Kerry and Lavrov: World’s Apart
by Stephen Lendman
On Sunday, both men met for further talks. They did so in Paris. They discussed Ukraine for four hours. Nothing was resolved.
Kerry demands business as usual. He wants Washington rules enforced. He wants Ukrainians having no say.
Lavrov wants fundamental rule of law principles observed. He wants Ukraine free from fascist putschists.
He wants legitimate governance replacing them. He wants what Ukrainians want. He wants what Washington won’t permit. A post-meeting Kerry statement said in part:
“The US and Russia have differences of opinion about the events that led to this crisis.”
“Both sides made suggestions on ways to deescalate the security and political situation in and around Ukraine.”
“We agreed to consider the ideas and the suggestions that we developed tonight and to continue our discussions soon.”
“In a frank conversation this evening with Foreign Minister Lavrov, I made clear that the United States still considers the Russian actions to be illegal and illegitimate, and Russians’ actions over the past several weeks have placed it at odds, obviously, with the rule of law and the international community, and we still believe on the wrong side of history.”
“But any real progress in Ukraine must include a pullback of the very large Russian force that is currently massing along Ukraine’s borders.”
“And tonight I raised with the foreign minister our strong concern about these forces.”
“We believe that these forces are creating a climate of fear and intimidation in Ukraine.”
“It certainly does not create the climate that we need for the dialogue and for the messages sent to both the international community as well as to Ukrainians themselves about the diplomatic channel.”
“The Ukrainian Government has demonstrated remarkable restraint in the face of enormous pressure. It has shown the world a kind of courage and resilience that every country ought to applaud.”
“And as it continues down this path, the United States of America and our partners will remain firmly by its side.”
On the one hand, Ukraine’s government is polar opposite restrained. It’s militant. It’s repressive. It’s despotic. It’s illegitimate. It assures hardline rule. It guarantees what follows continues it.
It bears full responsibility for growing fear gripping eastern and southeastern Ukraine. Western Ukrainians have yet to feel its full political, economic and repressive harshness. It’s coming.
On the other hand, Russian hordes aren’t massed on Ukraine’s border. They pose no threat. They aren’t coming. Kerry lied suggesting otherwise.
So did other US officials. Media scoundrels regurgitate their fearmongering ad nauseam.
Senate Intelligence Committee chairwoman Diane Feinstein (D. CA) called (nonthreatening, Western monitored) Russian troops on routine maneuvers “a formation that looks like an invasion force.”
House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence chairman Mike Rogers (R. MI) claims information he has suggests a possible Russian invasion of Transnistria.
It’s a breakaway state. It’s between the Dniestra River and eastern Moldovan border. It has a large ethnic Russian population.
Rogers claims Russian forces massed in South Ossetia. He lied saying Putin “is considering an invasion of both Georgia and Armenia.” He wants Nagorno-Karabach “as part of an effort to create an overland link between Russia and Iran,” he added.
General Philip Breedlove is Supreme Allied Commander, Europe and Commander of US European Command. Last week, he spoke irresponsibly, saying:
Russia’s “snap exercise puts an incredible force at a border. (It’s) at the Ukrainian border now to the east and is very, very sizable and very, very ready.”
“You cannot defend against that if you are not there to defend against it.”
“So I think we need to think about our allies, the positioning of our forces in the alliance and the readiness of those forces…such that we can be there to defend against it if required, especially in the Baltics and other places.”
He suggested Moscow could target Transdneistria next. “There is absolutely sufficient force postured on the eastern border of Ukraine to (do it) if the decision was made…and that is very worrisome, he added.
He called Russia “more…an adversary than a partner.”
On Sunday, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told Breedlove to consult with US allies in Brussels about a possible Russian invasion of Moldova.
The Big Lie about possible Russian aggression persists. Repeating it reflects irresponsible fearmongering.
It deflects attention from what matters most. US imperial madness escalates tensions. It risks stoking conflict.
Lavrov’s comments reflect responsible diplomacy. He’s going all-out for peaceful crisis resolution.
He knows what he’s up against. Dealing with Washington isn’t easy. Hegemons want things their way.
Following discussions in Paris, Lavrov said:
“We have held intensive talks, primarily on the crisis in Ukraine.”
“We expressed differing points of view on its causes but agreed to look for points of contact in efforts towards a settlement of the situation in Ukraine.”
