Ukraine’s Poroshenko implicates NATO in his duel with Putin

President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko said “Russia will not retreat from the aggressive intentions towards Ukraine… That is why our state will continue to strengthen the Ukrainian army”. 1st December 2018, Ukrainian Presidency official photo.

Ukraine, once the breadbasket of central Europe and now the miserable wartorn offspring of the breakup of the ex USSR, keeps confirming her reputation for being a deeply divided country and society. The current governing oligarchy under President Petro Poroshenko supported by the West, having succeeded under obscure conditions the Moscow controlled administration of Viktor Yanukovych’s oligarchs, keeps fueling the confrontation with Russia.

This is the only way for Poroshenko and the power brokers around him to make themselves indispensable to their masters in the West and secure the backing from the private semi-fascist militias at home. These last warmongers are the heirs of those who during WWII collaborated with the the German SS in the massacre of their own compatriots.

Escalating the confrontation with Russia also gave Poroshenko last week an excuse for the introduction of martial law. This would help him reign over the impoverished population now deprived even of an already diluted right to protest.

Ukraine haunts G20

Once more, Ukraine threatens to further disturb the already perturbed relations of Russia with the West, and, more precisely, with America. As a result, the G20 summit in Argentina took place last Friday and Saturday under the spell of the looming military confrontation between Kiev and Moscow.

That’s why the US President Donald Trump cancelled his meeting with the Russian President Vladimir Putin. It all started on Sunday before last in the northern part of the Black Sea. Three Ukrainian gunboats entered the Russian sea waters. Then, the issue culminated on Thursday, when Moscow said it positioned a new battalion of the sophisticated S-400 surface-to-air missile systems in the Crimean peninsula.

A Kiev provocation?

In detail, the Kiev government sent three Ukrainian small warships to cross the Russian sea passage of the Kerch Strait, heading for the enclosed Sea of Azov, shared by Moscow and Kiev. This is the north most part of the Black Sea. Unsurprisingly, Moscow reacted forcefully by detaining the three Ukrainian navy vessels and their crews for forty eight hours.

On top of that, Russia retaliated by blocking the passage for all crossings. As a result, the major Ukrainian port city of Mariupol in the Azov Sea is now closed for incoming or outgoing commercial or otherwise ship traffic.

Quite predictably, Vladimir Putin, the absolute ruler of Russia, wouldn’t miss the opportunity to show Poroshenko who is in charge in those contested sea waters. To be noted, the eastern shores of the Kerch Passage belong to Russia proper, while the western side is part of the Crimean peninsula, which was forcefully and deceitfully annexed by Russia in 2014. This large cape of land projecting into the Black Sea and blocking the Azov Sea was a part of Ukraine since 1954. At that time, Russia made Crimea a gift to Ukraine, ostentatiously to make it up for the latter’s woes from the German occupation atrocities during WWII.

Does Crimea belong to Russia?

This was actually just a showy, meaningless gesture, since all of those ‘Republics’ were then integral parts of the communist cradle, the USSR. At that time, a few years after the swiping Russian victory over Nazi Germany in 1945 and the actual occupation of half of Europe, the breakup of the mighty Union of Soviet Socialist Republics was utterly unthinkable.

So, the transfer of the Crimean Peninsula from Russia to Ukraine was practically quite meaningless. After the breakup of USSR it’s not the same, however. But let’s return to today’s dangerous reality.

Asking the West to intervene

Kiev’s rulers obviously had predicted the Russian reaction, when deciding to provoke Moscow once more. This development gave Poroshenko the opportunity to pressingly demand the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) to send a powerful armada to ‘teach Putin a lesson’.

NATO, however, is much more serious than the Kiev oligarchy. The Brussels based military/political Organization condemned the Russian seizure of the Ukrainian vessels and crews of course, but refrained from further bucking Poroshenko.

Unmoved NATO

A spokesperson for NATO said that three of its member states, Romania, Bulgaria and Turkey, with extended shores in the Black Sea, are routinely patrolling there. So, the conclusion was that NATO doesn’t a need to organize more naval action against Russia. In short, Poroshenko’s western allies are not disposed to offer him further assistance in his refueled clash with Putin.

Undoubtedly, the West doesn’t forget or forgive Russia’s aggressiveness in Ukraine in general and in Crimea in particular. Yet, nobody is available to ‘teach Putin a lesson’ for Poroshenko’s sake.

Trump asks Merkel to mediate

In this respect, the reaction of Berlin was very characteristic. To be reminded, in the eyes of the Americans, the French and the British, Germany is, overall, acting too kindly towards Russia. The reason is that Germany increasingly depends on Siberian natural gas and also has great expectations about massive investments in the Russian underdeveloped infrastructures.

So, when Donald Trump asked Angela Merkel last week to mediate in the latest conflict between Russia and Ukraine, she remained lukewarm. Germany has been kind of impartial all along the Ukraine-Russia feud, avoiding pressing Moscow hard.

Impartial Berlin

Last week, then, according to an announcement of the German Chancellery, Merkel “urged” the Russian President Vladimir Putin “to de-escalate” the situation through “dialogue”. It’s the umpteenth time that Germany “urges” Putin to “to de-escalate” the situation in Ukraine through “dialogue.” It was the same in 2014 at the annexation of Crimea. Then, again, Moscow cutoff the Russian natural gas flows to Ukraine and, thereby, to the rest of Europe, not to mention the occupation of sizeable parts of eastern Ukraine, and so on. Yes, Berlin remains impartial vis-à-vis Moscow’s aggressiveness.

In conclusion, the lesson is the West would truly confront Russia’s aggressiveness in Ukraine, only when the spoils are to be cashed in by Berlin, Washington or Paris. NATO won’t prop up the likes of Poroshenko or the other Ukrainian oligarchs just for their sake. They remain ready to serve the Western interests and pay masters one way or another.

 

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