Jaap de Hoop Scheffer in interview this week – see my diary:
- About ten times de Hoop Scheffer met with the Russian president, in the five years that he led NATO. It never was a warm relationship: discussions were invariably difficult, at most, if they had anything in common, only their two labradors. Low point: the summit in Bucharest in 2008, where NATO under De Hoop Scheffer’s leadership noted that Georgia and Ukraine would become NATO member. Putin took it as a declaration of war.
“Talking about that: it was not my finest hour, nor of NATO. In retrospect that was a moment of great consequences. ”
Exactly, a turning point in the relationship between Europe, America and Russia. The Atlantic Council outspoken policy: “We’ll make Russia a pariah state.”
So, about Kosovo. Mr. Сhairman has said that everybody respects Resolution 1244, but if everybody respected Resolution 1244, there would not be any one-sided declaration of independence. But I do not want to discuss this issue, we have discussed it at the G8, as well as at other forums, and we made a decision that we consider it illegal and able to cause serious consequences. But, if you noticed, we do not force anything. We formulated our position, and our position is open, but we do not go off into hysterics on this issue, and you should have paid attention to how reserved we were in the Caucasus on this issue. Of course, this policy puts us into a very complicated position at the post-Soviet space, because we have there enough situations similar to that with Kosovo – it is Transdniestria, Southern Ossetia, Abkhazia, Karabakh – there are many such situations. And you put us into a very complicated position, but we are trying to wriggle and behave very carefully, without destroying the situation there and without provoking military conflicts. That is why, however sad it may seem, but we here are also ready to look for any consensus, or a way out of the situation. Now I do not specify which exactly situation, I do not want to anticipate anything, in any case, we are ready to hear you, ready to think, ready to work somehow together.
As for the policy of expanding the alliance, we have been attentively watching your discussion yesterday. On the whole, of course, we are satisfied with your decisions, which took place. But If I speak about Georgia and Ukraine, it is clear that the matter concerns not only security issues. For our Georgian friends, of course, it is one of means to restore their territorial integrity, as they believe. Besides, by means of force, under the aegis of NATO. It is an old, many-years, lasting for more than a hundred years, ethnic conflict between Georgians, between Abkhazians (it is a small ethnic group, it numbers a mere 200 thousand people), between Ossetians, for a hundred years, and more, these conflicts are ethnic. To solve these problems they need not to enter NATO, they should have patience, establish dialog with small ethnic groups. And we have been trying to help them, besides, to help Georgia restore its territorial integrity. And even despite the decisions on Kosovo, we will not recognize the independence of these quasipublic formations, though they have been calling on us since long ago, for decades already. We have been very responsible, very weighted, and call on you to be careful as well.
But in Ukraine, one third are ethnic Russians. Out of forty five million people, in line with the official census, seventeen millions are Russians. There are regions, where only the Russian population lives, for instance, in the Crimea. 90% are Russians. Generally speaking, Ukraine is a very complicated state. Ukraine, in the form it currently exists, was created in the Soviet times, it received its territories from Poland – after the Second World war, from Czechoslovakia, from Romania – and at present not all the problems have been solved as yet in the border region with Romania in the Black Sea. Then, it received huge territories from Russia in the east and south of the country. It is a complicated state formation. If we introduce into it NATO problems, other problems, it may put the state on the verge of its existence. Complicated internal political problems are taking place there. We should act also very-very carefully. We do not have any right to veto, and, probably, we do not pretend to have. But I want that all of us, when deciding such issues, realize that we have there our interests as well. Well, seventeen million Russians currently live in Ukraine. Who may state that we do not have any interests there? South, the south of Ukraine, completely, there are only Russians.
The Crimea was merely received by Ukraine with the decision of the KPSS Political Bureau. There were not even any state procedures on transferring this territory. We have been calm and responsible about these problems. We are not trying to provoke anything, we have been acting very carefully, but we ask our partners to act reasonably as well.
[More to read …]
Combine this setting with Saakashvili who started the August 2008 war in South Ossetia and the Orange Revolution in Ukraine and the Maidan coup d’état in 2014. The perfect storm.
PS Just laughable, USAID funded Bellingcat founder Elliot Higgins is performing his act for this so-called “think-tank” … furthering propaganda and fake news.