by Karl Pomeroy
March 16, 2015
It is no longer acceptable to any reasonable person who supports the freedom and independence of Novorossiya that Russian leaders should continue to vacillate and cower under Western pressure and act the weaker of nations. Russia must now begin to stand up to the West and to the United States in particular, come what may, and in defiance of excess caution, for the sake of the future of world peace. Putin must not be lulled nor mesmerized by his current popularity at home. If Donbass is permanently crushed, or worse, if the world slides toward nuclear conflagration, because Putin has evaded his global responsibility, the internal popularity he enjoys will evaporate. Indeed, Putin’s popularity may largely be a product of Russian citizens not knowing the truth, just as Americans do not know the truth about their own government’s foreign actions. This is not, of course, to lay blame on Russia in any degree comparable to that due the United States, which has caused the conflict in the first place, fuelled by its neocon warlike aggression.
Still, Russia must stand up and take its place among the trilateral balance of superpowers, which comprise Russia, China and the United States. The longer Russia hesitates, the worse will its situation become. And the worse will become the world situation, should there emerge a dangerous bilateral superpower contest between the US and China, Russia having shrunk into a beaten vassal state, not economically of course, but in terms of global influence.
There is no risk in Russia’s standing up now, firmly yet diplomatically, and refusing to bow any longer to the brutal and repressive tactics of the West in conjunction with Kiev toward the people of Novorossiya. Novorossiya is the great world hope, and shines like a light for many. It is therefore unconscionable that Putin and Lavrov not immediately stand up and refuse to acknowledge the illegitimate acting government in Kiev, a murderous regime led by an unconstitutionally elected “president” Petro Poroshenko, who forcibly replaced the living, unresigned and never constitutionally impeached Ukraine President Viktor Yanukovich. The only lawful course of action is to declare the acting Kiev government null and void, as if it never existed, to return Yanukovich to the seat of power, and were it the will of the Ukrainian people, to carry out a legal impeachment process, or, should he resign, hold legal elections as would normally take place upon the willing resignation of a constitutional head of state. Until this is done, Ukraine is ruled by those who are technically criminals, and Russia should say so explicitly and unhesitatingly.
If Vladimir Putin is afraid for his life, or fearful of scorn from foreign infiltrators like those of the so-called “fifth column” (See Strelkov in Yekaterinburg predicted for Putin the fate of Milosevic) these are not excuses for dereliction of duty by the head of state of any country, much less one of the importance of Russia. Every such leader understands these risks. When they assume office, they do not say, “I pledge to protect my country unless or until my life is threatened or foreign infiltrators tell me not to do so,” but rather, “I pledge to protect my country.” Even the leaders of small movements worldwide face threats to their lives. No, this is not an excuse. It should be noted that when Yanukovich fled, Kiev was already in the throes of a violent coup, and the president’s death was imminent. This is far from the case for Putin in Moscow.
The following is an article reflecting yet again the weak-willed protests of Sergei Lavrov against unprecedented and indefensible aggression on the part of the barbaric and unlawful acting regime in Kiev. Lavrov’s words are so timid, and so without threat of enforcement, they seem little more than platitudes, and do not reassure me, nor I imagine any other deeply concerned observers, that Russia will firmly and uncompromisingly oppose the introduction of UN military “peacekeepers” to Donbass if Novorossiya decides it does not want them.
Sergei Lavrov: Ukrainian Authorities Should Discuss Introduction of Peacekeepers with Lugansk and Donetsk Leaders
Original RT in Russian
March 16, 2015
[Edited autotranslation by K Pomeroy]
Today the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko introduced to the Verkhovna Rada [Ukraine parliament] a draft resolution on the issue of the UN Security Council and the Council of the European Union regarding deployment in the country of an international peacekeeping and security mission. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, in an interview with MIA “Russia Today”, commented the Kiev initiative, saying that Russia is ready to consider any proposals, but it needs to speak with both sides of the conflict – the Ukrainian authorities and the leaders of the Lugansk and Donetsk regions.
