ANALYSIS / OPINION:
In the run-up to the upcoming Washington summit between President Biden and Ukrainian President Zelensky, it’s important to analyze America’s geopolitical strategy toward that country and see if it best serves the interests of the American people – and, for that matter. , Ukrainians. .
Here are some introductory points.
Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, its 15 former republics became independent states, including Ukraine. Freed from the Communist yoke, endowed with strong industrial and agricultural sectors, a favorable climate and fertile land, Ukraine – my birthplace – had great potential to become one of the most prosperous European nations. Effective anti-corruption reforms, a certain level of autonomy for regions with a large ethnic Russian population, two-state languages and a neutral status without membership of any military bloc would have made Ukraine, if not a new Switzerland, so definitely a happy and a prosperous state. There would have been no civil war, and Donbass and Crimea would still be part of Ukraine.
However, some internal and external forces had a different agenda, resulting in the current tragedy, loss of life and land, the rise of radical nationalism, a neo-Nazi movement, and widespread economic devastation. Add to this tragedy that millions of skilled workers have been forced to leave their countries in search of manual jobs abroad to survive and provide for their families.
In addition, Ukraine is now one of the main negative factors in US domestic and foreign policy. President Trump’s impeachment in the House, the embarrassing scandal involving President Biden Hunter’s son, a growing threat of nuclear war with Russia – all of these issues and many more have ties to Ukraine.
The list of those responsible for this tragedy is long, but unfortunately Washington finds itself in the first place. Russia is obviously another major player, but its actions are mostly reactions to US policies which Moscow sees as attempts to surround Russia through NATO expansion to make Ukraine a head of anti-Russian strategic bridge. Billions of US taxpayer funds have flowed into Ukraine precisely for this purpose.
Geopolitics is a cynical enterprise, but since those who implement it claim adherence to Western sacred values, it would be difficult to justify the transformation of two nations bound by age-old religious, family, cultural and economic ties into matching enemies. to the West and, moreover, Judeo-Christian values. Unfortunately, we see no criticism of this policy from American human rights organizations, Jewish or Christian claiming to share these values.
The West has long dreamed of separating Ukraine from Russia. The insight of this maneuver was expressed over a century ago by German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck, to whom historians attribute the following sentence: “The power of Russia could be undermined by separating the Ukraine from it. . This understanding was expressed by Jimmy Carter’s national security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski, who argued that “without Ukraine, Russia ceases to be a Eurasian empire”.
At the same time, some experts saw the collapse of Soviet communism as a historic chance to bring Russia into the Western fold. One of them was Paul Weyrich, the late founder of the Free Congress Foundation. I mentioned Paul because he had direct access to President George HW Bush, to whom he presented these ideas. Bush was interested and later spoke of forming a security ark from Vancouver to Vladivostok.
In addition, in August 1991, before the collapse of the USSR, Bush went to Ukraine. He delivered a speech to parliament, the Supreme Rada, warning that “Americans will not support those who seek independence in order to replace distant tyranny with local despotism. They will not help those who promote suicidal nationalism based on ethnic hatred.
However, after Bush lost his re-election in 1992, all of this rhetoric was rejected and Washington reverted to Brzezinski’s view of US policy towards Ukraine, which not only separated it from Russia but also made it anti-Russia. Russia.
Enter Zelensky, a comedic actor who made people laugh by telling jokes and playing the piano on comedy shows with his pants down. Now he is trying to play a game of “shaking the dog” on the international stage by seeking to draw America and Europe into its conflict with Russia, even at the risk of starting World War III.
Everyone talks about the Minsk accords as the road map to peace, but neither Brussels nor Washington criticizes Zelensky when he openly demands that these agreements be renegotiated. He is also pushing for the constitutive summit of the “Crimean Platform”.
The aim is to increase international pressure on Russia and eventually force it to abandon the peninsula even when, according to all polls, the overwhelming number of Crimean citizens want to be part of Russia.
In fact, for centuries Crimea was part of the Tsarist Russian Empire and the Russian Federation in the USSR. Soviet dictator Nikita Khrushchev transferred it as a gift in 1954 for the 300th anniversary of Ukraine’s unification with Russia. No one asked for the opinion of the Crimean people. The General Secretary of the Communist Party followed the feudal rules of kings and tsars that all land was held by monarchs, who could grant it to whomever they wanted with serfs, cottars and slaves.
Therefore, this platform is an unnecessary exercise because Crimea is a red line that Russia will never allow to cross. The recent incident in which the British destroyer HMS Defender was driven out of Crimean waters is clear proof of this. Do the Americans want to fight with Russia over the Crimea?
Other senseless voices in Ukraine are calling for the production of nuclear weapons. They blackmail the NATO countries for delaying Ukraine’s entry into this organization with the threat that Kiev may “perhaps also consider its nuclear status”.
So, we may soon face another Frankenstein monster similar to the Taliban or worse. The Taliban, remember, was created by the United States, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia as an outgrowth of jihad against the Soviets but then turned against America. The devastating and extremely embarrassing results of the 20-year war in Afghanistan are now fully exposed.
Something similar is happening in Ukraine with the growing influence of the neo-Nazis and an increasing number of US military personnel and equipment on Ukrainian territory at a time when a potential conflict with Russia can quickly turn into full-scale war. .
When Biden meets Zelensky, he should tell him that instead of trying to drag America into another potentially suicidal war, Ukraine should fulfill its obligations under the Minsk Accords, abandon its NATO aspirations. and start large-scale economic and security negotiations with Russia.
It would be the best choice for the United States and Ukraine, but it is unlikely that the “deep state”, which actually runs American foreign policy, will allow Biden to do so. So let’s tighten our seat belts. We may be in a bad spot.
• Edward Lozansky is president of the American University in Moscow.