Moscow analyst: ‘West would give Putin Ukraine if that was all he wanted’

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2015/02/10 • Analysis & Opinion, Russia

A prominent Moscow analyst says that “the West would surrender Ukraine to Putin if Putin’s demands were limited to only Ukraine,” but the West understands that Putin wants far more – the restoration of the Yalta-Potsdam world and recognition of Russia as a super power like the USSR in that system.

In comments to OpenRussia.org’s Roman Popkov, Stanislav Belkovsky argues that “Putin is trying to get from the West not only concessions on Ukraine but the restoration of the Yalta-Potsdam system of international relations” in which the superpowers “have zones of influence and military force plays the key role.”

“Putin wants to don Stalin’s uniform and return to the Yalta-Potsdam world of 1945,” the analyst continues, but this is “impossible because that world collapsed in 1989 along with the fall of the Berlin wall.” Ukraine is simply the current place “for exchange and for maneuver” in these talks between Putin and the West.

The Kremlin leader has certain “tactical and local demands” with regard to Ukraine, including but not limited to autonomy for Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, the survival of Russian-occupied Crimea, and guarantees that Ukraine will not enter NATO and that the pro-Moscow breakaway republic of Transdniestria will be allowed to continue to exist.

But all of that, Belkovsky says, is “only a prelude for trade around the question of whether Russia is the legal successor of the USSR in the full sense of the word or not and whether Putin is or is not the Stalin of 1945.”

According to the Moscow analyst, the West would sacrifice Ukraine to Putin if it believed that his demands were limited to that country, “but the West understands that Putin’s goal is not Ukraine.” He doesn’t care about Ukraine as such but rather wants far more than that: he wants the restoration of a world that no longer exists or can exist.

And the West further understands, he continues, that “the surrender of Ukraine would be a return to the Yalta-Potsdam system which arose in 1945 and which was liquidated at the same time with the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989.” The West is not interested in that and therefore, Belkovsky says, it won’t sacrifice Ukraine because that would undermine all that it has achieved.

Instead, he says, the West wants Putin to understand that he is the leader of a country which lost the Cold War and therefore cannot aspire to Stalin’s status.

One very much fears Belkovsky is exactly right about what Putin wants: one very much hopes that the West understands what is at stake and will act accordingly. But there is a very real danger that because that is what Putin wants, he will now do everything to suggest that Ukraine is his only goal and that some in the West will accept that in the name of getting a ceasefire.

Edited by: A. N.

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  • FunkyWinkerbean

    Fine and true statements. Now what?

  • Brent

    Now the cards are on the table. Now the West can stop guessing and trying to negotiate and appease Putin and Russia. Time to firm up the backbones and stand up to the little monster. We should not be sacrificing any countries to this diminutive petulant runt of a being. The West gave Russia a chance with Obama’s reset and cancelling of the Missile Defense Shield, with accepting them into the G8, the WTO and our trade markets. Germany even built them a $140 million military training base and France was going to give sell them assault class warships. NATO or one of the Western powers can now buy those to use against his garbage of a navy that has to go everywhere with a tugboat to bring back one of their rustbuckets they use. It’s time to tell Putin the only reset will be back to the borders of January 1st of 2014, or even better, to his pre Georgia invasion and that’s the only reset he’s going to get or he becomes a pariah state like North Korea. Russia constitutes 140 million people out of 7 billion on this Earth. Do we really need their trade that bad?

    The West can bottle up Russia’s southern navy in the Black Sea as the Dardenelles are controlled by a NATO country, Turkey. Russia can go back to bread and meat queues, waiting for their crappy Lada’s and the Dark Ages of Communism. We can isolate them and wait for the Russian people to get fed up with Communism 2.0. We can also look for alternatives to Russia petro products NOW and stop funding their terrorism. Their new gas trade deal with China doesn’t even have a pipeline built, and their proposed gas pipeline to Turkey is also not ready.

    No more Russia at the negotiating table with countries like Iran and Syrai as the U.S. showed it could negotiate peace with countries. Choke off Russia’s income and it can’t support its puppet terrorist regimes either.

  • Dirk Smith

    Today it appears the Azov Regiment begs to differ on this “theory.” Slava Ukrainia!!!

  • jmundstuk

    And Ukraine is the keystone to this aspiration, is it not? Who said that without Ukraine, there is no Russian Empire?

  • Mazepa

    Much like any mockal idiot, monkey putin wishes for his dreams to come true! However, reality has already demonstrated that it was UKRAINE that destroyed the decrepid soviet union it will be UKRAINE that will destroy the mockal federation.
    As icing on the cake, monkey putin will be assassinated and it will not be pretty for him.
    Guaranteed.