Lavrov on Ukraine
by Stephen Lendman
Ukraine's so-called government is a US-installed fascist dictatorship. It has no legitimacy whatever.
Tyranny masquerades as democracy. None exists. Ordinary people have no say. Like in America.
Monied interests run things in both countries. One fascist regime supports another.
Sunday's snap parliamentary elections were farcical. Expect worse than ever business as usual going forward.
Sergey Lavrov is a world class diplomat. He combines candor and statesmanship with tactfulness, discretion, thoughtfulness and prudence.
His comments warrant highlighting. He addressed post-electoral Ukraine. He did so for Moscow's Life News television and Izvestia.
He believes Russia will recognize Ukraine's election results. Even though they fell short of international standards nationwide.
It's "critically important for Ukraine to obtain, at long last, a leadership that will not engage in petty infighting and drag the country from east to west and back again, but one that will address real Ukrainian problems, Lavrov said.
"Ukraine needs a government that will think how the nation should regain unity. It needs a government to guarantee an equal status to all Ukrainian citizens irrespective of the language they speak and political convictions they have."
"No one should be victimised on political and other grounds, as has been the case until recently."
He called radical ultranationalist extremist parties in parliament "rather alarming." He referred to Oleg Tyahnybok's Svoboda and Oleg Syashko's Radical Party.
In December 2012, European parliamentarians expressed concern about "rising nationalistic sentiment in Ukraine, expressed in support for the Svoboda party, which, as a result, is one of the two new parties to enter" Ukraine's parliament.
Their "racist, anti-Semitic, and xenophobic views go against the EU's fundamental values," they said.
Europe's parliament "appeal(ed) to pro-democratic parties in (Ukraine's legislature) not to associate with, endorse, or form coalitions with" these elements.
All is forgiven. EU officials look the other way. They turn a blind eye. They embrace what they denounced earlier. They accept illegimate coup d'etat authority.
They march in lockstep with Washington hardliners. They mock democratic values they claim to support.
Svoboda's platform "confirms adherence to the principles laid out in the declaration which expressed solidarity with Hitler's New Order in Europe," said Lavrov.
He's "confident (Russia has Ukrainian) partners to negotiate with in the Verkhovna Rada (parliament) and in the Ukrainian government."
He referred to "the Petr Poroshenko Bloc, which is bound to become the leading party in the new parliament, and he is Russia's and President Vladimir Putin's partner in negotiating the Minsk peace agreements between the Ukrainian government and the self-defence forces in Lugansk and Donetsk, reached with a significant contribution from Russia and the OSCE."
Poroshenko "declared his commitments to these agreements, also at the 17 October meeting with Vladimir Putin in Milan and at meetings in broader format (the so-called Normandy format)."
"I believe the new Ukrainian government - which is bound to be a coalition government - will nevertheless be comprised of ministers who are devoted to the president's policy of peace, national accord and reconciliation in Ukraine. At least Poroshenko, in his contacts with Putin, firmly states that he will not allow a relapse into war. This is what matters most now."
It remains to be seen if Lavrov is right. Poroshenko violated past agreements. War continues in Southeastern Ukraine.
Fascists have power in Kiev. Washington supports and encourages them. Russia bashing continues relentlessly.
Putschist prime minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk looks likely to retain his post as oligarch president Petro Poroshenko's main coalition partner.
He's hardline. Extremely anti-Russian. Recently saying "Moscow is determined to make Ukraine freeze," said Lavrov.
He called it "an outrageous statement." He made numerous similar ones. Irresponsible bald-faced lies.
When Donetsk and Lugansk got limited self-rule, "Interior Minister Arsen Avakov publicly said he would not observe this law," said Lavrov.
Fascist regimes operate this way. It's hard being optimistic under these circumstances.
Lavrov put a brave face on a deplorable situation. He hopes for improvement going forward. Regional peace and stability depend on it. So far, there's none in sight.
Achieving it is touch and go at best. Unlikely at worst. Washington abhors it. Conflict and instability serve its agenda.
It's manipulating things covertly. At issue is regime change in Russia. Washington wants pro-Western stooge governance replacing Moscow's sovereign independence.
Lavrov understands. He supports Ukrainian neutrality. Strategically positioned in Europe's heartland.
Aligned neither solely East or West. What's extremely unlikely going forward. Washington wants things its way. It's going all-out to control Ukrainian affairs.
On Sunday, Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics will hold real democratic elections. They reject fascist rule.
They want fundamental freedoms too precious to lose. Ones they fought and died for. And keep defending.
Moscow intends recognizing their electoral results. Lavrov called doing so "one of the most important aspects of the Minsk agreements."
"We expect the elections to proceed as planned… We also hope that the results will be the freely expressed will of the people, without any outside interference undermining that."
Both People's Republics "categorically refused to accept the military coup and its aftermath, and who rejected the Bandera (Nazi) ideology and the Ukrainian National Assembly - Ukrainian People's Self-Defence policy, which the triumphant Maidan leaders tried to impose on the entire country."
Post-February coup, "atrocities began." Egregious human and civil rights violations occurred. "Political opponents were arrested and thrown into jail without any investigation or trial…"
"So people decided to defend themselves and to escape the unacceptable consequences of the coup. So they took up arms and tried to defend their homes."
They had every right to do so. They still do. For precious liberties sorely absent in today's Ukraine. It bears repeating. Fascist regimes operate this way.
"We have consistently called for national dialogue between all the Ukrainian regions and political forces at every level, including international," said Lavrov.
"The new Ukrainian government made a commitment to start a dialogue in the Geneva statement with the United States, European Union and Russia, signed in April 2014."
