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"Let there arise out of you a band of people inviting to all that is good enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong; they are the ones to attain felicity".
(surah Al-Imran,ayat-104)
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User Name: abdulruff
Full Name: Dr.Abdul Ruff Colachal
User since: 15/Mar/2008
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Peace with Russia alone can save Ukraine!

DR. ABDUL RUFF COLACHAL

____________________________

 

Like in the cold war era, the adversaries USA and Russia continue flex their rhetoric muscles over some select regional issues- this time on Ukraine. On some pretexts, the NATO and Russia have gathered militaries in and around Ukraine, threatening the very sovereignty of that East European nation.

Neither the economic sanctions nor the suspension of Russia from G8 obtained the desired pressure impact on the powerful Kremlin.

Diplomatic and economic measures yielded no results. So, the status quo remains.

As a former key state of USSR with a strong economic link with it, Ukraine cannot easily antagonize the former Super power Russia which has in fact historically originated from Kiev, known as Kievckaya Rus’

(Kievan Rus). Ukraine had been a part of mighty Soviet Union. (Kievan Rus' was a loose federation of East Slavic tribes in Europe from the late 9th to the mid-13th century, under the reign of the Rurik dynasty. Kievan Rus' begins with the rule (882–912) of Prince Oleg, who extended his control from Novgorod south along the Dnieper river valley in order to protect trade from Khazar incursions from the east and moved his capital to the more strategic Kiev. As colonialist expansionism progressed for centuries, annexing neighboring nations, Russia’s greatest extent was in the mid-11th century, it stretched from the Baltic Sea in the north to the Black Sea in the south and from the headwaters of the Vistula in the west to the Taman Peninsula in the east, uniting the majority of East Slavic tribes. Kievan Rus peaked in the 10th and 11th centuries under Vladimir Yaroslav, becoming Eastern Europe’s chief political and cultural centre. The 13th-century Mongol conquest decisively ended its power. The modern peoples of Belarus, Ukraine, and Russia all claim Kievan Rus' as their cultural inheritance).

Russian annexation of Crimea from Ukraine, quickly criticized by the West a modern shame,  was abrupt and unexpected in fact put into test the sincerity of USA and EU in its promise of protecting their allies from enemy aggression.

However, the West under the banner of imperialist and fascist NATO has also invaded many Muslim nations starting with an Islamizing Afghanistan on a fake Sept-11 hoax, on false grounds and almost annexed them. Russia very tactfully uses the NATO illegal aggressions to  justify its own aggressions. .

Moscow is upset that Ukrainians are increasingly becoming anti-Russia and the west is eagerly promoting anti Russia leaders in Ukraine to rule that nation. In fact, that has been the US policy in East Europe, Central Asia and elsewhere in the former Soviet space.

In May Ukraine went to poll to elect a new president and as the west wanted a anti-Kremlin leader has assumed power in Kiev. The 48-year-old tycoon Petro Poroshenko, who won the 25 May election, has been sworn in as president of Ukraine, setting out a plan to bring peace to the conflict-torn east of the country. Poroshenko was inaugurated in the presence of dozens of foreign dignitaries – including US Vice-President Joe Biden – in parliament in the capital

Kiev- even as clashes continued in some eastern areas, with reports of the army shelling the rebel stronghold of Sloviansk and of shooting further south in Mariupol.

 

Petro Poroshenko’s inauguration speech was forceful and seemed to hit all the right notes for his supporters. Local commentators and bloggers’ reaction was overwhelmingly positive.

 

Although Petro Poroshenko offered political concessions to people in the east and said he did not want war or revenge, he also said he had told Russia’s president that Crimea, which Moscow has annexed, would always be Ukrainian. Petro Poroshenko called on all who had engaged in armed action to ‘lay down their arms, saying he would guarantee indemnity from criminal charges to all those who did not have blood on their hands. Some separatists dismissed the speech, saying they would “never surrender”.

There were also standing ovations for the president’s comments on Crimea and on ties with the European Union – which he reiterated he wanted Ukraine to join. Poroshenko said of Crimea – annexed in March by Russia – “Crimea is, was and always will be Ukrainian soil.” Maybe, Poroshenko’s is only a rhetoric meant to soothe feelings of Ukrainians who feel the loss of Crimea.

Poroshenko said there would be no discussion concerning the territorial integrity of Ukraine. Referring to a brief meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in France on Friday, he said: “I put that clearly to the Russian leader in Normandy.” Poroshenko, the owner of the Roshen chocolates group, laid out a program for ending the crisis that included an offer of early regional elections in the east and a decentralization of power to the regional administrations. He

said: “I don’t want war. I don’t want revenge, despite the huge sacrifice of the Ukrainian people.”

