Political Framework for Crisis Approach has been prepared, outlining options that will allow ministers to decide how best to support Ukraine in this field.


    In response to developments on the ground, the Council could in addition broaden the EU’s targeted restrictive measures for actions undermining the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine (the so-called “stage two” sanctions).


    On 29 April, the EU High Representative expressed her alarm at the worsening security situation in Eastern Ukraine and demanded that all persons illegally detained by armed groups be immediately released. She welcomed the actions taken by the Ukrainian government to implement the joint Geneva statement of 17 April and called on Russia to take concrete action in support of that accord (see Geneva statement ). See statement by the High Representative.


    The European Council of 20/21 March strongly condemned the illegal annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol to the Russian Federation and refused to recognise it. At the same time, the European Council reiterated that further steps by Russia to destabilise the situation in Ukraine would lead to additional and far reaching consequences for relations between the EU (and its member states) and the Russian Federation in a broad range of economic areas. Preparations on these economic measures continue in the Commission.


    In response to Russian actions so far, the European Council cancelled the next EU-Russia summit; member states’ regular bilateral summits with Russia were also annulled. Instead of the G8 summit in Sotchi, the G7 will meet in Brussels on 4/5 June. In addition, negotiations on visa matters and a new agreement with Russia have been suspended. The EU has also targeted 48 persons responsible for actions that threaten or undermine the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine with an asset freeze and a ban from entering the EU.


    The EU continues to roll out the support to Ukraine as set out in the Commission’s package on 5 March: On 29 April, the Commission announced the details of a €365m state-building contract so as to help the country’s transition and boost the role of civil society, promoting democratic reforms and inclusive socio-economic development. Macro-financial assistance to the tune of €1.6 billion can be made available to contribute to covering Ukraine’s urgent balance-of-payments needs.


    The disbursement will be conditional on specific economic policy conditions outlined in the Memorandum of Understanding and on the successful implementation of an IMF stand-by arrangement. In addition, trilateral talks between the Commission, the Russian Federation and Ukraine on gas supplies, transit and prices were held on 2 May.


    The political chapters of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement were signed on 21 March. At the same time, EU remains committed to signing the full agreement including the deep and comprehensive free trade area.


    Ahead of the signature of the provisions on free trade, temporary EU trade preferences for Ukraine apply since 23 April. Other items

    *

    Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council, meets OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, Didier Burkhalter, on the situation in Ukraine

    Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council, discussed the situation in Ukraine this evening with Didier Burkhalter, the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, Swiss Foreign Minister and President of the Swiss Confederation, after his visit to Moscow. Following the meeting, Herman Van Rompuy, the President of the European Council said the following:

    “This evening I had a good meeting with the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, Didier Burkhalter, on the situation in Ukraine following his visit to Moscow and his meeting with Russia’s President Putin.

    In this context, I take note of President Putin’s recent statements signalling a willingness to de-escalate the situation, including his call to refrain from holding a referendum in the Eastern part of Ukraine and the stated withdrawal of Russian troops from the borders of Ukraine.

    Likewise, do I take note of and welcome the Ukrainian Government’s progress in implementing the Geneva Joint Statement including its efforts to reach out to all parts of the Ukrainian society.

    A genuine national dialogue and the cessation of acts of violence and provocations are essential elements in advancing towards a political solution.

    I reconfirmed the European Union’s support to the work of the OSCE in Ukraine, including the Special Monitoring Mission.” Source.

    *

    Russia’s Destabilization of Ukraine

    May 8, 2014 – Let me begin by expressing my gratitude for the strong bipartisan engagement of this committee in the crisis that has engulfed Ukraine and its people. Your passage of the U.S. loan guarantee legislation provided the United States with authority for a key element of our assistance. And the visits that many of you have made to Ukraine, most recently led by Chairman Royce to Kyiv and Dnipropetrovsk, reinforce America’s solidarity with the Ukrainian people during this critical time.

