Putin’s “Isolation” Ended – President Poroshenko Should Realize That Eastern Ukraine Is Lost America and Europe will help Ukraine on the economy. They will not lift a finger to protect its territorial integrity

WASHINGTON – National Security Advisor Susan Rice said a few days ago in a TV interview that the goal of Western sanctions against Russia is to force Putin to stop his meddling in Eastern Ukraine and to give Crimea back to Ukraine.

Punishing Russia?

She added that Russia is isolated because Europe and the US stand together in condemning Moscow’s aggression.

Isolated. Indeed. As a result of these truly “heavy sanctions” , (yes, I say this in jest), signalling Europe’s displeasure, CEOs of major European companies (Siemens, for instance) felt an obligation to go and visit Putin.

Business as usual with Putin

And Putin, while excluded from the traditional annual G 8 summit, was still invited to France to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Normandy Landing. And he was also invited to have dinner with French President Francois Hollande. Such is the heavy punishment for aggression against weaker countries!

Europe is trying to help

Of course, one might argue that all this is for a good cause. You see, thanks to Europe’s good will, Putin had a chance to meet with Petro Poroshenko, Ukraine’s new President, in the context of the gathering of world leaders to celebrate D-Day’s 70th Anniversary. And, hey, it looks as if Putin was nice enough to talk to Poroshenko. And —can you believe this— the Russian President is embracing a softer approach on relations with Ukraine. Isn’t this great?

Ukraine is all alone

No, it is not great at all. Poroshenko should understand that Putin won while he and the West lost. In fact the West did not lose. It did not even engage.

The West, while willing to support sorry-looking Ukraine economically, will do nothing serious to stop Russia’s support for the insurrection in Eastern Ukraine, let alone force Putin to give Crimea back. (Susan Rice may say it and repeat it. But, in so doing, she will only look silly).

Eastern Ukraine is lost

I said it before: Eastern Ukraine is a festering wound that cannot be healed. It would be wise for Poroshenko to proceed with a painful but in the long run healing amputation. There is no way that Russia will stop supporting the separatists in the East. And these separatists, emboldened by Putin’s help and aware of Western passivity, have no incentive to stop demanding independence.

Realistically, unless it wants to create something like Syria’s hell with thousands of civilian casualties and tens of thousands of refugees, plus the guarantee of Russia’s direct intervention, the Kiev government should know by now that it has no chance to prevail militarily.

And Putin of course has even more leverage. In order to survive, Ukraine needs Russian gas. It has no other option.

Accept territorial losses and focus on the economy

Aware of all this, Poroshenko should be realistic. By now he should have understood that he will get no real help from the West where it would really matter: reconstituting Ukraine’s territorial integrity.

Therefore he should come to terms with the simple fact that the East is lost, just as Crimea is lost. Accept the loss and focus on fixing the rest of the county.

If Poroshenko really believes that the mild sanction imposed by the West will force Putin to “be nice” and give back what he has taken without suffering any real consequences, then he is a fool.

Europe and America have accepted the results of Russian aggression

As for America and Europe, it is clear that implicitly they treat Putin’s misbehavior as a case of “bad manners” on an almost “domestic” issue that does not affect them that much.

In fact, they privately recognize that Russia had a case regarding the “unjust” way the borders were drawn after the collapse of the old Soviet Union. They only object to the inelegant way Putin went about reclaiming land, (that they privately agree really belongs to Russia).

However, as long as Putin’s appetites go only as far as claiming a few pieces of old Russia, beyond symbolic gestures aimed at affirming displeasure with “bad manners”, nobody is going to care, let alone act.

End of America’s leadership

So much for a new world order in which the unilateral use of force to settle disputes would not be allowed. So much for America as the guardian of this new world order.

And so much for Pax Americana, in this age of penury, crushing debt, myopic leadership and retreat.



, , ,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *