The quadrilateral talks in Berlin today demonstrated that European diplomats are ready to close their eyes to the existence of a Putin controlled quasi-state in the Donbas just to avoid direct conflict with Russia.
After two days of the renewed anti-terrorist operation in eastern Ukraine, talks took place in Berlin with the participation of the foreign ministers of Ukraine, Russia, Germany, and France regarding the peaceful resolution of the situation in eastern Ukraine.
The diplomats met in the German capital at the invitation of the German Minister of Foreign Affairs Frank-Walter Steinmeier , which elicited the sincere and well-deserved thanks from his Russian colleague Sergey Lavrov.
The participants in the closed door negotiations stated they had reached a “package of agreements on a truce in southeastern Ukraine.” As Steinmeier commented on the results of the negotiations, “I think with joint effort we will be able to move away from the escalation of the conflict that has taken place in recent days….The Berlin conference has developed measures that point the way to a sustainable and mutual ceasefire,” he said.
All these pacifist announcements indicate only one thing — the strongest country in the EU seeks to freeze the conflict in the Donbas at any cost to avoid the need to engage in tough confrontations with Putin’s Russia and to be obligated to move to the third level of sanctions. This option seems to fully satisfy Putin as well. After all, any “de-escalation” in eastern Ukraine and the continuation of “negotiations” with the terrorists only “legitimizes” the terrorist “republics” of DPR (Donetsk People’s Republic) and (Lohansk People’s Republic). Furthermore, the achievement of “sustainable ceasefire” will give rise to the creation on Ukrainian territory, and under Russia’s control, of a “quasi state” on the order of a new Transnistria. Then, in his relations with Ukraine, Putin will be able to exchange military tactics for the already familiar gas and trade wars.
According to this scenario, Germany, where Putin’s lobby is very strong, will be able to play along with Putin while saving face in a more or less civilized fashion under the cover of pretentious statements on the need for peace. With this development there will be no need to invoke sanctions against Russia, which Mrs. Merkel absolutely does not want to do — the war has been brought to an end, stability restored. As for the occupation of Crimea, Russia has already been forgiven for that. Again it will become possible, as was the case when Russia invaded Georgia, to slowly resume cooperation with the aggressor “on the basis of mutual respect and partnership.”
Moreover, the German position is logical and understandable. Why get involved in an inconvenient struggle and suffer losses through reduced cooperation with Russia just for the sake of some distant Ukraine? The only problem is that our country is not the first to have experienced Russian aggression. In Poland and the Baltic states, which have been “lucky” to have already experienced the “Russian world,” people understand very well that Putin will not be pacified for long. The only question is where exactly the Russian leader will decide to go protect his compatriot population next time.
By Taras Klochko, Espreso TV, July 2, 2014
Translation: Anna Mostovych