    Today I want to outline four pillars of U.S. policy to address the challenges facing Ukraine. First, the United States is supporting Ukraine with financial, technical and non-lethal security assistance as it prepares for democratic presidential elections on May 25th, and works to protect a peaceful, secure, prosperous and unified future for its people. Second, we are working with Ukraine and our European partners to leave the door open for diplomatic de-escalation should Russia change course, and make a serious effort to implement its April 17 Geneva commitments. Third, we are steadily raising the economic costs for Russia’s occupation and illegal annexation of Crimea and its continuing efforts to destabilize eastern and southern Ukraine; Assistant Secretary Glaser will address the sanctions we’ve imposed and what’s next. And fourth, we are stepping up our effort to reassure our NATO allies and we are providing support to other frontline states like Moldova and Georgia.

    First, the U.S. is providing assistance to Ukraine in areas in which it needs it most. In addition to $92 million in FY2013 State/USAID funds and $86 million in FY2014 funds, we are providing an additional $50 million in technical assistance and the $1 billion dollar loan guarantee under the authority passed by Congress on April 1st. This support is vital to Ukraine’s efforts to administer the presidential elections successfully on May 25th. The best rebuke to violent separatism is a free, fair election across Ukraine in which average citizens confirm their faith in achieving these goals politically rather than through the barrel of a gun and place Ukraine on the path that its people want and deserve.

    Our electoral assistance aims to improve the integrity of the election process. We have allocated $11 million for non-partisan election activities, including efforts to support voter education and civic participation; assist the Central Electoral Commission to administer the elections effectively and transparently; foster linkages between political parties and civil society; support election security; and help to guarantee a diverse, balanced and policy-focused media environment. In addition to the 100 OSCE observers we are sending, the United States is supporting 255 long-term observers and over 3300 short-term observers, along with a parallel vote tabulation (PVT) process.

    In addition, we are working multilaterally with the OSCE’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) as it prepares to deploy 1,000 observers throughout the country to monitor the elections—the largest monitoring effort in the Organization’s history. The United States will provide approximately one tenth of the observers, and 26 other OSCE states are also contributing. These 1,000 ODIHR observers will be joined by more than 100 members of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, including some of your colleagues here on the Hill.

    More broadly, we are assisting Ukraine with financial and technical assistance to maintain macroeconomic stability, recover stolen assets from overseas, advance anti-corruption reform, and mitigate vulnerability to economic pressure from Russia, especially in the energy sector. And we are providing more than $18 million in non-lethal security assistance to the Ukrainian armed forces and State Border Guard Service to enable them to fulfill their core missions. And we continue to work with Ukraine to determine their requirements and review options to provide additional security assistance.

    Second, along with our allies and the international community, we remain committed to de-escalation and a diplomatic off-ramp should Russia choose to take it. On April 17th in Geneva, the United States, Ukraine, Russia, and the EU came together to develop a blueprint for de-escalation. At its core, the Geneva Joint Statement was and remains a grand bargain: it offers amnesty for those who vacate seized buildings plus deep, broad decentralization of power to Ukraine’s regions through national dialogue and constitutional reform in parallel with an end to violence, intimidation, and the seizure of buildings and weapons.

    The Ukrainian government began implementing its part of Geneva even before the ink was dry on the text of the Joint Statement. The day after Geneva, the government of Ukraine sent a draft amnesty bill to the Rada. Within a week, authorities in Kyiv had dismantled barricades and opened streets. Maidan activists peacefully vacated the Kyiv city administration building. On April 14th and 29th, the constitutional reform commission held public conferences to which all the regions were invited. Ukrainian security forces instituted an Easter pause in their operations in eastern Ukraine, and sent senior officials out with the OSCE teams to Donetsk, Slovyansk, Luhansk and other embattled cities to try to talk separatists into pursuing their aims politically rather than through violence.

    In contrast, Russia fulfilled none of its commitments. After we left Geneva, no one in Moscow at any level even issued a public statement calling for buildings and checkpoints in eastern Ukraine to be vacated and weapons turned in. Russia declined a request by the OSCE to send senior representatives to eastern Ukraine to insist on separatist implementation of Geneva. In fact, separatists in Donetsk and Luhansk told OSCE observers that they had had no messages at all from Russia urging them to stand down. Yesterday was, in fact, the first time we heard President Putin call for illegally armed groups to stand down.