“We have no contraindications to consider any proposals, but you need to speak with the parties – the Ukrainian authorities and the leaders of Lugansk and Donetsk,” Lavrov said. “This is recorded in the Minsk complex measures of February 12, where it is said that the two sides should start removing heavy weapons and continue to engage in humanitarian issues, exchange of prisoners, release of illegally detained persons, humanitarian aid, amnesty, the political process, the recovery of socio-economic relations, the establishment of social benefits, pensions and, of course, constitutional reform.”
In addition, the Foreign Minister commented on the interview of his Ukrainian counterpart by the newspaper “Kommersant”. Recall [Pavlo] Klimkin [Ukraine’s Minister of Foreign Affairs] said earlier that proposals on introducing peacekeepers in Donbass was already sent to the UN Security Council. Lavrov said that the during talks in Minsk, this idea did not appear, although Klimkin argues that the question of the peacekeeping mission was brought up at a meeting in Normandy four format.
“I, like everyone else, including the leaders of the states, stayed in Minsk on my feet and without sleep for almost 17 hours and I do not remember that this issue was raised. Answering the question of why the documents in Minsk do not reflect this idea, Klimkin said not all of those needed to make a decision were in Minsk. But not all those who needed to make a decision on the OSCE were in Minsk either, because the OSCE involves 57 countries. Even so, it was formulated as an initiative of the four leaders of the “Normandy format”, and handed over to the OSCE. Russia, together with Germany, initiated the preparation of a draft decision, and the number of observers of the OSCE mission has been increased. The Minsk agreement did not involve, of course, all the members of the UN Security Council. Nevertheless, Russia, together with France and Germany made a corresponding draft resolution, and the UN Security Council approved the documents from Minsk and unanimously adopted the resolution. To say that not all who should decide on a peacekeeping operation were in Minsk, is not quite correct,” concluded the head of the Russian Foreign Ministry.
Among other things, Sergei Lavrov added that the United Nations peacekeeping operation is a long process, including the coordination of Security Council resolutions, its physical formation, equipment, development mandate and rules of conduct.
“All this requires considerable time. But the most important thing in the political process is that there be agreement on both sides. As far as I know, Lugansk and Donetsk are firmly in favor of strict adherence to the Minsk agreement primarily on expanding and strengthening, and further equipping a special monitoring mission of the OSCE,” said Lavrov. “In favor of this were the leaders of Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany on February 12 in Minsk, and they said this on March 2 during a conference call. In contacts with the foreign ministers of the ‘Normandy Four’ we always emphasize the importance of intensifying efforts to implement the conditions agreed on in Minsk.”
Lavrov also commented on the possibility of the supply of US weapons to Ukraine. “We believe that still the vast majority of Europeans consider such plans to be very dangerous, although in the European Union, there are those who literally incite everyone … to start delivering such weapons. This unique line on the failure of the Minsk accords by them is a direct violation because the document, to the contrary, mandates the withdrawal of all foreign weapons from Ukraine,” said the minister.
Lavrov also said that on 21 February 2014 an agreement that was signed by Yanukovych, Klitschko, Yatsenyuk abd Tyagnibok in the presence and with the assurance of the foreign ministers of France, Germany and Poland, dictated the disarmament of all illegal armed groups.
“This was not done. Still such groups as the ‘right sector’ simply refuse to talk about who they must obey, they are subject only to themselves. This also applies to ‘volunteer battalions’, which are formed and paid by Ukrainian oligarchs. Their subordination and willingness to comply with the orders of the supreme commander in chief causes huge issues. There is a suspicion that the unchanging and immutable monopoly on the use of force in any normal country, which should be the Supreme Commander, begins to blur. Now this key principle for any democracy in Ukraine is absolutely not respected,” summed up Sergei Lavrov.