Washington is preparing to dump Ukraine
Having bargained for a certain lull on his "second front" following the results of the Russian-US summit in Geneva, the former world hegemon had to offer Russia something in return. Of course, it is still shaking the air with loud ideologised rhetoric and threats. Especially in its information bubble. But in reality, it cannot wage a war on two fronts – China has become a fully-fledged rival.
Even with a relatively neutral China, over the past five or six years, Washington's teeth have been chipped on Russia. Therefore, a different direction of the main strike became natural for America. Only by stopping the Celestial Empire on its rise and bringing the Western-oriented clans to power in it is it possible to try to align your own, rapidly going into negative, economic balance - and not only the economic one, and already with such a balance of forces, to fully take on Russia again.
Plus, now for any such action, the entire pool of allies is needed. After all, the forces are not the same as they were some 15-20 years ago, and they are rapidly melting. Therefore, this European inventory of partners was necessary, which revealed a lot of interesting things.
It turned out that London is no longer the same, even though they jointly draped the facade of the relations bursting at the seams with a bright but vague Atlantic Charter. The "Queen of the Seas" is no longer particularly on the path with those who continue to pull the current ideas of globalisation on our common globe by inertia. London urgently needs some kind of its own project, and therefore it behaves accordingly. But this is a separate topic for research.
Now, according to the results of this European comparison of notes, Berlin is officially named the main ally of the United States. Next on the list is Paris. And it's this shuffle of the deck that will play a role in the topic we are considering.
So what was offered to us? What could the Americans sacrifice in order to remove the threat of military escalation, so flawlessly played out by us? After some time after Geneva, some markers are already visible, allowing us to assert that the assumptions made by RUSSTRAT on the eve of the summit are fully confirmed.
For Moscow, first of all, it's Ukraine that is interesting. We do not need a hostile anti-Russia to our side, we do not need this Western tool that traumatises with "thousands of cuts", where everything Russian is burned with a hot iron. It is precisely for this reason, after having faced an attack from the West in Ukraine six years ago, we redirected our strike further, to the most sensitive geopolitical area for the West itself – the Middle East.
By cutting this eastern Gordian knot, the ends of which diverge across the planet, we needed to shake the geopolitical enemy, so that, among other things, it would loosen its grip and release our Russian Outskirts (Ukraine) from out of its hands. We have achieved a lot, and now we are gradually beginning to reap the benefits.
For America, Ukraine is clearly not a priority position – it is a pawn, which is quite possible to exchange. And it's preferable to exchange it, of course, without losing face. As we have already discussed in the last article, which we mentioned above, the Minsk agreements are "one hundred percent" suitable for this.
It was seen that even before the summit, by mutually monitoring each other's positions, through meetings at different levels and various departments, we carefully indicated this exchange unit. The Americans, probing, "carried it to the masses" during Biden's tour "across Europe".
That's why the message voiced by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg following the results of the reconciliation of the clock with the new White House administration on June 14 was very characteristic. This signal was addressed, by and large, to the post-Maidan Ukrainian side.
It signals that the line that we sketched in the previous material is still correct and completely falls within the canvas built there, confirming it. It was stated: we call for the full implementation of the Minsk Agreements by all parties and support the efforts made in the Normandy Format and the Trilateral Contact Group.
A similar synchronisation occurred with key allies - Berlin and Paris. A peaceful resolution of this European conflict is even more profitable for them: they also have already broken their teeth on the current position of Kiev. After their joint failure in Paris to coerce Zelensky to fulfil Minsk, the president playing the piano became non-handshakeable for Macron. There were no common statements or photo shoots. The shabby appearance of Zelensky, who gave an impromptu press conference on the background of the backyard of the Elysee Palace, spoke for itself.
Back then his main argument in this diplomatic bashing was that he will change allies and completely "lie under the United States". So let's see how this will happen when he will be forced to Minsk from Washington: on July 8, it became known that Biden's meeting with Zelensky is postponed to the autumn.
The only one among the significant European players who adheres to a different line is, of course, today’s London. Therefore, the "Defender" turns into a "Striker", or even an "Instigator". I'm afraid to even discuss their metamorphoses further, God forbid that they become a "snack for the fishes” - in the sense of the Black Sea fish fauna. The rest of the Tabaquis in the world's layouts does not count, although there is a lot of noise from them.
So, immediately after the summit, the leaders of the Russian Federation and the United States confirmed their understanding of Minsk as the only and uncontested document for resolving the Donbass crisis. The current American president also indicated his commitment to these agreements on the final approach to the press. "We (with Putin) agreed that it is necessary to strengthen diplomacy on the issue of the Minsk agreements," he said. At the press conference of Vladimir Putin, this was one of the first phrases he uttered, the first topic considered, which speaks for itself about its priority and significance.
It was visible that he was talking about this problem, so to speak, pulling it out into the light, so that in the future, if anything, it would be more difficult for the Americans to manoeuvre and evade their obligations. And there are a number of objective circumstances for this. After all, the "partners" have already somehow "strengthened diplomacy" in the direction of Kiev when Obama was still in office.
