Saturday, March 22, 2014

russia not having thugs or the blood funnel at its backside...,

irishtimes | Although wanting friendly relations with Ukraine, Russia refused to accept the new authorities in Kiev who, with the help of radical ultranationalists, had seized power in an unconstitutional coup. Russia, Putin suggested, had a humanitarian responsibility to go to the rescue of Crimea’s large ethnic Russian population, who were in danger of attack from marauding “neo-Nazis, anti-Semites and Russo- phobes”.

Although Putin won permission from Russian lawmakers to deploy troops in Ukraine in the wake of the revolution, he had not yet exercised that right. Russia had deployed extra troops to protect military installations in Crimea but, contrary to western allegations, there had been no invasion of the peninsular.

Putin said the chaos in Ukraine reflected a broader breakdown in global security since the collapse of the Soviet Union, which made way for a unipolar world.

‘Rule of the gun’
Western powers, led by the US, had abused power, ignoring international law in favour of the “rule of the gun”.

As examples, Putin listed the US bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999, the invasion of Iraq in 2003 and the bombing of Libya by US and European forces in 2011 even in the UN-prescribed no-fly zone, all of which Russia had opposed.

More relevant to the Crimea case was the broad acceptance by the West of Kosovo’s controversial decision to secede from Russia’s ally Serbia in 2009 and become an independent state. If a special case had been made for Kosovo, it was two-faced to protest that Crimea’s secession from Ukraine was illegal.

Putin implied that the US and the EU had, not for the first time, fanned the flames of revolution in Ukraine. Sponsorship of regime change in Ukraine was part of a concerted campaign by the West against Russia and against the Kremlin’s plans for Eurasian integration. “With Ukraine, our western partners have crossed the line, playing the bear and acting irresponsibly and unprofessionally,” he said.

If Russia’s national interests were at stake in Ukraine, so too was its position as a resurgent power determined to be involved in shaping the world order.

Constantly sidelined
Putin complained that the West had constantly sidelined Russia in global decision-making since the fall of the Soviet Union. Promises had been broken and deceitful steps taken behind Russia’s back.

A particular grudge was Nato’s failure to honour a pledge made to Mikhail Gorbachev in 1989 not to expand beyond Germany. Russia’s western borders were now flanked by members of the US-backed military alliance from the Baltics to Poland, Hungary and Bulgaria.

The prospect of Nato troops settling down in Crimea, the home of Russia’s Black Sea fleet, was unimaginable, Putin said. “Let them come and visit us there instead,” he said.


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