Matt TreacyReuters has reported this morning that there is some optimism beginning to emerge around the negotiations between Ukraine and Russia. 

16-March-2022

This follows yesterday’s statement by Ukrainian President Zelensky that Ukraine accepts that joining NATO is not feasible.

Presumably this explains Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov’s declaration that “neutral status is now being seriously discussed along, of course, with security guarantees.” There are other issues involved and Ukraine is unlikely, nor ought to have, to agree to “demilitarisation,” which would effectively render it defenceless.

However, given that Ukraine’s relationship with NATO was one of the ostensible motivations for the Russian invasion, and in the light of the apparent failure of the Russian armed forces to achieve its military objectives, Zelensky’s declaration may provide a means to end the war.

What happens next will depend greatly on what emerges from today’s meeting in Brussels of NATO defence ministers which began at 9am Central European Time. The pre-conference statement by NATO General Secretary Stoltenberg referred primarily to the need to prevent the conflict from escalating beyond the borders of Ukraine.

The soundbites from NATO and from the United States are somewhat in contrast to the stance being taken by member states of the Visegrad alliance which includes Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, and by other states bordering on the conflict zone. The Prime Ministers of Poland, Czechia and Slovenia travelled by train to Kiev yesterday where they met with Zelensky. 


The three leaders left little doubt about how they view the war. The conservative Slovenian Prime Minister Jansa, who is close to Viktor Orban of Hungary, declared that Ukraine was “defending the very core of European values,” while the Polish PM Morawiecki pointedly referred back to a speech made by his Law and Justice (PiS) Party leader Kaczynski in 2008 when Russia was threatening another former Soviet vassal state, Georgia.


“Today Georgia, tomorrow Ukraine, the day after tomorrow the Baltic states, and then maybe it’s time for my country, for Poland.”

The Visegrad alliance of Poland, Hungary, Czechia and Slovakia has been notably both more belligerent in terms of what it expects the western response to be, and slightly disparaging of that response to date. While clearly part of whatever diplomatic initiatives may be in play, the group also sounded a more militant note in the hours before the Brussels NATO conference.

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It is important to understand where countries like Poland are coming from in relation to this. While some conservatives and nationalists in the west of Europe and in the United States are rightly sceptical of anything that the liberal left leaderships of their own countries and indeed of the EU and of NATO stand for – or rather do not stand for – the Poles and others do not have that luxury.

Nor are they unmindful of the contradictions of the EU and western European leaders vis-à-vis their attempts to bully Poland and Hungary on issues of domestic sovereignty while at the same time posing as defenders of Ukraine.

Our own vapid “leadership” are only ever on the right side of anything by accident. Usually only because those they defer to in Brussels or Washington happen to be. That is irrelevant to the real issues at stake here.
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What emerges from the war in Ukraine is of crucial importance to those countries that endured decades of terror and oppression at the hands of Communist parties and their secret police forces under the effective control of the Kremlin.

We ought not to take their concerns and their motivations in all of this lightly, nor see them too much through the prism of other issues which are secondary at the present time.

Matt Treacy has published a number of books including histories of 
the Republican Movement and of the Communist Party of Ireland. 

A Chink Of Light In Ukraine

Matt TreacyReuters has reported this morning that there is some optimism beginning to emerge around the negotiations between Ukraine and Russia. 

16-March-2022

This follows yesterday’s statement by Ukrainian President Zelensky that Ukraine accepts that joining NATO is not feasible.

Presumably this explains Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov’s declaration that “neutral status is now being seriously discussed along, of course, with security guarantees.” There are other issues involved and Ukraine is unlikely, nor ought to have, to agree to “demilitarisation,” which would effectively render it defenceless.

However, given that Ukraine’s relationship with NATO was one of the ostensible motivations for the Russian invasion, and in the light of the apparent failure of the Russian armed forces to achieve its military objectives, Zelensky’s declaration may provide a means to end the war.

What happens next will depend greatly on what emerges from today’s meeting in Brussels of NATO defence ministers which began at 9am Central European Time. The pre-conference statement by NATO General Secretary Stoltenberg referred primarily to the need to prevent the conflict from escalating beyond the borders of Ukraine.

The soundbites from NATO and from the United States are somewhat in contrast to the stance being taken by member states of the Visegrad alliance which includes Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, and by other states bordering on the conflict zone. The Prime Ministers of Poland, Czechia and Slovenia travelled by train to Kiev yesterday where they met with Zelensky. 


The three leaders left little doubt about how they view the war. The conservative Slovenian Prime Minister Jansa, who is close to Viktor Orban of Hungary, declared that Ukraine was “defending the very core of European values,” while the Polish PM Morawiecki pointedly referred back to a speech made by his Law and Justice (PiS) Party leader Kaczynski in 2008 when Russia was threatening another former Soviet vassal state, Georgia.


“Today Georgia, tomorrow Ukraine, the day after tomorrow the Baltic states, and then maybe it’s time for my country, for Poland.”

The Visegrad alliance of Poland, Hungary, Czechia and Slovakia has been notably both more belligerent in terms of what it expects the western response to be, and slightly disparaging of that response to date. While clearly part of whatever diplomatic initiatives may be in play, the group also sounded a more militant note in the hours before the Brussels NATO conference.

