No. 3July 9, 2023
NATO Summit in Vilnius, Lithuania
Talk About Peace Negotiations to Distract Attention from the Aim to Prolong the U.S./NATO Proxy War
Calendar of Events
In the run-up to the Vilnius Summit, what is now called the Debate on Security Guarantees is heating up. It allegedly refers to what the U.S., Britain and Germany say they require in order for a peace deal to be signed with Russia but their actions show they have no intention of permitting this war to end. It is in fact disinformation of the first order at a time everything indicates they want to keep pouring weapons into Ukraine and, most importantly, explore what they call “nuclear options.” The latest U.S. announcement that it is sending cluster bombs to Ukraine shows what a criminal administration looks like. It puts the nail in the coffin of declarations by the the U.S., Canada, Britain and other NATO members that they are fighting for democracy in Ukraine.
Cluster bombs have been declared illegal by 100 countries which have signed the international convention against their use. This includes Canada. Their deployment to Ukraine will not only cause great harm to the peoples of Ukraine and Russia but incite the anger and opposition of the peoples everywhere. It will also further destabilize the aggressive NATO military alliance which, despite all pretense of having a unified military command, forces all countries to come under the dictate of the U.S. The other NATO countries will be hard pressed to feign independence should they not take measures which not only protest the use of cluster bombs in Ukraine but actually forbid it, such as by withdrawing their support for this criminal war.
The Vilnius NATO Summit is taking place at a time the U.S. state has once again revealed itself to be a criminal rogue terrorist state. Its desperate measures to win this proxy war in Ukraine, being fought to the last Ukrainian, are neither uniting the military bureaucracy within the United States, nor NATO itself. All indications are that it will continue to go rogue with the help of the ruling cabals in Britain and Germany which are just as criminal as the U.S. administration.
What they are up to is exemplified by the recent position of the German Council on Foreign Relations. It said that Ukraine’s accession to NATO is “risky and difficult,” but that “practical steps toward accession” should already be considered at the NATO summit in Vilnius. What it meant by this is seen in the German Council’s suggestion that Ukraine would certainly draw consequences from the failure of the 1994 Budapest Memorandum. In that Memorandum, the United States, Great Britain and Russia had committed themselves to provide Ukraine with security guarantees, in return for Ukraine’s renunciation of nuclear weapons. The German Council predicts that Ukraine will no longer accept any such unreliable guarantees. In the absence of effective security guarantees, Ukraine’s nuclearization can no longer be ruled out, the German Council says.
Since it is absurd to suggest the Ukraine government has any mind of its own, this underscores how the unholy alliance of the U.S., Britain and Germany are using the threat of nuclear weapons as a way of bypassing the fact that NATO cannot reach a consensus on anything. Using the nuclear threat as an instrument of negotiations – agree with our terms or else – was a practice introduced by the U.S. as of the time of the criminal bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6 and 9, 1945. This practice was first heroically rejected by the Korean people in the 1950-1953 Korean War and subsequently by the heroic Vietnamese people in their War of National Liberation.
It is incumbent on us to analyze how this nuclear threat is being used. It is important to discuss how raising nuclear hysteria to a fever pitch serves the purpose of not permitting humankind to think, to assess the conditions and what they reveal. Most importantly, it is to block discuss on what can be done to turn things around in favour of the peoples. It is necessary to discuss these matters so as to fulfill our aim of uniting in action to make sure Canada is a zone for peace, not war based on the criminal U.S. striving for world domination.
Canada’s Destructive Self-Serving Measures
Making the Seizure of Russian Assets Legal
On June 10, the Government of Canada ordered the seizure of a Russian-registered cargo aircraft that has been sitting on the tarmac at Toronto Pearson Airport since February 27, 2022, when Canada closed its airspace to Russian aircraft. The seizure coincided with the unannounced visit by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland to Kyiv, Ukraine.
The plane, an Antonov 124 strategic airlift aircraft, was ordered grounded by the federal government just hours after it offloaded a shipment of Covid tests it had delivered from China for the federal government. Parking a plane of its size at Pearson costs more than $1,000 a day, CBC reports. As of June 10, the plane had been parked at the airport for 469 days.
The government asserts that the aircraft is “believed to be owned by a subsidiary of Volga-Dnepr Airlines LLC and Volga-Dnepr Group, two entities against which Canada imposed sanctions on April 5,” over a year after the plane was grounded.
