Putin-Trump summit wasn’t a second Yalta; it was Rapallo-2, Abarinov warns

Putin-Trump meeting in Hamburg, Germany in July 2017 (Image: screen capture)

Putin-Trump meeting in Hamburg, Germany in July 2017 (Image: screen capture) 

Analysis & Opinion, Russia

Many especially in Eastern Europe feared that the first Putin-Trump summit in Hamburg could become a second Yalta, leading to a new dividing line in the continent with them on the wrong side. But in fact, Vladimir Abarinov argues, what occurred was rather a repetition of the 1922 Treaty of Rapallo between Soviet Russia and Weimar Germany.

1922 Treaty of Rapallo

  • Germany and Russia felt left out after the Paris Peace Talks.
  • They signed the Treaty of Rapallo with each other.
  • It was a treaty of friendship and co-operation.
  • Following the treaty the two sides secretly established elaborate military cooperation, while publicly denying it.
  • Russia allowed Germany to build heavy military equipment and train its military on its soil in defiance of the Treaty of Versailles.

That should not reduce concerns but rather increase them because the latest meeting by two “outsiders” who relish in that status like the two earlier “outsiders” who were forced into that position by war and revolution ultimately led to the Soviets helping the Germans illegally rearm after their defeat in World War I.

The Treaty of Rapallo was concluded between Germany and Soviet Russia. In this photo Reichskanzler Dr. Joseph Wirth, (second from left) with the delegation of Soviet Russia Leonid Krasin, Georgy Chicherin and Adolf Joffe (from left to right): Dr. Joseph Wirth, Reichskanzler, Reichsfinanzminister, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Reichstag deputy (MdR), Center, Member of the National Assembly, Germany; Leonid Borissovich Krassin, Ambassador in Great Britain, Soviet Union; Georgi W. Chicherin, Diplomat, People's Commissar of the External Affairs, Soviet Union; Adolf Abramovich Joffe, Envoy in Germany, Soviet Union (Image: Bundesarchiv)

The Treaty of Rapallo was concluded between Germany and Soviet Russia. In this photo Reichskanzler Dr. Joseph Wirth, (second from left) with the delegation of Soviet Russia Leonid Krasin, Georgy Chicherin and Adolf Joffe (from left to right): Dr. Joseph Wirth, Reichskanzler, Reichsfinanzminister, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Reichstag deputy (MdR), Center, Member of the National Assembly, Germany; Leonid Borissovich Krassin, Ambassador in Great Britain, Soviet Union; Georgi W. Chicherin, Diplomat, People’s Commissar of the External Affairs, Soviet Union; Adolf Abramovich Joffe, Envoy in Germany, Soviet Union (Image: Bundesarchiv)

The difference between these two situations, the Moscow commentator says, is that “the US voluntarily has rejected the role of world leader and, on its own initiative, has set itself against the international community on such important issues as free trade, climate change and migration.”

Russia, in contrast, he continues, is isolated “as a result of its actions and now is trying to present sanctions as ‘a hidden form’ of protectionism.” But because of the path both leaders have pursued, their meeting in Hamburg like that of the Germans and Soviets at the time of the Genoa talks has all the earmarks of “a summit of the unjustly offended.”

And thus, Putin who has been forced into isolation has chosen to work with Trump who has relished in the status of an outsider, of a leader against the world, exactly the kind of cooperation that in the case of Rapallo led to so many negative consequences and may lead to more now.

At the very least, Abarinov’s insight suggests that Putin will play to Trump’s sense of being an outsider to increase tensions between Washington and Europe and thus play to the Kremlin leader’s fundamental goal of splitting the Atlantic world and thus giving Russia a much freer hand.

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Edited by: A. N.

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  • laker48

    One of the stupidest opinion columns, even by RuSSian standards.

  • zorbatheturk

    Putin is a snake who cannot be trusted.

  • Turtler

    *Sigh.* This nonsense again.

    Firstly: Observe the timing. How convenient it is that when Trump gave a rousing and public support for NATO and the Western Alliance in Warsaw- and a public SLAP to the face of Putin by referring to the long history of Kremlin aggression- Goble decided to post a nothingburger article about climate change.

