Biden Works to Prolong Ukraine War 643

I was in Turkey to try to further peace talks, as an experienced diplomat with good contacts there, and as a peace activist. I was not there as a journalist and much of what I discussed was with the understanding of confidence. It will be probably be some years before I judge it reasonable and fair to reveal all that I know. But I can give some outline.

Turkey continues to be the centre of diplomatic activity on resolving the Ukraine war. It is therefore particularly revealing, and a sign of Western priorities, that I did not come across a single western journalist there trying to follow and cover the diplomatic process. There are hundreds of Western journalists in Ukraine, effectively embedded with the Ukrainian authorities, producing war porn. There appear to be none seriously covering attempts to make peace.

There was a sea change two weeks ago when Ukraine shifted to a public stance that it would cede no territory at all in a peace deal. On 21 May, Zelensky’s office stated that “The war must end with the complete restoration of Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty.” Previously while they had been emphatic that no territory in “the East” would be ceded, there had been studied ambiguity about whether that referred to Donbass alone or also the Crimea.

The new Ukrainian stance, that there will be no peace deal without recovering the Crimea, has ended for now any hopes of an early ceasefire. It appears to be a militarily unachievable objective – I cannot think of any scenario in which Russia de facto loses Crimea, without the serious possibility of worldwide nuclear war.

This blow to the peace process was a setback in Ankara, and I should say that every source I spoke with believed the Ukrainians were acting on instructions conveyed from Washington to Zelensky by Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin, who openly stated he wanted the war to wear down Russian defence capabilities.

A long war in Ukraine is of course massively in the interest of the US military industrial complex, whose dripping roasts in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria have gone rather off the heat. It also forwards the strategic objective of severely damaging the Russian economy, although much of that damage is mutual. Why we live in a world where the goal of nations is to damage the lives of inhabitants of other nations is a question which continues to puzzle me.

Turkey has for now turned towards the more limited goal of ensuring that grain supplies can be shipped out from the Black Sea through the Bosphorus. This is essential for developing nations and essential for world food supplies, which were already under pressure before this war began. Turkey is offering to clear sea lanes of mines and to police the ships carrying grain from the port of Odessa, which is still under Ukrainian control. Russia has agreed to the deal.

Ukraine is objecting to this plan to export its own wheat, because it objects to the removal of the mines, which I should be clear were put down in the sea lanes by Ukraine to prevent amphibious attack on Odessa. There is monumental hypocrisy by the West on this, blaming Russia for preventing the export of the grain while it is actually blocked in by Ukraine’s own mines, which they currently refuse to allow Turkey to remove.

On 19 May this was the headline of a UN press release:

Lack of Grain Exports Driving Global Hunger to Famine Levels, as War in Ukraine Continues, Speakers Warn Security Council

As it states, Ukraine and Russia together account for one third of world grain exports and two thirds of world sunflower oil exports. Many of those who die from this war are likely to do so in developing countries, from hunger. The decision of the EU and US to target Russian and Belarussian agricultural exports for sanctions displays an extraordinary callousness towards the very poorest human beings on the globe, who cannot afford rising food prices.

Well, the headline here is that the USA and EU are pushing Ukraine to block any food deal, based on a number of objections including the reduction in the security of Odessa and the claim that Russia will sell looted Ukrainian grain. The view in both Ankara and the developing world is that the big picture, of millions facing starvation, is being lost.

The experience has made me so cynical that I am left wondering if the interests of the powerful agricultural lobbies in both the EU and USA are influencing policy. High world food prices benefit some powerful interests.

I blame Putin for starting a war that does nothing to redress Russian long term security concerns. But the truth is that politicians in the West are equally keen on this war. Boris Johnson yesterday was blatantly promoting it for his own survival. Anybody who makes any effort to stop the killing – Presidents Macron and Erdogan in particular – are immediately and universally denounced by the “liberal” media.

Yet what is the end result that the liberal warmongers wish to achieve? When we reach the stage that Henry Kissinger is a comparative voice of sanity, the political situation is indeed dire.


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643 thoughts on “Biden Works to Prolong Ukraine War

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  • Andrew H

    Craig writes:

    “The new Ukrainian stance, that there will be no peace deal without recovering the Crimea, has ended for now any hopes of an early ceasefire”.

