Minsk Agreement funeral

Today, the 2 of September, the assassinated leader of self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic Aleksandr Zakharchenko (42) will be lying in state, and the Minsk Agreements are buried together with him.

If, before the assassination many commentators would say, there was no alternative to  ‘Minsk‘, and they were the only road map we had to end  the bloodshed in Eastern Europe, after the terrorist act taking away life of a man, who believed in negotiated peace with Kiev, the Agreement died, because the trust in good will of Ukrainian authorities was definitely killed.

After the explosion in cafe, which took lives of Zakharchenko and his two bodyguards there is no one left in Donetsk who cherishes the illusion of Kiev’s intentions to reintegrate the breakaway Russian-speaking region through the negotiations.

A son on a coal-miner, Zakharchenko was widely appreciated for his integrity and believe in the success of Donetsk Republic independence. As  a soldier he fought against Ukrainian nationalism, defending Donbass people identity. “I’m speechless. Blessed be his memory…”, write Twitter micro blog users. “Heroes don’t die“,  echo the others. “He will go on forever!“. Unfortunately, we can not say the same about the Minsk Agreements. The bomb explosion in the center of Donetsk took live of its leader and trust in ‘Minsk‘. The local media reports readiness to counter-attacks, repelling Kiev troops. War hawks win again. Hoc est bellum – this is war…

Putin: Russian military presence in Syria will last as long as necessary

President Vladimir Putin assessed Russian engagement in Syria as a “unique experience” for military, and an “important mission” aimed at protection of interests of Russian citizens, he underlined that those who sacrificed their lives defeating terrorism will be “never forgotten“. The President said that Russian military presence in Syria is fulfilled within the framework of international law, and the assistance in big-scale combat operation of the Syrian army in not needed any more, while the major focus has shifted towards political resolution of the conflict. The comments were made during ‘direct line’ emission.

Thousands of insurgents accumulated in Syria, and it was better to neutralize them there, than let them enter Russian Federation through Central Asian open borders, Putin continued. At present there is no more need in  large-scale combat operations, the President ensured, while the political resolution of the conflict is on the agenda.

However two Russian military locations – Tartus and Khmeimim Air Base  in Syria will stay as long as “beneficial and needed” to defend Russian interests in this “close to Russia region“.

The President explained that there are no permanent constructions on the territory of both Russian basis in Syria , and in case of necessity,  the military can be moved out swiftly.

The experience in Syria is a precious for our troops, but Syria is not a test site for Russian weapons“, Putin continued, “Russian specialists adjusted already functioning systems to in the field, in the combat situations”.

A significant number of Russian officers and generals had an opportunity to participate in missions in Syria, accumulating experience of combat operations, allowing to make one more step to “perfect our military“.

 

EU Visa-free for Russians

Offering Russians unilateral visa-free to the EU – is one of the major proposals of the Alliance of European Liberals and Democrats announced at a year conference on EU-Russia relations #EURussia, taking place on the third anniversary of Boris Nemtsov assassination.

The move is meant in ‘immediate and unconditional’ support of the civil society, experiencing difficulty of alienation from Europe, while regular Russians increasingly perceive the EU as an antagonistic power, especially after confrontation with the negative consequences of the EU Enlargement policy, leading to conflicts in Georgia and Ukraine.

“The biggest mistake on our behalf towards the West is that we trusted you too much,” President Vladimir Putin said. He underlined that the West, in their turn, made an unforgivable mistake – abused this trust.

Would the visa-free enhance exchanges, people-to-people contacts and heal the profound mistrust Russians feel towards the West? While Donetsk and Lugansk are under siege, and Russian children go to school risking being shot by shelling of Ukrainian army, while so-called ‘Syrian opposition’, supported by European, kills Russian pilots on counter-terrorist missions, – while the bloodshed is going on, it will be rather simplistic to consider that visa-free would restore the harmony. Although had it ever existed in relations between Europe and Russia?..

Children Donbass

Image: citizens’ journalism ‘Killed children of Donbass’

 

 

 

Taliban as a part of “social fabric”

After a decade of military campaign, and removal of troops under the pretext of fulfilled mission, Afghanistan shocks the world by the spectacular resurrection of Taliban: according to the BBC studies the Islamists are controlling significant territories, leaving to government just one third, and even though it is not free from terrorist attacks.

Sadly, the longevity of Taliban, and other Islamic radical ideologies in Afghanistan would be impossible without support of a significant part of population, disregarding the efforts of the West to introduce the democratic values by military and the other means.

Afghanistan returns to Taliban as its point of departure. In Europe Muslim girls, whose mothers were wearing mini skirts, sincerely prefer burqas, or at least scarfs to flaunt their belief in the streets of European cities, the cities in which they were born, but don’t appreciate, prefering to associate themselves with Medieval societies their parents fled.

Nowadays they say, that Taliban is a part of Afghanistan “social fabric” – how European “social fabric” will look like in 10-20 years, if the levels of Muslim migration remain the same?

