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4 Russian territorial disputes that have not resulted in hostility

Russia is more than capable of handing a wide variety of territorial disputes in a calm and mature way. The same cannot be said for the fascist regime in Kiev.




Many in the EU and US fail to accept that Crimea is today, as it was for centuries, a peaceful and integral part of Russia. They seem obsessed by a short aberrational period of history between 1991 and 2014 where the people of Crimea and Sevastopol engaged in a protracted struggle for autonomy and independence from Kiev after the peninsula was transferred to a new state of Ukraine following the illegal break-up of the Soviet Union.

For those who think that the struggle of the Crimean people to return home only began in 2014, they simply do not know history.

In 1992, Crimea proclaimed its full-self governing status, but pressure from Kiev and little support from a totally compromised Russia, led to the indefinite postponement of a referendum that was to have decided the fate of an independent Crimea.

In 1993, autonomous Crimea created a new office of Crimean President, but this was abolished a year later, again under pressure from Kiev.

In 1995, Kiev abolished the autonomous Crimean Constitution all together, leading to vastly renewed tensions. The tensions were temporarily eased with the ultimately failed and totally flawed 1997 Kharkov Agreement. However, throughout the 2000s and long before the Kiev coup of 2014, things remained deeply tense  between Crimea and Kiev. The people of Crimea never wanted anything to do with Kiev, even before Kiev went fully fascist in 2014.

Donbass too has never been happy being part of a post-Soviet Ukrainian state. The 2014 fascist coup was merely the straw which broke the camel’s back. Unlike Crimea, the two independent Republics of Donbass have not yet reunited with Russia, something that has saddened and worried many in both Russia and Donbass.

But do all territorial disputes result in open conflict, sanctions and strains to international relations? More specifically, do all territorial disputes involving Russia lead to such things?

The answer is no. The combination of militarism in Kiev which is itself encouraged by the US and EU’s desire  to turn Ukraine into a kind of geo-political football, has made the disputes involving the fascist regime of Kiev take on a violent nature that are simply not present in other such territorial disagreements involving Russia.

Here is a list of territories in which Russia and another state have a dispute that has not resulted in any kind of violence or international hostility.

1. Estonia-Russian border 

Estonia is not known for its warm feelings towards Russia, quite the opposite is the case. Russophobia is part of the narrative of successive Estonian governments and Estonia always rolls out the red carpet for NATO tanks and other military hardware.

In spite of this, protracted negotiations over the modern border between Estonia and the Russian Federation have not erupted in the kind of violent hell that Kiev is reigning down on Donbass, nor have they resulted in the kind of collective western hysteria that erupted when Crimea peacefully and democratically returned home.

Ever since 1991, some in Estonia have wanted the Estonian-Russia border to be defined by the 1920 Treaty of Tartu signed between Soviet Russia and the Finnish and Estonia states of the post-First World War era. As it was, the 1991 borders of Estonia reflected the borders of the Estonian Soviet Socialist Republic which existed between 1940 and 1991.

After years of often tedious negotiations, both sides agreed to exchange an equal amount of land in border regions, totalling a swap of 126 hectares of land.

It all had the ring of ‘much ado about nothing’, but ultimately both sides were placated without resorting to the insane measures surrounding post-fascist coup Ukraine.

2. The Kuril Islands

Ever since the end of the Second World War, Japan and the USSR have contested ownership of the largely uninhibited chain of islands.

After the Yalta Conference, it was agreed that the Soviet Union would take control of the entire archipelago.

In 1956, the Soviet Union and Japan agreed to settle the conflict by giving Japan sovereignty over two of the islands whilst the USSR would retain the rest. However, the United States intervened to prohibit Japan from formalising the deal.

Today, Japan still seeks sovereignty over two of the islands in their entirety as well as partial control over two others.

The apparent good personal relationship between current Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe (in power since 2012) and Russian President Vladimir Putin has done a great deal to ease tensions. Both sides have agreed to take a calm and cooperative approach to the islands as two mature powers ought to do.

READ MORE: Abe and Trump discussed Russia, agreed on need to boost ties with Putin

3. The Arctic

While not the most unforgiving piece of real estate in the world, the melting of the Polar Icecaps as well as the potential for oil exploration in the region has led to a little discussed ‘race for the Arctic’ between Russia, Canada, the United States, Norway and Denmark.

Various conflicting international treaties as well as disputes over whose continental ridges extend into the Arctic, carries the potential for a conflict between several large nations, including two nuclear super-powers (the US and Russia).

However, few people seriously believe that competition for Arctic claims will seriously result in war or total geo-political conflict.

Thus far, no such things have happened.

4. Ukatny Island

Ukatny is a small uninhabited island in the North Caspian sea. But like many uninhabited places which are of interest to various countries, Ukatny has oil. Currently, the island is the subject of a relatively small dispute between Russia and Kazakhstan.

Russia and Kazakhstan are post-Soviet allies who are both members of the Commonwealth of Independent States and the Eurasian Economic Union. This helps explain why there has not been and almost certainly will never be open conflict over Ukatny Island.

These four very different examples of disputes over different kinds of territory, between different kinds of nations, demonstrate that Russia is more than capable of handling disputed territorial claims with anyone, whether a post-Soviet ally like Kazakhstan, a former adversary turned country with generally good relations like Japan, a country that is politically hostile like Estonia or even a  superpower like the United States and its allies Canada, Denmark and Norway.

The fact that the fascist regime in Kiev sees Ukrainian territory in places where it does not exist and further seeks to subjugate populations literally dying to get away from Kiev, is proof positive that the faults for the western spasms over Crimea and Donbass are due to a combination of Ukrainian extremism combined with western geo-political greed.

Russia is frank and upfront about its geo-political relations. Extremism is never an option for Russia but nor is the capitation that defined 1990s. Mature countries understand this, politically hysterical failed states like Ukraine cannot.

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Peace on Korean Peninsula within reach, if only Trump can remove Pompeo & Bolton (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 152.

Alex Christoforou



RT CrossTalk host Peter Lavelle and The Duran’s Alex Christoforou discuss the results of the Putin-Kim summit in Vladivostok, Russia, aimed at boosting bilateral ties between the two neighboring countries, as well as working to contribute to a final peace settlement on the Korean peninsula.

Putin’s meeting with Kim may prove to be a pivotal diplomatic moment, as North Korea continues to work towards normalizing ties with the U.S. amidst ongoing denuclearization talks with the Trump White House.

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Via the BBC…

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said North Korean leader Kim Jong-un needs international security guarantees if he is to end his nuclear programme.

Such guarantees would need to be offered within a multinational framework, he added, following talks near Vladivostok in Russia’s far east.

Mr Kim praised the summit as a “very meaningful one-on-one exchange”.

Mr Putin said North Korea’s leader was “fairly open” and had “talked freely on all issues that were on the agenda”.

The meeting followed the breakdown of talks between the US and North Korea in February, when Mr Kim met US President Donald Trump in the Vietnamese capital Hanoi.

Those talks reportedly stalled over North Korea’s demand for full economic sanctions relief in return for some denuclearisation commitments – a deal the US was not willing to make.

Speaking after the talks on Thursday, Mr Putin said he wanted to see full denuclearisation on the Korean peninsula.

But he said this could only be achieved through respect for international law.

“We need to restore the power of international law, to return to a state where international law, not the law of the strongest, determines the situation in the world,” he said.

Mr Kim greeted Russian officials warmly when he arrived in Russia on Wednesday.

The North Korean leader was entertained by a brass band in Vladivostok before he got inside a car flanked by bodyguards, who – in now familiar scenes – jogged alongside the vehicle as it departed.

What do we know about the summit?

According to the Russian presidential spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, the Kremlin believes the six-party talks on North Korea, which are currently stalled, are the only efficient way of addressing the issue of nuclear weapons on the peninsula.

Those talks, which began in 2003, involve the two Koreas as well as China, Japan, Russia and the US.

“There are no other efficient international mechanisms at the moment,” Mr Peskov told reporters on Wednesday.

“But, on the other hand, efforts are being made by other countries. Here all efforts merit support as long as they really aim at de-nuclearisation and resolving the problem of the two Koreas.”

What do both sides want?

This visit is being widely viewed as an opportunity for North Korea to show it has powerful allies following the breakdown of the talks with the US in February.

The country has blamed US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for the collapse of the Hanoi summit. Earlier this month North Korea demanded that Mr Pompeo be removed from nuclear talks, accusing him of “talking nonsense” and asking for someone “more careful” to replace him.

The summit is also an opportunity for Pyongyang to show that its economic future does not depend solely on the US. Mr Kim may try to put pressure on Moscow to ease sanctions.

Analysts say the summit is an opportunity for Russia to show that it is an important player on the Korean peninsula.

President Putin has been eager to meet the North Korean leader for quite some time. Yet amid the two Trump-Kim summits, the Kremlin has been somewhat sidelined.

Russia, like the US and China, is uncomfortable with North Korea being a nuclear state.

How close are Russia and North Korea?

During the Cold War, the Soviet Union (of which Russia is the main successor state) maintained close military and trade links with its communist ally, North Korea, for ideological and strategic reasons.

After the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, trade links with post-communist Russia shrank and North Korea leaned towards China as its main ally.

Under President Putin, Russia recovered economically and in 2014 he wrote off most of North Korea’s Soviet-era debt in a major goodwill gesture.

While it is arguable how much leverage Russia has with the North today, the communist state still regards it as one of the least hostile foreign powers.

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Putin meets Kim for the first time (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 151.

Alex Christoforou



The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris take a look at the historic meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in the city of Vladivostok in the Russian Far East.

The meeting marks the first ever summit between the two leaders.

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Via RT…

Leaders of Russia and North Korea sat down for a historic summit in Vladivostok, expressing hope it will revive the peace process in the Korean Peninsula and talks on normalizing relations with the US.

The summit on Russky Island, just off Vladivostok, started a little late because President Vladimir Putin’s flight was delayed. North Korean leader Kim Jong-un had made the trip by train, arriving on Wednesday.

In brief public remarks before the talks, the two leaders expressed hope the summit will help move forward the reconciliation process in the Korean Peninsula. Putin welcomed Kim’s contributions to “normalizing relations” with the US and opening a dialogue with South Korea.

Kim said he hoped the Vladivostok summit would be a “milestone” in the talks about denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula, but also build upon “traditionally friendly ties” between Russia and North Korea.

The North Korean leader also made a point of thanking Putin for flying all the way to Vladivostok for the meeting. The Far East Russian city is only 129 kilometers from the border with North Korea.

The historic summit takes place less than two months after Kim’s second summit with US President Donald Trump in Hanoi fell apart without a breakthrough on denuclearization. The US rejected North Korea’s request for partial sanctions relief in return for moves to dismantle nuclear and missile programs; Washington insists on full disarmament before any sanctions are removed.

Denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula is the main subject of the Kim-Putin summit, but there will also be talks about bilateral relations, trade, and humanitarian aid. The first one-on-one meeting is scheduled to last about an hour, followed by further consultations involving other government officials.

Following the summit, Putin is scheduled to visit China.


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Kim And Putin: Changing The State Of The Board In Korea

The future of Korea could be decided by these two men today.




Authored by Tom Luongo:

Today is a big day for Korea. The first face-to-face summit of Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un takes place.

At the same time the 2nd annual Belt and Road Forum kicks off in Beijing.

This meeting between Putin and Kim has been in the works for a while but rumors of it only surfaced last week. But don’t let the idea that this was put together at the last minute fool you.

It wasn’t.

The future of Korea could be decided by these two men today.

I know that sounds bold. But hear me out.

And while no one seems to think this meeting is important or that anything of substance will come from it I do. It is exactly the kind of surprise that Putin loves to spring on the world without notice and by doing so change the board state of geopolitics.

  • Russia’s entrance into Syria in 2015, two days after Putin’s historic speech at the U.N. General Assembly
  • 2018’s State of the Union address where he announced hypersonic missiles, embarrassing the U.S. Militiary-Industrial Complex which accelerated the Bolton Doctrine of subjugating the world
  • Flying 2 TU-160 nuclear-armed bombers to Venezuela, creating panic in D.C. leading to the ham-fisted regime change operations there.
  • Nationalization of Yukos.
  • The operation to secure Crimea from U.S. invasion by marines aboard the U.S.S Donald Cook during the Ukrainian uprising against Viktor Yanukovich.

Both Putin and Chinese Premier Xi Jinping are angry at the breakdown of the talks in Hanoi back in February. It was clear that everyone expected that meeting to be a rubber stamp on a deal already agreed to by all parties involved.

In fact the two meetings between Kim and Trump were only possible because Trump convinced them of his sincerity to resolve the ‘denuclearization’ of North Korea which would clear a path to rapid reunification.

It’s why they went along with the U.S.’s increased sanctions on North Korea as administered through the U.N. in 2017.

That John Bolton and Mike Pompeo destroyed those talks and Trump was unwilling or unable (who cares at this point, frankly, useless piece of crap that he is) to stop them embarrassed and betrayed them.

They are now done with Trump.

He’ll get nothing from either of them or Kim until Trump can prove he’s in charge of his administration, which he, clearly, is not.

And they will be moving forward with their own agenda for security and Asian economic integration. So I don’t think the timing of this meeting with that of the Belt and Road Forum is an accident.

And that means moving forward on solving the Korea problem without Trump.

It is clear from the rhetoric of Putin’s top diplomat, the irreplaceable Sergei Lavrov, that Russia’s patience is over. They are no longer interested in what Trump wants and they will now treat the U.S. as a threat, having upped their military stance towards the U.S. to that of “Threat.”

If Bolton wants anything from Russia at this point he best be prepared to start a war or piss off.

This is also why Russia took the gloves off with Ukraine in the run up to the Presidential elections, cutting off energy and machinery exports with Ukraine.

To put paid Putin’s growing impatience with U.S. policies, he just issued the order to allow residents of Lugansk and Donetsk People’s Republics to apply for Russian passports.

This will send Bolton into apoplexy. Angela Merkel of Germany will be none too pleased either. Putin is now playing hardball after years of unfailing politeness.

It’s also why Lavrov finalized arms and port deals all over the Middle East in recent weeks, including those with Lebanon, Egypt, Turkey and India.

Bolton, Pompeo and Pence are ideologues. Trump is a typical Baby Boomer, who lives in a bubble of his own design and believes in an America that never existed.

None of them truly understand the fires they are stoking and simply believe in the Manifest Destiny of the U.S. to rule the world over a dim and barbaric world.

Putin, Xi, Rouhani in Iran and Kim in North Korea are pragmatic men. They understand the realities they live in. This is why I see Putin willing tomorrow to sit down with Kim and flaunt the U.N. sanctions and begin the investment process into North Korea that should have begun last year.

Putin would not be making these moves if he didn’t feel that Bolton was all bark and no bite when it came to actual war with Russia. He also knows that Germany needs him more than he needs Germany so despite the feet-dragging and rhetoric Nordstream 2 will go forward.

Trade is expanding between them despite the continued sanctions.

Putin may be willing to cut a deal with President-elect Zelensky on gas transit later in the year but only if the shelling of the LPR and DPR stops and he guarantees no more incidents in the Sea of Azov. This would also mollify Merkel a bit and make it easier for her politically to get Nordstream 2 over the finish line.

There are moments in history when people go too far. Bolton and Pompeo went too far in Hanoi. He will pay the price now. Putin and Kim will likely agree to something in Vladivostok that no one is expecting and won’t look like much at first.

But the reality is this summit itself marks a turning point in this story that will end with the U.S. being, in Trump’s transactional parlance, a “price taker” since it has so thoroughly failed at being a “price maker.”

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