Syria threatens to ‘strike Tel Aviv airport’ unless UNSC acts against israel’s (apartheid state) impunity

Syria threatens to ‘strike Tel Aviv airport’ unless UNSC acts against Israel’s impunity

RT | January 23, 2019

Syria threatens to ‘strike Tel Aviv airport’ unless UNSC acts against Israel’s impunity

Damascus has threatened to exercise its legitimate right for self-defense against Israeli aggression and target Tel Aviv airport in a mirror response, unless the Security Council puts an end to IDF intrusions into Syrian airspace.

Apparently fed up with years of Israeli impunity in the Syrian skies and regular strikes carried out in the vicinity of Damascus International Airport, Syria has threatened to retaliate in explicit terms.

“Isn’t time now for the UN Security Council to stop the Israeli repeated aggressions on the Syrian Arab Republic territories?” Syria’s permanent representative to the UN, Dr. Bashar al-Jaafari wondered Tuesday.

“Or is it required to draw the attention of the war-makers in this Council by exercising our legitimate right to defend ourself and respond to the Israeli aggression on Damascus International Civil Airport in the same way on Tel Aviv Airport?”

Air strikes against alleged ‘Iranian targets’ in close proximity to Syria’s busiest airport have become a norm for the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), whose former chief of staff openly confessed last month to running a large-scale bombing campaign in Syria for years. Besides causing casualties and material damage by their “near-daily” strikes, Israeli combat missions into Syria have also repeatedly endangered flights operating over the conflict-torn country.

While the IDF rarely acknowledges striking specific targets in Syria, the Russian military has been keeping a close watch on IDF maneuvers over the Arab Republic. On Christmas Day, Israeli jets endangered two civilian aircraft while engaging targets in Syria, the Russian Defense Ministry said, noting that the IDF F-16s flew in as civilian jets were landing at Beirut and Damascus airports. In September, Israeli actions resulted in the death of 15 Russian servicemen after Israeli jets deliberately used Russian Il-20 recon plane as a cover and placed it into the path of a Syrian air defense missile.

Urging the UN Security Council to adopt measures to stop such blatant violations of Syrian sovereignty by the Jewish state, Jaafari accused France, Britain and the US – all permanent members of the world body – of endorsing Israeli aggression in breach of their responsibility to “maintain international peace and security in accordance with international law.”

Placing little faith into Western intentions to bring long-awaited peace to the country, the diplomat noted that Syria plans to restore full sovereignty over its lost territories, including the Golan Heights, which Israel continues to occupy.

“The restoration sovereignty of the occupied Syrian Golan is a permanent right of Syria that [is] not subject to negotiations,” Jafari stressed.

Israel captured the Golan Heights from Syria in the 1967 Six-Day War. While Tel Aviv refrained from extending sovereignty over the Golan for over a decade, in 1981 the Jewish state annexed the area. The Druze of the Golan were offered full Israeli citizenship under the Golan Heights Law of 1981, but only a small minority changed their allegiance from Syria to Israel. Syria repeatedly reiterated that the occupied land is an integral part of its territory, and that it will work to return it by all means necessary. Tel Aviv sees things differently.

“Israel will remain forever on the Golan Heights, and the Golan Heights will forever remain in our hands,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in November, after the US become the only state to vote alongside Israel against a symbolic, non-binding UN resolution calling on Tel Aviv to withdraw from the occupied region.

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25 Years Ago an Agreement on the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons in Ukraine Was Signed

25 Years Ago an Agreement on the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons in Ukraine Was Signed

January 16, 2019

By Rostislav Ishchenko
Translated by Ollie Richardson and Angelina Siard
cross posted with 
https://www.stalkerzone.org/rostislav-ishchenko:-25-years-ago-an-agreement-on-the-elimination-of-nuclear-weapons-in-ukraine-was-signed/
source: 
https://ukraina.ru/history/20190114/1022320495.html

On January 14th 1994 in Moscow the presidents of Ukraine, Russia, and the US signed the tripartite declaration for the liquidation of nuclear weapons in Ukraine. Under the treaty 176 intercontinental missiles and 1500 nuclear warheads on the territory of Ukraine had to be liquidated.

One might ask what has Donbass got to do with this?

When today Ukrainian radicals say that if Ukraine had preserved the world’s third biggest nuclear arsenal nobody could stop Kiev strangling an anti-fascist uprising not only in Donbass but also in Crimea, this is the absolute truth. People generally don’t joke about such things. Despite the fact that it’s unlikely that Kiev could’ve created a fully-fledged system of controlling, servicing, and using in combat all the missiles it inherited, even the existence of this arsenal made Ukraine almost invulnerable in relation to any external pressure. Taking into account the fact that Ukraine, in principle, could bring a considerable part of its available weaponry (except intercontinental missiles) to combat readiness (today, 23 years after the last warhead left the territory of “independent” Ukraine, it is possible to talk about it openly), nobody would start to clash with a monkey armed with a nuclear “grenade”.

Ukraine relinquished nuclear weapons only because its leaders attached too much value to diplomatic tinsel under the name “recognition of independence”. It is exactly what we regularly hear from patriotically dilettanti, crying out: “Why hasn’t Russia recognised Donbass yet?”

I can understand people who suffer from the fact that units of the 1st Guards tank army still haven’t come to the Dnieper, Vistula, Oder, Rhine, and, finally, the Atlantic. The desire to capture everything, to kill all enemies, and to throw internal opposition into jail – cleaning snow in Siberia – is the natural reaction of small children and infantile adults concerning the complicated and unclear to them world that surrounds them. But I am surprised by the ritual surrounding abstract recognition [of the DPR/LPR – ed] by the people who don’t understand its significance.

Here is a simple example: Russia did not recognise Abkhazia and South Ossetia. This did not prevent it from dispersing the Georgian army in one week when Saakashvili tried to restore the control of Tbilisi over these territories via armed force. Russia does not recognise Transnistria, but everyone perfectly knows that in a similar situation the reaction of Moscow will be the same. Russia never presented territorial claims to Ukraine, recognising its territorial integrity, but one month hadn’t even passed after the coup in Kiev and Crimea reunited with its Motherland. On the other hand, Japan does not recognise the Southern Kuril Ridge as Russian, but does this strongly help it? Up to the 70’s the US did not recognise the People’s Republic of China, considering the Taiwanese Kuomintang as the legitimate authority of China. And what?

Returning to Crimea. Not many people in the world recognised Crimea’s transition to the structure of Russia. But, besides the Kiev provokers, nobody tries to challenge the right of the Russian border guards to control the territorial waters of the peninsula.

In international law there is the concept of “an authority that actually controls the territory”. Irrespective of whether or not this authority is recognised by someone, or whether or not it was formed as a result of a coup, separation, or the voluntary division of the former state (as an option of merging two or several former ones), what’s important is not the fact of its international recognition, but the fact of its ability to support military-political control over a certain territory. If you have such an ability, then people will interact, trade, and even conclude quite official agreements with you. But if you formally own something but are not capable of controlling this ownership, then people will only sympathise with you whilst reaching agreements with those who control the territory.