    Personally, I think this is a misstatement of the situation (although literally correct). Zelensky has always stated that Ukraine will not try to take Crimea by force. [and Craig’s statement doesn’t contradict that]. So yes, there won’t be a final peace treaty. However a ceasefire is certainly possible if Russia withdraws to Feb 2022 lines. Which really raises the question of whether a peace treaty is necessary or possible. There is no peace treaty between North and South Korea – so although slightly unsatisfactory it is not impossible to end hostilities. Russia doesn’t actually need a peace treaty with Ukraine and I would suggest kicking that down the road for a couple of decades. What it needs is a ceasefire – and that is much more negotiable (but it does mean returning to Feb 2022 lines).

    Russia is, however, it seems more interested in a peace deal with the west (regarding sanctions and frozen money). It is important to understand that doesn’t entirely hinge on a peace treaty with Ukraine (indeed if Ukraine were to sign a peace treaty tomorrow, it would be insane for western governments to lift sanctions). In some ways the two issues are unrelated, but the starting point is again a ceasefire.

    The frozen reserves are largely held by UK and US. (money in EU/Swiss is not so large, so those governments will not have substantial input into that). I think even most Russians must accept that this money is not just going to be unfrozen, so that Moscow can spend how it likes. It is far more likely it will remain frozen for many years – and there will be a gradual process where Russia pays compensation to Ukraine and other money is re-invested in Russia under US-AID style western management – for example, I could see money being released to finish the Krasnoyarsk Metro – with western managers deciding to purchase rolling stock from Ukraine. Similarly there could be projects to improve infrastructure (sewers, water, roads) and create civilian jobs in Siberia and Eastern Russia. Obviously, Moscow isn’t ready to allow western managers to dictate how Russian money will be spent, but eventually they will come around to this….. and most importantly this unfreezing of reserves has nothing to do with a formal peace treaty with Ukraine.

    Lifting sanctions on oligarchs, is also a long process – and is not really in Russia’s interests since most of the money is stolen. Again, one can see a negotiation where oligarchs are forced to give back to Russia/Ukraine in exchange for relief. Every oligarch will need to be negotiated with separately – some will understand that they need to turn a new page, and others will haggle indefinitely proclaiming their honesty until their death.

    Russia also needs water for Crimea. This could be solved with money – say $1 billion USD per annum, or if Russia doesn’t want to pay Ukraine for water then it can be solved by engineering – building a water pipe is easier than a bridge. It is really a question of finance.

    Russia would also like the west to start buying its oil and gas again – realistically its not going back to how it was, so its probably not worth discussing. The tough choices for the west have already largely been set in motion. Similarly I don’t see western companies and investors returning to Russia any time soon (Renault has been seriously burned and will no doubt need a bail out from the French government just to stay afloat). Generally I would see an easing of sanctions (but no release of frozen assets/restrictions on technology that could be used for military purposes) once there a ceasefire (not a full peace treaty). Russia building up its own industrial base, although painful, is good for Russian democracy. The merchant class brought democracy to the UK (and Moscow honestly has a nascent and viable merchant class). The problem to date, is that it has been all too easy for rich Russians to place their money overseas instead of taking political responsibility for their own country. There is no guarantee that this new approach will actually bring democratic reforms to Russia, but clearly the policy of the past 30 years has been unsuccessful – in my view it would be wrong to just lift sanctions and go back to the old days. Russia has little leverage over the west, so the sanctions will only be lifted when the west deems appropriate which could be years or even decades down the road – regardless of any peace treaty, agreement, or ceasefire with Ukraine.

    The point that I am making is that peace treaty with Ukraine has little practical benefit to Russia or Ukraine and so is probably not worth discussing. What should be on the table are the necessary conditions to end active hostilities (and Russia and Ukraine are miles apart on that too)

    • nevermind

      Keep up Andrew H. There has been a watermains constructed immediately after the referendum, I believe Russian engineers constructed it as a response to Ukraine cutting off the water supply.

      • Andrew H

        Water issue is well documented. See:

        “These official statistics contrast with reports of a massive shrinkage in the area under cultivation in Crimea, from 130,000 hectares in 2013 to just 14,000 in 2017,[11] and an empty canal and a nearly dry reservoir resulting in widespread water shortages,[12][13][4] with water only being available for three to five hours a day in 2021”

        If it’s not an issue, it doesn’t need to be resolved. Otherwise it can be solved without war (pipeline under Black Sea or offering $’s for water).

