Thursday, February 27, 2014

Security Guarantees Given to Ukraine

As part of a deal for Ukraine to relinquish the nuclear weapons it had inherited from the Soviet Union, certain security guarantees were given to Ukraine under the 5 December 1994 Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances.  According to Wikipedia:

Russia, the UK and the USA undertake to respect Ukraine's borders in accordance with the principles of the 1975 CSCE Final Act, to abstain from the use or threat of force against Ukraine, to support Ukraine where an attempt is made to place pressure on it by economic coercion, and to bring any incident of aggression by a nuclear power before the UN Security Council.

Following recent events in Ukraine and more specifically in the Crimea,  the UK and the USA are now obliged to bring Russia's threats of force, economic coercion and incidents of aggression to the UN Security Council.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

A guide for Russian commentators on Euromaidan.

This is a nazi:


This is a terrorist:


These are Euromaidan protesters:


Hopefully now you'll be able to tell the difference.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Stopping Putin

It's got to stop.

In Georgia he invaded on a flimsy pretext and attacked a constitutional, democratic government, grabbing territory and installing massive, menacing military capability in Abkhazia & South Ossetia.

In the north Caucasus he props up the nasty little regime of Ramzan Kadyrov and has foreigners skiing on the graves of Circassians killed in a 19th century genocide.

He is trying to destabilise Moldova and derail its European accession plans by generating discontent among the Gagauz, by having his Transnistrian puppet make mischief, and apparently by trying to bribe members of the pro-Europe governing coalition to switch sides.

In Syria, he is arming and defending the regime of Bashar al-Assad, creating and feeding the bogeyman of Al-Qaeda to deflect the West from taking more decisive action against the mad and genocidal Syrian government.

Now in Ukraine, he pays Yanushenko 2 billion euros, who then begins a bloody, Tienanmen-style crackdown on the pro-civilisation protesters in the Maidan, possibly initiating a civil war that will have terrible consequences for the region as a whole.

The international community needs to realise (and quickly) that Russia has started a new cold war.  Unlike the first cold war, this one is not declared.  Unlike the first cold war, the West has few defences in place, having been lulled into a false sense of security.  Unlike the first cold war, there is no stale-mate along an iron curtain, but instead a series of creeping advances by Putin's forces (be they military, diplomatic or economic).

The tendency of western leaders is to avoid conflict and seek peaceful, negotiated outcomes.  While laudable, that is what Putin is counting on.  Take a mile, then surrender a few inches to appease international opinion.  Then take another mile, cede a few inches.  Then repeat, again and again.

Putin needs to be stopped.  He needs to be publicly humiliated so that the Russian people will see him for what he is.  Losing Ukraine to the civilised World would do the trick, I think.