— The Erimtan Angle —

‘President Barack Obama is blaming Russia for the escalating violence in eastern Ukraine, but says the U.S. won’t take military action there. Obama also says confronting the Islamic State militants requires a regional strategy with Middle East states (28 August 2014)’.

The news agency Reuters‘ Pavel Polityuk and Alessandra Prentice [the business tycoon whom the inimitable Pepe Escobar calls Chocolateshenko] report that “Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said on Thursday [, 28 August 2014] that Russian forces and entered his country and the military conflict was worsening after Russian-backed separatists swept into a key town in the east and threatened other areas. He said he was cancelling a trip to Turkey “as Russian troops have actually been brought into Ukraine.” Earlier, a combined force of Russian forces and separatists [allegedly] moved into Novoazovsk, which has been under pressure from them for two days. They now had the potential to threaten Mariupol, a port city further along the Sea of Azov coast”.[1]

The Russian side, as represented by RT, sees things somewhat different: “Russia does not consider itself party to the conflict in Ukraine, seeing it as a conflict between the Eastern Ukrainians and the Kiev” government.[2]

Talking to RT, the Russian legal expert and blogger Alexander Mercouris reiterates that “fundamental difference [between Kiev and Moscow] is that the Russians do not consider themselves to be a party to the conflict in Ukraine. They see the conflict there as a conflict between the people in the Eastern Ukraine and the authorities who came to power in Kiev in February. So their analysis of the situation is totally different from the one of Poroshenko and of the people in Kiev who want to internationalize the question and turn it into a conflict between Ukraine and Russia. That is why you see a totally different approach from the two presidents”.[3] Turning to the real crux of the matter, Mercouris goes on to say that the “great problem with the gas issue is that Ukraine is in very heavy arrears on its gas. And I think what the Russians will be looking for is some commitment from Ukraine; I mean hard cash to actually pay off these arrears before they are prepared to compromise further on the gas price issue. The problem is at the moment that Ukraine has very little, if any, money left at all. Partly because it has been using the money it has been getting from the organizations like the IMF to fight the war in the east instead of stabilizing its economy. [4]

Germany, as the most important ultimate beneficiary of the gas piped through the Ukraine, plays an important in the ongoing efforts to defuse the crisis. And, Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke on the German TV station ARD, to stress that a “solution must be found to the Ukraine crisis that does not hurt Russia”, adding that “[t]here must be dialogue. There can only be a political solution. There won’t be a military solution to this conflict”.[v] Rather than waxing poetically about the Russian Bear and the American Eagle, Merkel did not mince any words: “We [Germany] want to have good trade relations with Russia as well. We want reasonable relations with Russia. We are depending on one another and there are so many other conflicts in the world where we should work together, so I hope we can make progress”.[6]

In his unique voice and style, Escobar deconstructs and translates her words as follows: the “short translation for all this is there won’t be a Nulandistan (after neo-con Victoria ‘F**k the EU’ Nuland), remote-controlled by Washington, and fully financed by the EU. In the real world, what[ever] Germany says, the EU follows [suit]. Geopolitically, this also means a huge stback for Washington’s obsessive containment and encirclement of Russia, proceeding in parallel to the ‘pivot to Asia’ (containment and encirclement of China)”.[vii] But time does not stand still, and as indicated higher, now Chocolateshenko is actually claiming that Putin has really sent ground troops into Ukrainian territory.

On Friday, 29 August, the New York Times‘ Andrew Rothaug declared that in “a rare direct address to the pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine, President Vladimir V. Putin hailed on Friday [, 29 August] the success of a recent rebel offensive and asked that a humanitarian corridor be opened to allow encircled Ukrainian Army units to retreat. In an address to the “Novorossiya,” or New Russia, militia that was posted on the Kremlin website at 1:10 a.m., Mr. Putin said the rebels had ‘achieved a major success in intercepting Kiev’s military operation’, an offensive that Western governments have accused the Russian military of leading”.[viii] NATO is eager to join the propaganda war, releasing “Images Showing Russian Forces in Ukraine . . . A day after fighting erupted in the coastal town of Novoazovsk, NATO released satellite images it said show Russian artillery units operating in Eastern Ukraine”.[9]

Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the secretary general of NATO, even came out the other day, shouting “We urge Russia to cease its illegal military actions, stop its support to armed separatists, and take immediate and verifiable steps”.[10]

NATO Secretary General – Statement after the extraordinary meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Commission, 29 August 2014 

 

 

[1] Pavel Polityuk and Alessandra Prentice, “Ukraine leader says Russian forces are in the country as key town falls” Reuters (28 August 2014). http://uk.reuters.com/article/2014/08/28/uk-ukraine-crisis-town-idUKKBN0GS0KL20140828.

[2] “‘Poroshenko wants to internationalize the situation and turn it into a conflict between Ukraine and Russia’” RT (27 August 2014). http://rt.com/op-edge/183112-russia-ukraine-crisis-negotiations-gas/.

[3] “‘Poroshenko wants to internationalize the situation and turn it into a conflict between Ukraine and Russia’”.

[4] “‘Poroshenko wants to internationalize the situation and turn it into a conflict between Ukraine and Russia’”.

[5] Pepe Escobar, “From Minsk to Wales, Germany is the key” RT Op-Edge (28 August 2014). http://rt.com/op-edge/183328-minsk-wales-germany-key/.

[6] Pepe Escobar, “From Minsk to Wales, Germany is the key”.

[7] Pepe Escobar, “From Minsk to Wales, Germany is the key”.

[8] Andrew Rothaug, “Putin Commends Separatist Militias in Ukraine” New York Times (29 August 2014). http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/30/world/europe/ukraine-conflict.html?_r=0.

[9] Andrew Rothaug, “Putin Commends Separatist Militias in Ukraine”.

[10] Andrew Rothaug, “Putin Commends Separatist Militias in Ukraine”.

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