    Instead, since April 17th, all the efforts of the Ukrainian side and of the OSCE have been met with more violence, mayhem, kidnappings, torture and death. Pro-Russia separatists have seized at least 35 buildings and 3 TV/radio centers in 24 towns. Armed and organized Russian agents – sometimes described as “little green men” – appeared in cities and towns across Donetsk and into Luhansk. At least 22 kidnappings have been attributed to pro-Russia separatists – including the 8 Vienna Document inspectors and their Ukrainian escorts who were released after 8 days as hostages. The bodies of three Ukrainians were found near Slovyansk all bearing the signs of torture. Peaceful rallies have been beset by armed separatist thugs. Roma families have fled Slovyansk under extreme duress. As the violence grew, the United States and the EU imposed more sanctions at the end of April. Last Friday, the Ukrainian government announced that separatists used MANPADs to shoot down a Ukrainian helicopter, killing the pilots. And Friday also saw the deadliest tragedy of this conflict: the death of more than 40 in Odesa following violent clashes reportedly instigated by pro-Russian separatists attacking an initially peaceful rally in favor of national unity.

    Russia claims it has “no influence” over the separatists and provocateurs rampaging in eastern and southern Ukraine. It should come as no surprise that, in Odesa, the Ukrainian authorities report that those arrested for igniting the violence included people whose papers indicate that they come from Transnistria, the Crimea region of Ukraine, and Russia. As Secretary Kerry has stated, we continue to have high confidence that Russia’s hand is behind this instability. They are providing material support. They are providing funding. They are providing weapons. They are providing coordination, and there are Russians agents on the ground in Ukraine involved in this.

    Equally worrying, today from Slovyansk to Odesa the playbook is identical to what we saw in Crimea: first you create upheaval in towns that were completely peaceful just 2 months before, then you intimidate the local population, and hold bogus independence referenda on 2 weeks’ notice, as have been declared for May 11 in the so-called Donetsk and Luhansk Peoples’ Republics. In this regard, we consider it a positive step that President Putin spoke out yesterday in opposition to the proposed May 11th referendum, which would have been illegal and illegitimate.

    Russia can still step back from supporting separatism and violence and do the right thing. Working closely with the Ukrainians, the OSCE, and key European governments including Germany, we are once again supporting a diplomatic path forward – a rejuvenation of the Geneva commitments: amnesty for separatists and real political reform through elections and constitutional change in exchange for the peace, security and unity across Ukraine that these require. A Russia that truly cares about the fate of the ethnic Russians in Ukraine and the people of eastern Ukraine will work with us on this. A Russia that doesn’t will face a tightening grip of political and economic isolation from the international community.

    Which brings me to the third pillar of our strategy: In response to Russia’s cynical and aggressive ploy in eastern Ukraine— and continued occupation of Crimea— the U.S. has imposed significant costs on Russia. Last week, the U.S. enacted new sanctions on seven Russian government officials, including two members of President Putin’s inner circle, and 17 entities. Further, we have tightened export licenses for any high-technology items that could contribute to Russia’s military capabilities. A/S Glaser will speak to this in further detail. The President made clear last week that we are prepared to exact a higher cost if Russia takes further steps to destabilize Ukraine including disrupting the May 25th elections.

    The Russian economy is already buckling under the pressure of these internationally imposed sanctions. Its credit rating is hovering just above “junk” status. $51 billion in capital has fled Russia since the beginning of the year, approaching the $60 billion figure for all of 2013. Russian bonds are trading at higher yields than any debt in Europe. As the ruble has fallen, the Central Bank has raised interest rates twice and has spent close to $30 billion from its reserves since early March to stabilize it.

    Finally, we have worked with our NATO Allies to provide visible reassurance—on land, sea and in the air—that Article 5 of the NATO Treaty means what it says. Our message to Putin and Russia is clear: as the President said on March 20, “America’s support for our NATO allies is unwavering. We are bound together by our profound Article 5 commitment to defend one another. . .” As a result, the United States has increased our contribution to NATO’s Baltic Air Policing mission. We have bolstered the U.S.-Poland aviation training detachment in Lask, Poland with 12 F-16s and 200 personnel. We have maintained a steady U.S. naval presence in the Black Sea. And the United States has deployed a total of 750 troops to Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Romania.

    And we are heartened that more than half of the other NATO Allies have also offered visible reassurance on the frontline. The U.K. and France are sending fighter jets to NATO’s Baltic Air Policing mission and Germany will participate beginning in September. The U.K. and Canada are sending ground troops to take part in exercises. And Norway, Belgium, the Netherlands and Estonia are participating in a naval countermine group in the Baltic. We are encouraging other Allies to step up, and all Allies to do more.