Look, please. On their part, "all familiar faces" were present at the negotiations and, as it can be seen from the protocol photos, the well-known Victoria Nuland was sitting in the negotiating team. This lady is very experienced, and even, one can say, according to the well-known leaks, very hardened. A typical Neocon. Especially since she stepped up in the Washington power hierarchy. The Deputy Secretary of State for Political Affairs, in simple language, is actually the ideologist of the State Department.
But this experienced lady has a very negative background when working with the Ukrainian dossier. She herself had already encountered Ukrainian intractability and suburban cunningness (not to be confused with intelligence) when she was still working in the Obama administration, and her negotiating opponent on Ukraine was Vladislav Surkov.
After all, at the end of the 2015, it was she who was the author of the formula "unilateral implementation of the Minsk agreements by Ukraine", trying to play ahead of Moscow by setting her own agenda. I must admit, a worthy opponent of Surkov in terms of creativity.
Back then, during the long negotiations, Nuland built certain agreements, both with Surkov, and with Poroshenko and a number of other politicians of the Ukrainian segment. And after all, at that time it was in a very mild form. Moreover, the law that had to be dragged through under all these agreements was even supposed to be temporary.
Yes, the Verkhovna Rada approved it in the first reading at the end of August 2015, where the special status of Donbass was mentioned in the transitional provisions. But already even the preliminary adoption of the document took place at the blocked rostrum of the parliament and ended with a violent clash of protesters at the walls of the Rada with law enforcement officers. This is when grenades were used, and as a result of mass riots, more than 150 people were injured, and four National Guard soldiers were killed.
And that's all. Even this could not be voted out by them. She was cast aside, even though they promised. This is a kind of such a peculiar experience of interaction with the Ukrainian political elites that this experienced lady had. After such a fiasco, Nuland's activity in Ukrainian issues sharply declined, and she imperceptibly "vanished" from the Ukrainian agenda.
So, this is what we have already had as "strengthening diplomacy" concerning Minsk in the past. And after all, in an open text and in a masterly way, the Americans at the highest level called on the Maidan authorities to federalise: like saying, we live like this ourselves, in quite independent states. But stubbornness, close to obstinacy, is one of the characteristic features of Ukraine – the landscape and history have worked in a hardway for it. The "white masters" did not succeed to fully push through their occupational tools in the form of an anti-corruption court.
Such are the Ukrainian features at this historical stage. When, on the one hand, almost everyone and at all levels go to the American embassy for getting instructions, when the SBU is a branch of the CIA, and the main and clarifying guide and light is the Twitter of the American ambassador. And on the other hand, they clung to the "last shirt closest to the body" with a death grip, even though the trousers were removed and given away voluntarily.
Returning to our agenda, it is impossible not to notice how the topic of Minsk sounded immediately after the summit. Thus, the State Department issued a statement where the Ukrainian problem was highlighted and boldly underlined by mentioning agreements that need to be "moved from the dead point".
Now let's look at all the recent statements of the main negotiators on the Ukrainian portfolio from both sides - Victoria Nuland and Dmitry Kozak. Implying, of course, the designated background of Nuland.
Thus, the deputy head of the presidential administration of the Russian Federation and his political adviser stated in various interviews: "The presidents spoke about Ukraine quite substantially" - which is well consistent with the outline that we are building. They discussed the issue in detail, not casually, according to its significance for both sides. For the Americans, it was a bargaining chip, for us – an important bonus for our "reduction of tension" on the second front for them.
Further: "We said that the Minsk Agreements are the only basis for a political, non-military settlement of the conflict. It is necessary to follow the Minsk Agreements, first of all, in the political sphere." Kozak answered in the affirmative to the question whether the American side agreed with this: "Yes, of course. This is not our suggestion or our request. This is an active position. Let's hope that it will be implemented," he added.
Here there is also a moment of resuming joint work in this direction, as was already done earlier at the level of special representatives. The Europeans, or rather the locomotives of Europe in the person of Germany and France, did not willingly want to let Americans into this clearing.
Paris and Berlin have done everything possible and impossible in their latest spurt of pressure on Kiev. Russia gave them such an opportunity, but things are still right where they started.
Therefore, it became natural to hear the following words from Kozak in this post-Geneva period:
"If we are talking about the settlement of the conflict, please, we are ‘for’ it. When our European colleagues say that it is urgent to find a solution, because now the Americans will interfere in the process, we say - welcome."
But this, of course, does not mean that we are burying the Normandy Four. There should be a lot of levers of influence on Ukraine. This was also stated by the press secretary of the President of the Russian Federation Dmitry Peskov, commenting on this issue at a briefing on June 17, saying that "the participation of the United States in the settlement of Ukraine is not a substitute for the Normandy Format."
We are not going to promote the inclusion of the United States in negotiations with France and Germany on Donbass, which is what Kiev would like, but both we and the Europeans have repeatedly been against.
