Thursday, December 18, 2014

The US terms of Russia's surrender over Ukraine has been given to the public

The US demands that Russia meet all its obligations, including debts, while denying to Russia access to West-controlled markets of capital and refinancing; the US demands Russia's complete "withdrawal" in Ukraine; Russia's consent not to be left any more to "its own instincts," and cessation of Russia's own info efforts to win the hearts and minds; these conditions are not final; conditions over Crimea and other issues would then follow once Russia surrenders over Ukraine to the US and NATO.

The US demand that Russia "cease its media battle against the Ukrainian people and state" does fit both the tone and the content as well as the letter and the spirit of how Putin and Lavrov speak of Poroshenko ("the best chance of Ukraine"; "who works for solving the conflict," etc.) and the Kiev regime, which they don't call a regime or a junta any more, but a legitimate government, and how they are mute (especially Putin) on Ukraine's fascism, Banderism, the Odessa massacre, and the crimes committed against the people of Donbass. At the same time, the Kiev regime, including Poroshenko who has been praised by Putin and Lavrov, keeps up its aggressive, hard-line rhetoric against Russia, this includes Poroshenko's and others' call for a united war against Russia.

The specific demands (articles of surrender) to Russia over Ukraine have been made public by Jason Bordoff, a (former) Obama adviser on energy and Carlos Pascual, a former US Ambassador to Ukraine who is/was also  Special Envoy and Coordinator for International Energy Affairs with the State Department's Energy Resources Bureau:

"The elements of a deal are well known. Russia needs to take its troops out of Ukraine, stop all support for the insurgency in Ukraine, and cease its media battle against the Ukrainian people and state. Ukraine must devolve authority to local governments and ensure that language and culture are not used as a personal referendum on who is a Ukrainian citizen. Russia must sell gas to all parties to its west on market terms. Ukraine must transit gas and pay its bills for the gas it consumes.
All parties must accept a massive presence by the Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe to monitor the Russia-Ukraine border and developments on ground in Ukraine. The minute one observer is jailed or mistreated, the deal is off. Some will try to try to solve Crimea's future in this package. That is too complicated and must be deferred.
In exchange for its retreat from Ukraine, Russia will receive access to capital and to the technology to develop its energy resources. Ukraine must rise to implement the economic reforms that will win the confidence of international donors and investors and make its economy competitive.
Failure to grab this moment would be tragic. Russia's alternative is a deepening economic crisis that could lead to internal protest. Expect President Putin to respond with an iron hand that entrenches his authoritarian control on politics and economics. Ukraine's alternative is a continued freefall as the war in the east drains its coffers and makes economic reform seemingly insurmountable.
Sanctions are a policy tool to create opportunities for better outcomes. The collapse in international oil prices has turned that tool into an opportunity that can restore an economic livelihood to Russia and Ukraine. Skeptics will argue that Russia simply wants a Ukrainian frozen conflict, even if it abuts against Russia's own internal economic collapse. But perhaps this is the moment to test President Putin's interest in a better future for his citizens. For Russia and Ukraine, there are only upsides to try."

1 comment:

  1. I think that this is about the most depressing thing I have read for a long time. All the time and from several commentators I hear them saying Putin the fox is going to do this or that, some very cunning plan. The latest being Paul Craig Roberts who appears to think that simply the unsaid threat or systemic banking collapse from Russian default is all that is needed. But the west must have accounted for this in their plans and it has not put them off so far. When and where is he going to make his decisive move? Several times in the past people have second guessed what is about to happen and then just on time - nothing happens. Is he just keeping his powder dry? Or is their no powder that he can use without escalation into kingdom come? Is he just going to let them attack him, attack the Ruble and attack Russia in the hope that we won't descend into world war three and that sooner or later the west will relent, welcome him back into the fold? And even if they did he knows what happened within a few years after the same happened in Libya. I've heard about the saying the Russians take a long time to saddle their horses but they ride awfully fast but this is taking things to extremes.