In fact, this is what the Minsk process is based on. For several years Russia, France, and Germany have tried to explain to Kiev that it must speak and agree with the real authorities in Donbass. If it will reach an agreement on maintaining unity, then nobody will interfere, and if it won’t be able to reach an agreement, then it will be obliged to reach an agreement about a civilised divorce. But Ukrainian politicians, like 25 years ago, drag its heels concerning the question of formal recognition and demand that Donbass is returned to them under the Christmas tree either by Ded Moroz [Russia – ed], Santa Claus [America – ed], or Père Noël [France – ed].

But they could’ve learnt at least something from the story with nuclear disarmament.

Ukraine likes to remember the Budapest memorandum in connection with Crimea and Donbass. On Russian talk shows it as a rule is presented as a piece of paper without meaning (like saying: the memorandum is not a treaty and doesn’t oblige anyone to do anything). This isn’t true. A memorandum is a publicly given word of honour to follow certain rules. In some sense it is even more than a treaty. The latter, as a rule, is concluded over a certain period of time. But even termless contracts can be denounced (or just stop working) if the situation changes. But a memorandum indeed is not a binding document, it is not ratified, thus it cannot be denounced, but violating it is also not comme il faut [as it should be – ed]. This is like publicly promising a girl that you’ll marry her, and then, also publicly, bragging that you deceived her.

But notice that, unlike Kiev, the US and Great Britain, which together with Russia signed the Budapest memorandum, and also France and China, which gave Ukraine similar guarantees in special separate declarations, do not see any violations of the mentioned document. The answer to the question “Why?” is in the mentioned Tripartite declaration, the 25th anniversary of which we celebrated on January 14th. The following provisions were a part of the Budapest memorandum in an unchanged form. Ukrainian diplomacy likes to refer to them, but in practice they haven’t been violated:

“- reaffirm their commitment to Ukraine, in accordance with the principles of the CSCE Final Act, to respect the Independence and Sovereignty and the existing borders of Ukraine;

– refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of Ukraine, and that none of their weapons will ever be used against Ukraine except in selfdefense or otherwise in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations;

– reaffirm their commitment to Ukraine, in accordance with the principles of the CSCE Final Act, to refrain from economic coercion designed to subordinate to their own interest the exercise by Ukraine of the rights inherent in its sovereignty and thus to secure advantages of any kind;

– reaffirm their commitment to seek immediate United Nations Security Council action to provide assistance to Ukraine, as a nonnuclear weapon State Party to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, if Ukraine should become a victim of an act of aggression or an object of a threat of aggression in which nuclear weapons are used;

– reaffirm, in the case of the Ukraine, their commitment not to use nuclear weapons against any non-nuclear-weapon State Party to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, except in the case of an attack on themselves, their territories or dependent territories, their armed forces, or their allies, by such a state in association or alliance with a nuclear weapon state”.

It is not difficult to notice that exactly the same obligations that were given to other states that joined the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) as non-nuclear states also apply to Ukraine. Help to Ukraine (including via immediate actions of the UNSC) is promised only if Kiev becomes a victim of aggression or the threat of aggression with the use of nuclear weapons. I.e., in the event of non- nuclear aggression, nobody owes Ukraine anything. It was promised to Ukraine to not use economic coercion against it. But even now, despite all the unfriendly steps made by Kiev, Russia did not tear up any treaty or any agreement on the initiative. Economic ties were torn up only where Ukraine tore them up.

Concerning territorial integrity, guarantees are given only within the framework of the CSCE final act. At the same time, peacefully changing the borders is allowed (who will say that Crimea was conquered? And, by the way, it is precisely for this reason that Turchynov demanded war in March 2014 – back then it was possible to try to record a violation of the Budapest memorandum). Moreover, even the obligation not to use armed force against Ukraine has no absolute character, the vague formulation “except in selfdefense or otherwise in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations” was used. Let’s note that the UN did not record a violation of the Charter by Russia (only the UN Security Council has the competence to do this).

So formally the Memorandum hasn’t been violated.

Let’s be frank, it is indeed formulated in such a way that it is impossible to violate it whatever may happen. And Ukraine knew this. Pay attention: the Tripartite declaration is dated January 14th 1994 (it was signed by Kravchuk), and the Budapest memorandum was signed on December 5th (practically one year later) by Kuchma. During all this time Ukrainian diplomacy tried to squeeze out the best conditions from the guarantor states. But it didn’t squeeze them out, and couldn’t have.

A critical mistake was made by Kiev on May 23rd 1992. On this day Russia, the US, Ukraine, Belarus, and Kazakhstan signed the Lisbon protocol on the basis of which, Kiev, Minsk, and Astana joined the NPT as non-nuclear countries. Kazakhstan and Belarus also did not apply for nuclear status. For them, the signing of this document was natural. However Ukraine tried to keep its nuclear arsenal. But Kiev decided that it would be possible to bargain later, and that the most important thing at the time was international recognition. And Ukraine was frankly blackmailed with the refusal to recognise it as a nuclear state.

Kiev did not understand that a country with the world’s third largest nuclear arsenal would be recognised anyway. Even if it doesn’t happen immediately, it will be possible to wait for however long is necessary – agreements will be made with it all the same and its opinion will be taken into account in international affairs. Kravchuk was afraid that the people [of Ukraine – ed] won’t treat the “sovereign” government seriously if it isn’t internationally recognised. His Minister of Foreign Affairs (Zlenko) hurried to report on recognition by “the whole world” (to start with – by “all the civilised world”) and open embassies everywhere where it was possible. And he signed the Lisbon protocol in which Ukraine unambiguously took upon itself the obligation to relinquish nuclear weapons. All the rest is two years of floundering in an attempt to get out of the already undertaken obligations or to at least squeeze out at least some dividends from this.

In fact, the issue of Kiev’s relinquishment of its nuclear status was decided by the Minister of Foreign Affairs (not the Rada, not the government, and not the president). Of course, Zlenko had the correspondingly issued powers, but it is his signature that is underneath the protocol, and, most importantly, it is he and his department who developed recommendations for decision-making bodies. Ukraine at the time had no other experienced foreign affairs specialists.

The fact of recognition and having their own diplomatic missions played the same role for the Ukrainian authorities that pieces of glass, beads, and broken guns played for African savages in the 15th-16th centuries, or blankets and whisky for Indians a couple of centuries later. It was a fetish for which it is possible to give everything. And they indeed gave. And thank God. It is difficult to imagine what would’ve happened to the world if Ukraine had kept its nuclear weapons. In any case, Kiev would’ve for sure launched a war against Russia in the 90’s.

Since the clever learn from the mistakes of fools, it is worth remembering the story of Ukrainian nuclear disarmament and not to make a fetish out of the recognition of someone’s independence and sovereignty. This is a little more than a mere formality that sometimes others try to flog expensively. The fact of recognition does not give anything other than the right to officially maintain diplomatic mission in the countries that recognised you. But, for example, Taiwan, after most of the world recognised the People’s Republic of China and severed diplomatic relations with Kuomintang, simply renamed its embassies into trade missions. Nothing else changed and won’t exchange until Taipei is able to keep the island under control. But as soon as the unity of China will be restored, even those ten countries that still recognise not the People’s Republic of China, but the Republic of China (Taiwan), will absolutely quietly accept the new reality.