We also have an interesting designation of the US position from Nuland during transmitting the results of the meeting to their allies in an interview with Radio Liberty. I will give you two full questions and answers from the interview concerning the topic we are discussing. The first one is a generally engaged Ukrainian-centric gem.
Correspondent: "It seems that in Geneva, President Putin again insisted on the priority of the political aspects of a peaceful settlement over the security issues that Ukraine and its Western partners insist on, especially concerning control over an uncontrolled section of the Russian-Ukrainian border. Why is it so, why are the Minsk Agreements read in Moscow in another way than in Kiev and western capitals?”
Nuland: "I can't speak for Russia about how it reads the Minsk Agreements. I will say only one thing: The Minsk Agreements are the only documentary evidence that we have that President Putin really committed to withdraw from Donbass.
Given that at yesterday's summit, President Putin suggested that the United States consider taking part again in the efforts to implement the Minsk Agreements, I think the question now is whether he really seriously intends to withdraw from Donbass.
I believe that first we will hold intensive consultations with our Ukrainian partners to discuss how they see the Minsk Agreements and how they plan to continue their implementation, and then we will see if there are real grounds for our participation, or in the eyes of Moscow this is just a cover for a frozen conflict. We don't know the answer to this question yet, but we are ready to check it out."
Correspondent: "Kiev directly calls on the United States to join the Normandy Format. What do you think about the possible participation of Washington in the peaceful settlement of this conflict?"
Nuland: "Again, if we consider that there are really grounds to participate and try to implement the Minsk Agreements in a safe and suitable way for Ukraine, restoring its sovereignty and territorial integrity in Donbass in exchange for some political autonomy and achieving the withdrawal of Russia, its puppets and the army, we would be ready to work on this. But we are not sure if there are grounds for this. So we will check it in the coming weeks.”
So, the correspondent asks himself a fully matrix ukrainocentric pearl of a typical resident of the globe of Ukraine. Like saying - we, like the whole Western world ("those from abroad will help us"), have turned the Minsk Agreements upside down and, the question is, how long will Russia look at it in a different way? After all, the border is first in our heads. "And when we will hang them? – and we will hang them later," without any special statuses and political concessions.
To which the real politician (Nuland) responds quite realistically, formally, although remaining in a similar matrix: you can, of course, play as much as you like with your "I twist and turn, I want to deceive" but "The Minsk agreements are the only documentary evidence we have" and I have nothing else for you. And do not try to refuse.
And then there is the phrase "we will hold intensive consultations with our Ukrainian partners to discuss how they see the Minsk Agreements", which, on the one hand, completely reverses all this : "... The Minsk Agreements are read in Moscow in other way than in Kiev and Western capitals".
So, why then to try to find out what else the "Ukrainian partners" have decided, if "Western capitals think the same way"? And, on the other hand, in these "consultations", as in the following phrases "we will see, we will check it if we will find it necessary" - there is a certain caution and already a good acquaintance with the subject. Yes, they will try to coerce Kiev to Minsk, but a lag is also given for it, which is left by an experienced and already burned by the Ukrainian realities politician.
And with the phrase " ... restoring its sovereignty and territorial integrity in Donbass in exchange for some political autonomy," Nuland completely destroys this whole structure, where "first there is a border, and only then we will hang them." After all, this is the spirit of the Minsk Agreements – something that Ukraine denies with all its might.
How realistic will it be for Washington to push Ukraine on this issue this time? After all, new main allies are breathing down their necks, who need to handle this conflict in the vastness of Europe "by hook or by crook". While America needs their solidarity in countering China. Or, at least, their loyalty.
A pacifying canvas is already being built in relations with Russia, and, judging by certain signs, the summit agreements are gradually being implemented.
Thus, working groups are being created and coordinated to discuss cyber security. Of course, not without raising the stakes from partners for more convenient negotiating positions. After all, there was a period immediately after the summit with a multiple increase in the number of attacks from their side. But that's the usual thing, and therefore various similar incidents in our news feeds were not designated as cyber attacks, but simply recorded, without focusing on the true causes.
We can also see some changes in the Syrian issue. Concerning the Astana format, there is an underlying non-intervention of the American side. Adjustment begins in the environmental agenda. Apparently, we will see many more similar markers and real steps, because "partners" need it now. As Nuland said," we will check this in the coming weeks."
Yes, there are factors that counteract this course of things. Swan, Pike and Crawfish (or circular firing squad) are present in the split American elite, where the gap between everyone is only widening and you can expect a catch from anyone. You can also expect a catch from London playing its violin. Not to mention the Ukrainian post-Maidan environment, which has already reared up.
The most revealing thing in this matter will be the Oval Office's calling to the carpet of the pianist-clown and what will happen immediately after that. After all, as Dmitry Kozak said: "If our American colleagues will succeed to influence, first of all, the Ukrainian position, there is a chance that something will move from dead centre."
Well, we will watch the unfolding "epic film". And we, as outsiders, but interested in the bright ending of the film, would like to see in it more rigidity and frank bedroom scenes between Washington and Kiev.