Thursday, September 18, 2014

Lavrov's Ignored Bombshell: The West Is Not Supporting Poroshenko and His Peace-Loving Efforts, but Russia Is

While, in US Congress, Poroshenko made today (September 18) a passionate call to the world to oppose Russia's "aggression" against Ukraine under storming ovations, which would to shame even the communists of old, Lavrov's sensible position on Poroshenko presents the latter (Poroshenko) as the principal, if not the sole, person on whom the Russian government relies for a (peace) deal. 

Lavrov hopes that Poroshenko will be carrying out his duties as the Commander-in-Chief in charge of the war against Novorosiya and that he will also carry out all those decisions, which he (Poroshenko) himself "sanctioned and approved."

Lavrov hopes that Poroshenko will be doing what he is doing even though, "almost everyone is trying hard to frustrate [these] efforts," while Lavrov and the Russian government is trying to support Poroshenko and them.

Here is the recording of Lavrov's interview (in Russian):

At the same time, Lavrov seems to think that the West is not supporting Poroshenko and his peace-making desire enough:

"President Poroshenko – despite the statements you quoted – has repeatedly reaffirmed his commitment to the ceasefire deal. We still hope that, as the embodiment of whatever legitimacy the 25 May presidential election conferred, he will perform his duties as supreme commander-in-chief, take all necessary measures and exercise his presidential powers to make sure that the current Kiev government, which reports to the president and the parliament, does not undermine the decision he has sanctioned and approved. ...
Just recently, two or three days after the ceasefire was signed in Minsk, we got information, confirmed by the self-defence forces, that a strike force of artillery and tanks was being formed near Debaltsevo. We drew the attention of the Kiev leadership to these reports. We were assured that there were no such plans and that measures would be taken to clear up any confusion. Based on our information, these movements have stopped, and nothing similar has been reported. [We believe in what Kiev says and nothing similar has been reported]The President of Russia has repeatedly said that he is satisfied with how direct contacts with President Poroshenko have been established. We are engaged in a dialogue with him and those who support his position ...  
It seems to me Poroshenko is interested in a peace deal and needs support, primarily from the West ...
I think the West should support Poroshenko’s desire to make a peace deal, because everyone, or almost everyone, is trying hard to frustrate his efforts ... 
The US doesn’t hide its partiality. Ukrainian radicals and extremists, including those in governing bodies, practically get carte blanche from the US, and there is no traction for arguments in favour of objectively looking at the situation and supporting a national dialogue, reconciliation and respect of the rights of minorities – all the values the West seeks to promote in any other conflict. Washington has proved repeatedly that its aim is to aggravate the crisis as much as possible ...
Take for example, the law on temporary self-rule in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions that was mentioned today. We don’t know what it will look like, because this is Ukraine’s responsibility. [Novorossiya's self-rule is Ukraine's, Kiev's responsibility]"   
If this is the case, then Lavrov's supporters too should hope that Poroshenko will accomplish what he decided to do and support him against "almost everyone," including the West, who "wants to frustrate [Poroshenko's] efforts."

So as Lavrov says, the conflict in Ukraine could be and should be resolved only if everyone or almost everyone stops frustrating Poroshenko's efforts. This nearly everyone might also include Novorossiya and the Army of Novorossiya. That's why we need Strelkov back.

PS: Also keep in mind that Lavrov was speaking here to a Russian domestic audience, when saying all the above. It is evident that he tried hard to sell the Minsk Deal and, to this effect, he also tried to present Poroshenko as the best man Russia has in Kiev. But this does not make it better. He was not trying to play a game with the West per se in doing so. 

If you really want to know what some of the more-in-the-know standby participants in the panel were thinking of Lavrov's performance, you should treat yourself to the cue briefly displayed at 25:18-21 of the video on the part of Svetlana Babaeva, a RIA News Agency foreign affairs correspondent. The audience is, of course, capping when given its cues.  Babaeva's cue comes at the very moment when Lavrov is trying to claim that Russian diplomacy came to the rescue and was saving the Maidan leaders and their Western sponsors from their own "inability" to fulfill all the points in Yanukovich's capitulation agreement made on February 21. Perhaps Lavrov will use the same line later on in relation to the Minsk Protocol.

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