What’s important is the actual state of affairs, and not the theoretical one. Imagine that Zlenko didn’t sign the Lisbon protocol, Kravchuk didn’t sign the Tripartite declaration, Kuchma didn’t sign the Budapest memorandum, and Ukraine would’ve kept its nuclear arsenal. Do you think that it would’ve remained unrecognised for long? Right. And now let them kick themselves.

Al-Jaafari: The Constitution is an Absolute Syrian Sovereign Affair

20 December، 2018
New York, SANA

Syria’s permanent representative to the UN, Dr. Bashar al-Jaafari said Thursday that Syria is open to any initiatives that help it come out of the crisis, affirming that the constitution is an absolute Syrian sovereign issue.

Al-Jaafari, speaking at a UNSC session on the state in the Middle East, added that Syria is ready to actively participate in any genuine effort to reach a political solution through which the Syrians alone decide their future without any foreign intervention.

He affirmed that the international community has to help Syria end the terrorist war and eliminate the remnants of the terrorist organizations, adding that Syria is writing the last chapter of its fight against terrorism.

Al-Jaafari went on to say that the success of any political track in Syria requires work with the Syrian state and pre-cooperation with it, saying that it also requires an international commitment to overcome the remnants of terrorists and end the illegitimate presence of foreign troops on the Syrian territories.

The Syrian diplomat affirmed that Syria hopes the current committee on discussing the constitution, emerging from the Syrian-Syrian national dialogue congress in Sochi, would be formed as soon as possible.

Al-Jaafari said Syria welcomes the role of the UN special envoy as a facilitator to the works of the Committee, and its assertion-at the same time-that no one can appoint himself as a third side in this process.

He said that western states claim their commitment to Syria sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity while they launch aggression on it and attack parts of its territories, as well as they still support terrorists.

Al-Jaafari affirmed that the constitution and any related issue is a sovereign affair which is decided by the Syrians without any external intervention, adding it is not permissible to impose any preconditions or conclusions regarding the task of the committee on discussing the constitution.

“Syria is determined to achieve the political solution through a Syria-Syrian dialogue, led by Syria, without any foreign intervention.. and combating terrorism should have the priority in all phases and developments of the political process,” al-Jaafari said.

He added that all the honest Syrians are called to take part in the political process, based on national bases in order to go ahead in reconstructing what has been sabotaged by terrorism.

الجعفري: الدستور شأن سيادي.. داعمو الإرهاب لن يحصلوا بالسياسة على ما لم يحصلوا عليه بالإرهاب

نيويورك- سانا

أكد مندوب سورية الدائم لدى الأمم المتحدة الدكتور بشار الجعفري أن الدستور وكل ما يتصل به هو شأن سيادي بحت يقرره السوريون بأنفسهم دون أي تدخل خارجي داعيا الدول التي دعمت الإرهاب إلى الخروج من حالة الانفصال عن الواقع وأن تدرك بأنها لن تحصل بالسياسة على ما لم تحصل عليه بالإرهاب.

وقال الجعفري خلال جلسة لمجلس الأمن الدولي اليوم حول الحالة في الشرق الأوسط: إن سورية منفتحة على أي مبادرات لمساعدتها في الخروج من الأزمة الحالية وهي جاهزة للمشاركة الفعالة في أي جهد صادق يهدف إلى الوصول لحل سياسي يقرر فيه السوريون وحدهم مستقبلهم وخياراتهم عبر الحوار السوري/السوري وبقيادة سورية وعلى أساس أن الشعب السوري هو صاحب الحق الحصري في تقرير مستقبل بلده دون أي تدخل خارجي وبما يضمن سيادة سورية واستقلالها ووحدتها وسلامة أراضيها وهو الأمر الذي أكد عليه القانون الدولي وميثاق الأمم المتحدة وكل قرارات مجلس الأمن الثلاثين ذات الصلة بسورية.
نجاح أي مسار سياسي يتطلب العمل عن كثب مع الدولة السورية والتنسيق المسبق معها حول مختلف الأمور ذات الصلة

وشدد الجعفري على أن نجاح أي مسار سياسي في سورية يتطلب العمل عن كثب مع الدولة السورية والتنسيق المسبق معها حول مختلف الأمور ذات الصلة كما يتطلب التزاماً دولياً وإرادة سياسية حقيقية لدى الجميع للقضاء على ما تبقى من فلول الإرهابيين بشكل كامل وإنهاء وجود القوات الأجنبية غير الشرعية على الأراضي السورية والتوقف عن عرقلة الجهود الصادقة التي تبذلها الحكومة السورية بالتعاون مع حلفائها للوصول إلى الحل السياسي المنشود لافتا إلى أن سورية وانطلاقاً من مسؤولياتها الوطنية وحفاظاً على مصالح شعبها أبدت تعاوناً والتزاماً كبيرين مع جهود الأمم المتحدة بدءاً بمهمة مبعوثها كوفي عنان مروراً بمهمة الأخضر الإبراهيمي وصولاً إلى مهمة ستافان دي ميستورا وهي ترحب اليوم بتعيين غير بيدرسن مبعوثاً خاصاً للأمين العام للأمم المتحدة إلى سورية وتعبر عن استعدادها للعمل والتعاون معه عن كثب.

وأكد الجعفري حرص سورية على أن ترى لجنة مناقشة الدستور الحالي المنبثقة عن مؤتمر الحوار الوطني السوري السوري في سوتشي النور في أقرب وقت ممكن موضحا أن الدولة السورية كانت أول من سلم قائمة الأعضاء المدعومين منها وانخرطت بجدية كاملة مع حلفائها للتغلب على العراقيل التي فرضتها بعض الأطراف لتعطيل تشكيلها وحرفها عن مسارها الصحيح والهدف المنشود منها وبالتالي لا يمكن لأحد أن يشكك في دعم الدولة السورية لهذه العملية أو في التزامها بمخرجات مؤتمر سوتشي.

وأعرب الجعفري عن ترحيب سورية بدور المبعوث الأممي الخاص كميسر لأعمال لجنة مناقشة الدستور الحالي وتأكيدها في الوقت ذاته أنه لا يمكن لأي كان أن ينصب نفسه طرفاً ثالثاً في هذه العملية وذلك انسجاماً مع ميثاق ومبادئ عمل الأمم المتحدة من حيث الحياد والنزاهة وعدم التدخل في الشؤون التي تكون من صميم السلطان الداخلي لأي دولة عضو.

