Europe might not avoid new partitioning on Ukrainian crisis

The last G7 Summit was held in Brussels this month. Round table: Angela Merkel, German Federal Chancellor, Herman van Rompuy, President of the European Council (hidden), José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, David Cameron, British Prime Minister, Barack Obama, President of the United States, François Hollande, President of the French Republic, Stephen Harper, Canadian Prime Minister, Matteo Renzi, Italian Prime Minister, and Shinzō Abe, Japanese Prime Minister, (in clockwise direction). Discussions focused on the situation in Ukraine and the relations with Russia. (EC Audiovisual Services, 05/06/2014).

The last G7 Summit was held in Brussels this month. Round table: Angela Merkel, German Federal Chancellor, Herman van Rompuy, President of the European Council (hidden), José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, David Cameron, British Prime Minister, Barack Obama, President of the United States, François Hollande, President of the French Republic, Stephen Harper, Canadian Prime Minister, Matteo Renzi, Italian Prime Minister, and Shinzō Abe, Japanese Prime Minister, (in clockwise direction). Discussions focused on the situation in Ukraine and the relations with Russia. (EC Audiovisual Services, 05/06/2014).

It seems that a confrontational paranoia is engulfing our world. The British Prime minister is waging an aggressive campaign (which may end up being self-destructive) against the candidacy of Jean-Claude Juncker for the Presidency of the Commission. The German Chancellor Angela Merkel is encountering this British challenge with an all-out offensive having organized a continental alliance. When leaving Western Europe though, the combative sides stop using words and start shooting each other with real bullets.

In Ukraine, the Kiev government has been even using heavy artillery and fighter airplanes to bombard residential areas, and lately the new President Petro Poroshenko ordered to cut water and electricity supplies in cities and towns inhabited by millions. As for the pro-Russian rebels, they have instituted their authority in the eastern regions by intimidating the adversaries. Unfortunately, in eastern Ukrainian cities, as it happened in Kiev’s Maidan Square, the regiments of the armed ‘protestors’ chased away from the streets the hundreds of thousands of real protestors.

Poor media coverage

Also, inappropriately, all ‘news’ reaching the large audiences in the West and Russia are so well filtered that it is almost impossible to understand what really happens there. The fact that millions of civilians are caught in crossfire is rather suppressed. The crime of pro-Russian rebels to hide in residential areas as well as the fact that this didn’t stop Poroshenko from bombarding those towns and cities, were two ‘details’ that escaped from 8 o’clock news.

Reports from the ‘front’ give the impression as if the fighting is staged between regular armies in no man’s land. Visibly, the pro-Russian fighters are not a regular army and the composition of their detachments is a highly contestable matter. The same is true to a certain degree for the fighting Ukrainian army units, which are not manned by regular conscripts but rather by well-paid recruits from the ranks of the Maidan regiments.

All those facts are not being discussed in the 8 o’clock news. Take for example the latest ceasefire in the east, announced by the Kiev government. It’s more like a public relations operation targeting the mainstream western media than a genuine attempt to initiate a round of talks between the two combating sides. Poroshenko said that he will talk with anyone except the ‘terrorists’. As everybody knows, this term can be very ‘flexible’ and usually includes those who oppose the US options around the world.

Defining terrorism

The latest classic example of that are the cohorts of professional assassins of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS). For as long as they were fighting to bring down the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who defied the US hegemony in the Middle East, they were ‘freedom fighters’. At the same time Iran was a ‘terrorist country’ because it supported Assad.

Now those crazy killers of ISIS, after being abandoned in Syria by their pay masters, thought they could create a country of their own, to continue paying their wages. At this point the Americans do not hesitate to start talking to Iran, the only force of the region able and willing to control ISIS.

Obviously, the ISIS units have now become terrorists and the good guys are in Iran. It’s exactly the same story as in Yugoslavia, Afghanistan and elsewhere in the world where the terrorists were always on the other side. That’s why Poroshenko’s offer seems rather void, if it will be Americans who will define who is a terrorist or not and consequently worthy talking to or to be extinct from the face of the earth.

Russian pretensions

Equally hypocritically Russia plays a game of impressions, initially agreeing with Poroshenko’s ceasefire and subsequently raising more demands, not related to the wellbeing and the security of the millions of civilians in eastern Ukraine who are caught in crossfire. Moscow also placed all its armed forces in high alert and started new military maneuvers near Ukraine and elsewhere in Europe, in an obvious attempt to intimidate the central European countries which support the Kiev authorities. Moscow doesn’t care for the Ukrainians but just to extend its sphere of influence

Along these lines of warmongering attitude, the Russian President Vladimir Putin has demanded that the talks related to the cease-fire should include all the pro-Russian leaders, meaning of course all those who are directly controlled by Moscow. Obviously the two sides, the West and Russia, are still away from a deal and of course they both don’t care if this means more civilian and military losses. In any case, both sides accuse each other of not observing the truce. It’s very indicative of Putin’s motives, that according to major news agencies, he proposes that the peace talks are conducted by a Ukrainian politician who is close to him. All foreign powers have their men in the Kiev political elites. The same is not true for the poor people of the east.

Fighting and killing still go on

Due to the intensification of the conflict in Ukraine, those in the western camp who could have favoured a peaceful solution, are no more significant because of the increased aggressiveness and dominance of extremists on both sides. It’s always like that when a conflict intensifies. The voices for peace are becoming weaker and play a decreasing role. For example Germany, the country which has the most to lose in a new partitioning of Europe, has stopped talking about all-inclusive peace talks in Ukraine. Yesterday, the American President Barack Obama secured unconditional and strong backing from Paris, London and Berlin, in his new decision to introduce severe economic sanctions against Russia.

Also, on Saturday, the German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the German Federal foreign minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, hailed all the Ukrainian president’s latest moves. Some weeks earlier, Berlin would not have supported such questionable decisions by Kiev and would have demanded that all sides sit on the negotiation table without exclusions.

Germany changes stance

Evidently, Germany is gradually fully aligning itself with the Americans. Seemingly Berlin alone can’t anymore fight the division of Europe, towards which the US and Russia seem to lead the Ukrainian conflict. Given that Germany was the only major European power with much to lose from a new partitioning of Europe, the omens are not good at all. The other two European powers, Britain and France, seem to have already endorsed this prospect.

 

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