    But now that that is past, Goble goes back to hammering his Trump Hate Doll on the thinnest of bases (this dude said this lady who is a “commentor” says something something Trump) with a whole lot of innuendo.

    Have you even farqing read the Text of the Rapallo Treaties, Goble? Has Abarinov?

    Because it sure as heck doesn’t look like it.

    “But in fact, Vladimir-”

    And “in fact”, Vladimir Abarinov is a moron who can’t study. But don’t take my word for it, let’s talk about the arguments he uses.

    “1922 Treaty of Rapallo

    Germany and Russia felt left out after the Paris Peace Talks.”

    This is a farqing red herring, which as we will see Abarinov tries to make much more than it is and which Goble uncritically apes.

    Firstly, it requires an INCREDIBLY stupid person to claim that Germany felt “left out after the Paris Peace Talks” when in fact the main farqing PURPOSE of said peace talks was to sign a lasting global peace that would punish and contain Germany for the atrocities it and its’ allies had committed in WWI. Germany would have quite literally preferred if it “felt left out” after the Paris Peace Talks.

    And secondly, it’s not relevant. Because the Rapallo Alliance was not formed because pwoor Bolshevik Russia and post-Imperial Germany felt left out of the Paris Peace Talks or the matter afterwards. FARQING *COSTA RICA AND ANDORRA* felt left out after the Paris Peace Talks, they didn’t even sign on the dotted line to be registered for it. But they didn’t do anything like this.

    No, Rapallo didn’t happen because the likes of Lenin and von Seeckt felt “left out” as Abarinov shows. Rapallo happened because both Germany and the Bolsheviks were angry over the collapse of their little, itty-bitty, moderately newsworthy attempts to CONQUER THE WORLD, rendering both pariah states with no credible foreign supporters for their expansionist goals BUT each other.

    But don’t take my word for it. Look at the farqing text of the Rapallo Treaty.

    http://avalon.law.yale.edu/20th_century/rapallo_001.asp

    “Article 5

    The two Governments shall co-operate in a spirit of mutual goodwill
    in meeting the economic needs of both countries. In the event of a
    fundamental settlement of the above question on an international basis,
    an exchange of opinions shall previously take place between the two
    Governments. The German Government, having lately been informed of the
    proposed agreements of private firms, declares its readiness to give all
    possible support to these arrangements and to facilitate their being
    carried into effect.”

    Translation: both sides agreed to “cooperate in a spirit of mutual goodwill” for their shared objectives. Namely overturning the Versailles Peace Settlement.

    “They signed the Treaty of Rapallo with each other.”

    The problem is, the Treaty of Rapallo was in most ways just the culmination of some uneasy cooperation between the two (broken up by hostilities in 1918 and early 1919) since the Central Powers decided to bankroll a Bolshevik Coup in St. Petersburg. In fact two years earlier, the Bolsheviks were fishing around for a joint attack on Poland.

    https://books.google.com/books?id=rgkSxFpKmIsC&pg=PA148#v=onepage&q&f=false

    “It was a treaty of friendship and co-operation.”

    Among others.

    But here’s an important point. Abarinov is trying to compare a Summit to a Treaty. At no point does he acknowledge there to be any outcome like a Treaty, he doesn’t even allege it. So this is basically comparing Apples (a full scale treaty as Rapallo Was) to a summit where- at most- some tentative agreements were had that would not have the force of law withotu being passed by Congress.

    “Following the treaty the two sides secretly established elaborate military cooperation, while publicly denying it.-”

    EXCEPT THE ELABORATE MILITARY COOPERATION STARTED *BEFORE* RAPALLO. And attempts to establish such a thing went even further, right back to 1920 at the latest.

    “Russia allowed Germany to build heavy military equipment and train its military on its soil in defiance of the Treaty of Versailles.”

    Which goes back to what I said. The Rapallo alliance was not based on poor Germany and Bolshevik Russia feeling they were out in the Cold. It was based on their mutual, aggressive anger at being beaten at the gates of Paris and Warsaw, having their global ambitions thwarted, and recognizing that the only foreign governments that would give them the time of day (the KMT-Soviet alliance wouldn’t take root until 1926, or late 1925 if we’re generous) were each other.

    An alliance of the bitter totalitarian losers of WWI and WWI.5, united by anger, ambition, and a desire to cooperate to overturn the peace.

    “That should not reduce concerns but rather increase them because the
    latest meeting by two “outsiders” who relish in that status -”

    See the way Goble switched up the terms there?

    He went from quoting AbarIcan’tbebothered about how both Germany and the Bolsheviks were left “Outside” the Paris Peace talk settlement, and now tries to claim that Putin and Trump are both “outsiders” that relish this.

    The problem is that- at least in ONE case- the defintion is very, very different.

    Both Germany and Bolshevik Russia were “Outsiders” to the Versailles Peace because they were farqing Rogue States, the former of whom had lost first the goodwill and then the neutrality of the vast majority of the world before having its’ allies be defeated in WWI, and the latter of whom having started out at war with the world in the name of “Worldwide Conflagration.” Only for the “Worldwide Conflagration” to burn the farq out along the VIstula and Narva, leaving the Reds looking stupid.

    That kind of outsider-on-a-regime-level only fits with Putin’s Kremlin. And even THEN I think it understates the exact degree of sheer, utter isolation the Bolsheviks suffered from in 1922.

    Putin’s a psychopath, a totalitarian, and generally an overbearing git, even to his closest allies like Lukashenko. But he DOES have allies that are not completely, directly propped up by the bayonets of his army. He does have a fairly warm network with the PRC and an assortment of tin pot dictatorships or shameless minor powers that he could bribe or entice to support him. THAT is something the Bolshevik government in 1920 COULD NOT SAY. They could quite literally not PAY other governments to give them the time of day, and the first official foreign recognition they were afforded was in peace treaties like that of Riga.

    In contrast, Trump is a PERSONAL outsider in terms of the US government since he came in to office without government or military support. But the GOVERNMENT and NATION whose executive branch he now heads is anything BUT an outsider, being the head of NATO, ANZUS, and the OAS while having diplomatic relations- and generally warm ones- with most of the world.

    So the only way this comparison works is if Trump did a massive detour to break those alliances Immediately and Indisputably. Which is- if we’re *Very* charitable- disputable at best.

    So it doesn’t work.

    “who were forced into that position by war and
    revolution ”

    Uh, forced?

    Nobody “forced” Germany to give Austria-Hungary the Blank Check that directly led to WWI.

    Nobody “Forced” Germany to treat neutral nations like piles of dung.

    Nobody “Forced” Germany to finance a Bolshevik Coup in Russia.

    Nobody “Forced” the Bolsheviks to try and weasel out of the “Peace, Land, Bread” deal by dragging their feet negotiating Brest-Litvosk.

    Nobody “Forced” the Bolsheviks to then wage war on essentially Every Country That Had the Misfortune To Border Them in a mad dash to try and invade their way into Central Europe to trigger what Lenin believed would be a Global Revolution.

    They brought this upon THEMSELVES.

    “ultimately led to the Soviets helping the Germans illegally
    rearm after their defeat in World War I.”

    And the Germans to finance the Bolsheviks in spite of the hefty embargos.

    “The difference between these two situations, the Moscow commentator says,
    is that “the US voluntarily has rejected the role of world leader-”

    Uhhhhh…

    Has “the Moscow Commentator” taken his head out of his blog enough to notice the Riyadh Speech? The Warsaw Speech? The G-20?

    Now, think of them what you will, but That Ain’t voluntary “Rejecting” the role of World Leader.

    “and, on its own initiative, has set itself against the international
    community on such important issues as free trade, climate change and
    migration.”

    Frankly chowderhead, those “such important issues” are basically second tier ones in the immediate term of global alliances. They don’t Rank compared to some of the things that the Allies of WWI butted heads over.

    Stuff like “Who should control the Adriatic Coast? Italy or Yugoslavia?” “How much should we make Germany/Austria/Hungary/Turkey/Bulgaria Pay?” “Should we occupy? IF so how much?” And “How do we divvy up the colonies?”

    Abarinov may wish to ignore this fact, but ultimately free trade, climate change, and migration are the kind of second tier things that allies and neutrals ROUTINELY clash over, and are not the impetus for the fall of alliances or the formation of new ones by themselves. it certainly does not indicate the collapse of NATO or the like, like Germany’s adherence to Rapallo foreshadowed its’ rebellion against the Versailles Settlement.