 

EU migrant crisis deadlock

Although  focused on sanctioning Vicegrad4 (V4) group members – Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia – for their reluctance to accept the refugees and migrants after the wave of the terroristic attacks in Europe, the EU does not have a concept or strategy for long-term solution of the problem of illegal mass migration from Africa. Tactically forcing the V4 to accept some thousands of migrants will not lead to the a halt, or even a relieve in the  Italian shelters, but achieve the opposite,  encouraging new massive arrivals. Even if hosted  proportionately among all EU27 states, the migration problem  will not be an inch closer to its solution, on contrary to what the leader of the European Parliament Socialsits @GianniPittella MEP, might hope for, insisting that there is no other solution, but sanctioning V4:

Next to old rivalries and violent conflicts the West introduced the new once, as a result of a passion for regime-change Libya has been degraded from one of the richest African nations under Colonel Gaddafi rule to a failed state, terrorized by various groups of jihadists, whom he once fought. Failed state became an open gate for anyone in Africa interested to try his luck in Europe. Different sources mentioned 15 000 jihadists who have already infiltrated in Europe with migrants flow, waiting for a suitable moment to strike.

Until Libya remains no man land, the perspectives to curb the flow of migrants from Sub-Sakharian  Africa stay feeble: countries like Nigeria with two million people fled from the militant group Boko Haram’s violence since 2014, will continue to represent a reserve of refugees eager to risk their lives to reach Italian coasts.

At the moment  six million people are looking for an opportunity to cross Mediterranean, gathering at Libyan coast, according to a report leaked to Build newspaper. The plea of the European Liberals to relocate to each European town “30 migrants” doesn’t work either, because it will privilege the happy few, inspiring deprived millions to require the same treatment. The re-location of even one million of Africans to V4 countries will not resolve the problems of the entire 1,2 billion population of the continent, suffering violent conflict, poverty and famine.

The restrictive measures towards V4 will alienate the citizens of these countries from the EU project, which has been passing through turbulent times of Brexit – the decision largely taken in discord with the EU open door policy, and a broad gesture of Chancellor Merkel inviting one million migrants to Germany. Calais camp Jungle has also played its part, while Britons were casting a ballot in referendum to share common destony with Europe. (Photo: a migrant camp in France set ablaze in a brawl between two ethinic groups).

However not everyone shares the views on sanctions against V4 as a solution: the leader of the European Parliament Nordic Greens MEP Gabi Zimmer admitted that the sanctioning is not, she believes in solidarity, but she doesn’t precise where its limits are.

The dilemma for the East European nations is the choise  between European Funds they are threatened to lose and security.

“Wallet or life?”- for V4 to decide…

 

Tillerson’s visit as a glimpse of hope

Tillerson Moscow

The reception of State Secretary Rext Tillerson in Kremlin gives hope that the superpower leaders are prepared to assume their responsibilities towards global community, and stabilize the rapidly deteriorated US-Russia relations.

The high expectations of Russians did not come true – the change of the administration did not bring a major change in foreign policy. Whoever is the master of the White House, it is the  US military-industrial complex having the last say.  In this way Trump’s presidency will not become any different. Bowing to the Pentagon, Trump had to retreat into admitting that NATO is ‘not obsolete’. Acceding power, he had to follow the path of his predecessors,  meaning to stay in a rut of the US expansionist foreign policy.  We all have to come to the terms that none of his revolutionary anti-war proposals, captivating the moods of his electorate, can be transformed into reality,  and both Russian and American people have to live with that sinister truth.

In spite of the economic crisis the US launched without blinking a missile offensive on Syria – the firing a shot worth USD 88 mln  demonstrates that there will be no savings on military adventures. The offensive that also left in ashes the Kremlin hope of ‘peaceful coexistence’ of the nuclear superpowers.  Syria and Ukraine as the frontlines set ablaze.

Putin and Tillerson

However the pressure of the international terrorism still might push even those the most reluctant into a coalition with Russians. The rapidly spreading network of jihadists worldwide has no other solution, but a united effort.

Although the agenda of almost two-hour discussion between Putin and Tillerson was not revealed, it is certain that the anti-terrorist coalition proposal had its prominent place.

(Photo: illustration)

Lavrov for union against IS

lavrov-blue-bd

“Unprecedented terrorist aggression has been seen in Europe, the United States, and the countries that are our allies under the Collective Security Treaty Organisation in Asia – all this presents a serious threat to international security”, said Russian Foreign minister Sergey Lavrov addressing MunichSecurity conference.

 

Russian minister expressed concern over the overall degradation of the situation in the Middle East and North Africa after ‘Arab Spring’, and migrant crisis in Europe, pointing at  the threat of terrorism to expand in Middle East, North Africa.

Lavrov claimed a  “certain success” in the fight against ISIS, al-Nusra Front, and the other terroristic groups, however he underlined that the international community has failed so far to create a “truly efficient anti-terrorist front”, blaming  “inability” to put aside nonentity matters, and curb geopolitical ambitions.

Lavrov called for a “true union” of the leading nations against international terrorism,  and also to prevent the collapse of Iraq, Libya, Yemen and Afghanistan, infiltrated by ISIS, using the lack of unified strategy to their advantage.