Obama loses to Putin again
Presidents of Russia and the U.S. expressed their attitude to events in Ukraine on one and the same day. Obama said that the Ukrainians had the right to speak peacefully about their future. Vladimir Putin said that the Russian Federation would never interfere in what was happening in Ukraine. Why can't Obama see that the protests are not peaceful at all? What forms of interference does Putin reject so adamantly?
"In Ukraine, we stand for the principle that all people have the right to express themselves freely and peacefully, and to have a say in their country's future," said yesterday Barack Obama during his annual State of the Union speech in the U.S. Congress. Earlier, the United States had canceled visas to several Ukrainian officials involved in the forced suppression of protesters and threatened to take other administrative sanctions. The U.S. also urged President Viktor Yanukovych to immediately sign the law, adopted by the parliament, abolishing the "laws of January 16" and remove special forces from the streets of Kiev, not to interfere with "peaceful demonstrations." President Viktor Yanukovych heard all this in a telephone conversation with U.S. Vice President Joe Biden.
Why does the U.S. government deliberately speak about "peaceful" protests, although these protests are far from being such? "One can take all these statements quietly until there is nothing behind them," Vladimir Yevseyev, the Director of the Center for Public Policy Research told Pravda.Ru. "The Americans have principles, which they use when they want to."
"For example, they very much resent the use of force in Syria, but they do not notice Bahrain, where similar riots were suppressed by Saudi Arabia. Washington does not always proceed from actual situation. American officials often stand on ideological reasons or the need to support their allies. So I think that the U.S. is playing up to the Europeans trying to snatch Ukraine from Russia, which is impossible."
The expert also noted:
"Appeals to remove special forces can be regarded as interference in Ukraine's internal affairs. It would make civilians defenseless. Sanctions against Yanukovych and members of his government are not so important today either. Now it is important to calm down the population."
Russian President Vladimir Putin, speaking yesterday at a press conference after the summit with the EU, said: "I think that the Ukrainian people are able to sort it all out themselves. Anyway, Russia will never interfere."
According to Putin, if Kiev needs Moscow's cooperation, it will ask about it. What kind of interference and cooperation is that exactly?
"Interference, I believe, stands for the deployment of the Russian army or the use of internal Russian troops in Ukraine. I think that this kind of intervention is excluded. Russia tries to behave in a balanced manner in the current conflict, offering better conditions to Ukraine than those the European Union does," says Vladimir Yevseyev.
With regard to mediation, it does not go about negotiations with the opposition, the expert believes, as it will be rather annoying. Russia's mediation is possible in the negotiations with the EU, the U.S., but not with local nationalists, said Yevseyev.
The Russian President also promised not to revise the recently signed agreement on assistance to Ukraine, whatever government comes to power in Ukraine. "We believe that both the loan and the phased reduction in energy prices on gas, are associated with the need and desire to support not any particular government, but the Ukrainian people." "Are we going to revise our arrangements on loans and energy if opposition comes to power? No, we are not," said Putin.
However, soon after Vladimir Putin's speech, Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov clarified all points on Russia's position.
"If the Ukrainian government is interested in cooperation with Russian industry, in the development of our economic relations, if they stick to the goal of structural reforms, we will support this agenda, the government and will not shelve the assistance program. Should the position of the new government be different, we will consider this question in the Russian government, report everything to the Russian president and see what the situation is going to be like," Shuvalov said after the EU summit.
EU leaders at the summit did not deviate from their position for opposition and against Yanukovych. "It's their policy, because America wants to strengthen its position. We are not take retaliatory steps yet, although it is clear that Ukraine, like any other state that used to be a part of the USSR, is a battleground between Russia and America. In this situation, each side wants to have it their own way. One can only welcome Russia's prudence and tolerance: Russia does not condemn, does not offer and does not demand anything. For the time being, Russia is watching this stupid situation in Ukraine and what it may lead to," the Director of the Institute of Procrisis Research, Vakhtang Chkuaseli, told Pravda.Ru.
The situation is not really "stupid" because for Putin it is obvious that the West wants to swallow Ukraine up whole, leaving Russia without a buffer state against the military-political union of the EU and the USA. Putin called the interference of European officials in the Ukrainian conflict "not a very good thing," referring to the specific character of relations between Russia and Ukraine."
"Ukraine can be sovereign, except for the cases of fundamental importance for Russia," a branch of the CIA a private intelligence firm Stratfor, wrote in their report.
"The Ukrainian regime is free to be liberal and democratic, to be the way it wants to be, but to a certain limit, so the idea of further integration with the EU was a clear provocation. The United States is interested in Ukraine as a stimulus in the game against Russia, but is unwilling to take serious risks. Germany and the United States may continue to pursue their goals to annoy Russia further on, but they will avoid actions that may harm Moscow's relations with Washington and Berlin," the report also said.
"I think that no one needs open confrontation USA-Russia or Russia-Germany. But there are special services and subversive activities, including those connected with the funding of opposition structures. What we are seeing today, is a consequence of the fact that Europe does not consider Russia a full partner. This is where these ideas on the Eastern Partnership come from," Vladimir Yevseyev, the director of the Center for Public Policy Research told Pravda.Ru.