Commenting on the seizure, Prime Minister Trudeau said: “We are one of the first countries to bring in specific legislation that allows us not just to ground this plane but to actually seize it and ensure that it is never used by Russia again in the war effort or any other efforts.” Trudeau told reporters, “There is a process. This is one of the early processes we’re going through. I can tell you the Ukrainians are very pleased that the path is started, not just for Canada but hopefully for other countries as well,”
A statement on the seizure from Minister of Foreign Affairs Mélanie Joly said: “The seizure of this important asset is the first step of the Government of Canada’s action under the asset seizure and forfeiture regime and is designed to put additional pressure on Russia to stop its illegal war against Ukraine by straining its economic system and limiting resources that fuel the war. This is the first physical asset seized by the Government of Canada under this regime, and second overall seized and restrained under the Special Economic Measures Act (SEMA)….
“Should the asset ultimately be forfeited to the Crown, Canada will work with the Government of Ukraine on options to redistribute this asset to compensate victims of human rights abuses, restore international peace and security, or rebuild Ukraine.”
The Trudeau government claims its seizure of the plane was “made possible by the new asset seizure and forfeiture authorities under Canada’s autonomous sanctions regimes put forward in Budget 2022.” In the budget bill, the government made amendments to SEMA and the Justice for Victims of Corrupt Foreign Officials Act (Sergei Magnitsky Law). These entered into force in June 2022 and provide the authorities for the government to “seize, forfeit, dispose and redistribute assets belonging to sanctioned individuals and entities.”
In December 2022, an order-in-council was announced to “restrain” U.S.$26 million from Granite Capital Holdings Ltd., a company “believed to be owned by” Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich, sanctioned under the Special Economic Measures (Russia) Regulations.
The purpose of SEMA, written into the legislation, makes it clear that it is outside international law. It permits Canada to take economic measures against anyone that an “international organization” or “association of states” — of which Canada is a member — decides should be sanctioned. In other words, Canada and the U.S. can establish themselves as an “international association” to target anyone they wish and then claim that their sanctions, which are an act of war, are “legal” because they decide that they are. This is what the international rules-based system the Trudeau government defends looks like.
The government’s Budget Implementation Act 2023, No. 1, includes what are called attempts to clarify previous vague definitions of ownership by sanctioned individuals. These now become more critical if the government intends to begin seizing assets that “may be partly, but not entirely, held or controlled by people or companies on Canada’s sanctions list.” The law firm McCarthy Tétrault points out in an analysis of the proposed legislation:
“While sanctions risks in some transactions may be relatively straightforward to identify, interpreting the prohibition [in the draft legislation] as it relates to dealing in property ‘owned, held or controlled by or on behalf of a designated person’ has historically been extremely challenging, as the concepts of ‘ownership’ and ‘control’ are nebulous without the application of certain criteria. With no statutory or practical administrative guidance or helpful case law on how to interpret ownership, holding, or control in this context, Canadians engaged in cross-border transactions have struggled in conducting sanctions due diligence and risk mitigation without the benefit of meaningful interpretive tools. This has been in marked contrast with some of Canada’s key allies, such as the United States, the United Kingdom, and the European Union, each of which has implemented laws and practices that provide further clarity on these issues.”
This signals that Canada’s laws will now be amended to coincide with those of the U.S. and its NATO allies. It reveals how being part of NATO means submitting your territory to U.S. demands and interests, outside of any democratic process in which the people decide matters related to war and peace. This is precisely one of the main issues being raised by Russia in its opposition to Ukraine being brought into NATO – that it would mean having a U.S./NATO satellite on its borders, something which threatens its security.
Sanctioning Ukrainian Cultural Workers
On June 10, the same day the government ordered the seizure of a Russian-registered plane it had grounded at Toronto’s Pearson Airport, Minister of Foreign Affairs Mélanie Joly announced that Canada was imposing additional sanctions on 24 Ukrainians and 17 entities in Ukraine. Canada claims they are “connected to” Russia’s “theft of Ukrainian cultural objects.” Joly claimed the sanctions are to “counter the Kremlin’s efforts to ‘Russify’ Ukraine’s culture.”
Joly indicated that the individuals being sanctioned include Ukrainians who work at museums and other cultural centres “who collaborate with Russia.” It is also said to include “newly created entities in temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine,” such as the “ministries of education and culture, as well as individuals and entities related to private military companies that originated in Ukraine and are fighting for Russia.”
