This article is an edited version of an article originally written by Eric Zuesse at The Saker, which has been republished by The Duran at the author’s request and with his kind permission.
The official statement of the G7 group of leading Western industrialised countries (the US, Britain, France, Germany, Canada, Italy and Japan) publicly confirms the G7 group’s support for the continuation of Barack Obama’s anti-Russia sanctions policy.
More to the point the statement is based on obvious and blatant lies.
I shall parse this statement and provide links to show how:
“We stand united in our conviction that the conflict in Ukraine can only be solved by diplomatic means and in full respect for international law, especially the legal obligation to respect Ukraine’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence [even though they don’t deny the rights of Catalonians to separate from Spain, or of Scots to separate from the UK, if that’s what the Catalan and Scottish people want].
We reiterate our condemnation of the illegal annexation of the Crimean peninsula by Russia [as the previous link shows, the illegality was actually Obama’s coup in Kiev, not what the Crimeans or the Russians did] and reaffirm our policy of its non-recognition and sanctions against those involved [those being sanctions solely against Russia, for having accepted the request of 97% of Crimeans to become Russian citizens, and for protecting Crimeans from being invaded by the Ukrainian army and air force].
We are concerned by continued violence along the line of contact in violation of the ceasefire [in the far-eastern Donbass portion of Ukraine]; we urge all sides to take concrete steps that will lead to the complete ceasefire required under the Minsk agreements. We also urge all sides to fulfil their commitments without delay with a view to holding local elections in certain areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions [the two regions that together make up Donbass, the part of Ukraine that had voted 90% for the Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, whom Obama overthrew in February 2014] as soon as possible in accordance with the Minsk agreements.
We emphasise our strongest support for full implementation of the Minsk agreements and the work of the Normandy format and the Trilateral Contact Group. We expect Russia [but note not the coup-imposed Ukrainian government] to live up to its commitments and use its influence over the separatists to meet their commitments in full. [This passage acknowledges that Russia has only ‘influence’ over the separatists and does not control them; yet only Russia is being asked to live up to its alleged ‘commitments’. If Russia only has ‘influence’ and only over one side – the ‘separatists’ but not the Ukrainian government? – how can it be held responsible for the non-fulfilment of the Minsk agreements?].
We stress the OSCE’s key role in helping to de escalate the crisis, and we call upon all sides, particularly the separatists [why ‘particularly’ the separatists — is this supposed to be an unbiased neutral statement? if so it clearly is not.], to provide the organisation’s monitors full and unfettered access throughout the conflict zone.
We recall that the duration of sanctions is clearly linked to Russia’s complete implementation of the Minsk agreements [yet again, the G7’s statement is clearly and singularly hostile against Russia, and supportive of the coup-imposed Ukrainian government] and respect for Ukraine’s sovereignty [but what about the right of self-determination of peoples, which even the West recognises in Scotland and Catalonia but NOT it seems in Donbass and Crimea, despite the fact that people in the Donbass voted 90% for Yanukovych and people in Crimea voted 75% for him, and despite the fact that the post-coup Ukrainian regime which overthrew Yanukovych is rabidly hostile to the people of the Donbass and Crimea and calls them ‘terrorists’ for rejecting Ukraine’s coup-government?].
Sanctions can be rolled back when Russia meets these commitments [what ‘commitments’? – note only one side of the dispute is required to fulfil any ‘commitments’ and that side is one which is not even properly speaking a party to the conflict since it is neither the Ukrainian government nor the people the G7 calls the separatists]. However, we also stand ready to take further restrictive measures [here the warmongering G7 are actually threatening to increase sanctions against Russia, though their case for having even the existing sanctions is based entirely upon lies] in order to increase cost on Russia should its actions so require [according to what standard and judged by whom? — themselves presumably].
We recognise the importance of maintaining dialogue with Russia [would their entire statement be so incredibly one-sided and false if this were really true?] in order to ensure it abides by the commitments it [yet again referring only to Russia] has made as well as international law and to reach a comprehensive, sustainable and peaceful solution to the crisis.
