Monday, June 30, 2014

Trading with the enemy and the "new normalcy" of fascism in Europe under the shadow of the Association Agreement of the EU with Ukraine

Sergey Glazyev declared today that Russia should not and does not need to recognize (the legitimacy of) the Association Agreement between the EU and the Kiev regime. Furthermore, Russia should also demand that the Association Agreement not apply to the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics.

Glazyev's position is firmer than Moscow's official stance. However, even Glazyev's position is contradictory. Demanding that the Association Agreement not cover the Union of the People's Republics would amount to a self-styled recognition of the Agreement.

Moreover, till now, the EU always claimed that the Association Agreement is strictly and exclusively an issue between the EU and Ukraine and not an issue for Russia to be involved.

German Chancellor Merkel's declaration that the Association Agreement will enter into force after Germany and France work out some technical issues of the Association Agreement with Russia is an attempt to block Russia's own sovereign measures of economic self-defense. Yet the fact of this gesture is showing the hypocrisy and political character of the EU positions. Moreover, this offer was still accompanied by a threat of new sanctions against Russia.

As long as the People's Republics in the Donbass have control on the ground, the Association Agreement cannot be applied to them anyway.

If Russia had the guts to take a more principled position, she would keep reminding the EU of the horrible price exacted by the Association Agreement--the coup, the snipers, the Odessa massacre, the civil war, the rise of  fascism to power, white phosphorous and cluster bombing of civilians, thousands killed and many more wounded, a vast humanitarian catastrophe unfolding, massive human rights violations, deliberate destruction of water supplies, etc.

Furthermore, Russia ought to keep reminding the EU of the $4 billion outstanding debt of the Kiev regime for unpaid gas.

And last, but not least, Russia should emphasize the fact that Ukraine under its current regime is the worst human rights violator in Europe and that, as both the EU and the US use sanctions on the accounts of real or assumed violations of human rights, Russia cannot separate human rights from its treatment of Ukraine and hence also from the Association Agreement. This course of action would be, in my view, justified, effective and proper. However, with some understanding of how Moscow talks and acts, I have no great expectations that Moscow would learn and appreciate soon enough the importance of the issue of human rights or that Moscow would be ready to use the strongest possible argument when it thinks that weak or less than principled arguments or positions are either good enough or even better.

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