February 2, 2022
Putin Weighs Three Options: War, Permanent Tension, Or, Just Smile And Wave
By: Sorcha Faal, and as reported to her Western Subscribers
An enlightening new Security Council (SC) report circulating in the Kremlin today first noting President Putin warning that a potential NATO membership would see Ukraine “filled chock-full” with arms could prompt Kiev to proceed with its plan to start a military “operation” in Crimea, a sovereign territory of the Russian Federation that Moscow would then be bound to respond to, says to avert such a catastrophe Russia presented proposed security guarantee agreements to both the socialist Biden Regime and its NATO military bloc—but in whose replies President Putin revealed: “Let me note that we are closely analyzing the written responses received from the United States and NATO on 26 January…However, it is already clear, and I informed Mr. Prime Minister about it, that the fundamental Russian concerns were ignored”.
The Biden Regime and NATO answers to the two proposals “Treaty Between the United States of America and the Russian Federation on Security Guarantees” and “Agreement on Measures to Ensure the Security of the Russian Federation and Member States of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization”, this report notes, were leaked this morning to the Spanish newspaper EL PAÍS, that posted a direct link to these restricted documents—and in response to the leaking of these restricted documents top Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov stated to questioning journalists: “We did not publish anything and I do not want to comment on it…You need to address the newspaper or the Spanish government, at least not to us…We have, of course, seen the publication…Yesterday, President Putin gave a general conceptual assessment of the answers received in the part that concerns fundamentally important issues for Russia”.
In a direct letter sent to all of the heads of these warmongering Western governments yesterday, this report continues, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stated:
You are well aware that Russia is seriously concerned about increasing politico-military tensions in the immediate vicinity of its western borders.
With a view to avoiding any further escalation, the Russian side presented on 15 December 2021 the drafts of two interconnected international legal documents – a Treaty between the Russian Federation and the United States of America on Security Guarantees and an Agreement on Measures to Ensure the Security of the Russian Federation and Member States of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
The U.S. and NATO responses to our proposals received on 26 January 2022 demonstrate serious differences in the understanding of the principle of equal and indivisible security that is fundamental to the entire European security architecture.
We believe it is necessary to immediately clarify this issue, as it will determine the prospects for future dialogue.
The Charter for European Security signed at the OSCE Summit in Istanbul in November 1999 formulated key rights and obligations of the OSCE participating States with respect to indivisibility of security.
It underscored the right of each participating State to be free to choose or change its security arrangements including treaties of alliances, as they evolve, as well as the right of each State to neutrality.
The same paragraph of the Charter directly conditions those rights on the obligation of each State not to strengthen its security at the expense of the security of other States.
It says further that no State, group of States or Organization can have any pre-eminent responsibility for maintaining peace and stability in the OSCE area or can consider any part of the OSCE area as its sphere of influence.
At the OSCE Summit in Astana in December 2010, the leaders of our nations approved a declaration that reaffirmed this comprehensive package of interconnected obligations.
However, the Western countries continue to pick up out of it only those elements that suit them, and namely – the right of States to be free to choose alliances for ensuring exclusively their own security.
The words ‘as they evolve’ are shamefacedly omitted, because this provision was also an integral part of the understanding of ‘indivisible security’, and specifically in the sense that military alliances must abandon their initial deterrence function and integrate into the all-European architecture based on collective approaches, rather than as narrow groups.
The principle of indivisible security is selectively interpreted as a justification for the ongoing course toward irresponsible expansion of NATO.
It is revealing that Western representatives, while expressing their readiness to engage in dialogue on the European security architecture, deliberately avoid making reference to the Charter for European Security and the Astana Declaration in their comments.
They mention only earlier OSCE documents, particularly often – the 1990 Charter of Paris for a New Europe that does not contain the increasingly ‘inconvenient’ obligation not to strengthen own security at the expense of the security of other States.
Western capitals also attempt to ignore a key OSCE document – the 1994 Code of Conduct on Politico-Military Aspects of Security, which clearly says that the States will choose their security arrangements, including membership in alliances, ‘bearing in mind the legitimate security concerns of other States’.
It will not work that way.
The very essence of the agreements on indivisible security is that either there is security for all or there is no security for anyone.
The Istanbul Charter provides that each OSCE participating State has equal right to security, and not only NATO countries that interpret this right as an exceptional privilege of membership in the ‘exclusive’ North Atlantic club.
While outright ignoring every agreement on European security they’ve signed over the past 32-years, this report details, yesterday it saw Britain, Poland and Ukraine announcing that they will collaborate in military moves designed to confront Russia—an announcement for war quickly followed by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky signing an order to expand his country’s military, including bolstering the ranks of its army by at least 100,000 soldiers—after which Poland announced it had joined Latvia and Lithuania to send shoulder-fired antiaircraft missiles (MANPADs) to Ukraine, along with other weapons—then it saw Ukraine demanding that these warmongering Western nations send it even more weapons—and in assessing the West flooding Ukraine with weapons, top Russian military strategist retired Colonel Mikhail Khodarenok factually observes: “The question is, can they significantly improve Ukraine’s military arsenals and capacity?…Would that be enough to help the Ukrainian Army withstand a Russian Army assault, and prevail in a hypothetical battle?…The answer to both these questions is ‘no’…Russia’s economic and military potential significantly exceeds Ukraine’s…No supplies of single-use missile launchers or MANPADs can balance out the forces – which is why all the involved parties would be better off looking for a diplomatic solution”.