    • Bayard

      “I think even most Russians must accept that this money is not just going to be unfrozen, so that Moscow can spend how it likes”

      If the Russia can’t “spend it how it likes”, it is not in any meaningful way their money any more, i.e. it has been stolen by the US and UK, just as the UK stole the Tsar’s gold.

      • Andrew H

        There is substantial precedent in the US at least for allocating frozen funds to aid projects outside of government control. Most recently in Afghanistan:

        This was done even without agreement of the Taliban. This is not considered stealing by the US, so no good getting upset about that.

        Similarly frozen assets can always be used to settle court actions – and there will some big ones coming – not considered stealing. If you don’t pay your taxes or other court ordered debts, the bailiff will dip into your bank accounts, or foreclose/sell your home. I understand this can be upsetting, but it’s not considered stealing. Money Russia chose to invest in US/UK is subject to US/UK law and court actions in those countries.

        The alternative is that the money will sit in frozen accounts for eternity – given that we are talking about $400 billion USD, a negotiated settlement makes sense – if the choice is to leave the money where it is or allocate it to specific peaceful projects that benefit Russian people, I think Russia will eventually see value in unlocking the money. Watch Moscow squirm, when the people of Siberia learn that the only thing holding up running water, sewer and sealed roads in their town/city is agreement from Moscow.

        Call it stealing if you wish – I am just pointing out the obvious reality – this money isn’t coming back, so it isn’t an obstacle to a ceasefire with Ukraine.

        • pretzelattack

          there is substantial precedent in the US for the US stealing money from other countries. the choice is for the thief to give the money back.

        • Bayard

          “This is not considered stealing by the US, so no good getting upset about that.”

          Well, yes, but then the US never does wrong in its own eyes, so it wouldn’t. If someone hacked your bank account and stole your money, it would still be theft, even if they decided to use it to repair your house. Mind you, as is so common with the US’s wizard wheezes, it has rebounded on them, with other countries now looking to repatriate their money held in dollars, to prevent the US pulling this stunt on them: from The New York Times,

          “The White House is afraid that the confiscation of Russia’s assets frozen due to sanctions could undermine the US’s reputation as an investment haven, the White House told the NYT. The US is trying to see if the confiscation of Russian funds might encourage other countries to convert their reserves into other currencies and keep them out of American hands.”

          • Andrew H

            I don’t disagree – I don’t think the US will confiscate the assets. I think they will keep them frozen until either there are successful court claims or until there is a negotiated settlement with the owners of the funds. (Think Prince Andrew deciding to settle out of court or other plea bargain deals that are the normal in USA). This is why I suggest the possibility that the money will be used for targeted civilian projects in poorer parts of Russia – because it something that everyone will see as a win/win – and nothing will happen until Moscow agrees. It doesn’t do anyone good for the funds to remain permanently frozen, and the longer the funds stay frozen the greater the chance they will we picked off by increasingly petty court claims or disproportionately to those that are able to navigate the US legal system (if you read the Afghan article, a significant concern was that a small group would get most of the money) – I don’t have an idea on time lines – but ultimately I think there will be a deal that all parties will spin as a win (US national interests, Russia, Ukraine). The US has no interest in seeing Russia fail – far from it – it wants Russia to transform itself into a part of the “free” world (the US doesn’t give up on nation building!!!)

          • Andrew H

            Also, the argument that the $ won’t be seen as a safe investment doesn’t hold that much water. Firstly, the biggest chunk of Russian reserves is in GBP (my assumption is that UK will blindly follow US lead). There are really no other choices for safe investment (except Euro). There is a club that constantly predicts the down-fall of USD (but as an investor my biggest concern, is spiraling US debt rather than the possibility that the US may freeze and steal my assets).

          • Bayard

            “This is why I suggest the possibility that the money will be used for targeted civilian projects in poorer parts of Russia – because it something that everyone will see as a win/win”

            The Russians are never going to see being told how to spend their own money by the US as a win of any type, certainly not a win-win.

            “– it wants Russia to transform itself into a part of the “free” world (the US doesn’t give up on nation building!!!)”
            Are you being ironic there?

            Recent history tells us that Russia’s place in the new world order envisaged by the US is indeed to be part of the “free” world, the “free” world being that part of the world where US corporations are free to make large profits by controlling the extraction and sale of natural resources, without interference from pesky foreign politicians.

            “There are really no other choices for safe investment (except Euro). “

            There is always gold and, in any case, that presupposes that Russia wants to invest in foreign currency at all, which it obviously doesn’t as it is now demanding payment in roubles, so that it doesn’t end up selling its natural resources for dollars held in the US which can then be stolen (or “frozen” as they like to call it).

