Putin and Obama agreed on far more about Ukraine and Syria than they’ve acknowledged, Illarionov says

Obama, Putin, Kerry, Lavrov

 

2015/10/01 • Analysis & Opinion, Politics, Russia

Neither the Russian nor the American side put out an official statement about the meeting of the two presidents in New York, but the comments by Vladimir Putin and US Secretary of State John Kerry suggest the two agreed on far more about Ukraine and Syria than Moscow or Washington have acknowledged, according to Andrey Illarionov.

Andrey Illarionov, Russian economist and former economic policy advisor to the President of Russia, Vladimir Putin. Currently, a senior fellow in the Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity at the Cato Institute in Washington, DC

Andrey Illarionov, Russian economist and former economic policy advisor to the President of Russia, Vladimir Putin. Currently, a senior fellow in the Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity at the Cato Institute in Washington, DC

The Russian analyst says it one must “distinguish between solemn declaration and hidden agreements” which can lead to war, and thus it is especially important not to be caught up in either the words of Vladimir Putin or the content of Barack Obama’s UN General Assembly speech in assessing where things are headed.

Despite the emotional terms in which they were couched, Illarionov says, both the Putin and Kerry versions of the agreement achieved “differ little from one another.” Moreover, “both sides noted that the negotiations were open, civic and constructive.”

According to Kerry, “a significant amount of time’ was devoted to Ukraine, and Putin and Obama reached four points of accord:

“1. We together want to solve ‘the Ukrainian crisis.’
2. The joint task of Russia and the US is to seek the fulfillment of Minsk-2.
3. For this in particular, on October 2 will take place a meeting of Hollande, Merkel and Putin in Paris (Kerry did not consider it necessary to mention the name Poroshenko).
4. [And] the task is to seek the fulfillment of Minsk-2 in the course of the next three months before the end of 2015.”

“That is all,” Illarionov says. There was no mention by the US of the withdrawal of Russian forces from Ukrainian territory, an end to external support of the separatists, establishment of Ukrainian control over the internationally recognized border, or an end to the annexation of Crimea.

Again, the Russian analyst continues, according to Kerry, Putin and Obama reached the following agreements on Syria:

“1. Syria must be preserved as united and secular.
2. There must be developed (continued) military actions against ISIS.
3. There must be an administered transition process within a definite period of a change in the political regime in Syria…
4. Disagreements remain relative to what this transition process means and what could be its results.
5. In this transition process must participate Russia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar…
6. A coalition between the US and Russia in the war against ISIS is ‘absolutely possible’ once there is agreement on the transition process.
7. [The US now does not demand Assad’s immediate ouster.] 8. [Concerning Iran,] ‘The Iranians obviously will be a component of this process.”

Kerry made three other comments, Illarionov remarks.

  • First, he said that the US had asked Moscow to use its good offices to prevent Assad from using barrel bombs against the population.
  • Second, he stressed how pleased he personally was to have “a chance to speak with President Putin.”
  • And third, Kerry said that if Russia acted alone in Iraq, it could have serious negative consequences for Russia and for Putin personally.

All this suggests, the Russian analyst continues, that there were real agreements between Putin and Obama on both Ukraine and Syria. (Adding to that impression is the fact that Obama chose not to meet with the Ukrainian president at UNGA but handed off that task to Vice President Joe Biden.)

And he argues that Russian bombing in Syria “is nothing other than the direct result of agreements between Putin and Obama. Without Obama’s approval, the Russian military actions in Syria would have been either impossible or unilateral. Now, however, they have received official cover from the US administration.”

“With all due respect to those who hold dear and who sincerely believe in the correct, wise and remarkable words spoken from time to time by Mr. Obama,” Illarionov says, “all the same one must distinguish between solemn declarations which do not have practical consequences and hidden agreements behind which wars begin” especially when such agreements involve authoritarian regimes.

Edited by: A. N.

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  • Being

    So… it is not up to citizens of these countries, it is up to few people with huge weapons.
    Good.
    And yet an other story about Values Holland …
    And Merkel just to print out more ojros … for all the values .. we need a lot of ojros.. a lot ..

  • laker48

    Now it’s the right time for Sweden, Finland, the Baltic States, Poland, Ukraine, Slovakia, Romania, Moldova, Bulgaria, Turkey and Georgia to start working on closer economic and military ties to stop RuSSia’s expansion into the European post-Soviet sphere of influence. RuSSia has to be prevented from influencing Ukraine.

    • Dagwood Bumstead

      Forget Finland and Slovakia. They are too dependent on Dwarfstan economically. Remember the term “Finlandisation”? It still exists. Dwarfstan still has a lot of silent influence in Helsinki.
      As for the ohers, the only ones Kyiv can really count on are the Baltics and Poland, Rumania, Georgia and to a lesser extent Sweden. Turkey has its own agenda and I’m not really sure what that agenda is. Bulgaria is too closely related to Dwarfstan ethnically and through language.

      • optionrider

        Agree, but we cannot prejudge the outcomes. The final shape of the alliance may be different and include Canada, the US and the UK, as the main purpose would be the neutralisation of France, Germany and RuSSia, and the creation of an energy union making them independent from RuSSian gas, as they are already independent from RuSSian oil. All these countries also represent a significant military potential.

  • Murf

    “That is all,” Illarionov says. There was no mention by the US of the withdrawal of Russian forces from Ukrainian territory, an end to external support of the separatists, establishment of Ukrainian control over the internationally recognized border, or an end to the annexation of Crimea.”

    All that was covered by Minsk 2 was it not? so what is the big deal?
    As for Syria,Please remember one immutable rule of the Cosmos; The US and Russia DON’T SHOOT AT EACH OTHER! EVER!
    PEROID!
    We can mess with each other, threaten, bluster, beat shoes on tables an rattle saber til the shatter. but there can be NO fighting the survival of the species is at stake and we have to keep a real sharp eye on that.
    Putin sending troops into Syria is the single stupidest thing he could have done but they are there. They are in proximity to Western troops and both sides are loaded for war.
    Like it or not we have to work with them to a greater or lesser extent.
    It is worth noting that after the meeting Putin backed off the whole joint command concept.
    The US is not selling out Ukraine right now. Obama has to get the Iran Deal through Congress and there is plenty of bi partisan opposition. The one thing he can do is look weak on Putin. Ukraine has very strong support in Congress, the Pentagon and VP Biden. That the VP announced that the US was giving Ukraine Counter Battery Radars worth 22 million and a lot of non dead troops is a clear statement.
    There have also been many statements from the administration that the military situations in Syria and Ukraine are NOT connected.

    • Dagwood Bumstead

      I’m not convinced. I don’t trust Obama, Hollandier or Frau Ribbentrop Merkelain any further than I can throw them. All three are appeasers, and they will happily betray the Ukrainians- indeed, Hollandier and Merkelain have already done so at Minsk. The only bright spot on the horizon is that Obama will be gone in 16 months and none of the most likely successors will be as soft as he has been.
      Unfortunately whoever replaces Hollandier or Merkelain will be just as bad, or even worse. With “friends” like Germany or France you are well and truly screwed.