Wednesday, August 27, 2008

'Segodnya' proposes neutral stance in Russian-Western crisis

There's a sobering article in the Akhmetov-owned 'Segodnya' today entitled: "Russia and the West: war at the threshold".

Here are some loosely translated portions:

"After the recognition of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, unavoidable conflict awaits the Russian Federation and the West..."

The article predicts two possible consequences:

"The first, a new full-scale confrontation of the West and Russia - indications of which will be Nato's MAP being offered to Georgia and Ukraine, and also exclusion, in one form or another, of Moscow from the G8.

The second could be that the West will swallow the bitter pill and accept that Russia has rights also. Russia may have calculated on the creation of new global security structures with leading roles for Russia, Germany, France and China, when it embarked on it's dangerous game.

"In the event of the final break-up of Russian-Western relations, they will lose everything", said Deputy of the RF Gosduma, Sergey Markov to 'Segodnya', "But the West will lose more because [Russia] will cease to support them on Iran, North Korea, and Afghanistan. Therefore I do not believe the West will decide on large scale confrontation," he added. It is not yet clear whether these calculations will be justified.

"As for Russia, Putin and Medvedev have nowhere to step back to - either they will make Russia a powerful and flourishing power, or they will go the way of Milosevic. The posing of this question has already brought down Russia's stock market; local oligarchs, who have placed a substantial part of their wealth in the West, fear they could become the first victims of the new Cold War; simultaneously western investors are withdrawing their assets, frightened by the Russian-Western stand-off. It is possible certainly, to rely on the nuclear shield and billions of petrodollars, but they will not save the situation if corruption, technological backwardness and poverty of [the Russian] population remain at the present level...

As far as the Ukraine is concerned, no matter how things pan out, we should remain on the sidelines during this struggle of titans. Moving closer to either of the sides of this conflict makes us, inevitably, the target for the first strike of the enemy. We risk becoming a "hot" battlefield in the new Cold War with a major threat of division of the country", says 'Segodnya'.


Anonymous said...

What an enormously, boundlessly stupid article.

1) Noone is arguing that Russia has NO rights. The issue is whether Russia has the "right" to once again impose its will, its brutal form of government, on free, sovereign and independent countries, which it clearly is trying to do via its oily geopolitics, and via stirring the pot wherever it can - in Georgia, in Moldova, in Ukraine, and elsewhere.

2) NATO is not a threat for anyone that does not invade another country. Russia seeks to rebuild an empire. In the 21st century, one would think that the thug kleptocracy of Putin would come to its senses and seek to be a good neighbor, rather than a bad king once again. Russia, without exception, has always had a brutal form of government, which it has sought, and seeks, to export everywhere - by force. People don't want that.

3) The "either/or" proposition - empire or Milosevic, is nonsense. Russia has been invited over and over again to join the rest of the world and become a human being, so to speak. Instead, Putin and his thugs choose to become Nigeria with missiles, for the benefit of a select few - Putin and selected friends. Russia could be prosperous without having to have an empire - and without trying to rebuild one.

4) Milosevic committed genocide. So has Russia. Milosevic signed treaties with one hand, and killed people with the other at the same time. If Putin and Medvedev decide to do it again, then they will indeed wind up like Milosevic.

5) "Ukraine moving closer to either side makes it vulnerable to a first strike of the enemy." Who is "the enemy?" Is NATO seeking a "first strike" against Ukraine? Against anyone? It's roosha - actually Putin and his thugs - that are seeking "first strikes."
Roosha seems to have enemies everywhere. It conducts trade wars with everyone, and if roosha is not dominant over you, then you are "the enemy."

Roosha uses a lot of stupid sovok rhetoric, categorizing virtually every other country in the world as "US stooges." They've circulated videos portraying Ukraine's President Yushchenko as a puppet. They've portrayed him, and Saakashvili of Georgia, and a bunch of others as "US puppets." I'm sure that France, Germany, Britain, Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria, Croatia, Latvia, Estonia, Italy, Greece definitely DON'T feel like "US puppets." But that's psychotically delusional sovok roosha for you, still living in the 19th century.

Ukraine has been under rooshan domination for centuries, up until 1991. It's time for Russia to stop trying to dominate, and start trying to be a good neighbor.

Unknown said...

I don't think Russia really cares what the West thinks, especially with all its energy resources and cash inflow. I also agree that they feel that in the West...Germany and France and others dependent on their energy will not pick any fights with them...and I think they are correct.

Putin made some interesting statements...and there may be some validity in them...that the US was behind Georgia's latest move. Stiring up trouble with Russia...may be a good way to keep the republicans in power in the US, as many consider the democratics weak in this area.

Why else would Georgia make such a foolish attempt to use their military to take back those countries...if he did not believe the US would stand behind him? Perhaps the US didn't expect the Russians to go so far? Even if they would benefit the republican party, politically, in the US.

But...I agree...Ukraine must take a nuetral stand regarding Russia until it has built up its economy, military and infrastructure. They have far too much to lose in a pissing match with Russia.