“As Russia tries to forcefully impose its culture and education on the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine, these sanctions will impose further costs on so-called authorities in areas of Ukraine illegally occupied by Russian forces in order to protect Ukrainian culture and identity,” Joly said.
Canada is pursuing a campaign to present itself as the greatest champion of resistance to occupation and even of the liberation of Ukraine from “occupation.” This includes targeting Ukrainians themselves, such as cultural workers who “collaborate” with Russia. It becomes ever more clear that Canada is using the language of the anti-war movement to promote war.
The more the self-serving measures the Government of Canada takes, the more its claim to act in the name of human rights is seen to support the U.S./NATO proxy war in Ukraine. It supports the Nazi Bandera forces which conducted heinous crimes against humanity 80 years ago and whose descendants continue to do so today.
For Your Information
Diplomatic Initiatives for Negotiated Settlement Repeatedly Sabotaged
The first diplomatic initiatives for a negotiated settlement in the Ukraine were the Minsk Accords I and II, 2014 and 2015. The Accords were signed between the government of Ukraine and the new independent republics of Donetsk and Lugansk, with France, Germany and Russia acting as guarantors.
The French, German and Ukrainian heads of state who signed those agreements have since publicly admitted they only signed them to buy time for the U.S., Canada, Britain, Germany and others to re-arm Ukraine to “resolve” the civil conflict with the use of force. For eight years, only Russia, Donetsk and Lugansk stood by the Accords while Ukraine was armed to commit further crimes against the peoples of eastern Ukraine and threaten Russia.
Before Russia’s Special Military Operation began, the Russian Federation approached the U.S., Canada, all NATO members and the EU in December 2021 proposing to negotiate agreements respecting the security interests of all parties. That request was rejected outright in the name of the “right” of any nation to join any military alliance of its choosing as a matter of “principle.”
Once the Special Military Operation began in February 2022 with the aim of denazifying and demilitarizing Ukraine to make sure it poses no threat to Russia’s security, Belarus immediately, the same month, hosted negotiations between Ukraine and Russia. One member of Ukraine’s negotiating team, Denis Kireev, was publicly assassinated in Kyiv by all accounts by Ukraine’s SBU domestic intelligence agency. That ended the talks in Belarus.
Turkiye then hosted negotiations in March 2022. An agreement was on the table. Zelensky walked away from it on the instructions of Britain and the U.S., with Ukraine’s Banderite neo-Nazi militias openly threatening to march on Kyiv and hang Zelensky if he negotiated a settlement with Russia.
China set out its initiative in May 2023. Li Hui, said to be one of China’s most important diplomats, visited Kyiv, Warsaw, Berlin, Paris and Brussels, as well as Moscow to discuss China’s “Global Security Initiative” and “12-Point Plan for Peace in Ukraine.
Li did not mince words. He argued Russia had a right in international law to undertake its special military operation against the Ukrainian “integral nationalists.” Li pointed out that Russia’s position is consistent with the UN Charter. He upheld the right of the people of Crimea and the Donbass to determine their future as they had done by holding referendums on joining the Russian Federation.
Saying Russia was not blameless, he nonetheless pointed out that NATO had disregarded Russian security interests, citing:
NATO installation of arms depots and military bases on Russia’s borders, organizing and supporting the 2014 Maidan coup d’état in Ukraine, failing to implement the Minsk Agreements, and imposing unilateral coercive measures against Russia in violation of the UN Charter.
In June, the leaders from South Africa, Zambia, the Comoros, Congo Brazzaville, Egypt, Senegal and Uganda brought their initiative to Kyiv and Moscow. They called for:
– Peace through negotiations and diplomatic means,
– Negotiations to begin the soonest possible,
– De-escalation of the conflict on both sides,
– Ensuring the sovereignty of states and peoples in accordance with the UN Charter,
– Security guarantees for all sides,
– Securing grain and fertilizer exports from both sides,
– Humanitarian support for victims,
– Exchange of prisoners of war (POW), and return of children,
– Post-war reconstruction, and assistance to victims, and
– Closer interaction with African countries.
Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov said the African leaders’ initiative was similar to China’s and based on the principles of the UN Charter. He noted it rejected double standards or attempts to ensure security of some at the expense of others.
Zelensky, giving the NATO position, doubled down that there would be no peace talks until Russian forces withdraw.