2

It is important to understand where countries like Poland are coming from in relation to this. While some conservatives and nationalists in the west of Europe and in the United States are rightly sceptical of anything that the liberal left leaderships of their own countries and indeed of the EU and of NATO stand for – or rather do not stand for – the Poles and others do not have that luxury.

Nor are they unmindful of the contradictions of the EU and western European leaders vis-à-vis their attempts to bully Poland and Hungary on issues of domestic sovereignty while at the same time posing as defenders of Ukraine.

Our own vapid “leadership” are only ever on the right side of anything by accident. Usually only because those they defer to in Brussels or Washington happen to be. That is irrelevant to the real issues at stake here.
3

What emerges from the war in Ukraine is of crucial importance to those countries that endured decades of terror and oppression at the hands of Communist parties and their secret police forces under the effective control of the Kremlin.

We ought not to take their concerns and their motivations in all of this lightly, nor see them too much through the prism of other issues which are secondary at the present time.

Matt Treacy has published a number of books including histories of 
the Republican Movement and of the Communist Party of Ireland. 

8 comments:

  1. Bit unfair to expect a Frenchie to put himself in danger!

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  2. If the NATO question is resolved, meaning Ukraine will not join, and if this is legally binding then the reasons for the invasion to a large extent cease. To expect Ukraine to demilitarise is not on and is unreasonable. That leaves the growing question of the growing in number Nazi AZOV battalion. This gang are a bigger threat to Zelenskyy than are the Russians, to my knowledge Moscow has no desire to kill the Ukrainian President. Not so in the case of AZOV, who have already reportedly threatened to "hang him from a tree" if information is correct.

    Caoimhin O'Muraile

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    Replies
    1. Caoimhin - it might deny them the excuse but not the reason. Poland has a border of about 130 miles with Russia. There was little if any chance of Ukraine joining NATO. The West probably stoked up the sense of alarm and led the Ukrainians on. Putin has enough far right of their own to be too concerned about Azov. But the rise of the far right in Ukraine and Western blind eye syndrome towards it needs constant monitoring.

      Delete
  3. True Anthony, but there is far right, which is bad enough, and Nazi right which is dangerous. What became the Waffen SS started small and look at the monster it became. Luckily they were defeated, ironically enough, in Russia! Zerenskyy is not a safe man while these people are at large in any way in force.

    I think it denies them the excuse and reason. I still maintain this mess can only be sorted out by compromise, and this, for me, offers a golden opportunity if correct. Russia must drop the ridiculous demilitarisation demand, and Ukraine NATO membership ambitions. The USA nd NATO themselves could push this along by informing Ukraine, any application for NATO membership will be rejected. That only leaves the Nazis to sort out, and the Ukrainian Army, if they are loyal to the President could do that.

    Caoimhin O'Muraile

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    Replies
    1. Caoimhin - there is no reason I can see for the Russians to wage war on Ukraine. They relied on excuses rather than reasons and are trying to hammer dissent at home which points out the fallacies.
      Russia has a far right as well - it also allows the anti gay lobby to pump up the hate volume.
      In principle Russia should not be allowed to determine what alliances other states make. In practice the realpolitik of international relations can make decisions about alliances a risky business. There is simply no way in this world would the US respect the right of Mexico to have Russians nukes on its territory.

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  4. Now there appears the security problem, as Russia saw it, is on the verge of being sorted the reason cited for invasion will fall Anthony. Assuming that is Ukraine accepts it cannot join NATO, I used the Mexican comparison as well, it is a good one. Why then should Russia allow US "Nukes" within striking distance of Moscow? The fact is, they won't which is primarily what the invasion was about, we may differ on this one cara. Lets see how Ukraine reacts if the offer is genuinely on the table, which we have no concrete evidence of yet! I am aware of Russias less than savoury far right who need to be smashed. They may share an ideological approach, or part of, with the Ukrainian Nazis, but the Russian variant are not incorporated into the armed forces as are AZOV.

    Caoimhin O'Muraile

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    Replies
    1. The reason cited - if not the reason behind it - will simply morph into something else. It can serve as a get out clause for Putin if he is astute enough to take it.

      I don't agree that the invasion was primarily about NATO. The latter was a consideration in the Russian fear factor but hardly enough to justify war. The next war can be excused away on the same grounds: that Poland's border with Ukraine poses a threat to the greater Russia that Ukraine becomes a part of. I no more believe Israel attacks Gaza because of security concerns than I believe Russia is attacking Ukraine for the same reason. Both use the excuse to disguise expansionist policies.

      The only way this war makes sense for Putin is if he is going to imperially expand.

      Nazis are Nazis, incorporated into the state or not. Putin was happy to rely on them in the Donbas. But there is a seriously huge problem when they are incorporated into the national security services.

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  5. And now RTE in league with AZOV, using the Nazi battalions footage of destruction. This is rapidly becoming, in the west, an appology for the fucking Nazis propaganda stunt using concern for civilians as an excuse for such appologies. The picture, for me, is becoming clearer.

    Caoimhin O'Muraile

    ReplyDelete