    “Russia, in contrast, he continues, is isolated “as a result of its
    actions and now is trying to present sanctions as ‘a hidden form’ of
    protectionism.””

    Indeed.

    “But because of the path both leaders have pursued, their
    meeting in Hamburg like that of the Germans and Soviets at the time of
    the Genoa talks has all the earmarks of “a summit of the unjustly
    offended.””

    No, it’s farqing not.

    Firstly because a “summit of the unjustly offended” was held in the Paris Peace talks, it led to things like the Little Treaty of Versailles guaranteeing minority rights in Poland, along with a whole host of colonial peoples, former imperial subjects in Europe, and the like petitioning to have their cases heard.

    Rapallo was a meeting of rogue Great Powers, the genesis of an “Axis of Evil” if you will that would ultimately cause the next World War in 1939.

    And secondly, because you would be VERY Hard pressed to compare the Bolshevik-German cooperation that culminated in Rapallo to Trump and Putin *talking.* Which is ultimately what this is. That doesn’t mean you have to Like or Trust Trump, but it does mean acknowledging the basis that “Summit /=/ Agreement.” And “Summit Agreement /=/ Treaty.”

    “And thus, Putin who has been forced into isolation has chosen to work with Trump who has relished in the status of an outsider, of a leader against the world,”

    Because being a metaphorical rebel and barn burner against the inner political hierarchy of one’s own party is TOTES the same as being a rogue state that is in the dog house after declaring war on most of the world, BECAUSE REASONS.

    ” exactly the kind of cooperation that in the case of Rapallo led to so many negative
    consequences and may lead to more now.”

    …. except the “kind of cooperation that in the case of Rapallo led to so many negative consequences” was in the form of a LEGALLY ACKNOWLEDGED AND PUBLIC TREATY, predated by years of clandestine alliance and mutual aid. WHERE’S THE TREATY IN THIS CASE?!?!

    “At the very least, Abarinov’s insight suggests-”

    Abarinov hasn’t read the actual Treaty of Rapallo, let alone studied how the heck it was created or why. And Goble is apparently not planning to double check the source material before riding this particular bomb all the way to the gutter.

    Seriously….dislike Trump all you want, but there is No justification for not learning from history, or for distorting the lessons it teaches you. Yet that’s what Abarinov and Goble are doing here.

    And I’m so far past the point of hoping they get a clue that I just hope nobody gets killed because they took the wrong lessons from these jokers.

    Shame on you two.

    • laker48

      A fantastic analysis! Kudos!

      • Turtler

        Thank you kindly. I try.

        It’s one thing to distrust Trump- lord knows I certainly do on a lot of things- but there’s a difference between Distrust and Dishonesty. There’s a difference between Distrust and flat out LYING (or at least being so utterly daft and ignorant about evidence you might as well be lying) about primary sources.

        Goble needs to pull his head out of his rear end, that’s what I’ve got to say.

        Sad thing is, it’s still a lot better than some of the “input” from other commenters.

        https://disqus.com/home/discussion/euromaidanpress/global_warming_already_having_explosive_consequences_in_russian_north/#comment-3415741312

        https://disqus.com/home/discussion/euromaidanpress/global_warming_already_having_explosive_consequences_in_russian_north/#comment-3415728219

        • laker48

          It was my pleasure to see all that pile of crap exposed.

          • Turtler

            Honestly, the pile of [email protected] was already exposed, as soon as Goble and Abarican’tbearsed began peddling it. The evidence refuting it is out there for anyone to see, and generally can be found using only public records.

            I just tried to position it in a hopefully entertaining way. But anyone could do that.

          • laker48

            Ukraine placed its bets on the wrong horse (Germany) and painted itself into a corner.

    • Kruton

      Trump is a chump.

      • Turtler

        Let’s uncritically pretend that’s true, even though monoline assessments don’t help.

        That doesn’t stop the fact that this article is stupid and wrong. In fact, it might make it even WORSE. Because Rapallo wasn’t made between Chumps. It was made between the premeditated, coldblooded predtators of the post-WWI world.

        • Kruton

          Russians are crazy.