    Taken together, these four pillars—support for Ukraine, costs for Russia, an open door for de-escalation through diplomacy and Allied reassurance— are the foundation of America’s response to this crisis. In this effort, we appreciate Congress’s bipartisan support and will continue work in close coordination with you on all of these areas. Victoria Nuland – Assistant Secretary, Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs

    *

    Moldovan Foreign Minister : Dialogue must continue in critical times.

    VIENNA, 8 May 2014 – Natalia Gherman, Deputy Prime-Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration of the Republic of Moldova addressed the OSCE Permanent Council in Vienna today.

    She said the OSCE community is now passing through a challenging period, with new dividing lines emerging. However, Gherman noted, even in most critical situations the Organization must serve as a key platform for dialogue, the OSCE norms and commitments should continue to govern relations between states, and the OSCE should be continuously involved in crisis diplomacy efforts searching for peaceful responses.

    “The political, territorial and military implications of the crisis in Ukraine have shaken the very foundations of international law, and questions the nature of political partnership and security on the continent,” Gherman said. She added that preserving territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine within its international recognized borders, holding an inclusive dialogue among political actors representing all parts of the country, and taking urgent actions aimed at de-escalating the situation in and around Ukraine, are priorities. “We add our voice to the appeals for full implementation of the Geneva statement of 17 April 2014 by all relevant players, and strongly support the activity of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine.”

    Minister said there are sufficient reasons to be worried about a possible spillover effect of the crisis in Ukraine, especially in the context of the unresolved Transdniestrian conflict. “Regretfully, the conflict resolution process has not been registering substantive progress in recent months,” she said. “Moreover, increasing number of unilateral actions has undermined the fragile trust and brought much more confrontation into the dialogue between Chisinau and Tiraspol.”

    Gherman expressed her hope that the next round of the 5+2 talks on the Transdniestrian settlement will take place in early June this year, as planned, and reiterated the call to open talks on the political and security aspects of the conflict. Among key issues that require attention of the international partners involved in the conflict resolution process she quoted the situation in the Security Zone, Moldovan Latin-script schools, and access of farmers to their land situated beyond the administrative line.

    She also called on the actors within the 5+2 to contribute to restoring the capability of the OSCE Mission to Moldova to fully implement its mandate throughout the entire territory of the country.

    European integration agenda is the strategic priority of Moldova, Gherman said, with visa-free regime for Moldovan citizens introduced in the end of April, and the EU-Moldova association Agreement to be signed by the end of June. European integration, she stressed, is the most efficient way to facilitate the conflict settlement and to re-unify the country.

    She praised the co-operation with OSCE institutions, citing, among other examples, the work with the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities on Latin-script schools and the key role of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights “in organizing election observation mission in the context of parliamentary elections” later this year.

    The OSCE Permanent Council is one of the main regular decision-making bodies of the Organization bringing together representatives of all 57 OSCE participating States. It convenes weekly in Vienna to discuss developments in the OSCE area and to make decisions. Source.

    *

    Foreign Minister Steinmeier comments on yesterday’s meeting between President Putin and the Swiss OSCE Chairperson-in-Office Burkhalter

    08.05.2014 – We have reached an important, perhaps even decisive, juncture. The situation in Ukraine is extremely critical, but there is still a chance that we can prevent a further escalation of violence and the total loss of control in eastern Ukraine by using diplomatic means.

    I welcome the constructive tone that President Putin adopted after his meeting with OSCE Chairperson-in-Office Burkhalter. What they agreed in Moscow must be put into practice immediately. We fully support the proposals that Didier Burkhalter discussed with President Putin yesterday and has now forwarded to the parties to the Geneva accord.

    We must now focus our efforts on making sure that the elections can be held on 25 May and on laying the basis for a new constitution as quickly as possible. To this end, it is very important to establish a national dialogue that involves suitable representatives of eastern Ukraine. Foreign Minister Steinmeier.

