Objective observers will recognise that the current Ukrainian crisis stems fundamentally from the US-sponsored and EU-backed coup against the legitimate government of that country in 2014. This sought to shift a State that is divided between Ukrainian-speakers and Russian-speakers away from Russia’s sphere of influence towards NATO, the EU and the so-called “West” – which of course includes Japan.
The concept of spheres of influence is not “imperialist” or old-fashioned. It is based on the facts of geography and history and is relevant to every country’s security. The Munroe doctrine warns non-American States to keep out militarily from America’s sphere of influence in South and Central America. Washington objected to Russian missiles being placed next door to it in Cuba in 1962, whereas Vladimir Putin is supposed to find NATO-supplied weapons acceptable in Ukraine today and to be indifferent to what alliances a sovereign Ukraine may enter into.
It is an absurd proposition, yet those currently seeking to launch a new Cold War with Russia are asking us to believe it and to base our policy upon it.
By failing to dissolve NATO following the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact, by failing to honour the assurances given to Gorbachev in 1991 that NATO would not expand into Eastern Europe after the dissolution of the USSR, this course of Western folly has thrown Russia into the arms of China.
It keeps the Western military-industrial complex happy that arms orders will keep rolling in. It prevents a Russian-German coming together that would encourage peace and prosperity throughout the Eurasian land mass based on trade and friendly exchanges, using the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline to the full.
That would encourage the USA to withdraw from Europe after seventy-five years, wind up its six hundred or so foreign bases and concentrate instead on dealing with the manifold problems of the American continent, leaving the problems of Europe and Asia to the Europeans and Asiatics.
That however is the last thing the Cold War hawks in Washington want, as is shown by their refusal to meet Russia’s valid concerns in this crisis.
That is the real game that is being played by the USA and the EU: to encourage a new Cold War with Russia, to take no account of Russia’s legitimate security concerns and give America an excuse to keep its military forces in Europe for another generation, to the endless benefit of the US/EU military-industrial complex.
As for “neutral” Ireland, the 2009 Lisbon Treaty which gave the EU a Federal-style constitution and made us all real citizens of that entity, with the normal rights and obligations of citizenship, requires Ireland to abide by common EU foreign policy positions and abandon any real independence in foreign policy.
This essentially means that Ireland will go along with what France and Germany agree on, if they do agree, and on the Ukrainian crisis they currently look like doing whatever Washington wants.
So the Irish Government is not going to do or say anything that advances real peace in Europe, but looks like joining in the war hysteria now rising over Ukraine rather than advocating the necessary realistic diplomatic solutions.
Instead of aligning ourselves with the EU and seeking to “punish” Russia, a sensible course that was really in Ireland’s interest would be to distance ourselves as much as possible from EU positions rather than, as Messrs Martin and Coveney are currently doing, rushing to condemn this or that. Most of the smaller EU States seem to be saying far less than our armchair warriors are!
The UN Secretary-General states that if the army of one country enters the territory of another without the latter’s permission it is not a peacekeeping force. He is right of course. But when did we hear a UN Secretary-General make such a statement when “the West”, led by America, made illegal wars/attacks on Yugoslavia/Serbia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya? His predecessors were silent then.
Hypocrisy abounds. The Irish media needs to up its game significantly.
According to the “Financial Times” Russia “has demanded that Ukraine ‘demilitarise’, recognise Russia’s 2014 annexation of the Crimean peninsula, give up its ambitions to join NATO, pledge neutrality and negotiate the disputed borders in the Donbas with the separatists.” Foolishly and arrogantly recent governments in Kiev see all those requirements as unacceptable and have refused to negotiate with the separatists throughout the conflict since the 2014 Maidan coup, encouraged by the US and EU, which was the basis of their rule.
Spokesman, The National Platform EU Research and Information Centre