          • Andrew H

            “…where US corporations are free to make large profits by controlling the extraction and sale of natural resources, without interference from pesky foreign politicians”

            Again this cynicism doesn’t reflect reality. Germany/Japan are industrial power houses after the US Marshal plan (Russia wanted punitive war damages against Germany after ww2 – which the US rejected). German SAP is one of the worlds largest software companies, so there isn’t a US monopoly on hi-tech. German precision engineering is still top of the world (think Siemans, BASF, Heidelberg druckmachinen, and 1000s of other world leaders). Similar S.Korea, Taiwan. Under EU expansion Poland / Czech are too becoming significant industrial powers. Today many Europeans enjoy a higher quality of life than many in the US. (so called US hegemony is a myth created by Russians so they can have a bogie-man). Ukraine is up next for investment by western powers and anyone can see it has huge potential – perhaps why Russia is trying so hard to undo its sovereignty. The main objections to Ukraine joining EU will surely come from Belgium and France – who are loathe to see the center of gravity of Europe move eastwards to Prague/Warsaw/Kyiv. The only thing stopping Russia joining the prosperous industrialized world is the fact that it is run by its security services and is no longer a functioning democracy – combined with delusions of being a super-power. Russia is far more than natural resources to be exploited. (It is Putin that has turned it into a single industry petro-state, where every successful viable firm that cannot be monopolized is destroyed or forced to flee abroad and large swaths of the country are still without clean water and sewer despite the country being awash with money).

    • Highlander

      I’m sorry, there will be no need of any agreement, Ukraine will be broken up, with absolutely no access to the Black sea, Belarus taking part of Ukraine, Poland taking another part of Ukraine, and the rump of Ukraine land locked, locked into poverty, after the Americans renege on their word to the Nazis! And Zionist Zelenski working hand in glove with the nazi henchmen as they did in WW2 to marginalise Orthodox Jews.
      They are opening Pandora’s box!

  • nevermind

    O/T Our obnoxious, racist Home secretary has just signed publisher and war crimes whistle blower Julian Assange over to an US max prison, according to LBC just now, after failing to extradite 6 refugees to Rwanda, she must have felt as useless as most people in Blighty regard this racist immigrant from Uganda.
    I despair; it’s as if Simon Wiesenthal would be vilified, imprisoned and prosecuted for daring to point out hidden Nazi war criminals in our midst. Anybody who still thinks that they are living in a democracy, think again: you are in the fourth Reich. And McCarthyism is about to start, in Labour, via the never-socialist Mason, as much as in the Tory realm this bullying bitch reigns over large.

    May lightning strike her three times.

    • Aidworker1

      I too despair – this is terrible.

      We’ve lost our democracy.

      He’s been in prison 12 years now for no crime.

      • Tom Welsh

        I hate to tell you this, Aidworker1, but you never had any democracy. The feudal system gave way to something like absolute monarchy, which was immediately tamed by the rich bourgeoisie and then by industrialists and finally bankers. In the early 19th century there was mass popular pressure for democracy, to which the establishment responded by the present elaborate masquerade.

        Every few years the peasantry are encouraged to queue up and vote for one of the select handful of establishment-approved candidates, all of whom if elected will vote for the establishment’s policies. Political parties are key to this strategy of defeating democracy, as they are independent corporations operating solely in their own interests and those of their contributors. MPs are slavishly obedient to their parties (or they cease to be MPs), and are thus utterly unresponsive – beyond polite acknowledgements and boilerplate responses – to the interests and appeals of their “constituents”.

    • Wikikettle

      She has as much control and Independence to act as has Zelensky in Ukraine. As much Independence as Sweden, our media and Supreme Court, let alone our politicians when it comes to matters of ” State ” the United “States “. We are a mere colony. My thoughts are with Julian’s family.

      • Wikikettle

        As to Gold deposits, I wonder how Germany’s attempt to retrieve its gold deposits from the States is going ? It was also interesting that Stoltenburg was earmarked for heading up the Norwegian Central Bank after his tour of “Duty” at Nato. No doubt he would have made a bank transfer, knowing the sort code and account number of the huge Norwegian “Sovereign” Wealth Fund to US Tressury Bonds (IOU’s), never to be seen again. No doubt Saudi Arabia and China will never see their investments in US Treasuries ever again. Pirates indeed. How will US ever get anyone to invest ever again, for their fee lunch, as Michael Hudson said ?