We commend and support the steps Ukraine is taking [can anyone but a full-fledged idiot fail to recognise how biased in favour of the Ukrainian government and against the Russian government — how totally one-sided in fact — this statement is?] to implement comprehensive structural, governance and economic reforms and encourage Ukraine to continue and accelerate the process. We urge Ukraine to maintain and enhance the momentum in its fight against corruption and its judicial reform, including the Prosecutor General’s office. We are fully committed to providing long-term support to this end [does that mean anything more than providing yet more taxpayer-backed loans to get the bankrupt Ukrainian government even deeper into debt and austerity than it is already in and to sell off in insider-rigged ‘auctions’ virtually the entire Ukrainian economy?]. We also commend the work of the Ukraine support group of G7 Ambassadors in Kyiv.”
The three underlying suppositions of the statement are:
1: All of the violations of the Minsk agreements are by Russia.
2: Russia controls what the independence forces in the separatist Donbass region of the former Ukraine do, and is therefore responsible for everything that those forces do, including any Minsk-violation they might commit.
3 (a corollary of 1&2): The Ukrainian government never violates the Minsk agreements, or else must suffer no sanctions for having done so: only Russia can be blamed for any failure to comply with the Minsk agreements.
All three of these suppositions are false.
1: If the question is violations of the ceasefire, many of the violations of the Minsk agreements were made by the Ukrainian government, and most if not all the rest were the result of the Donbass separatist forces firing back at forces attacking them from the Ukrainian government side. Self-defence against attacks from the other side does not violate any agreement, and it certainly is not a violation of the Minsk agreements. (The residents of Luhansk and Donetsk never agreed to be sitting ducks for Ukrainian soldiers and airmen intent upon killing them.)
2: Russia does not control what the separatist forces do, but does provide essential assistance to those forces. There is a big difference between providing assistance, and having control over these forces.
3: Here are some direct and indisputable violations of the Minsk agreements (signed on 12th February 2015, by the Ukrainian government (totally ignored by the G7’s statement, just cited here):
Measure 4 of the agreement states that,
“Without delay, but no later than 30 days from the date of signing of this document [i.e., by no later than 13 March 2015], a resolution has to be approved by the Verkhovna Rada [parliament] of Ukraine, indicating the territory which falls under the special regime in accordance with the law ‘On temporary Order of Local Self-Governance in Particular Districts of Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts,’ based in the line set up by the Minsk Memorandum as of 19 September 2014.”
This is not only an action Ukraine committed itself to take, but it also an action it was required to take by no later than a specific date. It has not done so.
Did Ukraine suffer any Western penalties in consequence? Hardly! Instead, on 12 March 2015, Radio Free Europe article headlined “A Bipartisan Cause In Washington: Arming Ukraine Against Russia” reported that “consensus appears to be snowballing among Democratic and Republican lawmakers in the U.S. capitol on at least one issue: arming Ukraine. One exception, however, is the figure who matters most: President Barack Obama.” No reason was given for his hesitation, but by this time it was clear Ukraine would – on the following day – be in stark violation of the Minsk II accord — this barely month after its President signed it.
The U.S. Congress can ignore international legalities and remain unconcerned about the effect this has abroad. After all the US doesn’t really care about international legalities. However the US President has to maintain at least the appearance of a legalistic front so as not to embarrass too much the leaders of America’s client-states such as Germany and France (which had after all initiated the Minsk agreements). Obama’s own agent who orchestrated the coup had said at the time, “F–k the EU!“; however there is a limit to how much public humiliation even the most cooperative of the White House’s stooges can reasonably be expected to tolerate.
In any event, the crucial March 13th 2015 deadline came and went without being so much as mentioned in the Western ‘news’ media. (And please note here that while the 27 May 2016 G7 statement says “We also urge all sides to fulfil their commitments without delay,” it simply ignores the fact that Ukraine has not only “delayed” but in fact entirely refuses to comply by its commitments).
