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Flawed peace plan for Ukraine repeats Kremlin talking points

Rogue Valley

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Flawed peace plan for Ukraine repeats Kremlin talking points

lavrov-ve-pompeo-munihte-gorustu-pompeo-basarilar-dileyerek-herkesi-sasirtti.jpg

Lavrov and Pompeo in Munich. They talked without witnesses.

2/14/20
A distinguished group of American, European, and Russian former government officials and think tank experts has taken advantage of the Munich Security Conference to issue a statement recommending twelve steps to bring greater security to Ukraine and the Euro-Atlantic region. Most of the twelve recommendations from the Euro-Atlantic Security Leadership Group—if faithfully implemented by all parties—are constructive and could both serve as confidence-building measures and alleviate the difficulties and suffering endured by the population in or near the occupied Donbas. Several are problematic; two in particular echo Kremlin negotiating proposals or disinformation themes. More importantly, the document describes the problem to be resolved in Kremlin-friendly terms, perhaps in order to persuade members of the Russian elite to sign. The signers identify the problem in their very first sentence: “the conflict in and around Ukraine.” That description obscures the problem’s origins and makes it impossible to find an appropriate solution. “The conflict in and around Ukraine” began when Russian troops, in Russian uniforms but operating without identifying insignias, seized the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea, and Moscow “annexed” it. Moscow then launched its hybrid war in Donbas and used its massive disinformation apparatus to present this as a Ukrainian civil conflict. Without Kremlin leadership, financing, weapons (including heavy arms), ammunition, and—in some cases—regular units of the Russian Army, there would be no “conflict in and around Ukraine.”

In short, the problem to fix is Moscow’s aggression in Ukraine—by restoring Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, starting with the Donbas. More broadly, the problem is to persuade Moscow that it does not have the right to dictate the policies of its neighbors. The authors are right that the Kremlin’s war against Ukraine requires a political solution. However, that solution requires an honest assessment of the battlefield, and the policies and objectives of the actors. Moscow has not hidden its objectives. Senior Russian officials declare that they must have a sphere of influence, and to achieve it they will use all necessary means, including military force. Recommendation eight picks up the Kremlin-friendly idea of partial sanctions easing for partial implementation of the Minsk Agreement. It ignores the fact that the most critical element of Minsk is a real ceasefire, which could happen tomorrow if Moscow so instructed its officers and proxies in the Donbas. This recommendation, moreover, would undercut the European Union position that all of Minsk must be implemented in order for the sanctions to be lifted. Recommendation twelve, which calls for a “new national dialogue about identity,” is a dubious meddle in Ukraine’s internal affairs. Recommendation twelve’s invitation to Russia to help define Ukraine is astonishing in its disrespect for the nation Russia has invaded. As Western participants in a new dialogue seek concrete commitments and establish clear red lines, backed by economic and military power, such an exercise might be helpful when the Kremlin finally decides to end its unsuccessful aggression in Ukraine. The dialogue should not encourage hawks in Moscow still trying to dominate Ukraine.

A surprise gatecrasher in Munich was US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to meet surreptitiously with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

As is getting to be a habit with the Trump administration, Pompeo and Lavrov talked in secret for a while. Someone probably got sold down the river.
 

Rogue Valley

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Ah. Almost forgot.

For the Munich Security Conference junket, Mike Pompeo has his wife Sarah listed as a "Special Assistant to the Secretary of State."

Is she drawing a salary as well? Who is paying for her travel expenses? Taxpayers? Looks like more Trump administration corruption and nepotism.

EQviHywXsAAXBus
 

Paradoxical

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Flawed peace plan for Ukraine repeats Kremlin talking points

lavrov-ve-pompeo-munihte-gorustu-pompeo-basarilar-dileyerek-herkesi-sasirtti.jpg

Lavrov and Pompeo in Munich. They talked without witnesses.



A surprise gatecrasher in Munich was US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to meet surreptitiously with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

As is getting to be a habit with the Trump administration, Pompeo and Lavrov talked in secret for a while. Someone probably got sold down the river.

Those discussions should be held for Vindman and Schiff to review first to decide if it's OK.
 

Tigerace117

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Flawed peace plan for Ukraine repeats Kremlin talking points

lavrov-ve-pompeo-munihte-gorustu-pompeo-basarilar-dileyerek-herkesi-sasirtti.jpg

Lavrov and Pompeo in Munich. They talked without witnesses.



A surprise gatecrasher in Munich was US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to meet surreptitiously with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

As is getting to be a habit with the Trump administration, Pompeo and Lavrov talked in secret for a while. Someone probably got sold down the river.

The Russians aren’t going to give the Crimea back. It really never should have been given to the Ukrainian SSR in the first place.
 
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