In the News March 28
NATO Extraordinary Summit of Heads of State
Demand for Serious Negotiations
Reports of negotiations thus far conducted to end the hostilities in Ukraine and settle matters on a peaceful basis show, first and foremost, that the government of Ukraine is not an independent negotiator and takes no responsibility for agreements reached. In 2014 and again in 2015 Ukraine agreed to a framework, contained in the Minsk Agreements, for peaceful resolution of the crisis. It did so to secure a truce when its forces were on the brink of complete defeat at the hands of popular resistance from residents of the Donbass region. These mainly Russian-speaking citizens of Ukraine had taken up arms to resist the terror unleashed by neo-Nazi militias following the 2014 so-called Maidan Revolution. The 2014 coup d’état instigated by the U.S. with mainly Canadian backing put in place a pro-U.S. president and permitted the neo-Nazi forces to play a greater role in the Ukraine armed forces and commit more acts of genocide in eastern Ukraine.
The Minsk Agreements were negotiated by Russia, Germany, France and Ukraine to provide a framework for a peaceful resolution to the Ukrainian conflict. It was agreed Russia would sign, not because it was directly involved in the conflict, but because Ukraine refused to negotiate directly with the representatives of the Donbass regions of Donetsk and Lugansk.
Ukraine has not upheld its commitments at Minsk. The latest example is that on February 2, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba declared his government would never agree to any kind of special status for Donetsk and Lugansk, even though Ukraine made that commitment when signing Minsk II in 2015. Article 11 of the Minsk II Agreement commits Ukraine to “adopting permanent legislation on the special status of certain areas of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions” as part of its constitutional reform. Given the current state of tensions, the Foreign Minister’s statement is tantamount to saying Ukraine is not interested in a peaceful resolution.
This refusal to negotiate and instead use force, something supported by the U.S., is how things went after the Minsk Agreements were signed. Ukraine committed to an immediate ceasefire, yet on any given day 20 to 70 explosions and hundreds of ceasefire violations on the part of the Ukrainian forces were reported along the line of demarcation. The line was established between Ukraine armed forces and militias of Donetsk and Lugansk, with each pulling back from the line, as part of the Minsk agreements. Ukraine never pulled out its heavy weapons as agreed. Plane loads of ammunition and weapons kept arriving from the U.S. and Britain to reinforce what were referred to as Ukro-Nazi forces at the line of disengagement. Ukraine passed a law which demoted the use of the Russian language as one of the national languages, even though it is spoken by one-third of the population of the country. Further, it imposed a full blockade against Donetsk and Lugansk instead of implementing its commitment to “full resumption of socio-economic ties” to normalize relations.
Finally, in December 2021, Russia tabled and made public a draft bilateral security treaty with the U.S. It made similar proposals to NATO in a separate document. On January 26, the U.S. provided written responses regarding binding security arrangements, as Russia had requested. NATO did the same.
At a press briefing at which he made the announcement, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the U.S. position again makes clear “that there are core principles that we are committed to uphold and defend — including Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and the right of states to choose their own security arrangements and alliances.” Meaning the U.S. rejected Russia’s security concerns and did not support a basic international standard that all member states of the UN should “not strengthen their security at the expense of the security of other states.” The U.S./NATO encirclement of Russia and threats to have Ukraine join NATO do exactly that.
The U.S. said the documents had to remain secret. “We’re not releasing the document publicly,” Blinken said, “because we think that diplomacy has the best chance to succeed if we provide space for confidential talks. We hope and expect that Russia will have the same view and will take our proposals seriously.” He made some general statements about a willingness to discuss “military force” posture in Ukraine and give assurances about U.S. and NATO military exercises in Europe, all while U.S./NATO forces continued their troop buildup in the region.
Since then, where is the U.S. diplomacy promised by Blinken that “has the best chance to succeed if we provide space for confidential talks?” Nowhere to be seen. The basic position of the U.S. and the NATO countries, which are under its dictate, is to disregard the essence of existing treaties, disregard the need for security matters to be indivisible, for states not to increase their own security at the expense of others — something which, as the Ukraine conflict shows, leads to greater insecurity for all.
The dictate exerted by U.S. President Biden and the agenda adopted at the NATO Summit of Heads of State on March 24 shows not only the U.S. arrogance in thinking it can control all the countries in the world and their 7.9 billion people, but, most importantly, its inability to predict the outcome of its actions aimed at isolating, humiliating and “crushing” Russia and “throwing its economy out of the world economy.” It all indicates a very dangerous situation. The peoples of the world are resisting and raising their demands for negotiations and security based on mutual respect and upholding the rights of the peoples.
Now is the time for the peoples of the world to demand dialogue and negotiations which produce the desired results and guarantee peace by taking the objective realities into account. Now is the time to oppose U.S. dictate, bravado, disinformation and war preparations which, with the deployment of NATO ever eastwards, threaten not only Europe but the entire Asia-Pacific and by extension, the world.
(With files from U.S. State Department, TASS)
TML Daily, posted March 28, 2022.