الدستور وكل ما يتصل به شأن سيادي بحت يقرره السوريون بأنفسهم دون أي تدخل خارجي

وجدد الجعفري التأكيد على أن الدستور وكل ما يتصل به هو شأن سيادي بحت يقرره السوريون بأنفسهم دون أي تدخل خارجي ولا يجوز فرض أي شروط أو استنتاجات مسبقة بشأن عمل اللجنة والتوصيات التي يمكن أن تخرج بها فاللجنة سيدة نفسها وهي التي تقرر ما سيصدر عنها وليس أي دولة أو طرف آخر ولا يجوز فرض أي مهل أو جداول زمنية مصطنعة فيما يخص عمل اللجنة لأن ذلك ستكون له نتائج عكسية حيث أن الدستور سيحدد مستقبل سورية لأجيال قادمة.

وأوضح الجعفري أنه بعد مرور نحو ثماني سنوات من الحرب الإرهابية على سورية لا بد من التوقف عند مفارقة عجيبة لدى بعض الدول تتمثل في تعارض واضح بين أقوالها وأفعالها متسائلا كيف تتسق أقوال هذه الدول بضرورة احترام سيادة سورية واستقلالها ووحدة أراضيها وبأن الحل يجب أن يكون سورياً سورياً وبقيادة سورية دون أي تدخل خارجي مع أفعالها ولاسيما لجهة عدوانها العسكري المباشر على سورية وغزوها أجزاء منها ودعمها للمجموعات الإرهابية وإنشائها مجموعات سياسية لا هدف لها سوى عرقلة الحل السوري السوري وفرض الوصفات المسبقة التي ثبت فشلها ومحاولاتها البائسة لرسم مشهد صدامي وتوزيع جديد للأدوار بهدف زعزعة الاستقرار في المنطقة عبر تأليب دولها ضد بعضها البعض خدمة لـ “إسرائيل” وحلفائها وبهدف تصفية القضية الفلسطينية.

وأشار الجعفري إلى أن هذه الدول تحاول إضفاء صفة “المعارضة السورية المعتدلة” على الإرهابيين الأجانب الذين جلبتهم من بقاع الأرض الأربع وقال: اسمحوا لي هنا طالما أننا نتحدث عن المعارضة المعتدلة أن أعرفكم ببعض وجهاء هذه “المعارضة المسلحة السورية المعتدلة” بعد أن تم تعديل هؤلاء الوجهاء وراثياً في مختبرات أجهزة استخبارات دول معروفة ليصبحوا معارضة سورية وهؤلاء الوجهاء هم “أبو المقداد التركي” و”أبو مصعب السعودي” و”أبو صهيب الليبي” و”أبو جون البريطاني” و” أبو محمد التونسي” و”أبو هريرة الأمريكي” و”أبو معاذ التركستاني” و”أبو حفصة المصري” و”أبو عبد الرحمن الكندي” و”أبو عبد الله الأردني” و “أبو طلحة الكويتي” و”أبو مرة الفرنسي” و”أبو عود البلجيكي” و”أبو الوليد الأسترالي” و”عبد الحق جند الله الإيغوري” والمفتي الشرعي لـ “جبهة النصرة” الإرهابي “عبد الله المحيسني وهو سعودي”… هؤلاء هم وجهاء وقادة المعارضة السورية المسلحة المعتدلة.

استمرار النفاق السياسي تحت قبة مجلس الأمن يفضح النوايا الحقيقية لسياسات الدول التي زجت كل إمكانياتها العسكرية والإعلامية والسياسية على مدى ثماني سنوات تم خلالها الإمعان في دعم الإرهاب في سورية

وشدد الجعفري على أن استمرار النفاق السياسي تحت قبة مجلس الأمن يفضح النوايا الحقيقية لسياسات الدول التي زجت كل إمكانياتها العسكرية والإعلامية والسياسية على مدى ثماني سنوات تم خلالها الإمعان في دعم الإرهاب في سورية والاستثمار فيه في تناقض صارخ مع كل القرارات التي اعتمدها هذا المجلس وأدت إلى كوارث لا يمكن تعدادها وحصرها طالت الأبرياء من أبناء الشعب السوري.

وبين الجعفري أن الوقت حان أكثر من أي وقت مضى كي تتم قراءة الوضع في سورية بطريقة موضوعية وصحيحة تهدف إلى مساعدة سورية في التخلص من الحرب الإرهابية التي بدأت بمساعدة حلفائها في كتابة الفصل الأخير منها وفي القضاء على ما تبقى من فلول تنظيمي “داعش” وجبهة النصرة والمجموعات الإرهابية المرتبطة بهما بدلا من الاستمرار باعتماد مواقف متطرفة بهدف ابتزاز الحكومة والشعب السوري وإطالة أمد هذه الحرب الإرهابية وتوسيع آثارها التدميرية على سورية والمنطقة والعالم ومحاولة تكرار الوصفات الفاشلة التي تسببت في تدمير وتخريب أكثر من بلد لافتا إلى أن الوقت حان أيضا لأن تخرج الدول الداعمة للإرهاب من حالة الانفصال عن الواقع وأن تتخلى عن آخر أوهامها وأن تدرك أنها لن تحصل بالسياسة على ما لم تحصل عليه بالإرهاب.

وأشار الجعفري إلى أن سورية كانت ولا تزال ملتزمة بالعمل لتحقيق الحل السياسي عبر حوار سوري/سوري وبقيادة سورية دون تدخل خارجي على أن تتصدر مكافحة الإرهاب الأولوية في كل مراحل وتطورات العملية السياسية موضحا أن جميع السوريين الشرفاء مدعوون إلى المشاركة في هذه العملية السياسية على أسس وطنية للمضي قدماً في إعادة بناء ما دمره الإرهاب والتي بدأت على أرض الواقع عملياً بهمة السوريين المخلصين لوطنهم والسعي لعودة المهجرين السوريين إلى بيوتهم فالسوريون جميعاً سيضعون نصب أعينهم حقيقة أن الحل لا يمكن أن يكون إلا سورياً وعبر عملية سياسية ذات مصداقية تحت سقف الوطن وذلك انطلاقاً من قاعدة أن الدستور وكل ما يتصل به هو شأن سيادي بحت يقرره السوريون بأنفسهم فقط.

لا يجوز إغفال مقدمات الأزمة في سورية والأدوار الخفية التي قامت بها بعض الحكومات وبعضها أعضاء في مجلس الأمن لفبركة هذه الأزمة

وفي رده على مندوبي الدول الأعضاء قال الجعفري: لا يجوز إغفال مقدمات الأزمة في سورية والأدوار الخفية التي قامت بها بعض الحكومات وبعضها أعضاء في مجلس الأمن لفبركة هذه الأزمة وخلق ظروف استمرارها وتصاعدها بما يخدم أجندات تلك الحكومات التدخلية لتغيير المشهد الجيوسياسي في منطقتنا مذكرا أعضاء المجلس بظهور رئيس وزراء قطر السابق على التلفزيون القطري الرسمي واعترافه بأن قطر والسعودية صرفتا 137 مليار دولار لتخريب سورية بتعليمات من الولايات المتحدة.