Most surprisingly agreeing with Colonel Khodarenok’s observation that “the involved parties would be better off looking for a diplomatic solution”, this report notes, is a new poll just released by Data for Progress, a left-leaning progressive think tank, that reveals American voters “overwhelmingly support the idea of striking a diplomatic deal with Russia to avoid war over Ukraine”, with some 58% of respondents in favor—and even more surprisingly agreeing with Colonel Khodarenok is one of America’s most powerful and influential leftist publishers Katrina vanden Heuvel, who in her open letter just published by the Washington Post titled “The Exit From The Ukraine Crisis That’s Hiding In Plain Sight” factually states:
The crisis over Ukraine grows simultaneously more dangerous and more absurd.
The only hope is the Minsk II agreement, forged in February 2015 between Russia and Ukraine, brokered by Germany and France, and endorsed by the European Union and the United Nations.
The agreement essentially called for recognition of reality in law.
It guaranteed an independent Ukraine in control of its own borders, with Russian “volunteers” removed, the separatists disarmed and Ukrainian military standing down in the Donbas.
It promised full autonomy for the Russian-speaking region of the Donbas within a decentralized Ukrainian federation, written into a revised constitution.
Samantha Power, then U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, told the Security Council in June 2015, “The consensus here, and in the international community, remains that Minsk’s implementation is the only way out of this deadly conflict”.
What is the alternative? For all the screeching of the hawks, there is none in sight.
The Russians have served notice that the status quo can’t go on.
In speaking at the United Nations on Monday, this report continues, Russian Ambassador Vassily Nebenzya warned the entire world: “Ukraine’s continued refusal to implement the Minsk peace agreements means that Kiev only has itself to blame for its impending destruction…If our Western colleagues are pushing Kiev to sabotage the Minsk agreements, which the Ukrainian authorities are happy to do, this could end in the most disastrous way for Ukraine…And not because someone will destroy it…But because it will destroy itself…And Russia has absolutely nothing to do with it…Don’t try to shift the blame from the sick to the healthy”—a warning responded to a few hours ago by Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba, who decreed that Ukraine will not abide by the Minsk II agreement they signed promising full autonomy for the Russian-speaking region of Donbass, and declared: “No Ukrainian region will have a right power for national state decisions…This is set in stone!”.
With Ukraine having now “set in stone” the total obliteration of the Minsk II agreement it signed, that even President Obama’s UN Ambassador Samantha Powers warned “is the only way out of this deadly conflict”, this report concludes, it led to the Kremlin’s leading foreign policy expert Valdai Club Programme Director Ivan Timofeev presenting to President Putin this morning the following three scenarios to weigh:
Scenario One: War
It is inevitable that amid peaceful conditions, Ukraine will pursue an anti-Russian course.
An outwardly loose but sufficiently stable political regime has been formed in the country, for which compromises with Russia are impossible.
The Ukrainian government itself sees no alternative way of ensuring the country’s security other than through NATO membership.
The West will also work towards integrating Ukraine into its security structures. It is, therefore, impossible to change Ukraine’s course of action without a war.
The Ukrainian army could be defeated relatively quickly, and it is possible to avoid a protracted war by carrying out a lightning-fast operation.
Furthermore, it would then be possible either to divide the country into two states, one of which (Eastern Ukraine) remains in the Russian orbit, and the other (Western Ukraine) in the Western one.
Another option is a forceful regime change in Ukraine, with the expectation that there will be no massive resistance from the population.
Western sanctions will be a painful blow to Russia, but they won’t be fatal.
The benefits to military security are greater than the economic damage.
The harm to the economy will not translate into public protest in Russia; it can be kept under control.
The prestige of the authorities will grow due to their solving a major historical task.
Sanctions against Russia will further undermine confidence in the US-centric financial system.
Russia will be able to exist as a ‘fortress’.
An exit from the global economy is possible, and even desirable.
The West itself is in decline. Its imminent death is inevitable.
A victory in Ukraine will deal another blow to the authority of the United States and the West, and will accelerate their global retreat.
Scenario Two: Permanent Tension
Maintaining permanent tension in relations with the West is producing results.
At least the Western powers are beginning to listen to Russia.
Tension is a useful tool for diplomacy.
It is necessary to keep it on Ukraine’s borders, and to also apply it in other regions – Latin America, the Middle East, the Asia-Pacific Region (together with China), and Africa.
If possible, Russia can operate with relatively cheap but effective campaigns, similar to the Russian operation in Syria.
This scenario does not radically change the situation in Europe.
Relations between Russia and the West remain categorized by rivalry, but do not cross red lines.
Scenario Three: Smile And Wave
Ukraine is a toxic asset for the West. Large-scale aid is stolen and institutions remain corrupt.
The country is not a supplier, but a consumer of security.
Its NATO membership is counterproductive for the bloc due to unresolved conflicts and dubious contributions to common security.
On the contrary, Ukraine is a source of numerous problems. Bailing it out is troublesome and costly.
If the West goes for it, then Ukraine will make NATO an even more unbalanced structure, in which the number of ’’free-riders’ will grow.
While it remains in the Western sphere, Ukraine is doomed to further degradation.
There will be a ‘Moldovisation of Ukraine’ – that is, an outflow of citizens to the West and the primitivisation of its economy.
The West has no reason to support Ukraine for a long time with its help.
Aid will dwindle as Ukraine’s position slides in the West’s list of priorities.
Without any military intervention, Ukraine will degrade, turning into a peripheral country and a third-order priority in the global agenda.
In this scenario, there is a partial de-escalation of the Ukrainian issue, although rivalry with the West remains.
Moscow skilfully manages such rivalries, facilitating them where possible, and thereby overloading the West with toxic assets in the form of free-riders and fiery liberals.
[Note: Some words and/or phrases appearing in quotes in this report are English language approximations of Russian words/phrases having no exact counterpart.]
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