Then, just four days later, at the Fort Russ website on March 17th 2015, there appeared an article under the headline “Back to war? Ukrainian parliament rejects the Minsk agreement”, which reported that, “A month after the Minsk agreement the masks are off. New weapons are coming, American instructors are in Ukraine, the IMF credit is approved. Time to get back to killing the kids of Donbass. Where are the sanctions on Kiev?” That information was of course unpublishable in the West’s ‘news’ media — their ‘journalistic’ standards of course exclude such ‘Russian propaganda’ as this. Truth doesn’t set these standards – power does – and the G7 (and their ‘news’ media) have that power.
The Minsk II agreement set up a 13-stage process. Each stage beyond stage three, every stage from beyond stage 4 on through to stage 13, is in abeyance because the Ukrainian government refuses to implement any of them.
The result of Ukraine’s refusal to implement its side of the Minsk II agreement is that the G7 group threatens intensification of the sanctions against Russia, blaming Russia for all the violations of the Minsk accords. Blaming Russia is the official ‘truth’, and the ‘news’ media comply with it.
This is similar to what happened in 2002 and 2003, when the ‘news’ media – in order to assist the U.S. government eliminate another Russian-allied leader – Saddam Hussein of Iraq – complied with the official ‘truth’ about ‘Saddam’s WMD’ — that his nuclear-weapons equipments and materials still existed, and that they threatened the West, even though the IAEA had actually said that they had destroyed all of Saddam’s nuclear-weapons-related capabilities and materials in 1998! The media on that occasion simply hid this crucial information from the public, allowing George W. Bush to say without challenge that the IAEA were saying that the Iraqis were six months away from developing a weapon – a claim that was completely fabricated and which had no truth to it.
Geoffrey Perret wrote (p. 349): “After inspections resumed in November 2002, the IAEA concluded that there were no nuclear weapons and no program to build them. That was why the Niger yellowcake story had to be cooked up.” So: Iraq was invaded on 19 March 2003 on entirely fabricated ‘evidence’ – which an honest press would have exposed – but which the media simply chose to ‘report’ stenographically instead. Now, in a conflict were the stakes are much higher, we are drifting into World War III in exactly the same way.
Another item in Minsk II that has a deadline is measure 11: “Constitutional reform in Ukraine, with a new constitution to come into effect by the end of 2015, the key element of which is decentralisation (taking into account peculiarities of particular districts of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, agreed with representatives of these districts).”
That deadline too came and went with nothing happening and with the fact again being ignored by the G7 and ‘the West’. The reason it wasn’t complied with was again that Ukraine refused to comply with it, which is of course the reason why the West’s ‘news’ media chooses to ignore the fact.
The extension or even intensification of sanctions, and the NATO buildup on Russia’s borders, are steps along the road to World War III, but the Western ‘news’ media have been so effective in their function – propaganda – that Western publics are unconcerned about the resulting risks of nuclear annihilation or about the growing danger of an event that might spark a global nuclear war. The hard truth is that these publics don’t even know the most important things that are happening in their own supposedly ‘democratic’ countries.
Here for example is a video which appeared on Fort Russ on 1 June 2016, showing “Texas visits frontline DPR positions”.
Such evidence is however irrelevant to the G7 leaders (Obama, Merkel, Hollande, Abe, Cameron, Renzi, Trudeau). They have an entire world to destroy, and they’re too busy doing it, to care about evidence that shows them all to be liars. Not a single one of them said, when presented with the G7’s proposed statement: NO — I will not sign this!
Is the path to nuclear annihilation being created by an elite of hypocritical liars and a mass of their deceived suckers? Can anything block this path, and so block these liars from destroying the world? Will any major news medium in the West finally separate itself from the chorus of liars and start to report the terrifying truth of these matters — while there is still time left to avert global calamity?
Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.