Poroshenko condemned the rule of former President Viktor Yanukovych, seen by many as pro-Russian, who fled in February after a popular uprising in Kiev.

 

Clearly, a part of the speech was directed at those in strife-torn Donbass – and offered concessions on Russian language and a corridor for Russian fighters to return home.

Pro-revolution Ukrainians were undoubtedly heartened by his strong position on keeping the country unified, and advocacy for EU membership.

Ukrainians in the east and south may see Poroshenko as a man who will defend their interests. But they may be angered by his calls to join the EU and insistence that Ukrainian remain the sole state language – and feel once again that their voices are not being listened to.

The Russian and Ukrainian leaders met as fighting continued in east Ukraine He accused Yanukovych of financing terrorism in the east, saying he was “fully responsible for the situation there today”. After their meeting, Putin said he liked Poroshenko’s approach but would wait to see what he could deliver. Putin and US President Barack Obama also held an “informal meeting” lasting about 10-15 minutes, according to the White House. Russia’s ambassador said the address was a “promising declaration of intent”. Mikhail Zurabov, who attended the inauguration, said Ukraine should end its military operation in the east, provided that militias called a ceasefire and allowed humanitarian access.

 

Kiev says Moscow is backing armed militants in the eastern Donbass area, an accusation that Russia denies. The Kremlin will give its reaction fairly soon: Moscow and Kiev officials are expected to meet on Sunday to discuss the crisis in Ukraine’s east.

An insurgency leader in Luhansk, Valery Bolotov, said he did not believe Poroshenko’s offer of amnesty. Targeted sanctions were introduced by the EU and US after Russia annexed Crimea, following a controversial referendum on joining Russia. Since then, a bloody insurgency has gripped Ukraine’s eastern provinces of Donetsk and Luhansk. Some separatists were unimpressed by Poroshenko’s speech, including a spokesman in Donetsk, Fyodor Berezin, who said the president wanted “one-sided disarmament and for us to surrender. That will never happen”.

Moscow and Washington agree that Ukraine should be a peaceful, stable and prosperous bridge between Russia and Europe.

Meanwhile, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and his US counterpart John Kerry said before meeting in Paris that Ukraine should not be a “pawn” in a power struggle between East and West, but allowed that significant differences between Washington and Moscow could hurt efforts to prevent that. Kerry said the US wanted to see Russia embrace Ukrainian President-elect Petro Poroshenko’s desire to reach out to all Ukrainians, including ethnic Russians. “This is an opportunity, we hope, for Russia, the U.S. and others, all to come together in an effort to try to make a Ukraine that is strong economically, whose sovereignty is respected, whose independence is respected but clearly is not a pawn in a tug-of-war between other nations,” Kerry said.

Ukraine should be an independent sovereign country with the integrity of its borders and people able to act as a bridge between East and West, with trade and involvement with all parties. Kerry continued “We hope that with Russia, together we have the ability to be able to find a way to cooperate on how to make this happen,”. “That is our hope.

There obviously are difficulties, we understand that. That is why we are meeting today to talk about them.” Kerry spoke first. Lavrov appeared taken aback by the secretary’s statement.

But Lavrov offered his own brief comments in English, ending with a clear jab at U.S. policies in Iraq, Libya and Syria. “The Russian-American agenda is much broader than just Ukraine,” Lavrov added. “We would like to see other countries like Iraq, Libya, Syria, many others also to be in peace, not to be used as a pawn….We would like to see Ukraine also peaceful, stable. A place for all those who live in Ukraine … to be feeling equal, respected, and listened to, living in peace being a bridge, not being a pawn.”

John Kerry struck an upbeat note, saying that in the next few days there could be some steps taken that will reduce the tensions.

Both USA and Russia, the cold war leaders, now use Ukraine as a pawn to showcase their new powers in military and diplomatic terms.

Ukraine knows too well any antagonistic approach with the powerful Kremlin can be self-defeating and self destructive too. It is not just the gas as is the case with other European nations, but more than that.

Especially when the lone superpower USA and NATO backtrack on a direct confrontation with Russia, let alone war, Ukraine needs to protect its own interests by an apt policy for Russia.

The bottom-line, obviously, is that confrontation with Russia will do no good for Kiev and peace with Russia alone can save Ukraine ————— DR. ABDUL RUFF COLACHAL

 

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