        • Tom Welsh

          I doubt if Germany will ever get its gold back from the USA. But the German politicians and civil servants who are complaisant in that state of affairs will certainly have their own “gold strikes” in due course.

          • Tom Welsh

            “The gold is stored where it might be needed in an emergency”.

            Yeah, who knows when the Yanks might need some collateral?

          • Bayard

            “The gold is stored where it might be needed in an emergency.”

            Well obviously not in the view of its putative owners, if Germany is trying to bring it back to the fatherland. What possible reason have the US for not letting the Gremans have their gold back, apart from needing to be able to “freeze” it in an “emergency”.

    • Bramble

      Is it O/T? We are discussing the criminal behaviour of the country with the world’s largest military in prolonging a conflict taking place half a world away which is slaughtering thousands in its own interest. And Mr Assange is being extradited precisely because he was brave enough to expose other war crimes committed by the same country. In this, as ever, the UK is doing its master’s bidding, with a now blatant contempt for ethics and justice. Of course, nice cardigan wearing liberals will continue to effectively support said super-power while exhibiting contempt for its targets in ways that make the abuse go more smoothly.

  • zoot

    who is britain to lecture russia on war crimes when, in the same week, it knights the architect of an illegal invasion that killed at least 1m people and approves the extradition of a war crimes whistleblower to rot in an american supermax prison?


    • Wikikettle

      No footage of Blair kneeling infront of the Queen then on BBC ? I suppose it was to much to ask for her to refuse his knighthood and spark a constitutional crisis ?

      • Goose

        Disgraceful that the BBC’s main news at one repeated the lie that he deliberately “leaked agents names” – as if driven by malice. What chance of a public backlash when the state broadcaster presents a wholly erroneous version of history? This does matter, as it shapes the comments with quite a few saying he deserves it rtc, based on these reports.

        There can be some argument about WikiLeaks security practices back then, in keeping the same password and/or not using multi-factor authentication (2FA) but the disinformation is outrageous.

        • Squeeth

          It rather reminds me of Winston Silcott. When the LSE Students’ Union made him president of the union I thought that there must be a rat to smell, covered up by the media (in the 80s there was still some reportage but much less than in the 70s). Plus ça change.

        • pretzelattack

          that security leak was the Guardian’s fault, not wikileaks, iirc. so the disinformation is even more outrageous.

          • Goose


            The BBC surely knows that he didn’t recklessly leak agents’ names.

            This kind of reporting goes some way in explaining why there’s so little public and political sympathy.

          • Ingwe

            And indeed the BBC continues with its untruthful slants. Reporting on Ukraine the other day, it claimed that the Ukraine citizens were hiding near Ukrainian troops hence the civilian casualties. Not the other way round, that troops are placing themselves in civilian areas. Lying, unscrupulous, “journalists.”.

      • zoot


        it was she alone who wanted to bestow it on blair. a ‘knight companion of the most noble order of the garter’ is the oldest brit order of chivalry, the most senior knighthood, and is in the queen’s gift alone without advice from the government.

        • Pears Morgaine

          It’s normal for former PMs to be offered a Knighthood; Major has his and in time Brown, Cameron and Johnson will get theirs and Theresa May will become Dame.

          • zoot

            we’re talking about an unrepentant, world-historic war criminal, the type of individual you claim to abhor (remember?) the queen could have lived out her days without ennobling him with the highest honour she could possibly bestow and nobody would have thought anything of it. In fact there would have been enhanced respect for her across the public (excepting a tiny minority) if she had let it be known she would not be honouring blair. instead she very deliberately went the other way.


          • Pears Morgaine

            “Just because its normal doesn’t make it right Pears.”

            I agree. Of all the people offered knighthoods our most recent PMs have been amongst the most undeserving but let’s not think the opposite. That Blair’s knighting was something exceptional.

          • zoot

            at the age of 96 she could very easily have got away with not knighting him before she died. only fanatics would have insisted she must honour a notorious war criminal. it tells us a lot about the value our monarch puts on ordinary Arab lives that she wanted to bestow upon blair the highest honour in her gift..

