Streetwise Professor

March 30, 2014

Kerry & Lavrov Negotiate Ukraine’s Surrender in Paris: Were All the Rooms in Munich Booked?

Filed under: History,Military,Politics,Russia — The Professor @ 11:06 am

Following up on Putin’s phone call to Obama, Kerry is making a detour to Paris to negotiate with Lavrov over the fate of Ukraine.

Lavrov has laid out Russia’s terms, and intimates that Obama and Kerry have accepted the principles underlying these terms.

First, Russia demands that Ukraine adopt a new constitution that establishes a federal structure that gives each region considerable autonomy.  Translate this to mean that these regions would be able to pull a Crimea.  Or, more accurately, that Russia would be able to pull a Crimea, slicing off pieces of Ukraine and splicing them onto Russia.

Crucially, Lavrov said: “I can say that ‘federation’ is no longer a taboo word in our negotiations.”  Meaning that if he is telling the truth (always a big if) Obama has conceded that Ukraine’s constitutional order is up for negotiation, on Moscow’s terms.

Second, Russia demands that Ukraine’s new constitution incorporate guarantees that Ukraine will not join Nato or any other alliance.

In brief: the Secretary of State of the United States is traveling to Paris to negotiate the constitution of a sovereign country, without the presence of that country.  The end state of this negotiation would be to turn Ukraine into a Russian satrapy, to be gobbled up piecemeal, and with no ability to conduct an independent foreign policy.

Lavrov’s teaser is that Russia has no intention of invading Ukraine.  But if you read his words closely, you will understand that he means Russia has no intention of invading if its terms are accepted. Otherwise, Ukraine is a fascist, Nazi threat to Russia and to Russian “compatriots.”  And we know what Putin believes such a threat justifies.

The 1930s analogies keep coming, fast and furious. Here the analogy is Munich, where France and Germany negotiated Czechoslovakia’s fate with Hitler, without the Czechs being present.  The Czechs called the agreement the Munich Diktat. Will the Ukrainians call this the Paris Diktat?

There are other similarities.  The pretext of the Germans in 1938 was and Russia in 2014 is the necessity of protecting co-ethnics allegedly threatened by independent nations not invited to the negotiations.  Munich resulted in the handover of the major industrial region of Czechoslovakia to Germany: the likely outcome of an agreement on Putin’s terms would be to handover Ukraine’s main industrial region to Russia. The Munich negotiations took place under the threat of a German invasion of Czechoslovakia if Hitler’s terms were not accepted, and German troops were massed on the border to carry out that threat.  The Paris negotiations are taking place under the threat of a Russian invasion of Ukraine if Putin’s terms are not accepted, and Russian troops are massed on the border with the capability to carry out that threat.

Once upon a time “No More Munichs!” was a catchphrase in US foreign policy. No longer, apparently. Obama and Kerry seem to be saying “Why Not Munich?”

Even if no agreement comes of these talks, or talks that follows, it is deeply shameful that the United States would even engage in such a negotiation on such terms with such a nation.  Deeply shameful.

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  1. Maidan in Donetsk:

    Notice the stunning difference between the friendship between demonstrators and local police in Donetsk, and the hostility with which Kiev’s Maidan treated the police.

    Comment by vladislav — April 7, 2014 @ 1:46 pm

  2. Especially for Vlad:

    Comment by AP — April 8, 2014 @ 5:25 pm

  3. AP, MJ is correct for once: the fate of Jews is NOT an issue in modern Ukraine. First of all, there are very few left: more than a million perished in the Holocaust at the hands of Germans and OUN members. Most of the remaining have emigrated to Israel, Russia and USA. Even if Svoboda and Right Sector come to power, the remaining Jews will emigrate long before any sanctions against them are implemented. The worst that can happen is that the assets of Ukrainian oligarchs will be expropriated, and not of ALL Jewish oligarchs, but only those of the pro-Yanukovich oligarchs, and I don’t consider the fate of oligarchs’ riches to be of much concern.

    What is of utter important is the fate of so-called “Moskals” of all eccentricities, but primarily of Russian and Ukrainian ethnicity. People who hate Jews are xenophobes, and once a xenophobe is always a xenophobe. Let me post Youtube videos of numerous demonstrations in Ukraine demanding the slaughter of “Moskals”:
    Приезд Фарион в Одессу Москалей – на ножи!
    Москалей на ножи, Правый Сектор идет по городу.
    Марш бандеровцев УПА: москалей на ножи!
    Киев. 27.03.2014.Правосеки перед штурмом Верховной Рады.”Москалей на ножи”
    01/01/2013 Хватит бухать пора воевать! Москалей на ножи!
    25/03/14 Правый сектор Россия, жди! Москалей на ножи!
    14.3.2013 №10 Москалей на ножи!
    Марш УПА – москалей на ножи
    МОСКАЛЕЙ НА НОЖИ! (правый сектор)
    Москаляку на гиляку!

    ” Москалей на ножи!” means “Slaughter Moskals with knives!”

    ” Москаляку на гиляку!” means “Cut Moskals’ heads off!”

    Worse than that is that the children in West Ukraine are indoctrinated into believing that the genocide against “Moskals” is a good thing:
    Школьники в Украинской школе кричат антироссийские лозун
    Школьная линейка в украинской школе. Москаляку на гилляку.
    Школьная линейка Дрогобича. Школьники скандируют Москалей на ножи!

    This view is gaining momentum in Ukraine. Even a “moderate democrat” like Yulia Tymoshenko privately wishes a “Moskal” genocide:

    Timoshenko: We need to take arms and kill these damned katsaps [Russians] together with their leader. I do regret I had no possibility to be there and it wasn’t not I who had headed these events. They would have gotten dick instead of Crimea. I would found the way how to kill these a$$holes… and I hope I use all my contacts, I will raise the whole world as soon as I have a chance that not even a burnt ground will remain of Russia.

    Shufrich: But what to do with other 8 millions of ethnic Russians on Ukraine’s territory? They’re pariahs now…

    Timoshenko: Damn, they should be killed with nuclear weapons.

    Comment by vladislav — April 9, 2014 @ 12:56 am

  4. “eccentricities” should read “ethnicities”. 🙂

    Comment by vladislav — April 9, 2014 @ 1:00 am

  5. ” Москаляку на гиляку!” means “Cut Moskals’ heads off!” – this is actually a well-known feature of Russian propaganda: they are so lazy and stupid they never bother to learn anything about what they are lying about to be able to avoid the most obvious giveaways.

    I remember when fascist Russia invaded Georgia, they showed some artillery shells on Russian TV as proof that Ukraine was supplying Georgia with weapons (which was supposed to be somehow illegal in the Muscovite propaganda narrative). The only slight problem was, they showed the shells close enough that you could clearly read the inscriptions in Serbian.

    Comment by Ivan — April 9, 2014 @ 7:29 am

  6. Ivan, I understand each individual word in your post, but I fail to see meanings of your sentences. How are these ”Москаляку на гиляку!” Ukrainian demonstrations “Russian propaganda”:
    Москаляку на гиляку!
    Школьная линейка в украинской школе. Москаляку на гилляку.

    Comment by vladislav — April 9, 2014 @ 12:38 pm

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