Putin, Obama Could Bury the Hatchet at UN
Meeting in New York
September 17, 2105
Now a reset in the relations between Russia and the US is quite possible as Moscow is ready more than ever to play a distinctive role in the settlement of the Syrian conflict, Melkulangara Bhardrakumar, former Indian ambassador to Uzbekistan and Turkey, wrote in his article for Asia Times.
According to the expert, the Syrian conflict has posed a clear threat to European security. The migrant crisis could be a new precondition to review the Schengen agreements which constitute the basis of the united European area.
For Europe, it is now crucial to settle the Syrian crisis only through diplomatic mechanisms which, in turn, require Russia’s involvement in the peace process.
“With the mounting refugee problem to cope with – on top of the Greek debt crisis, et al – Europe also wants to put Ukraine on the backburner. Kiev is already sensing the dull roar of a European retreat from Ukraine,” he wrote.
“Conceivably, both Europe and Russia would at some point begin to visualize – that is, if they haven’t already – that the conflicts in Ukraine and Syria are joined at the hips politically insofar as an altogether different mindset riveted on shared interests and common concerns has become necessary to resolve them,” he added.
What is more, as the Ukrainian conflict gradually de-escalates Russia and the EU are taking steps to strengthen their ties under the so-called “Normandy format”.
Bhardakumar proved the assumption with a set of major energy deals struck during the recent Eastern Economic Forum between Russia’s Gazprom and European energy companies, including E.ON, Royal Dutch Shell, OMV and Wintershall.
According to him, tensions between Moscow and Brussels over the Ukrainian crisis are easing.
“Most certainly, Russia’s position on Syria is much stronger today than at any time in the past year or two. For one thing, the tensions over Ukraine are easing, the ceasefire is holding and the focus is now on the diplomatic track. The beating of war drums between Russia and NATO has all but died down, too. Suffice it to say, Russia has the space today to accelerate its politico-military thrust in Syria,” the author explained.
Taking into account the changes, Syrian President Bashar Assad is in no danger of being removed from power, according to the expert.
Moscow has repeatedly said it will continue to provide military and political support to Assad which derailed the US’ plans to change the regime in Syria. Moreover, some European and Arab countries strongly support Russia’s policy in a bid to find a political solution to the turmoil instead of the US-backed military option.
As a result, a meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his American counterpart Barack Obama during the UN General Assembly in New York is inevitable, Bhardakumar presumed.
The current developments in the Syrian crisis require constructive dialogue between Moscow and Washington, he added.
According to the analyst, if the two leaders meet in New York this would be a starting point to restore close contacts between Russia and the US and may result in a reset in their relations. The current situation in Ukraine and Syria would encourage the process.
Putin Open to Meeting Obama at UN Headquarters
Russian President Vladimir Putin is “open to dialogue” and to meeting with his US counterpart Barak Obama when he visits the UN headquarters later this month, Kremlin spokesman Dmitri Peskov said Tuesday. “President Putin is always open to dialogue, especially with his colleague President Obama,” Peskov said, adding that no such meeting had yet been agreed.
“There is a will (for dialogue) on Russia’s part and this will remains,” he added. The two leaders last met in November 2014 at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Beijing. The Ukraine conflict that erupted last year has led to the worst stand-off in Western-Russian relations since the Cold War. Putin is due to arrive in New York on September 28 to address the UN General Assembly.
Lavrov: Putin Will Speak at UN of Western
Abuses of Sanctions Mechanism
September 13, 2015
The obsession of the West with sanctions and not only with regard to Russia will become one of the subjects of the speech of President Vladimir Putin at the jubilee session of the UN General Assembly in New York, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has announced.
“We assume that Putin will express our principled evaluations of the most pressing problems of the world today,” Lavrov said in an interview with Voskresnoye Vremya (Sunday Time) current events’ show.
Among such problems Lavrov named “the problem of unilateral compulsion measures, of course, and not only with regard to Russia.”
“Now our Western partners, primarily under the influence of American psychology are losing the culture of dialogue and diplomatic solutions. The Iranian nuclear program was a striking and very rare exception,” Lavrov believes.
“In most other cases in conflicts that continue flaring up in the Middle East and North Africa they attempt to resort to direct armed interference the way it was in Iraq and Libya in violation of UN Security Council resolutions or to sanctions,” he pointed out.
Lavrov named the examples of Yemen and South Sudan”where the process of domestic settlements was stimulated from abroad and largely imposed on them.”
“Such a pattern, if it had been solidly based on the understandings of the sides instead of outside advice and recipes, would have become more lasting. And as soon as such a pattern starts faltering which is inevitable when hasty solutions are imposed, they immediately take out their ‘sanction big stick’ and suggest punishing those who don’t want to cooperate according to this pattern,” Lavrov said.
“This is a long story, a certain recurrence and obsession with sanction measures. As soon as something does not fit the molds of our Western partners they immediately resort to sanctions as an instrument,” he felt.
“President Putin will speak on this subject,” he said.
According to Lavrov, the Russian president will also speak of “the problem of fragmentation of the world economic space because in the framework of WTO talks are faltering on guaranteeing a generalized approach to new spheres of economic and technological ties between states.”
“He will also speak of concrete aspects such as Syria and the Ukrainian crisis,” the minister said stressing that “all these crises stem from systemic problems related to attempts to freeze the process of forming a polycentric world.