          • Lapsed Agnostic

            Former PMs used to be offered hereditary earldoms, Pears; then from the 70’s onwards, mere life peerages (baronies). Thatcher wanted to become a Countess and there was a bit of an unseemly row about that, which is probably why her successor, John Major, was only offered a knighthood. I believe that one or two recent former PMs (who could also be said to be war criminals) were grumbling that the ‘controversial’ Blair was holding up their awards – since they deeply covet these useless baubles – so I’d imagine that some ‘persuasion’ was applied to Her Maj to get her to do the deed, and remember she is 96 and has recently lost her husband of some 70 years.

          • Lapsed Agnostic

            Correction to previous comment: Harold Macmillan requested he be created Earl of Stockton in 1984, three years before he died, after Thatcher briefly re-instated hereditary peerages for ex-prime ministers. He then proceeded to strongly criticise her handling of the miners’ strike in his maiden speech in The House of Lords and received a standing ovation.

          • zoot

            ah apparently she forgot who blair was cause she’s a widow. bottom line: a good woman after all!

          • Lapsed Agnostic

            Thanks for your reply, zoot. Since Blair resigned as PM until now, no less than 15 Garter positions have become available, so Her Maj has certainly been dragging her feet when it comes to giving him one. As far as modern UK prime ministers go, there’s nothing uniquely evil about Blair – and, whilst he’s almost certainly a war criminal, he’s definitely not a ‘world-historic’ one.

          • Lapsed Agnostic

            Thanks again for your reply, zoot. Can I ask if you paid any UK tax from 2003 to 2007?

          • Lapsed Agnostic

            Can I assume, zoot, that your lack of reply means that between 2003 and 2007, rather than taking ‘a principled stand against evil’ like our excellent host, you, along with most of Blair’s detractors on this blog I’d imagine, actively chose to get up at stupid o’clock most days to actually *fund* it? If so, you won’t have had the excuse of having been a 96-year-old woman in physical and probably mental decline, who had recently lost her husband of 73 years, and who was likely being pressurised by her advisors.

  • Brendan

    Yesterday, Macron joined in the campaign to spread the fake news about the Russian ‘blockade’:

    “We therefore solemnly call on Russia, a permanent member of the Security Council, to accept that the United Nations organize the export of cereals, which requires agreeing to lift the blockade of Ukrainian ports by the Russian navy”

    In French:


  • Cornudet

    If Julian is forced to appeal to the Strasbourg court – a vista which looks overwhelmingly likely one avenue of appeal ought to be that if extradited Julian would almost certainly be strip searched in the presence of female wardens, which the ECHR has ruled to be cruel and degrading and which would therefore put a block on the whole extradition process. If the foregoing seems fanciful then consider that it was only in the 1980s, in the premiership of Thatcher that Strasbourg blocked extraditions to the US in cases where the death penalty might be sought. I agree that this is like hoping to see the behemoth trip on an anthill, but stranger things have happened.

      • nevermind

        Like your style wikikettle, he clearly deserves such accolade for informing the global public, kept like mushrooms by the media. Sir Julian Assange has shown us that the King is wearing no cloth, he is a murderous despot that commits war crimes.

  • Banagher

    Russland hat seine Forderungen gegenüber der Nato und den USA klar formuliert und für jedermann ersichtlich, veröffentlicht.
    Zwar ein ungewöhnlicher diplomatischer Vorgang, aber anders konnte man das Zögern Washingtons der Öffentlichkeit nicht erklären.
    Ohne sicherheitsrelevante Zugeständnisse wird Russland die Ukraine nicht verlassen. Die westlichen Politiker sind bereits jetzt schon in einem “Panik Modus” und brauchen für eine Eisenbahnfahrt von Warschau nach Kiew mehrere Wochen Vorbereitung! (d.h. die USA hat sich Zeit gelassen, die Reise zu genehmigen!)
    Zu den sicherheitspolitischen Forderungen:

    Russia has clearly formulated its demands against NATO and the USA and published them for everyone to see.
    Although an unusual diplomatic process, there was no other way to explain Washington’s hesitation to the public.
    Without security-related concessions, Russia will not leave Ukraine. Western politicians are already in a “panic mode” and need several weeks of preparation for a train ride from Warsaw to Kiev! (i.e. the US has taken its time to approve the trip!)
    On the security policy demands:

    • nevermind

      Heissen Dank fuer deinen Aufwand und die links, Banagher, der Westen kann jetzt nicht mehr Verzoegern, 25.000 tote Ukrainer/ per Monat koennen sie nicht mehr verschweigen.
      Hol die fuchtig.

