Skip to comments.West and Russia accuse each other of 'coercing' Ukraine
Posted on 02/01/2014 11:44:25 AM PST by 1rudeboy
(Reuters) - The United States and Europe exchanged angry words with Russia on Saturday in a tug-of-war over Ukraine, with U.S., EU and NATO leaders saying Moscow must not strong-arm Kiev into an unpopular alliance.
At conference in Munich where Western diplomats met leaders of the Ukrainian opposition, United States Secreatary of State John Kerry said the protesters believe "their futures do not have to lie with one country alone, and certainly not coerced".
"Nowhere is the fight for a democratic, European future more important today than in Ukraine," he said. "The United States and EU stand with the people of Ukraine in that fight."
But Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, outnumbered in Munich by supporters of Ukraine's overtures to the European Union that were suddenly ditched by President Viktor Yanukovich last November, hit back with the same charge.
Lavrov said "political choice was preordained for Ukraine" when NATO offered Kiev potential membership of the western military alliance in 2008. Ukraine demurred but does cooperate with NATO on international peace missions such as Afghanistan.
"Here a choice is being imposed," said Lavrov, accusing some EU politicians of fomenting anti-Yanukovich protests by people who "seize and hold government buildings, attack the police and use racist and anti-Semitic and Nazi slogans".
They were trading barbs at the annual Munich Security Conference. Differences between Russia and the western allies on Ukraine and Syria, where Moscow backs President Bashar al-Assad, made for a chilly atmosphere on the podium there.
On the sidelines, boxer-turned-politician Vitaly Klitschko and Arseniy Yatsenyuk, an ally of jailed former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko, as well as lawmaker Petro Poroshenko and pop star Ruslana Lyzhychko lobbied for support for the opposition.
(Excerpt) Read more at reuters.com ...
Will Obama speak out for the majority of Britons who don’t want to be members of the EU, but are forced to be by their corrupt government?
Gosh, I dunno . . . do they want to join France, or something?
Hopefully they will manage to continue their neutrality and benefit from playing the EU against the Russians...while siding strictly with only themselves.
No, they just want to be independent.
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That should be your tagline.
Sorry that my pro-Soviet sentiments don’t meet with your approval.
Which is what Poland and all the former Captive Nations should have done.
Yeah, in the loving arms of Mother Russia, right?
A good number of the Captive Nations were neutral. How well did that work out, last time?
I was referring to the UK
So you admit the analogy is weak, at best . . . if not false.
No, the analogy is valid.
In both cases you have corrupt governments. In both cases you have large popular movements to disband political ties with countries that they don’t like.
So why will Obama not support UKIP?
Poland was neutral?
The Baltic Republics were. Funny how everyone forgets about them.
Please identify to me what political party in the UK wants to dissolve ties with one country over another. Thanks in advance.
As I’ve said before, my ultimate dream is the restoration of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. If only they had survived, how much better off Europe would have been.
That’s what I find so annoying about our neo-Bolsheviks here on FR. “Don’t be a pawn! Be a pawn of ours!” It’s friggin’ stupid.
UKIP wishes for the UK to break ties with the European Union, just as Svoboda in Ukraine wishes to break ties with Russia. Both have large popular support.
Why the double standard? Does he also support Catalonian independence?
Not in the mood to play, “let’s keep moving the goalposts” today, thanks.
Independence or alliance with the islamic pod people of western europe? Western Europe is on the brink of financial collapse, the demographics are in the toilet and Ukraine sees this as the better choice. Makes you wonder who is running the protest movement.
No moved goalposts at all. You just can’t defend Obama’s hypocrisy here, and its obvious this is just political maneuvering. Obama is a die-hard fan of the EU, so he will support popular movements to enter it, but not popular movements to exit it.
Some on FR have speculated Soros, but until I see concrete evidence one of his groups is involved, I’m skeptical even though it is his MO.
You’re right about demographics, but its Ukraine’s demographics that will suffer if Ukrainians get a free pass into the UK and Germany. They’ll leave Ukraine and never return, much like 13% of Latvians did.
This situation is very complex with multiple competing interests at work. Its dumb to view it as just EU vs. Russia. It will be interesting to see how it ends.
Ukrainians hate Russians. That sentiment goes way back.
Ukraine has the potential of being the most dynamic country in Europe: It is the largest (assuming one does not consider Russia part of Europe, as there is a very convincing school of thought that anything south and east of the Black Sea is Asia, not Europe; and, although the westernmost portion of Russia is about as far west as the westernmost part of the Black Sea, the vast majority of Russia is east of the Black Sea), and has incredible agricultural possibilities; it has a long coastline on the Black Sea, and the robust Dnieper River is central to the country.
Ukrainians have always had a more western-leaning mindset than an eastern one.
If by "dynamic" you mean "place where things keep happening," like those Chinese "interesting times," then perhaps it's a curse.
If you mean "rich, independent, and industrialized," then that particular potential was realized only once in the entire history of Ukraine. It was in 1930s, under Stalin, when millions of workers (free and prisoners alike) were employed for two decades to build power stations, steel mills, and many other objects of industry. Once left alone, in 1990s, the industry started to decay, and today it is in serious danger of being lost.