    *

    Außenminister Steinmeier zur gestrigen Begegnung von Präsident Putin mit dem Schweizer OSZE-Vorsitzenden Burkhalter

    08.05.2014 – Wir sind jetzt an einem vielleicht entscheidenden Punkt. Die Lage ist überaus kritisch, aber noch besteht eine Chance, dass es uns mit diplomatischen Mitteln gelingt, eine weitere Eskalation der Gewalt und völligen Kontrollverlust im Osten der Ukraine zu verhindern.

    Ich begrüße die konstruktive Tonlage, die Präsident Putin nach der Begegnung mit OSZE-Vorsitzenden Burkhalter angeschlagen hat. Was in Moskau besprochen wurde, muss jetzt unverzüglich in die Tat umgesetzt werden. Didier Burkhalter hat unsere volle Unterstützung für die Vorschläge, die er gestern mit Präsident Putin besprochen und nun den Parteien der Genfer Vereinbarung unterbreitet hat.

    Wir müssen jetzt unsere Antrengungen darauf richten, die Wahlen am 25.05. möglich zu machen und schnellstmöglichst die Grundlagen für eine neue Verfassung zu schaffen. Einem nationalen Dialog unter Einbindung geeigneter Repräsentanten des Ostens der Ukraine kommt dafür sehr große Bedeutung zu. Außenminister Steinmeier

    *

    Putin – Burkhalter talks: an elusive chance for Ukraine

    A couple of brief remarks on today’s meeting in Kremlin between Russian President Vladimir Putin and OSCE Chairperson-in-Office Didier Burkhalter:

    1. The elaborated framework of the roadmap for de-escalation in Ukraine consists of four basic provisions: ceasefire, deescalation (withdrawal of troops and disarmament of illegal armed groups), initiation of national reconciliation dialogue and holding elections. The ball is obviously on Kiev’s side. Any further attempt to repress the protest in the South-East will definitely close this narrow window of opportunity.

    2. Putin’s request to postpone referenda on independence in Donetsk and Lugansk is an act of good will. Being aware of the public mood in these regions it is very unlikely that the ballot will be held off. People there are counting days to have a legal foundation to get rid of Kiev’s dictate. By the way, such development would undermine traditional Western claims that Putin is manipulating the protests in the South-East of Ukraine.

    3. The Russian President emphasized again that “the blame for the crisis… lies with those who organised the coup d’etat in Kiev and have not yet taken the trouble to disarm right-wing radical and nationalist groups.” That means that prior to such disarmament there would be no dialogue and no elections. Continue.

    *

    Sanctions on the Installment Plan

    by Marcin Święcicki – Western leaders remain undecided about their next steps in trying to stop Russia’s aggression toward Ukraine. But one thing has become abundantly clear: their timid efforts so far – personal sanctions, an embargo on weapons exports, and the temporary suspension of Russia’s G-8 membership – have proved to be far from adequate to convince Russian President Vladimir Putin to back down.

    Fortunately, there is a simple solution: a European Union embargo on imports of Russian raw materials, especially oil and gas. Just how manageable would an import embargo be?

    There are, of course, good reasons why the EU has not taken this step already. Europe depends on Russian energy supplies, and European banks and businesses are highly exposed to Russia. But, with a carefully calibrated strategy, damage to Europe’s economy could be avoided.

    More to the point, Europe does not really have a choice. As Putin’s desire to establish himself in Russian history as an imperial aggrandizer – alongside Ivan the Terrible, Catherine the Great, and Lenin – becomes increasingly apparent, so does the need for decisive action from the EU. Indeed, unless Putin is stopped, his appetite is likely to become even more voracious, turning toward the Baltic States, Moldova, or Central Asia – with increasingly serious consequences for European security. Full analysis.

    *

    Eastern Ukraine: the separatists’ offensive in anticipation of the ‘referendum’