      • Rosemary MacKenzie

        Perfectly reasonable requests, whose agreement would have avoided all this killing, destruction, migration, and economic devastation in the west, not to say food insecurity in the rest of the world. Too bad more people in the west are not aware of Russia’s proposals.

        Thomas Roeper, Anti-Spiegel translated President Putin’s speech to the St Petersburg economic forum. It makes interesting reading altough very long. Here is the link:

        Google translate is a much better translator than Yandex I have found. Also, I have found by following Putin’s press conferences that I have a much better understanding of the man. He is certainly one of the few statesmen in the world today. There is nothing in the west that compares.

        • Wikikettle

          Looks like US has moved from Ukraine to open up another front on Russia. Reports indicate Lithuania has stopped rail link between Kaliningrad and Belarus. If so that is a blockade breaking long standing agreement ! One provocation after another, with many more in the cupboard to bring out. Looks like US is determined to have a war directly in Europe with Russia in an effort to double down after getting Ukraine destroyed.

          • Andrew H

            And you don’t think this has anything to do with the fact that Russia cancelled recognition of Lithuania as a state last week?


            I am not sure why Russia thinks it has a monopoly on belligerence.

            Please also remember the Berlin blockade. Russia can bring in everything by sea from St Petersburg and when the sea freezes over they can bring in extras via air. (not flying over Baltic states).

            Obviously, if Russia doesn’t want to play this game – the first step would be to pass a new law recognizing Lithuania is an independent sovereign state …. and the problem will likely go away with a smile , a lol, and a lmao.

          • Wikikettle

            When you become a “member” of EU and or Nato, forced to trade in US Dollars and allow foreign troops, bases and missiles onto your territory, its a moot point this “Sovereignty” thingibob. As a Nato member you are expected to send your troops to kill in Serbia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen and Libya. Even just as an “ally” and not a full Nato member, your troops can get experience in killing in said countries. The problem arises when you run into a peer adversary like Russia, a sense of hesitation creeps in. Then you start talking of invasion and International law. As Lavrov said to Steve Rosenberg of BBC…… we Russians have national pride self-esteem. In my opinion Russia is on the long road to removing US Nato threat from all its borders. It is determined to do this and suffer any consequence.

        • Peter

          @ Rosemary MacKenzie

          There’s an original English translation here:

          Yes, I haven’t paid enough attention to Putin in the past (I will now) to have an informed opinion of him but in the current, rotten situation you certainly get the feeling that he and Lavrov are the grown-ups in the room.

          Apparently, if I was German I could currently be put in jail for saying that, and here (Sir) Keir Staliner would certainly expel me from the Labour Party for so doing.

          Such are the degraded times that have befallen us courtesy of the American Empire and spineless European politicians.

          • Rosemary MacKenzie

            Thanks , Peter, for the link. Reading translations from Russian to German to English can be sometimes a bit slow. Also, I am so pleased to see Tatyana back. I find her perspective very sane and honest.

          • Peter

            @ Rosemary MacKenzie

            Yes again, very much agree that Tatyana is a very valuable and valued contributor to this site.

            The link I gave above is of course to to a translation of Russia’s December proposals presented to US/Nato, quoted above by Banagher, which, of course, were contemptuously dismissed.

            The following link is to a translated video of Putin’s speech yesterday, which you mention, to the Saint Petersburg Economic Forum:


          • John Kinsella


            Amusing that Article 7 of the draft includes:

            “The Parties that are member States of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization shall not conduct any military activity on the territory of Ukraine as well as other States in the Eastern Europe, in the South Caucasus and in Central Asia.”

            No restrictions proposed on the Putin regime’s “military activity on the territory of Ukraine” of course.

          • Peter

            @ John Kinsella

            If you can find amusement in the current situation John then I guess that’s very good for you.

            Article 7 in the draft agreement is only seeking in Ukraine what America demands for the whole of the western hemisphere in relation to itself, ie that states/organisations regarded as adversaries shall not place weaponry or conduct military exercises in its proximity.

            The whole draft, like the Minsk Accords and the previous eight years of discussions, was an attempt to create defence and security arrangements that guarantee the peace and security of all concerned parties.

            It will not have come as any surprise to Russia after eight years of fruitless negotiations and the reneging on the Minsk Accords that the draft was contemptuously dismissed by the US – despite US demands for itself.

            If that’s your idea of funny so be it.

          • Vasilisa

            “you certainly get the feeling that he and Lavrov are the grown-ups in the room.”