The agreement with Russia is more favorable to Ukraine simply because Russia needs Ukraine's industry - it will be financed, fixed up, and used to make products for both countries and for export. EU has no use for Ukrainian industry; it would benefit from Ukraine having no industry at all. EU farmers do not want competition either. Ukraine is risking its identity, not just independence, if it gets too close to the EU.
Khrushchev was boss of Ukraine, under Stalin, and once he took over as Soviet leader, he took personal interest in the building up of Ukraine, even transferring the Crimea to the Ukrainian SSR.
You simply brought up UKIP because you wanted to sound smart, and you brought up Obama because you don't know what the hell you are talking about.
Now that is an inadvertently sad comment about the state of affairs in Russia.
That was possibly the worst refutation I’ve heard. There’s no BS there at all. Obama is lending his voice to the EU side of the equation. I simply asked why he doesn’t lend his voice to a similarly popular movement in the United Kingdom.
And how would bringing up UKIP make anyone sound ‘smart’. It’s a well known political party that makes the news occasionally. I wasn’t delving into 16th Century Abecedarians or some other obscure detail. haha.
No need for hysterics.
I think UKIP might disagree. As I stated, failed analogy.
Pointing out a similarity between them, does not entail their equality in any other regard.
Svoboda and UKIP have a similar goal of detaching their respective nation from a current international political alliance.
You are right, they are fundamentally different. UKIP is a libertarian outfit, while Svoboda is a Jobbik-esque nationalist group. UKIP has no representation in British government, while Svoboda has 36 members in the Verkhovna Rada. Svoboda are no strangers to violence, whereas UKIP is not a violent group.
But the point had nothing to do with their ideologies or beliefs about government, merely their shared wish to alter their countries’ international stance. A move that has broad support in both countries.
If the state department has a grain of sense it would announce a Ukrainian visit from Kerry at least maybe even a state visit.. Putin is up to no good.
>>>Ukrainians hate Russians. That sentiment goes way back.<<<
>>>The agreement with Russia is more favorable to Ukraine simply because Russia needs Ukraine’s industry - it will be financed, fixed up, and used to make products for both countries and for export. EU has no use for Ukrainian industry; it would benefit from Ukraine having no industry at all. EU farmers do not want competition either. Ukraine is risking its identity, not just independence, if it gets too close to the EU.<<<
Bingo. But in my humble opinion Ukraine has to go EU if it really want it. They really deserves the consequences.
Russia has a capacity to build all the things it’s importing from Ukraine on it’s own.
“If you mean “rich, independent, and industrialized,” then that particular potential was realized only once in the entire history of Ukraine. It was in 1930s, under Stalin, when millions of workers (free and prisoners alike) were employed for two decades to build power stations, steel mills, and many other objects of industry.”
You’re not serious, are you? Ukraine was independent under Stalin? Ukrainians were so happy under Stalin? Then one must ask why they welcomed the Nazis as liberators.
Forced collectivization under Stalin hit Ukraine especially hard.
I guess you have to consider what part of modern Ukraine you are talking about. Historically, the inhabitants of the area west of the Dnieper River were fiercely independent, and had little use for the Russians to the east. That part of modern Ukraine that is east of the Dnieper River were and are more kindly disposed to the Russians. Remember, the Crimea, for instance, was not considered part of Ukraine, but rather was part of Russia. It was only recently that the Crimea became part of Ukraine.
Ukrainians west of the Dnieper predominantly speak Ukrainian; however, when you go east of the Dnieper River you’ll find a large number of Ukrainians who speak Russian.
Then, of course, Ukraine was absorbed into the Kingdom of Poland a few hundred years ago, and there was no love lost between the Poles and the Russians (or, for that matter, between the Ukrainian Cossacks and the Poles). But that is not really a topic for this discussion.
Russia doesn't spend money to modernize its own industry, WHY, in all that is holy, would they spend money on Ukraine's?
Shouldn’t have forced Catholicism on Ukrainians and Cossacks wouldn’t have revolted
If I were to guess:
This is not to say that development within Russia is out of question... but Ukrainian resources are already there, right across the border - they are just poorly managed (which is obvious.)
A similar set of facts is the reason why your computer is built in Taiwan from parts made in Malaysia. It's not a conspiracy of Dell and IBM and HP - it's caused by natural reasons that apply to everyone. This is why the USA buys steel from China instead of upgrading domestic steel mills (say, in Pittsburgh.) [Today you'd die from old age before you negotiate all the
red tape paperwork with EPA.]
>>>Youre not serious, are you? Ukraine was independent under Stalin? Ukrainians were so happy under Stalin? Then one must ask why they welcomed the Nazis as liberators.
Forced collectivization under Stalin hit Ukraine especially hard.<<<
Not everyone has welcomed Nazis as liberators.
There were two poor peasants and one urban shoe polisher who got jobs in newly established industries per every kulak sent to gulag in 1930s. Czarist regime before Stalin was a feudal tyranny and it wasn’t pretty. It is a primary reason why commies got an upper hand, and Stalin was popular in USSR, including Ukraine.
It benefits Russia because it creates economic links to Ukraine that are not as easy to break (compared to Ukrainian President today deciding something and tomorrow undeciding that, as a true master of his word.)
Conclusion for Ukraine should be the exact opposite. If Russia throws a tantrum and closes border when Ukraine makes a political decision, it is not a reliable trading partner, and Ukraine should not walk, but run the other way