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Update Dec 14: As I wrote, Washington intends to keep the “Russian invasion of Ukraine” narrative alive: https://www.rt.com/russia/543124-us-considering-send-troops/
The Biden-Putin Talk
Paul Craig Roberts
It is both a good thing and a bad thing that Putin got the point across to Washington that Russia will not permit NATO moving into Ukraine. It is good because a Russian foot finally came down. It is a bad thing if it convinces the Kremlin that, finally, Washington is listening.
Washington is not listening, and the Kremlin might again be lost in self-deception.
For Washington, it is more useful for Ukraine to be continually threatened by Russia than to be protected by NATO. If Ukraine is protected, the orchestrated “Russian threat” fades away. What other country can Russia be alleged to be preparing to attack?
Washington is happy to keep Ukraine out of NATO as this keeps the real problem festering. The West claims that the Russians who inhabit Eastern Ukraine in the breakaway republics are rebels whom the Ukrainian army is justified in putting down. The Kremlin apparently agrees as the Kremlin has refused to recognize the endangered republics. Thus, the war there will continue.
It is this war that is dangerous, and it is the Kremlin that tolerates this dangerous war. Eastern Ukraine for centuries was part of Russia. Lenin and Stalin moved the Donbas Russians into Ukraine and Khrushchev incorporated Crimea into Ukraine. Whether this was done for administrative convenience or to add Russian nationals to the Ukraine, or in the case of Khrushchev, himself Ukrainian, to make amends for the Ukrainians he had murdered, I don’t know. It did not matter much at the time as Ukraine was just a province of the Soviet Union. You were Soviet whether you were in Russia or the Ukraine.
The war is dangerous, because the Kremlin has let seven years of the war go by without stopping it. Russians who feel national ties are getting frustrated that Russians in the breakaway republics are being killed by Ukrainian neo-nazi forces supplied by Washington. Russia has provided arms to the breakaway republics, but it has permitted the neo-nazi Ukraine at Washington’s direction to continue its attacks, which continue to take Russian lives.
It has been obvious for seven years that the ONLY SOLUTION is for the Kremlin to accept the request of the breakaway republics to be reincorporated into Russia just as was Crimea. Ukraine and Washington, as crazy as they are, would not attack Russian territory.
For a variety of possible mistaken reasons–https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2021/12/02/the-kremlins-strategic-blunders-are-leading-to-war/ — the Kremlin has made a strategic blunder by refusing the requests of the Donbas Russians to be reincorporated into Russia.
Why has the Kremlin endangered itself and by doing so encouraged larger war by refusing liberation to Russians trapped in Eastern Ukraine?
The Kremlin’s expectations of negotiations with Washington give us a clue.
The Kremlin’s expectations of negotiations with Washington are so unrealistic as to raise doubts about the continued existence of the Russian Federation. Washington’s policy toward Russia is not to resolve a Russian threat but to create a threat to Russia’s existence. Washington’s goal is to break up the Russian Federation and to take control of the broken up provinces. To state it again, Washington’s policy is to continue the breakup that began with the breakup of the Soviet Union. In this way Washington removes the constraint on US hegemony that the Russian Federation constitutes. Thanks to the Kremlin’s insouciance, Washington also has resources inside the Russian Federation that Washington uses to undermine the solidarity of the Russian Federation.
How can the Kremlin fail to see that Russia is Washington’s “enemy of choice.” The “Russian threat” is the basis for the American Empire. It is the justification for the $1,000 billion annual budget of the US military/security complex and for NATO, which gives Washington a hold over Europe. Why does the Kremlin think Washington would have meaningful negotiation with Washington’s enemy of choice? Does the Kremlin believe Washington’s desire for hegemony is negotiable? Does the Kremlin think Washington has any interest in eliminating the reason for NATO and giving up its European empire?
Eric Zuesse sent to me Putin’s statement of Russia’s aims:
“In my speech at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs I already stressed that the priority facing Russian diplomacy at this juncture is to try to ensure that Russia is granted reliable and long-term security guarantees.
While engaging in dialogue with the United States and its allies, we will insist on the elaboration of concrete agreements that would rule out any further eastward expansion of NATO and the deployment of weapons systems posing a threat to us in close proximity to Russia’s territory. We suggest that substantive talks on this topic should be started.
I would like to note in particular that we need precisely legal, juridical guarantees, because our Western colleagues have failed to deliver on verbal commitments they made. Specifically, everyone is aware of the assurances they gave verbally that NATO would not expand to the east. But they did absolutely the opposite in reality. In effect, Russia’s legitimate security concerns were ignored and they continue to be ignored in the same manner even now.
We are not demanding any special terms for ourselves. We understand that any agreements must take into account the interests of both Russia and all other states in the Euro-Atlantic region. A calm and stable situation should be ensured for everyone and is needed by all without exception.
That said, I would like to stress that Russia is interested precisely in constructive collaboration and in equitable international cooperation, and this remains the central tenet of Russian foreign policy. I hope that you will convey this signal to the leaders of your states.”
This statement, if it accurately expresses Putin’s words, indicates that the Kremlin has no understanding whatsoever of Washington’s policy toward Russia. Putin says Russia needs precise, legal, juridical guarantees that NATO will not move closer to Russia’s borders because Washington failed to deliver on its past commitments to that promise.
Why does the Kremlin think it will make any difference if the commitment is written instead of verbal? If Washington’s word is not any good, why is its signature on a document valuable? Washington signed 368 treaties with native American Indian tribes and broke every one of them.
The only agreements that Washington keeps are those that advance Washington’s interests. Someone should tell the Kremlin.
It is Washington that is arming and training the Ukrainians and encouraging the Ukrainian attack on the Donbas Russians. https://www.rt.com/russia/542840-ukraine-delivery-american-rockets/ Yet Biden blames Russia for escalating the military situation and preparing to invade Ukraine. Biden knows Russia is not preparing to invade Ukraine. Why does Putin think he can negotiate with a person who comes to the negotiation with deceptive purposes?
Washington knows Russia is not preparing to invade Ukraine. Washington also knows that the Kremlin will deny the accusation, thus keeping alive Washington’s propaganda that Russia is a threat. Putin would do much better to say: “If Ukraine invades the Donbas Russians, we will eliminate Ukraine.”
That would be the end of it. Negotiations and talks achieve nothing but Washington’s purpose of painting a blacker picture of Russia. The more the Kremlin talks the more propaganda opportunities Washington is given.
As I have said for 7 years, the only solution for Russia for the Ukraine mess, which resulted from the Kremlin ignoring its own backyard, is for the Kremlin to accept the pleas of the Donetsk and Luhansk Russians to be reincorporated into Russia where they existed for centuries. The Kremlin’s refusal was a strategic blunder that has caused worst problems for Russia and is leading directly to war.
Now that Washington has Putin in a box, why does Putin think Washington will let him negotiate himself out of it?
The Putin-Biden talk will not end the allegation that Russia is preparing to invade Ukraine. Washington is totally opposed to curbing the orchestrated hysteria over Russia’s intent to invade Ukraine. Washington created the hysteria for Washington’s purpose of scaring Europeans so they would agree to Washington’s stress that Russia is a threat. Have Russians forgotten that Washington overthrew the elected Ukrainian government for the purpose of creating difficulties for Russia?
When Blinken and Biden say Washington does not recognize spheres of influence and red lines, they mean that they don’t recognize any other country’s sphere of influence and red line. Only Washington can have spheres of influence and red lines. No one else can. So Washington claims what it permits no other country to claim. If the Kremlin is serious about its red line, the Kremlin must be willing to enforce it.
Whether Ukraine is admitted to NATO is not relevant. What Washington is determined to do is to keep the “Russian threat” very much alive, not eliminate it with negotiations. The Kremlin should remember what happened to President Trump because he said his intention was to restore normal relations with Russia, that is, to eliminate Russia’s role as the enemy of the West.
This expressed intention sufficed for the Establishment to remove the President of the United States. Does the Kremlin think Biden is in a stronger position than Trump?
The Russian media took notice: https://svpressa.ru/politic/article/319075/
But not the US media.