“We agreed to work with the Ukrainian government, with the Ukrainian people in a broad sense in order to press for such priority measures as ensuring the rights of national minorities, language rights, the disarming of provocateurs, the effectuation of a constitutional reform, and the holding of free and honest elections under an unbiassed international supervision.”
“We are convinced that federalism is a very important component of such a reform.”
“The main thing is to ensure Ukraine’s unity with due regard for the interests of all regions of the country without exception so that the country would function as an integrated state.”
“It is essential to find compromises and consensus among all regions.”
“Ukrainian statehood is yet to be sealed. I do not think that this will be possible to do on a steady basis if the fact of the Russian language as, undoubtedly, the second main language in Ukraine, is ignored.”
“I do not think that in this way it will be possible to avoid accords, which in this or that way would signify a federalization of Ukraine.”
“We do not impose any diagrams. The Ukrainians must reach agreement themselves as to how the rights are respected, those of both western, eastern, and southern regions.”
“There must exist some diagram which would enable each region to elect its own leadership. I think that there is no way round it.”
Lavrov denied alleged Moscow intention to split Ukraine. “Federation does not mean, as some in Kiev fear, an attempt to split” the country, he stressed.
“To the contrary, federation…answers the interests of all regions of Ukraine.” It does so responsibly. It respects the rights of all Ukrainians.
Washington has other ideas. It abhors democracy. It wants unchallenged control over its latest imperial trophy.
It wants its rules imposed. It wants them enforced. It wants opposition elements eliminated.
NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said the Atlantic Alliance intends increasing its Eastern European presence.
Stronger ties with Ukraine will be established. Rasmussen spoke days after Obama stressed establishing “a regular NATO presence (in so-called) vulnerable” countries.
None legitimately fear Russia. Washington is the sole global threat. Rogue EU partners and Israel make it a greater one.
Rasmussen ludicrously called NATO “one of the greatest success stories of our time.” It’s an alliance for war, not peace.
It’s a killing machine. It’s a US imperial tool. It threatens humanity’s survival. Don’t expect Rasmussen to explain.
He’s beholden to Washington. NATO’s “task is not yet complete,” he said. It has lots more conquests in mind. It aims to become a global police force. It wants its will imposed on humanity.
Its involvement with Ukraine is getting “ever stronger,” said Rasmussen. He outrageously accused Russia of violating its right to “freely determine its own destiny.”
Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia, Montenegro and Georgia sought NATO membership, he added.
“We are now considering revised operational plans, military maneuvers and adequate troop reinforcements. We will, for example, relocate more aircrafts to the Baltic States,” he said.
Including Ukraine in NATO isn’t a “foreseeable future” priority, he added. Longterm NATO goals include dozens more member countries.
It wants global expansion. It wants members and partners on every continent.
It wants an unprecedented all-powerful military bloc. It wants heavily armed military bases everywhere.
It wants the ability to eliminate all adversaries. It wants Russia and China isolated, weakened and co-opted. It wants unchallenged world domination. It threatens world peace.
Ukraine remains a global flashpoint. Eastern and southern Ukrainians demand rights Kiev wants them denied.
Ongoing protests continue. At issue is local autonomy. Eastern and southern Ukrainians want the same referendum right as Crimeans.
A growing East/West divide appears deepening. On Sunday, clashes erupted in Odessa. Pro-Russian and opposing elements faced off.
Pro-Russian marchers carried Russian flags. Opposition elements targeted them disruptively. Expect lots more of this throughout eastern and southern Ukraine ahead.
Days earlier, Voice of Russia (VOR) headlined “Ukrainian leadership to hire US mercenaries to suppress eastern region – source,” saying:
“Private military company will be in charge of suppressing protest movements in Eastern Ukraine, said a source in the country’s Security Service. According to him, the name of the company is Greystone Limited.”
It’s an Academi (formerly Xe Services/Blackwater USA) owned firm. It employs trained killers. A previous article discussed them.
VOR cited Itar Tass saying Ukrainian authorities don’t think Security Service personnel can suppress local protests or neutralize leaders directing them.
An unnamed Security Service representative said:
“Therefore it was decided to attract foreign mercenaries, who will serve as political police and state security protection.”
Washington’s dirty hands are involved. Expect greater violence ahead. Perhaps civil war.
Perhaps cross-border spillover. Perhaps affecting the continent. Perhaps a greater East/West divide. Perhaps a serious East/West confrontation. Perhaps global war.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at email@example.com.
His new book is titled “Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.
It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.