    by Agata Wierzbowska-Miazga – Marek Menkiszak – 2014-05-08/Russia has exploited the tragedy in Odessa in a massive campaign of political and propaganda aimed at discrediting and weakening the legitimacy of the authorities in Kyiv. The Russian side has placed full responsibility on Kyiv for the events in Odessa. The president’s spokesman Dmitri Peskov has accused the authorities in Kyiv of having “their hands up to the elbows in blood”. The Chairman of the Russian State Duma, Sergei Naryshkin, has called what happened in Odessa “genocide”, and the Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov called it “pure fascism”. The Public Chamber (an advisory body appointed by the Kremlin) has announced it would bring an accusation against the Ukrainian authorities at the European Court of Human Rights, accusing them of allowing the tragedy in Odessa. In statements by senior Russian officials, the Ukrainian authorities are increasingly being referred to as a ‘junta’, and the attempts to legitimise it are called an “immoral” or even “criminal” attitude (as Peskov stated on 2 May). This strategy of undermining the legitimacy of the Kyiv government is intended to worsen its position during talks on the future of Ukraine, and to increase the pressure on it to adopt Moscow’s conditions for resolving the conflict. At the same time, by burdening Kyiv with the responsibility for the bloodshed and tension in Ukraine, Moscow is building up its justification for armed intervention, should it decide on such a move in case of the failure of its subversive and diplomatic activities.

    … empowering the separatists…

    The Kremlin wants to convince international public opinion that the separatists in the south-east of Ukraine are an independent force, representing the will of the local community, without whose accord the situation in Ukraine will not be stabilised. Among other moves, Moscow has used the kidnap of Western military observers in Slaviansk to empower the separatists. Putin stressed that this was a consequence of the fact that those who invited the observers (the authorities in Kyiv) had not agreed upon this with those who actually control the region (the separatists). The release of the hostages (organised by Russia) during the visit to Slaviansk by the Russian President’s envoy Vladimir Lukin has been used to improve the images of both Russia and the separatists themselves. On this occasion the Russian Foreign Ministry praised the “courage and humanism of the defenders of the city” (i.e. the separatists) who agreed to release the hostages, despite the military actions of Ukrainian troops and the “thugs of the Right Sector”. After his meeting with Didier Burkhalter, Vladimir Putin said that the only way to stabilise the situation in Ukraine is for Kyiv to start talks with the separatists. This was the context in which Putin made his appeal to the separatists to postpone their ‘referendum’ (planned for May 11) approving the declaration of sovereignty by the so-called ‘Donetsk People’s Republic’; Putin’s statement should be read as a way to emphasise the separatists’ independence and the need to hold talks with them. By incorporating the separatists as a party to the official dialogue on the future of Ukraine, Russia would gain an argument for the necessity of the changes it expects to be made to Ukraine’s political system – changes which would actually transform Ukraine into a confederation of regions. Talks with the separatists would also be a de jure admission that it is they, and not Russia, who are a party to the conflict in Ukraine (as the Russian side has repeatedly stated). Full analysis.

    *

    Meeting with President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko, President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan, President of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon and President of Kyrgyzstan Almazbek Atambayev.

    kremlin

    PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA VLADIMIR PUTIN:

    Good afternoon, colleagues. Welcome to the Moscow Kremlin.
    We are meeting today on the eve of Victory Day – a very special holiday for all of us.

    In the years of the Great Patriotic War, our fathers and grandfathers together routed Nazism – an evil and merciless foe. They defended their homeland, maintained its sovereignty and independence and freed Europe from slavery and violence. We paid dearly for the victory of May 1945, and we will always cherish the memory of those who gave their lives for their country’s freedom, we will cherish their heroism, unity and solidarity in the struggle against a common enemy. All this remains a powerful factor uniting all the peoples of the former USSR.

    We have just observed a training session to test the administration of the Armed Forces of Russia. You all had the opportunity to witness the high level of readiness and action cohesion of the country’s strategic offensive and defensive forces. I would like to stress that our army is a reliable guarantor of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of this country and plays a significant role in maintaining global and regional security.

    There are still many threats and challenges in the world today. As you may know, in Europe, militant nationalism is raising its head here and there – the one that once led to the appearance of the Nazi ideology. I will not dwell on each of the hotspots separately – we all know where the danger is. Incidentally, the situation in our neighbouring brotherly Ukraine is an example of the disaster and loss such an irresponsible policy can bring about. Hundreds of thousands of people have lost the possibility of living in peace and prosperity.

    Naturally, we are all concerned about the developments in Ukraine. As you may know, yesterday I had productive talks with President of the Swiss Confederation and OSCE Chairperson-in-Office Didier Burkhalter. We intend to act within the framework of these agreements and we have established specific measures to activate OSCE’s efforts to de-escalate tensions in Ukraine. Primarily this needs to be done through establishing a direct and equal dialogue between the current authorities in Kiev and representatives of the southeastern regions of Ukraine.

