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Piece in Our Time

August 26th, 2014 - 5:22 am

UKRAINE

What might a deal between Russia and Ukraine look like? Patrick Smith says Vladimir Putin and Angela Merkel are working one out, and it might look like this:

The international community would have to accept Russia’s annexation of Crimea last spring. Gulp. Kiev would also devolve some political and administrative powers to the eastern region. No gulp here: It is imperative that Kiev recognize the legitimacy of the Russian-majority east’s desire for greater autonomy.

The give-backs: Russia would cease its involvement in eastern Ukraine, whatever it may be, and pay $1 billion to compensate for the rent it paid for stationing its fleets in the Crimea until the region voted for independence.

Next. Poroshenko would agree not to join NATO. The trade-off here would be Russia’s commitment to accept Kiev’s new relations with the E.U. as agreed in a pact signed after Poroshenko took office. Ukraine would also get a new long-term agreement with Russia’s Gazprom covering future gas supplies and pricing – critical if Ukraine is to sustain any kind of economic recovery.

That’s not a bad deal, in that it recognizes there’s no getting Russia out of Crimea short of war, and there’s no getting Ukraine into NATO without one either. The unanswered question is whether Putin would see “greater autonomy” as an open door for future meddling (and eventual annexations), or as the end state of the crisis he engineered.

All Comments   (6)
All Comments   (6)
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Wait, Germans and Russians negotiating how to cut up other countries in Eastern Europe? Where have I heard that one before?

Oh, and telling a dictator "you can have this much of a country we're sworn to protect, but no more!" Where have I heard that before?
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
There is no question. Of course Putin will meddle.
The Russians consider Ukraine their territory. A huge number of them don't even recognize Ukrainian as a separate language, let alone Ukrainians as a separate people.

As far as the Ukrainians are concerned, they'd be fools to believe any "security guarantees" offered to them. They did before, when they actually had a nuclear arsenal, they disarmed based on that belief, and look how well that deal worked out for them. And now they are in a far weaker position to begin with.

That said, they have as much say in the matter as Czechoslovakia did back in the day.

And yes, they should give much more autonomy to the Russian speaking East and cut down on the militant ukrainization crap.
To a large degree, Kiev's current troubles are of its own making.
Which the Empire to the East is all too happy to exploit.
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment

This is a joke. Russia isn't going to honor this agreement--they aren't going to accept Ukraine having close ties to the E.U. They'll just go back to using covert means of influencing Ukraine's government.
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
Ha! Germany and Russia supervising the division of an eastern European nation. What could go wrong?
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
This is actually an excellent deal. It will avoid a general European war.

Crimea was never really a part of Ukraine, and the ethnic Russians do need protection from extreme right-wing parties who are virulently anti-Russian. And Ukraine and Europe really need Russia gas. Also, Russia will fight to keep Ukraine out of NATO.

The real question is whether the extreme right in Ukraine would let such an agreement go into force or whether they would stage another coup.

Now someone has to bring-to-heal Rasmussen and the other war-mongering idiots who are running NATO. His idea of stationing NATO troops in eastern Europe would guarantee a war that would almost certainly be at least tactically nuclear. It is long past time that NATO should be disbanded. With idiots like Rasmussen in it we will be sucked into an needless war. I suggest we pay Russia to reopen the Gulag and send the NATO generals there.
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
You forgot to say it will "bring peace in our time."
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
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