Part 1 Can be read here.
As for the threat of economic and financial “sanctions” brandished by the West against Russia, they are laughable, and Putin was right to openly say how indifferent he felt about them. Putin knows that the EU has no power, no unity, no will. Rightly, he gives no credit to countries that claim to “defend human rights”, but cannot do without the money of the oligarchs. As Bismarck said: “Diplomacy without a credible use of force is like music without instruments.” Putin knows that Europe is decaying, that it is just capable of posturing and of verbally provoking, and the United States themselves consider it insignificant (“Fuck the European Union!,” as Victoria Nuland said). He especially knows that if they really wanted to “punish” Russia, Westerners would punish themselves because they would be exposed to large-scale reprisals, of which they are clearly not willing to pay the price. They would only get a dose of their own medicine.
One need just recall here that Russian oil and gas accounts for about a third of the energy supply of the 28 countries of the European Union, to say nothing of the scale of European, especially German and British, investments in Russia. One can count today no less than 6000 German companies active in the Russian market. In France, Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius threatened Russia to not deliver two “Mistral” type ships currently under construction in the shipyards of Saint-Nazaire. In a country where there are already more than five million unemployed, the result would be the loss of thousands of jobs… As for the United States, if they seek to freeze Russian assets abroad, they expose themselves to seeing credit repayment that U.S. banks have granted to Russian structures, frozen.
Today, Ukraine is a ruined country. It will have the greatest difficulty to do without the economic support of Russia and to resolve the closing of the CIS (Russia accounted so far for 20% of its exportations and 30% of its importations). It is also difficult to imagine Europeans finding ways to help it financially when they do not even want to give to Greece anymore : given the crisis Europe is going through since 2008, the European Union is simply unable to unlock sums of several billion euros. In the grip of their own problems, starting with huge deficits, will the United States want to support Ukraine single-handedly ? It is doubtful. The checks of Washington and of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will not solve the problems of Ukraine.
For now, the future remains as uncertain as it is worrying. The Ukrainian case is not over, not least because we do not yet know who exactly are the new Ukrainian authorities. If Ukraine chooses to be resolutely anchored in the West, the big question is how will the eastern part of Ukraine react, as it is both the most pro-Russian and the most industrialized (the West is only one third of the GDP). How could Russia, for its part, accept a radically anti-Russian government running a country of which half of the population is Russian ? Any attempt to impose a solution by force could lead to civil war and ultimately to the partition of a country where the main lines of political, linguistic and religious division, largely overlap lines of territorial division. It would then reproduce the scenario that led to the breakup of former Yugoslavia. In the immediate future, the greatest risk is that of a deterioration of the situation in Kiev, accompanied by a series of irresponsible initiatives (creation of militias, etc.), of isolated incidents that could degenerate into a rise to the extreme. Neither Europe nor Russia (which will now strengthen its military alliance with China) have an interest in this. On the other side of the Atlantic, however, supporters of war abound.
The Western media hysteria reveals their degree of submission to Washington. Putin is regularly described as a “new czar,” a “Kgbist”, a “neo-Soviet” but also a “fascist” and a “red-brown”, while he is not the one who triggered the Ukrainian crisis, and has rather shown in this case extraordinary patience. Russia, who has never experienced such a degree of democracy in its history, is presented, if not as a “dictatorship”, at least as “insufficiently liberal”, that is to say, not yet totally conforming with the requirements of the “open society”. But, as Henry Kissinger clearly understood it : “to demonize Putin is not a policy but a way to hide a lack of policy.” Admittedly, as I said earlier, there is no reason to consider Putin as a “savior” who would spare the Europeans the necessity of taking themselves control of their destiny. Europe is not destined to be the western branch of a great Russian empire (the idea of empire is not reducible to imperialism). However, it has the duty to recognize the need for an alliance with Russia in the great collective project of a Eurasian continental logic, which is quite different.
Russia, for its part, would do well to recognize the pluralism of identities of its neighbours in the “near abroad”. The Ukrainian anger was fed by a real Russian tendency to deny the Ukrainian identity, although this denial has sometimes been exaggerated. Things would probably not have arrived at this point, if Russia had treated Ukraine on an equal footing and with reciprocity. In a federal logic, local identities must be respected as well as the rights of minorities. The concepts of decentralization, autonomy and regionalism must enter the Russian political culture, just as they must enter the Ukrainian political culture, as presently they obviously are not willing to do so (as is shown by the incredible decision of the new Ukrainian government to deny the Russian language the status of second official language). The concept of zone of influence has a meaning, and this meaning must be recognized, but “satellite” countries must now give way to partners and allies. As Croatian Jure Vujic said, the “Grand European Eurasian geopolitical project must be primarily a unifying project, geopolitical cooperation based on respect for all European peoples and the principle of subsidiarity.”
Translated by Venator for Open Revolt
From Blog Elements