    Today we will have an informal exchange of views on the situation in that country and will touch upon burning issues of cooperation between our countries and the development of integration in Eurasia. As for the CSTO, we shall first of all consider what we need to do jointly to maintain the unconditional security of our nations. To be continued

      *

      The Secessionist Conundrum

      By Jim Jones – 08.05.2014/There can be no denying that the current government in Kyiv is illegal – the offspring of a bastard association between Vikoria Numan [US State department] and the IMF, with the seduction being accomplished by the well lubricated CIA coloured revolution programme. Trying to argue that it was the result of a popular uprising against a corrupt government is an exercise in self denial. No one has denied that the government of Viktor Yanukovch was corrupt – Putin came out and said as much right at the beginning and said he saw no future for Yanukovch in Ukraine’s future. What the blind fail to see is that Yanukovch agreed to step down and in agreement with UE mediators on 21st February, agreed to elections in Ukraine. Until there are new elections, he is still the legally appointed president of Ukraine! The terrorist operation that followed the agreement to hold elections occurred after Yanukovych withdrew his security forces in order to comply with the spirit of the agreement to hold elections. What happened after that is well documented – whereby the new junta used criminals and mercenaries to shoot on both the Police and the protesters [this is verified in a leaked phone conversation between top EU officials]. Those are the stark cold facts. The current government is illegal and propped up by shenanigans of the US/EU and IMF. They saturate the news coverage and by their power, give authority to the illegal regime.

      Russia, rightly, challenged that and received the full wrath of the IMF sponsored puppets. Even more so when the Crimea was annexed by Russia. While the UN charter and the EU declarations both sustain the right to self determination – the Western world, under the IMF control, have been happy to champion the self determination of Ukraine when under President Yanukovch, but quick to denounce self determination of the Eastern region and Crimea as a terrorist activity against their illegal puppet government in Kyiv. Can you honestly say that you cannot see the hypocrisy in that? Full opinion.

      *

      Avrupa’nın 11 Eylül’ü

      Peter Schwarz – 8 Mayıs 2014 – İngilizce’den çeviri/ Avrupa’nın, özellikle de Almanya’nın egemen çevreleri, kışkırtmış oldukları Ukrayna krizi ile birlikte, benzeri bir yolu tutuyorlar. Onlar, belirli ekonomik ve jeo-politik çıkarlar peşindeler: Rusya’yı geri püskürtmek ve Karadeniz bölgesindeki, Kafkasya’daki ve Orta Asya’daki etkilerini arttırmak. Onlar, bu krizden, aynı zamanda, militarizme olan köklü halk muhalefetinin üstesinden gelmek ve gelecekteki sınıf mücadelelerine hazırlanırken devlet aygıtını güçlendirmek için yararlanıyorlar.

      Rasmussen, gazeteye verdiği mülakatta, NATO’nun Avrupalı üyelerine, yoğun bir silahlanma çağrısı yaptı. O, “Savunma harcamalarını kısmaya son verin, bu eğilimi tersine çevirin ve savunmaya adım adım daha fazla para yatırın.” talebinde bulundu.
      Rasmussen, “Ukrayna’da olup bitenler Avrupa için bir uyarı alarmı olmalı” dedi. Kimi Avrupalı NATO üyeleri harcamalarını yüzde 40 azaltmışken, Rusya, savunma harcamalarını yüzde 30 arttırmış.

      Dünyanın en büyük askeri ittifakının genel sekreteri, Rusya’nın Ukrayna’yı istikrarsızlaştırmaya devam etmesinin ya da bir NATO üyesi ile çatışmaya girmesinin “ciddi sonuçlar”ı olacağı tehditinde bulundu. Rasmussen, Ruslar “bizim bir üyeye yapılan saldırıyı hepimize yapılmış sayacağımız konusunda en küçük kuşku duymamalı” dedi. O, NATO’nun Doğu Avrupa’ya birlikler, savaş uçakları ve deniz kuvvetleri sevkiyatının yalnızca bir “caydırma” politikası olduğunu iddia etti. Tamamı.

      *

      Related:

    Leave a Reply

    Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

    WordPress.com Logo

    You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

    Google photo

    You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

    Twitter picture

    You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

    Facebook photo

    You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

    Connecting to %s

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

    %d bloggers like this: