Friday, August 22, 2014


Ukraine Unspun

Explaining The NATO-Russia War Of Words

A NATO AWACS (Airborne Warning and Control Systems) aircraft takes off on a flight to Poland from an air base in Geilenkirchen near the German-Dutch border.
A NATO AWACS (Airborne Warning and Control Systems) aircraft takes off on a flight to Poland from an air base in Geilenkirchen near the German-Dutch border.
In a ratcheting up of tensions between NATO and Russia, both are accusing the other of failing to uphold agreements signed between the two sides since the dissolution of the Soviet Union. 

Following Russia's annexation of Crimea and the buildup of Russian troops on the border with Ukraine, NATO announced that it was suspending "all practical civilian and military cooperation" with Moscow. It also has stepped up military maneuvers, sending surveillance planes to Poland and U.S. fighter jets to the Baltic states, in member countries located on Russia's borders. 

At a March 3 news conference in Moscow, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the moves were in violation of the Founding Act agreement, signed in 1997. The accord stated that "in the current and foreseeable security environment" NATO would carry out collective defense by "reinforcement rather than by additional permanent stationing of substantial combat forces." 

At a separate press conference, NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen called Lavrov's comments "propaganda and disinformation," adding that the alliance's actions did not involve permanent stationing of combat forces.

"In the same document Russia pledged to respect territorial integrity, sovereignty, and political independence of other states, and refrain from the threat or use of force," he said. "And that's exactly what Russia is not doing." 

Despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary (we covered this in detail here), Moscow recently denied violating Ukraine's territorial integrity, claiming that the new government in Kyiv, which claimed power after former President Viktor Yanukovych fled the capital, itself "pushed" Crimea away.

Judy Dempsey, a senior associate at Carnegie Europe, tells RFE/RL that technically NATO is not breaking the rules of the agreement.

"There are no soldiers wearing NATO uniforms or NATO emblems stationed in any of the Eastern or Central European countries of the Baltics," she says. And the military exercises are "not permanent." 

Nonetheless, she says Moscow's resentment of NATO is genuine and there is a sense that with the military partnership drawing down its forces in Afghanistan at the end of 2014, it is "going home" and returning to a mission whose chief focus is the collective defense of Europe. 

In this light, and with NATO states on Russia's borders seeking an even greater role for the alliance following Russia's incursion into Ukraine, "anything NATO does is going to be interpreted [by Russia] as aggressive or undermining or provocative," she says. 

Moscow, for its part, appears to have been engaged in a piecemeal effort to form a legal rationale for its efforts in Crimea -- particularly since UN members overwhelmingly rejected its annexation of Crimea in a late March vote.  

Russia had argued that the Crimean vote to join with Russia, which was carried out under the watch of Russian soldiers and pro-Russian forces, was legal under the principle of self-determination. 

-- Glenn Kates
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Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Anonymous
April 04, 2014 18:52
NATO IS THE PROBLEM !

only a stupid can't understand this .

Looks like that NAto now want to become a supranational political subject .
.
in recent months
I've heard too many times
"statements by NATO"
position papers by NATO"
"NATO ultimatum"
.
all of which seem to be totally autonomous
from the political reality
of the states that are into NATO
.
I do not see any process or democratic system
within NATO
which can ensure that its actions
are in line with the political desire of Europeans people
.
Day after day NATO is becoming a big problem
In Response

by: A from: Europe
April 05, 2014 11:50
NATO members decide amoungst themselves, including many of the countries that contain the 'European people'.

With respect, I do not see anything presented by you or refrenced that provides any support to your final comment about NATO.

Feel free to return with some information.
In Response

by: Ivan
April 05, 2014 14:35
The problem is Russia and Russian shills speaking broken English. They all sound like Churkin. The World community will put the aggressive Russian bear back in its den

by: Observer48 from: Canada
April 06, 2014 05:53
Well. Putler has just opened a Pandora box by annexing Crimea. Russia's blatant contempt for international law and reneging on its own commitment to respect Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity as a signatory of the 1994 Budapest Memorandum lit a green light for NATO to permanently deploy ground troops and tanks on Russia's borders. Putler has brought it on himself.
In Response

by: Putin
April 06, 2014 11:49
Pandora box was opened by western secret services with visible heads like Nuland, McCain, etc. Russia violated an international agreement? Yes! USA does that all the time, why Russia can't do the same when crooks try to mess in her playground promoting coup d'etats?
In Response

by: Putin_Really_Sucks from: USA
April 06, 2014 20:54
@Putin,

Your comment shows how much you have been brainwashed. Why should Ukraine be Russia's playground? It's a sovereign country, isn't it? Why shouldn't the Ukrainians be those who decide for their future? Putin's Russia is a kleptocracy. Viktor Yanukovich stole from the Ukrainian People.
Now, the Tatars who live in Crimea want their own autonomy within Crimea. Putin opened the Pandora box. Will he send Russian troops in Lithuania, where are living about 170,000 ethnic Russians? Why won't they also want to have their autonomy within that country? If you don't see the problem that Vladimir Putin has caused here, you must be smoking something really nasty.
In Response

by: Asehpe from: The Netherlands
April 09, 2014 11:16
Ah, the "America did it too!" argument! It makes Russia look so much like a playground child... "Jimmy did it too, so why can't I?"

So if America shot itself on the head, Russia should do the same?

If America started eating sand, Russia should do the same?

When will Russia ever stop defining itself by comparison with America? Doesn't it ever have anything to offer -- any policy, any kind of leadership -- that isn't simply "America is doing it, too?"

Besides, this destroys the credibility of Russian criticism. If you're going to criticize America for something, and then do it yourselves, saying "America does it, too" -- how much credibility do you think the Russian critique deserves? :-)

Yes, Russia has violated international treaties. you say. Conclusion: that's the kind of thing Russia likes to do. It has joined the group of countries whose signature is worthless. Because it means basically that Russia has no word; Russia has no honor. And that's sad, no matter who else is in that group.

by: Putin
April 07, 2014 08:34
@ Putin_Really_Sucks from: USA

You (USA) poked your nose and KILLED so many people in so many places (Irak, Afghanistan, Yugoslavia, etc.) where there were NO AMERICANS AT ALL!!! So shut up now, because Putin (overwhelmingly supported by russians in this case) it is an angel comparing with USA because there were no bloodshed in Crimea.
In Response

by: Michael from: USA
April 07, 2014 14:06
Putin- are you forgetting that Russia itself invaded and slaughtered far more Afghan civilians then we ever did (and there were no Russians there), or that Putin invaded Georgia, and that the intervention in Yugoslavia was an effort to end acts of genocide there? I know that you Russians only like to look back about 20 years and point out everything the United States did wrong but if you look at history over the last century Russia (including when it was running the Soviet Union) has committed far more atrocities then the United States ever did.
In Response

by: Putin
April 07, 2014 14:33
@Michael.

Yeah-yeah! "Far more atrocities..." Let's count? Where was USSR? Hungary, Czecoslovakia (very "noisy" invasions, but with how many civilian casualties?), Afganistan, where else? And USA? Korea, Vietnam, Panama, Grenada, Cuba... A! Of course you will STATE that USA freed Europe in II World War, not russians... And let me ask you, which was the ONLY country in the world that dropped nuclear bombs over human beings? It seems to me that it was the "greatest fighter" for human rights that nowadays feels it has the moral right to decide which country may have nuclear weapons and which may not...
In Response

by: Observer48 from: Canada
April 07, 2014 23:08
Does the US occupy a single country it "invaded"? BTW, ther UN and NATO mandate in Afghanistan is coming to an end and Afghanistan successfully carried out last Sunday the first democratic presidential election in its history.

Putlerreich brings only corruption, misery and destitution to all countries it has bullied into submission. This alone will make Putlerstan implode again as it was the case with the now defunct Soviet Union, with the stink reaching the High Heavens.

by: Putin
April 09, 2014 10:06
@Observer48 from: Canada

So what, no more arguments? Only childish mocking? I don't speak about serious things with children. Bye-bye... "I am rubber, you are glue. Bounces off me and sticks to you. "
In Response

by: Asehpe from: The Netherlands
April 09, 2014 11:20
So basically again: America did it, so should Russia!

So, if America drinks urine, so should Russia?

The only justification you can find for your country's actions is "others have done it too"? Like little children in a playground: "Jimmy has eaten the cookie, so I can, too"?

:-) :-) :-)...

You are acknowledging that Russia broke its international agreements; you are acknowledging that Russia has no word, that it has no honor. You criticize the Americans for that? Now you have to criticize the Russians, too. Because they're guilty of the same thing.

Unless, of course, you are... biased?

:-) :-) :-)
In Response

by: Putin
April 09, 2014 15:38
@ by: Asehpe from: The Netherlands

USA and its servants (EU, etc.) "forgot" about the existence ot the international law and agreements many many times in Serbia, Irak, Libia, etc. (places that are far, very far away from their compound) to cherish its ego and national interests... And how many human "casualties" where inflicted to these countries by the "true democratizators"??? And there was no complaining in media from "neutral" people like you... But now you enjoy yourself whining that Russia broke the law... Russia didn't break anything because this "law" was killed and buried by USA long long time ago and doesn't exist anymore... It's impossible to break something that doesn't exist anymore... Once again we can see that the only really working law is the Law of the Strongest... Russia is not the strongest right now but it's strong enough to control her PLAYGROUND (yes! I'll state that once again!). And Russia has much more moral right to do so - half of Ukraine's population is basically russians... USA it's just jealous that russians could manage this "invasion" so nicely without bloodshed and not like yankees normally do...

About #UkraineUnspun

The information war is in full swing in the tense standoff between Ukraine and Russia. In an attempt to present a clearer picture, #UkraineUnspun will unravel information coming from Russian and Ukrainian media, politicians and activists. Written by Glenn Kates and contributors from RFE/RL.

Follow the hashtag #UkraineUnspun on Twitter and let us know what we should be covering -- or to weigh in on any of our stories. Or write us at webteam@rferl.org
 

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