وأضاف الجعفري: أليس من المشروع ربط كلام هذا المسؤول القطري الذي جاء إلى مجلس الأمن في العام 2011 ليستعدي أعضاءه ضد الدولة السورية بظهور تنظيمي “داعش” وجبهة النصرة والتنظيمات الإرهابية الأخرى فجأة في الساحة السورية والعراقية.. أليس هذا سؤالا مشروعا وهل يمكن لأي عاقل أن يتصور أن هذه التنظيمات الإرهابية التي ظهرت فجأة قد سقطت علينا في سورية والعراق من السماء مع بعض النيازك القادمة من أحد الثقوب السوداء في هذا الفراغ الذي يحيط بنا.. هذا السؤال برهن أعضاء مجلس الأمن.

Nikki Haley, eat your heart out, Palestinians will prevail!

Nikki Haley, eat your heart out, Palestinians will prevail!

NOVANEWS

Image result for Nikki Haley CARTOON

By Mahmoud El-Yousseph

In her speech prior to the last UN vote this year, outgoing UN Ambassador Nikki Haley failed to explain to Americans the standard she used to define Hamas a terrorist organization but not the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF). Perhaps more to the point, If  Americans have the right to fight for their freedom and independence from a brutal foreign military occupation, why then condemn Palestinians when they aspire for the very same freedoms?

Haley wanted to serve her Master in Tel Aviv for the last time by passing the anti-Palestinian Resolution in the UN Assembly where Israel has been condemned more than 400 times against the US wishes. Poor Haley wanted to prove her importance as the UN Ambassador but Trump has replaced her by nominating a very immature and unqualified FOX TV reporter Heather Nauert. By this time, Haley should have known that like her, Miss Nauert will also be remote controlled from the White House.

It’s time for Haley and Israel to accept that as an occupied people, Palestinians have a right to resist – in every way possible. Resistance against the occupation is not a crime! It is a duty! Under UNGA Resolution 37/43 Palestinians have the right to resist a foreign occupation by all available means, including armed struggle.

The  US-sponsored draft resolution that would have condemned Hamas at the UN General Assembly was defeated. The resolution got 87 votes in favor and 57 against, with 33 abstentions, meaning it fell short of the required two-thirds majority needed to pass. Haley even referred to Arab envoys as “my Arab brothers and sisters” in a desperate attempt to gain their support. However, Arab delegations were adamant to vote ” no” even if Nikki Haley changes her adopted name again to Nadia HayLee. All Arab nations including the one that have diplomatic relation with Israel voted against the resolution, which is a welcome move of rare Arab unity.
Hamas and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, welcomed the resolution’s defeat. President Abbas said, “The Palestinian presidency will not allow for the condemnation of the national Palestinian struggle.” The Kuwaiti envoy, speaking on behalf of the Arab bloc, expressed concern that the U.S. draft resolution depicts Israel as the victim and Palestinians as the aggressors. The vote was a personal defeat for Haley. She is leaving her post at the end of the year after acting as second Israeli ambassador to the UN.

The vote was a sever blow to the misguided US policy in the Middle East. Haley has repeatedly  threatened  any country voting against US foreign policy, stating, that the administration will ” take names.” The reason the US resorting to “blackmail diplomacy” in this case is: 1) she was attempting to score a brownie point with AIPAC for 2020 US presidential election, and 2) she knows well that any US presidential candidate have to be koshered and get AIPAC stamp of approval. 3) presidential candidates must show that they put the interests of Israel ahead of their own country.

Nikki Haley can cry me a river, but Palestinians will never bow their heads or bend their knees to get their freedom except to God.

Lavrov’s interview and answers to questions for the programme “Moscow. Kremlin. Putin”

Source

December 03, 2018Lavrov’s interview and answers to questions for the programme “Moscow. Kremlin. Putin”

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s interview and answers to questions for the programme “Moscow. Kremlin. Putin” on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Buenos Aires, December 2, 2018

Question: It was a highly unusual G20 summit, with very many factors.  I don’t remember Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel having to overcome so many obstacles just to get to a meeting. The death of President George H.W. Bush cast a pall over the event. And then there is this strange situation with presidents Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump and the US president’s reaction to the incident in the Black Sea.

What are your feelings over this? Have these events spoiled the G20 meeting or prevented the participants from implementing the agenda?

Sergey Lavrov: I believe that all these circumstances have had their effect on the events that are taking place in Buenos Aires. However, they have hardly had any serious effect on the agenda.

Just as it happened in 2008, when the G20 convened at the top level to discuss the root causes of a crisis that had spread to nearly all the countries, we are now amid a period of transformation in the global economy. There is, first of all, the digital transformation, an unprecedented rise in protectionist policies, up to trade wars, the sovereign debts of many countries and a shadow over the future of free multilateral trade, as well as many other factors. There is also the problem with the reliability of reserve currencies and the obligations of the countries that have them. It is these factors that influenced the preparations for the summit and discussions at it.

I have not mentioned the sanctions, the restrictive, prohibitive or punishing duties and tariffs, all of which created a serious and contradictory background for and influenced the essence of the discussions. It is good that a final declaration has been adopted. This is better than nothing. However, all the sharp angles which I mentioned have been smoothed over. But I don’t think this is connected to the circumstances we were talking about.

Anyway, the G20 has made rather useful decisions. We have outlined our position on the digital economy and the need to start adjusting the labour and education markets to it. We have also put forth our views on the situation when it comes to food security. Russia as a major grain producer is playing an increasing role in these matters.

There was also a thorough discussion on migration, refugees and approaches to this new problem. I would like to say in this connection that we have rejected the attempts to force the “concept of equal responsibility” on the G20 and the international community as a whole for the refugees who fled their homes, for various reasons, in the hope of finding a better future in foreign countries. We clearly pointed out to our colleagues that the root cause of this unprecedented wave of migration in Europe and other countries is the irresponsible policy of flagrant military interference in the internal affairs of sovereign states, primarily in the Middle East and North Africa. The most serious factor is, of course, the aggression against Libya, which has destroyed the country and has turned it into a black hole for the transfer of illegal weapons, drugs and organised crime to southern Africa. The northbound transit, above all via Libya, has brought migrants to Europe where they have become a major problem, including for the EU.

Another subject on which Russian delegates spoke actively here is the fight against terrorism. We drew the international attention to a new phenomenon of the so-called foreign terrorist fighters who return back to their home or other countries after completing criminal jobs in Libya, Syria, Iraq or some other places. It is vitally important to trace the movement of these dangerous people. Several years ago, Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) created a database of foreign terrorist fighters. This database involves 42 security services from 35 countries, including G20 members, such as the BRICS countries, Turkey and South Korea. The UN Security Council Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC), Interpol, the CIS Anti-Terrorism Centre, the SCO Regional Anti-Terrorism Structure (RATS) and other international organisations have joined this database. We actively promoted this experience at the G20 summit where it aroused keen interest.

Question: Have you managed to bring across to our European partners the truth on what really happened in the Black Sea (and not in the Sea of Azov, as they usually write)? Have they finally heard our position?

