LOS ANGELES (OnlineColumnist.com), Feb. 25, 2015. Accusing Russia of lying about its involvement in supplying troops and weapons in Southeastern Ukraine, 70-year-old Secretary of State John Kerry got a mouthful from Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. Since seizing Crime March 1, 2014, President Vladimir Putin has denied sending Russian troops and military hardware to pro-Russian separatists in the Donbass region of Southeastern Ukraine. Kerry’s public remarks about Russian lies inUkraine prompted Lavrov to unload both barrels, blasting the U.S. for its
hypocrisy. Turning tables on Kerry’s
critique, Lavrov read the U.S. the riot act about causing the chaos in the Middle
East and North Africa. Lavrov called
U.S. intervention in Iraq, Libya and Syria “violations of the fundamental
principles of the United Nations.” Russia sat idly by while former President
George W. Bush invaded Iraq March 20, 2003 and toppled Saddam Hussein.
past mistakes in Iraq, Lavrov hoped to turn the tables on Kerry, whose stinging
criticism has resulted in several rounds of U.S. and European Union sanctions
harming the Russian economy. “All of
this is the result of attempts to dominate global affairs, to rule over all,
everywhere, to use military force unilaterally to push one’s interests,” Lavrov
told the U.S. Security Council. While
juggling many things, including delicate nuclear talks with Iran, the Security
Council finds itself wedged between the biggest spat between the U.S. and
Russia since the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis.
Obama’s Feb. 6 admission that the U.S. is considering supplying weapons
to Ukraine caused gyrations in Brussels.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande
pushed hard for the Feb. 12 Minsk cease agreement, calling on all sides to stop
Hollande don’t want the civil war in Ukraine to morph into a proxy war with
U.S. and Russia. Battling recession in
the European Union, both leaders want to deescalate the fighting, not watch a
proxy war develop between the U.S. and Russia.
Obama’s Feb. 20 decision of join Turkey in arming the Free Syrian Army
to fight ISIS and Syria President Bashar al-Assad, puts the U.S. in a proxy war
with Iran and indirectly with Moscow.
“These [U.S. intervention in Iraq, Libya and Syria] have plunged the
Middle East and North Africa into instability and chaos, and to a large extent
have created a breeding ground in which extremists thrive,” said Lavrov,
responding tit-for-tat for Kerry’s denunciation of Russia’s Ukraine
policy. Dumfounded by Lavrov’s salvo,
U.N. Amb. Samantha Powers could only trade barbs, plunging the diplomatic
façade into childish name-calling.
officials have taken off the gloves after Kerry accused Putin of lying
about what’s really going on in Southeastern Ukraine. When Poroshenko signed onto the German-and-French-backed Feb. 12
Minsk agreement, he essentially split Ukraine in two parts. Ukraine’s 40-year-old outspoken Prime
Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk confessed that Poroshenko had no choice but to go
along with a disastrous proposal, handing Alexander Zakharchenko’s pro-Russian
separatists—and the Kremilin—Southeastern Ukraine. U.S. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) was so disgusted by the
agreement, he told CBS’s “Face the Nation” anchor Bob Schieffer he was ashamed
of his country, the president and himself.
Lavrov blasted the U.S. for causing the Ukrainian crisis, backing the
so-called pro-Western Feb. 22, 2014 coup that toppled duly elected
Kremlin-backed Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich.
Ukrainian revolution took place, the Kremlin no longer accepted past Ukrainian
borders. Seizing Crimea March 1, 2014
was only the first step in Russia redrawing the Ukrainian map to exclude Crimea
and the Donbass region. All the hot air
from the U.S. and EU hasn’t stopped Putin from securing the territory needed to
make his land bridge from Russia to Crimea.
Having just taken the strategic railway hub of Debaltseve Feb. 20,
Russian-backed rebels move on to Mariupol to complete Putin’s land corridor to
Russia. Putin’s main message to the
U.S. and EU is stop blaming Russia for the problems you created in Ukraine. Trading barbs with Lavrov on the U.N. Security
Council, Powers doesn’t help put into perspective the next U.S. move. Threatening Russia with more sanctions if
Zakharchenko’s rebels move on Mariupol has little effect on Kremlin politics.
new ceasefire agreement in Minsk had no bearing on Russian moves in
Southeastern Ukraine. “We call for the
strict implementation of all provisions of the Minsk accords starting with a
total ceasefire and complete withdrawal of heavy weapons,” said French Foreign
Minister Laurent Fabius, knowing full-well his government sold Ukraine out to
the Kremlin. Pretending he thought
Russia would call back the dogs before taking Debaltseve and now moving on to
Mariupol deliberately obscures the facts.
“No one needs a conflict, moreover an armed on, on the periphery of
Europe,” said Putin, insisting he doesn’t want “apocalyptic” war. Putin put the fear-of-God into Merkel and
Hollande, knowing how more armed conflict would hurt EU economic recovery. Threatening more sanctions if Zakharchenko
marches to Mariupol won’t change Putin’s mind.
About the Author
M. Curtis writes politically neutral commentary analyzing spin in national and
global news. He’s editor of Onlinecolumnist.com and author of Dodging The
Bullet and Operation Charisma