fredag 6 februari 2015

Putin-Merkel, could be as bad as Molotov-Ribbentrop

Chancellor Anglea Merkel and president Francoise Hollande are in Moscow for negotiations with the Russian president, Vladimir Putin regarding the war in Ukraine. This is odd for many reasons, or not.

First and foremost, Putin denies ALL involvment in the warring in Eastern Ukraine. Why negotiate with a person who is not involved?

To be honest, there is enough with conclusive proof that Russia has invaded Ukraine with regular troops. It is impossible for the "rebels" to have well sorted out logistics supplies, modern arms only available to the Russian military and operating complex SIGINT and Air Defence systems without the aid of Russian specialist.

The main problem for the US and EU is to actually acknowledge the facts on the ground. Russia HAS invaded Ukraine and also annected Crimea against international law and also against the Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances, signed by USA, UK and Russia in 1994.

This can only indicate one thing, and that is that Russia is not a trustworthy nation when it comes to international treaties. So why would Putin, not involved in the war in Eastern Ukraine, but still annected Crimea against all treaties be trustworthy regarding ANY agreements on Ukraine?

So why does Merkel and Hollande want to negotiate with Putin? Should they not be negotiating with the rebel leaders?

Secondly, what can Merkel and Hollande offer to Putin? Rumours says that maybe Putin could keep Crimea and get some of the Eastern parts of Ukraine. And also a promise not to accept Ukraine as a member of the EU and NATO. This is a sure way to alienate the population of Ukraine from the EU and the democratic structures prevalent in the European Union. My assessment is that Merkel and Hollande can not promise Eastern Ukraine or Crimea to Russia, due to the fact that USA and the UK are not involved in the negotiations. It would be a surefire way to break up the trust and alliance between the four NATO countries.

Thirdly, what kind of Europe do we want for the future? One that is bullied by a nuclear power? Or one that is continuing the way ahead for better democracies. Yes, EU is not the optimal solution, but the best one that we have to build a democratic future for Europe.

So what do I think would be the best course of action?

As long as Putin does NOT acknowledge that the troops are Russian, then NATO should intervene with deadly force against the rebels heavy weapons. Also supporting the Ukrainian army with weapons like anti-tank missiles, anti-artillery radars and system etc.

The second that Putin agrees that the troops are Russian, NATO should stop using deadly force. From there, the international community should consider whether Russia should even be in the UN Security Council, considering it's blatant disregard of international law and treaties. Of course Putin could have the option to just let the support for the rebels dwindle into oblivion and let the Ukrainians "win" the war.

Crimea should be given back to Ukraine. That is obvious.

One thing has to be recognized about Russia. It is acting like a bully on the school yard. And a bully will NEVER, EVER stop, until the bully learns that there is a steep cost involved in bullying.

Unfortunatelly the historical tides has changed somewhat. The Molotov-Ribbentrop agreement was written at a time when Hitler knew that sooner or later he would attack the Soviet Union. When Operation Barbarossa started, Stalin was in disbelief and denial about the facts.

So what will the Putin-Merkel agreement be like? Probably Merkel will hope that the concessions to Putin will make him happy. But of course, even the Crimea was the "only" correction that Putin wanted to make. But even now we can see that his corrections are more extensive than Crimea only. So the question will be, will Merkel be as surprised as Stalin, when she finds out that Putin wanted more?

Finally I would like to ask, why would we want to bow to a bully with one fifth of the economic power of the EU? Economic power equals to potential military power.

It is time for the EU politicians to actually invest in a bigger stick. Not to look the other way when the legitimate democratic aspirations of the Ukrainian people gets shattered by the Russian way of "democracy".

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