Sergey Lavrov: I think they could not but hear it because President Vladimir Putin, while meeting with President of France Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, personally explained “in lay terms” how all this happened, how the provocation had been planned and how its execution was attempted, as well as how responsibly the Russian border guards performed their functions trying to prevent any undesirable incidents. Regrettably, the [Ukrainian] agents provocateurs (and the provocation, carried out by two craft and a tug, was controlled by two Ukrainian Security Service officers) did their best to fulfill the order, which was found after the Russian border guards stepped on board these fire-support craft. It said in no uncertain terms that they should secretly penetrate the neutral waters, perform a breakthrough under the Crimean Bridge without giving any previous notice or hiring a pilot, and sail through the Kerch Strait to the Sea of Azov. President Putin personally told his interlocutors about this. I did not hear from them a response that would be based on different facts.

Question: It is important to note a totally different level of cooperation between Russia, India and China. One gets the impression that this time a unique mutual understanding took shape within the G20 between the three countries that together account for one-third of the world population. They have a totally different point of view than, for example, America and its partners, whom it is easier to call “satellites.”

Sergey Lavrov: It was the first Russia-India-China summit (RIC Group, as we call it) since 2006. The leaders of our three countries have agreed that this format should be maintained, including by holding regular summits in addition to ministerial and expert contacts that, basically, have not been discontinued during these years. What unites our countries was emphasised at the RIC meeting. This is primarily the striving not to allow the disintegration of multilateral universal organisations that are based on the UN Charter and the principles enshrined in it, such as equality, respect for sovereignty, and non-interference in internal affairs. Generally, an intention was voiced to defend the foundations of the multilateral, open economic and trade system. Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi clearly spoke out against the sanctions that were increasingly often used in this sphere by the United States in the hope of enhancing its competitiveness and getting unfair competitive advantages.

As I said, the [three] leaders have agreed to continue holding summits, while instructing their foreign ministers to prepare for the RIC leaders proposals on how to make this cooperation more effective and promote it in new spheres.

Question: Is there any hope that these three countries – Russia, India and China – will have a common understanding and will vote unanimously in the UN Security Council?

Sergey Lavrov: India is not yet a full member of the UN Security Council, but it was elected several times as a non-permanent member for two years. We have identical views on the overwhelming majority of subjects. It is notable that our countries’ positions often overlap not only in the UN Security Council but also during voting on matters of fundamental importance at the UN.

Another example has to do with the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and concerns a scandalous process which the West has launched in gross violation of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC). When the Western countries proposed giving the OPCW’s Technical Secretariat the prerogatives that actually belong to the UN Security Council, India, Russia and other like-minded countries unanimously voted against this. The BRICS countries co-authored a statement in which they sharply criticised such inappropriate actions and demanded that all states respect the CWC and their obligations under it. I have mentioned BRICS for a reason, because President of Russia Vladimir Putin, President of China Xi Jinping and Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi have said that these three countries are the driving force behind such organisations as BRICS and the SCO, which India has recently joined. We are connected geographically and politically, share common views on the key aspects of the world order, want all disputes to be settled peacefully and would like to have a free, open and fair trade and economic system, which, taken together, makes us allies in these matters.

Question: Presidents Putin and Trump have held a short meeting after all. As for US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, was he evading you, or did he have to meet with you?

Sergey Lavrov: Of course, I did not pursue him, and he did not try to meet with me. To be quite frank, I do not even know if he is here, because I have not seen the full US delegation. US National Security Adviser John Bolton said in a conversation with Presidential Aide Yury Ushakov, who deals with political matters, that they [the US administration] would like to resume and normalise our dialogue. We are ready to do this as soon as our colleagues are.

Question: As far as I know, there have been very interesting discussions on Syria. Has Russia managed to move the Western countries towards the realistic Russian view on the Syrian problem?

Sergey Lavrov: I don’t know how close we have managed to move them towards our position, but it is becoming increasingly clear that they don’t have any alternative strategy or tactic on this matter. Likewise, it is becoming clear that unacceptable things are taking place on the eastern bank of the Euphrates. The United States is trying to create quasi-public structures there, investing hundreds of millions of dollars so that the people could resume a normal peaceful way of life in these regions. At the same time, they refuse to rebuild the infrastructure in the regions that are controlled by the Syrian government. It is becoming obvious to everyone that the developments on the eastern bank of the Euphrates run contrary to the general commitment to Syria’s territorial integrity as sealed in a relevant UN Security Council resolution, although the United States has been trying to present its activities there as a temporary solution.

The US activities on the eastern bank of the Euphrates and in other Syrian regions where it has special forces and advisers include playing the Kurdish card. It is a very dangerous game, considering that the Kurdish question is very acute in several countries apart from Syria, such as Iraq, Iran and, obviously, Turkey. President Putin discussed this matter at a meeting with President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the last day of the G20 session. They have confirmed their commitments regarding the Idlib de-escalation zone. We pointed out that not all extremists have heeded the demand to leave the 20-mile demilitarised zone, despite the active and consistent operations of our Turkish colleagues. We have coordinated further moves to ensure compliance with the agreement on the demilitarised zone and also to prevent the extremists from sabotaging this crucial agreement, which all sides welcomed.

The third aspect of the Syrian subject is the political process. The overwhelming majority of countries agree that the Constitution Committee, which is being created at the initiative of the three guarantor countries of the Astana process as per the decisions of the Syrian National Dialogue Congress held in Sochi, is the only viable method to start implementing UN Security Council Resolution 2254, under which all Syrian sides must hold negotiations to coordinate common and mutually acceptable views on life in their country and on its future development. This is exactly what is stipulated in the above-mentioned UN Security Council resolution. After they reach this understanding, they should adopt a new constitution and hold elections based on its provisions. However, as I have said before, no reasonable alternatives have been proposed over the past years to the initiatives advanced by the three Astana countries on combating terrorism, creating conditions for the return of the refugees and internally displaced persons back home, providing humanitarian aid and launching a political process.

Question: When the death of President George H.W. Bush was announced, President Putin expressed his condolences in a very emotional message. George Bush Sr. believed that one of the worst mistakes of his presidency was failure to prevent the Soviet Union’s dissolution. Did you meet with him? What are your impressions of him?

Sergey Lavrov: I did not meet with him often, but we did meet. I believe that George Bush Sr greatly contributed to the development of the United States and ensured that his country responsibly played its role in the world, considering its weight in international affairs.

I remember very well how President George H.W. Bush visited Moscow, I believe it was in 1991, and then he went to Ukraine where he encouraged the Soviet republics’ political forces to act responsibly and do their duty by preserving the country rather than create huge, tragic problems for millions of people who became citizens of different states the next morning after the Soviet Union collapsed.

Mr Bush was a great politician. I believe that every word that will be said about his achievements reflect the people’s true attitude to this man. However, one comment among the great number of condolence messages can be connected to your question about the link between President Bush and the demise of the Soviet Union. I watched CNN and Fox News on the day he died, and I heard a commentator say that George Bush Sr made history by helping Mikhail Gorbachev soft-land the Soviet Union. In fact, George Bush Sr never did that; he simply wanted to protect the millions of people who had lived in one country for decades or even centuries from political games. This is what we can say confidently about him.

