Only the Americans are unhappy with the ceasefire agreement in eastern Ukraine

Donald Tusk, President of the European Council meets with Barack Obama, President of the United States of America at the Oval office of the White House. Obviously Tusk happily agrees here with what Obama just said. This is not true however for many other EU leaders. (European Council – Council of the European Union Audiovisual Services, photo by Yuri Gripas Shoot location: Washington – United States, Shoot date: 09/03/2015).

Donald Tusk, President of the European Council meets with Barack Obama, President of the United States of America at the Oval office of the White House. Obviously Tusk happily agrees here with what Obama just said. This is not true however for many other EU leaders. (European Council – Council of the European Union Audiovisual Services, photo by Yuri Gripas Shoot location: Washington – United States, Shoot date: 09/03/2015).

Despite the fact that the Minsk ceasefire agreement is holding more or less well and the bloodshed in eastern Ukraine has stopped, the Americans seem quite unhappy. They insist on the need to supply the Ukrainians with heavy armaments to continue the war, this time clearly against Putin’s Russia. Let’s follow the facts. On 25 February in eastern Ukraine the cease fire line was holding satisfactorily well and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) had verified that the heavy armaments had been removed from the region.

On that day, as if to undermine the truce, the NATO Supreme Allied Commander for Europe (SACEUR) the US general Philip Breedlove speaking in Washington insisted that the Russians have moved into the Donetsk region at least one thousand army vehicles and units, advanced anti-aircraft systems and heavy artillery guns. His obvious target was to justify the delivery of US armaments to the Kiev government with the sole purpose of breaking the truce and continue the war. On the other side of the fence the Russian Ministry of Defense announced at the beginning of March that a major military exercise of the country’s armed forces had commenced in Southern Russia.

The Russians respond with war games

According to the Interfax news agency the ‘war games’ involved more than 2000 anti-aircraft personnel manning the relevant systems along with another 500 items of advanced armaments. The Ministry stated that the exercise is to take place in North and South Caucasus regions and added that the Russian military facilities in Armenia will also be implicated, as well as the Georgian separatist regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia and Crimea, that Moscow annexed last year from Ukraine. Not to forget though that Crimea was Russian territory until 1953, when Nikita Khrushchev the then new Soviet leader quite unexpectedly made the peninsula a gift to the ‘sister’ Ukrainian Soviet Republic.

In any case the Russian ‘war’ games and the insistence of the Americans to supply the Kiev government with heavy armaments both lead to the same direction; to heighten the Ukrainian crisis. However, in order to be fair it must be noted that by chronological order the SACEUR’s intervention preceded the Russian announcement. Not to forget that the armed forces of NATO mobilized by the US are already staging their own ‘war games’ in the region of the three Baltic democracies and the Black Sea. Hundreds of US tanks and other heavy armaments are being unloaded in the Latvian, Lithuanian and Estonian ports, with the note that the weaponry won’t return to the US but it will stay in Europe.

At this point it has to be stressed that mainly Germany and to a lesser degree France are the two major European countries to be seriously hit economically and politically, if Russia is further pressed and demonized. Let alone if a military conflict breaks out between Kiev and Moscow. In such an eventuality, of course Russia itself will be gravely destabilized, while the US would have nothing to lose except the respect of its European allies.

What do the Americans really want?

It is more than certain that there are a lot of people in the American economic and political circles of power, who would love to see Putin’s autocratic regime dissolve and Russia returning to the Yeltsin-like era political limbo, when the huge Western natural resources firms (mainly oil and minerals) and their local agents had a free hand over the country’s abundant reserves. Germany is an engineering country without major companies specializing in natural resources exploitation. So Germany’s interests are better served by an economically and politically sound Russia prone to invite the German capital and technology. On the contrary the Americans obviously prefer a completely demoralized Russia ready to deliver its natural resources at low prices.

It’s very interesting then to see how Berlin reads the new developments in Ukraine. The ‘Der Spiegel’ news magazine which authentically echoes the views of the Berlin government, reported this week that an official in Chancellor Angela Merkel’s office strongly complained to Washington over Breedlove’s comments. The German government insisted that his observations were totally speculative, because all intelligence reports from the Donetsk region do not confirm any inflow of Russian heavy armaments and military units.

Berlin in trouble

Berlin went as far as to accuse Breedlove of freely spreading “dangerous propaganda”. One may recall that the Western powers and mainly the Americans have been caught to flagrantly lie over the military capabilities of their adversaries (Iraq, Syria, Libya etc). During the past twenty years Germany has been opposing all those aggressive American initiatives aimed at controlling other people’s natural resources. According to this ‘Der Spiegel’ report, the German minister of Foreign Affairs Frank-Walter Steinmeier has also strongly complained to the NATO General Secretary Jens Stoltenberg about Breedlove’s comments.

Keep the wound bleeding

Undoubtedly the Ukrainian question is far from definitively settled. But if the Americans manage to have it their way in Europe, by working towards the opening of a new military conflict in eastern Ukraine this time between Kiev and Moscow, the Old Continent will be drastically undervalued and its world image will be severely tarnished.

 

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