            This is when a creature made itself and its entire family and both mistresses at someone else’s expense into dollar billionaires – did it, perhaps, show its supposedly extraordinary “adulthood” ?

          • Peter

            As I said Vasilisa:

            I am not well enough informed about Putin to have a wider opinion of him, I was referring purely to the current conflict which I have no doubt was engineered in Washington, not in Moscow.

            I believe the West has lost its mind in following this completely unnecessary and avoidable path and that Nato, ie American, forces on its border would have represented a real threat to Russia.

            Sadly, very, very sadly, in that context it is Putin and Lavrov who are talking the most sense and the West that is consumed by propaganda and utter pro-war nonsense – with, of course, Ukraine and its people being the tragic victims of all this

            I don’t expect you to agree with me but I will take on board your points.

            You may or may not be interested in this BBC interview by Steve Rosenberg with Sergei Lavrov from Thursday:


            An interesting exchange. I don’t think Rosenberg’s bosses will be too pleased.

        • Vasilisa

          Dreaming is not bad. The well-known Hundred Years War between England and France – lasted almost 120 years, the Caucasian – 60, Vietnam and Afghanistan – 30 and 20 years. Good luck, in love with Putin.

          • Wikikettle

            The longer the war lasts in Ukraine, the more economic damage in EU. The largest hedge fund is shorting European Companies. The Euro value is dropping. This Proxy war by US is benefitting its arms manufacturers and destroying its biggest international trading competitor – the Euro. Oil companies are benefitting hugely. Hopefully political change in the French and Colombian elections will start to reverse the neo Liberal economic and endless war policies.

          • Courtenay Francis Raymond Barnett


            “Similarly, the European Union has decided to phase out Russian oil and gas with no viable substitute as its leading economy, Germany, moves to shut its last nuclear reactor and close more coal plants. Germany and other EU economies as a result will see power blackouts this winter and natural gas prices will continue to soar. In the second week of June in Germany gas prices rose another 60% alone. Both the Green-controlled German government and the Green Agenda “Fit for 55” by the EU Commission continue to push unreliable and costly wind and solar at the expense of far cheaper and reliable hydrocarbons, insuring an unprecedented energy-led inflation”

            Is it rocket science for me to say – why not rely on cheaper Russian oil and gas until such time that any desired change in energy supply sources can be slowly and practically implemented; or is it more sensible to compel inflation and a recession on the population?

            You tell me.

          • Wikikettle

            The Collective West hates the approval rate in Russia for their leader. They are led by the likes of Biden and Doris who would sell their countries Sovereignty to the highest bidder. EU member states have lost all political and economic power to Brussels, which in turn gets its orders from US. The proxy war in Ukraine is about US preventing EuroAsian trade, coexistence and development. While the G7 decadant knights sat round the round table laughing and joking, their proxy Ukrainians are dying in their thousands for nothing. Bloomburg predicts oil to reach 380 ! Britons inquiring about moving to Russia !?!

          • Wikikettle

            Pears Morgaine. The job of Independent media and blogs like that of our host, is to give information that the MSM does not want people to know. I thought you came to read our host to expand your knowledge, not tell us, his readership, what the MSM as represented by The Sun, Guardian and Reuters “reports”. It’s very kind of you to keep infoming us of the MSM talking points and the constant rumours of President Putin’s demise, cancer, overthrow, body double and death. As he himself has said, with a smile, they are greatly exaggerated. Very kind of you anyway to update us on the latest talking points.

          • Pears Morgaine

            My understanding was that Craig is a fervent supporter of free speech and welcomes all shades of opinion on this blog. My apologies if I got that wrong.

  • Shaun Onimus

    US embassy in Kiev has been emptied out/shut down once again. I wonder where the fire is? Do they know something is coming? Are they planning another false flag? How will they prop up the regime if not hands on?

  • Kees Osterholt

    Thanks for this item.
    I wonder why you say at the end of this article “I blame Putin for starting a war, etc.” after all the war started already after the coup in 2014, in the Donbass and it is not Putin but the Russian government who decided to help the Donbas, who has been asking for help many times before. Russians argument is the R2P , and article 51 of the charter UNO, which makes this war perfectly lawful.
    Those who started the war are those who sent weapons and instructors to Ukraine.
    Read also: Jacques Baud, The Military Situation in Ukraine, at “” – English translation on the top right side, same page.
                  Daniel Kovalik, Why Russia’s Intervention in Ukraine is Legal.

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