***

Question: Do you think there is a connection between the provocation in the Kerch Strait and the US cancellation of the planned meeting between our presidents?

Sergey Lavrov: I don’t believe in the conspiracy theories. However, there have been too many coincidences, when a provocation that takes place ahead of a major event is used for fanning hysteria over sanctions. British Prime Minister Theresa May has demanded that Brussels further worsen its Russia policy, even though Britain has almost exited the EU.

We know our partners very well, and we have masses of questions about the adequacy of their approach to serious problems. There are very serious and very real threats. The fight against these challenges cannot be improved by making sacrifices to immediate geopolitical considerations.

Question: When will President Putin and President Trump hold a full-scale meeting after all?

Sergey Lavrov: I won’t even try to guess.

Did the Fledgling United Nations Have a Legitimate Mandate in 1947 to Partition Palestine?

Source

By Hans Stehling,

It is a fact that is hardly credible, but a fact nevertheless, that the vast majority of people, whether Jewish, Christian or Muslim, have now little or no idea of the political machinations that brought about the establishment of an Israeli state in Palestine – a region that was predominately Muslim Arab for well over a thousand years. A period over which there had only ever been a minority Jewish presence. That fact is verified as follows – the documented proof being in the public domain, available to anyone at the touch of a key.

The present United Nations is an international organization founded in 1945 after the Second World War by 50 countries committed to maintaining international peace and security, developing friendly relations among nations and promoting social progress, better living standards and human rights. It replaced the ineffective pre-war League of Nations, after WW2.

On 25 April 1945, the United Nations Conference on International Organization began in San Francisco. Fifty nations were represented who signed and ratified the Charter of the United Nations on 24 October 1945, and the UN was officially formed.  [Those 50 signatories, however, have to be seen in the context of the 193 UN Member states that in 2018 now represent the entire global population i.e. fifty is just over 25% of the present total].

On 29 November 1947, the resolution to recommend to all current Members of the then fledgling United Nations the adoption and implementation, with regard to the future government of Palestine, of the Plan of Partition with Economic Union, was put to a vote in the UN General Assembly.  The result was 33 to 13 in favour of the resolution, with 10 abstentions. That is 33 out of a current total of 193 UN member States i.e. 17%.   (Britain, of course, abstained).

Barely six months later, on May 14, 1948, David Ben-Gurion, the head of the Jewish Agency, proclaimed the establishment of the State of Israel, and U.S. President Harry S. Truman unexpectedly recognized the new nation on the same day. However, that does not tell the full story. President Truman was not at all in favour of a Jewish state in Palestine and was heavily leaned upon by B’nai Brith International, a powerful Jewish service organisation in America.

In the event, Truman was persuaded to change his opinion. And that decision was of vital importance because a handful of U.N. Member States would inevitably follow America’s lead as a result of intense Zionist lobbying. Consequently, it was in fact only a tiny minority of the global population that actually voted to impose a Jewish state in the midst of the Muslim Middle East.

If the same resolution were to be put to the vote today before a UN that now genuinely represents the entire global population, the result would be vastly different from that in 1947/8. And Gaza would now be a thriving sea-port on the eastern Mediterranean with an international airport, a strong fishing industry and operating as a popular tourist destination as the gateway to the Middle East and its hinterland.

Instead, we have nearly two million civilians under an inhuman siege from an occupying army that is armed and funded by both the US and the UK; that has blockaded essential supplies including electricity for over eleven years in a bid to starve an entire civilian population into submission and effect a regime change.

It’s a story of raw colonial power, political greed and personal ambition through the subjugation of an entire people by an internationally armed and funded, military occupation and illegal settlement, in open violation of the international Geneva Conventions on Human Rights.

In 2018, supported by a US Republican Congress (and a compliant UK Conservative Government), it continues as the spark that will eventually cause a devastating war – unless there is a paradigm shift in policy.  That seems most unlikely under the current Trump White House that is already intent on waging an American war against Iran by deliberately bankrupting the Iranian oil industry against the unanimous will of Europe, China, India and most of the international community.  It’s a very dangerous game by a dangerous man.

*

 

Hans Stehling (pen name) is a political analyst based in the UK. He is a frequent contributor to Global Research.

The Non-Existent Sea of Azov Crisis

Via The Saker

The Non-Existent Sea of Azov Crisis

November 02, 2018

By Rostislav Ishchenko
Translated by Ollie Richardson and Angelina Siard

cross posted with http://www.stalkerzone.org/rostislav-ishchenko-the-non-existent-sea-of-azov-crisis/
source: https://ukraina.ru/opinion/20181101/1021618870.html

After the resolution of the European parliament that, contrary to international law and common sense, condemned the actions of Russia in the Sea of Azov, Ukraine cheered up and achieved the bringing of the question concerning elections in the DPR/LPR to the consideration of the UN Security Council.

Russia couldn’t block the introduction of this issue into the agenda both for moral and long-term political reasons.

The fact is that Moscow in 2015 also tried to obtain, and actually did obtain, the approval of the Minsk Agreements via the decision of the UN Security Council. This allowed to put Ukraine on the hook of international legitimacy. Kiev, which desired to jump away from the topic, couldn’t state any more that it doesn’t consider itself to be bound to any agreement with “terrorist-separatists” and that it isn’t obligated to them at all. The decision of the Security Council also enshrined that Russia isn’t a party to the conflict. Kiev after this shouted a lot, caused a fuss, sabotaged the implementation of all without exception points of the Minsk Agreements, but didn’t at all dare to officially withdraw from them.

But every coin has two sides, it is possible to find something bad in any good situation, and in any bad situation – something good. The same thing applies here: cementing its position via the decision of the Security Council, Russia couldn’t, without suffering serious reputation losses, deny the Security Council its right to consider the implementation of the decisions approved by its resolution.

Of course, the Security Council couldn’t adopt an anti-Russian or anti-Donbass resolution in connection with the existence of Russia’s veto. But the 5 member countries of the Security Council (France, the Netherlands, Poland, Sweden, and Great Britain) made a statement of non-recognition of the elections being prepared in Donbass and urged Russia to cancel them. The statement was supported by Germany, Italy, and Belgium. It is strange that there was no America among the declarants. However, this allows to present the statement as the collective position of the European Union, while Washington receives the opportunity to later express itself in support of its allies, but in the meantime to make one more attempt to carry out behind-closed-doors bargaining with Moscow.

Both parties are formally right. Ukraine and its Euro-American intercessors specify that elections in Donbass, according to the Minsk Agreements, have to take place under Ukrainian laws, but Minsk will be violated if they take place now. The People’s Republics, whose position Russia supports, state that this may of course be true, but Ukraine long ago had to adopt a whole complex of acts and carry out other measures, including disengaging troops and ceasing shelling before the turn of the People’s Republics to observe the Ukrainian electoral laws comes.

Judging by separate passages of the speech of the Russian envoy in the UN Security Council, Moscow suggests to consider these elections as the simple legitimation of the heads of the republics, who, unlike their predecessors, weren’t elected by anybody. The West is proposed to look at these elections as the solution to a purely technical problem. Moscow has a trump card on its side  – the fact that the head of the DPR Zakharchenko was killed and charges of organising murder were brought to official Kiev structures.