"But this was never acted on. The need for national dialogue was reaffirmed in the Minsk agreements."
"This new commitment was signed by a representative of Ukrainian President Petr Poroshenko and opposition leaders. We insist that this process begin as soon as possible."
September 5 and 19 Minsk protocol violations continue, said Lavrov. Attempts are being made to resolve things. So far without success.
War without mercy continues. High Kiev crimes against peace reflects things.
Thousands died. Many more wounded. Huge numbers internally and externally displaced.
Conflict resolution remains distant. Whether possible remains to be seen. Unlikely any time soon. At risk is things going from bad to much worse.
Kiev hardliners yield nothing. Or Washington. Poroshenko is a convenient US stooge. So is Yatsenyuk. Agreements they sign aren't worth the paper they're written on.
Lavrov "firmly believe(s) national reconciliation…is a process that should include the restoration of justice and punishment of the guilty parties."
"What judicial agency could do this? Ukraine is not a party to the Statute of the International Criminal Court in The Hague, and so an ICC prosecutor cannot initiate an investigation. This is not done."
"The ICC agencies can only initiate this investigation in a country that is a party to the Rome Statute. As it is, Ukraine can refer the situation in its territory to the Court, which it has done, but only regarding the February events on Independence Square."
Kiev whitewashed state-sponsored Maidan and Odessa killings. The Mariupol tragedy. Similar crimes ongoing for months. Others continuing.
"…Russian legislation stipulates the possibility to investigate crimes committed in the territory of foreign countries if these crimes directly affect the interests of Russia and Russian citizens, because many Russian citizens, primarily journalists, have been affected by the arbitrary actions of the Ukrainian military, and journalists from several Russian media outlets, including Life News, were taken prisoner in Ukraine," said Lavrov.
"Some of their less fortunate colleagues have died there. Russia's Investigative Committee has initiated an investigation into these cases."
"We will continue using all means available to ensure that justice is served. People can also take their cases to the European Court of Human Rights, even though the court's judges took politically motivated decisions in a number of high-profile cases."
"However, this court is equipped to establish the truth if the investigation is conducted objectively."
Lavrov addressed anti-Russian sentiment. Its "surge…is well coordinated," he said. Vilifying Russia continues. "(N)o one is ever immune from a partner unethically babbling…"
Russia "take(s) a philosophical approach" to what's ongoing, Lavrov said. It conducts its own affairs responsibly. It can't control what other countries do. Or their top officials.
Western, mainly US, anti-Russian policies were planned long ago. Before Ukrainian crisis conditions emerged.
Things started after Soviet Russia's dissolution, said Lavrov. Western nations "missed a historic chance to create truly equal and indivisible security in Europe and a common humanitarian and economic space."
"Back then, if they had embarked on a path of transforming the OSCE into a real organisation with its own charter and legally binding security assurances for all members, things could have turned out differently."
"We (could) now be living in a completely different Europe and world…(O)ur Western colleagues opted for mindless and boundless expansion of NATO, telling us bluntly that legal security guarantees are reserved for members of the North Atlantic Alliance."
"Our proposal to conclude a European security treaty, which would legally ensure security and provide the appropriate guarantees to all the countries of NATO and the CSTO which remain militarily and politically neutral was rejected, as was later rejected our proposal to begin to develop the concept for a common economic and humanitarian space, removing travel barriers, and harmonising the integration processes in the EU and the former Soviet Union."
"All this was brushed aside." Western nations refus(ed) to cooperate with us on an equal footing."
"They were not going to cooperate on an equal footing with anyone else either, as demonstrated by the Eastern Partnership programme, which was drafted in Brussels."
"It was a non-negotiable and condescending offer extended to Armenia, Azerbaijan, Moldova, Ukraine, Georgia and Belarus."
"Then, during Ukraine crisis, they stated expressly that the EU does not want to conduct any negotiations on harmonising economic, trade and investment relations between Ukraine and the EU and Ukraine and Russia."
"No one is going to investigate the bloodshed during the Maidan protests or the abundant evidence pointing to" anti-former President Yanukovich elements now in power.
"The West…was clearly upset to learn that the Russia of the 1990s is gone - the Russia that almost always said 'yes' and never tried to defend its interests, believing that its alliance with the West would resolve almost all of its problems."
"This was an anomaly, something absolutely inconsistent with history, Russia's place in the world or the need to ensure a fair and equitable dialogue on matters of legitimate concern to us."
"When we began to defend our legitimate rights in the international arena, someone thought, "Why? Everything is so clear now. What got into the Russians?" This is not good."
"This is basically a return to imperial thinking, which is particularly frustrating given our numerous initiatives aimed at finding a balance between our interests."
"After all, we do not impose our interests on anyone and are willing to make concessions, because we recognise the legitimate interests of our partners that are within international law."
"We never advocate ideas that assert our interests in violation of international law…If our partners were a bit more pragmatic and a bit more focused on maintaining a constructive dialogue with us rather than imposing their values and interests to the detriment of Russia's interests and values, many difficulties in our relations could have been avoided."
Russia is ready for constructive dialogue on all issues, Lavrov stressed. Impossible without likeminded partners.
Especially Washington. Hegemons want things solely their way. One-way. All take and no give.
Mutually beneficial cooperation isn't Washington's long suit. Or prioritizing peace, stability, equity and responsible good relations with all nations.
Russia's best efforts are for naught. Washington bears full responsibility. Rogue EU partners share it.
Expect no change going forward. Heightened confrontation appears most likely.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at email@example.com.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
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