Europe, however, didn’t want to accept the arguments of Russia, which is demonstrated by the statement of 8 EU states. This, of course, can be the usual diplomatic demarche without consequences — occupying an advantageous position for bargaining in the great global game. But there can also be more serious undertakings that as a result will lead to the realisation of Kiev’s dream of disavowing Minsk, but for reasons that are not at all joyful for Ukraine.

We remember that Germany and France weren’t at all afflicted when Russia froze meetings in the Normandy Format until Ukraine took a more constructive position. They sighed freely, because Kiev bothered them worse than a bitter radish, and sat down in the first row of the parterre to see how Volker will get out of the situation. But they remain guarantors of the Minsk Agreements. It is clear to all that Minsk will never be fulfilled. Kiev doesn’t hide from the West that it is afraid of a domino effect if Donbass is given special status. But Paris and Berlin can’t just say “we changed our mind, Minsk doesn’t work any more”. It is for this same reason that Russia can’t deny the UN Security Council its right to periodically consider the question of implementing the Minsk Agreements. France and Germany themselves insisted on these agreements, they participated in their development, they declared that this is their big victory. The political losses that both countries and their leaders will incur if they change their position will be too great.

France and Germany need to have a pretext to free themselves from the obligation of solving the Ukrainian crisis. If it is impossible to withdraw from the agreements at their own will, and if it is impossible to allow it to be disrupted by a Kiev supported by the West, then it is necessary to shift the blame onto Russia and the People’s Republics.

The West perfectly understands that the refusal under obvious pressure to hold elections in the People’s Republics will cause essential damage to Russia’s international authority. That’s why it acts maximally publicly, up to the level of collective statements following the results of the UN Security Council meeting, closing for Moscow the option of changing its mind and once again “postponing” elections. After the elections have taken place, the West can refuse to recognise Pushilin and Pasechnik as negotiators in connection with the non-recognition of the elections that they were elected in. Also the powers of other delegates signed by them during negotiations can also not be recognised. This is enough to bury the Minsk process under an absolutely plausible excuse.

But if indeed the West does this, then it won’t be done to start a new round of negotiations and reach compromises that are more acceptable for Kiev. If there was the desire to save Ukraine, then it would be enough for Germany to stop the construction of “Nord Stream-2” and not prevent Poland from paralysing the work of “Nord Stream-1”. The geopolitical situation surrounding Kiev would immediately significantly change, and the chances – albeit tiny – of lasting at least 5 years while Russia searches for new markets and delivery routes for its gas would sharply grow for the regime. But Germany initially didn’t plan to opt for such sacrifices, which indeed granted us [Russians – ed] the right to affirm that the destiny of Ukraine, in principle, has been decided, therefore it is better for the Kiev regime to immediately die because long agony only increases the torture.

The West in general, and Europe in particular, needs to jump away from the toxic topic, because it is already clear that Russia will soon raise the question of who will pay for the restoration of Ukraine, like how it already raised such a question concerning Syria. By the time that such a question will be asked by Moscow, it is necessary not to have any formal connections with the Ukrainian crisis. The destruction of the Minsk and Normandy Formats — formally not due to their own fault — allows France and Germany to distance themselves from the problem, while at the same time keeping their finger on the pulse. After all, Poland, Hungary, and Romania won’t be able to avoid border problems connected with their minorities in the West of Ukraine. This means that the EU will anyway be involved in a settlement. But Germany and France will be free from obligations and will be able to dictate to their younger partners in the EU the conditions of support for their position, threatening to leave them alone with their problem in the event of obstinacy.

The Azov crisis should be considered from the same point of view. The West didn’t notice this problem during a year, and then suddenly the European Parliament started to care about it, while even Ukraine recognises that although the economic losses from Russia’s actions in the Sea of Azov and big, Moscow acts in full accordance with international standards – no violations of protocols by Russian customs groups were documented.

There is nothing extraordinary about Russia’s actions. The US examined the vessels going to Cuba not only in the days of the Caribbean Crisis. Israel examined the vessels going to Lebanon and the Gaza Strip, which even caused a diplomatic incident and the cooling of earlier excellent relations with Turkey. It is possible to give a plethora of examples: a warship’s right to examine a trade vessel in the high sea is the ABC of international law.

Nevertheless, the European Parliament started talking about a possible aggravation in the Sea of Azov and began to threaten with sanctions.

Who will aggravate? Russia has no need to do this, Ukraine can’t, and there isn’t anyone else there. Sofa “experts” already started talking about the entrance of the “NATO fleet” in the Sea of Azov. Those who are cleverer speak about its entrance in the Black Sea, understanding that a warship can only pass in the Sea of Azov with the permission of Russia, and a breakthrough – moreover, by a whole “NATO fleet” – equals war. In addition, large ships anyway can’t breakthrough there, but small cutter boats and dinghies can be brought to the Sea of Azov by Ukraine via land routes without any NATO. But this won’t change anything since Russia can sink everything that floats on this sea. This water area is completely exposed to barrelled artillery fire from the coast, not to mention missile systems. If someone wants to launch a war against Russia, then they will find a more convenient place than the Sea of Azov.

NATO ships, for the purpose of flying the flag, entered, enter, and will continue to enter the Black Sea. The Sea Breeze exercises are staged there annually, but, having an unsinkable “aircraft carrier” named Crimea, Moscow reliably dominates in its water area so much so that a hypothetical attack of Russia using the forces of a really large squadron or shock aircraft carrier grouping is possible no closer than from the region of the Aegean Sea. In the Black Sea a fleet hostile to Russia becomes too vulnerable. Because of Crimea it has nowhere to manoeuvre, and it can’t quickly leave in case of danger – a large grouping of ships can’t overcome the Turkish straits overnight.

So all of this is a fairy tale in favour of idle chatter. The non-existent Azov crisis is invented, on the one hand, for the purpose of mobilising Russophobic voters in the EU for the European Parliament elections in May, 2019, and on the other hand — this noise masks the real actions of the West, and allows it to drift away from Ukraine, imitating its comprehensive support.

Otherwise it is difficult to explain why the West didn’t see the danger of the situation being aggravated during a whole year (when it really existed), but saw it precisely now when the problem was solved. The fishermen of “Nord” were exchanged for the Ukrainian poachers lassoed by Russia. It is only left to exchange captains, then vessels, and then the crisis will fizzle out. Especially if Kiev doesn’t forget to return “Mekhanik Pogodin” after “Nord”.

By the way, apparently Kiev started to suspect that something was amiss, because the comments of Ukrainian officials concerning the Azov crisis were wonderfully weighted, especially against the background of the West’s hysterics. The Kiev regime doesn’t even want to denounce the agreement on the status of the Sea of Azov, contrary to its habit of disrupting all agreements with Russia. However, the regime is now concentrated on destroying the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate and creating a pocket “local church”. It is too busy for the Sea of Azov.

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