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Why the 1997 Russia-Ukraine Friendship Treaty was a mistake

The so-called Ukrainian Friendship treaty put unilateral responsibility on Moscow, mocking Russia’s generosity, better described as her nativity.

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Recently Valery Rashkin, Communist member of the Russian State Duma, wrote to the Foreign Ministry requesting that they consider nullifying the Treaty on Friendship, Cooperation, and Partnership between Ukraine and the Russian Federation of 1997.

This is somewhat ironic given the support that the Communist Party of the Russian Federation threw at the treaty in the 1990s. Not only should treaty be withdrawn, it should have never been signed in the first place.

Here’s why:

Like many internal and external documents signed by Russia in the 1990s, the so-called Ukrainian Friendship treaty put unilateral responsibility on Moscow, mocking Russia’s generosity, better described as her nativity.

The treaty was signed in the spirit of Alexander Yakovlev who instead of delivering serious economic reforms, went around the world apologising for Soviet patriotism, thus demoralising and confusing proud Soviet citizens. It was this same self-hating spirit that Lenin embodied when he called Russia ‘a prison of nations’ and when derided patriotism as ‘Russian chauvinism’.

Worst of all, it was Lenin’s pathological hatred of Russian traditions and history that allowed him to draw the idiotic map of Soviet republics which has created a trail of blood and injustice in its wake.

The treaty was a one way street whereby Russia granted privileges to Kiev, without requiring any responsibility let alone loyalty in return. The genesis of the treaty was not necessarily ill intentioned. When in 1991, Boris Yeltsin, Leonid Kravchuk and Stanislav Shushkevich illegally and undemocratically dissolved the Soviet Union in Belavezha forest, millions of people found themselves outside of their homeland.

I have written previously about how this created the largest and still unsolved refugee crisis in contemporary history. Specifically turning to what became the Republic of Ukraine, millions of Russian’s found themselves governed by a state they did not recognise, by a government in Kiev increasingly unresponsive to their needs and dismissive of their heritage.

When Leonid Kuchma replaced Kravchuk as Ukrainian President in 1994, he promised to be more responsive to these problems. The result was the Friendship-Treaty signed by Kuchma and Yeltsin in 1997.

The treaty allowed for free movement between the two countries, allowed for mutual cooperation over security and trade and set the tone for Ukraine being able to receive essential Russian goods such as gas and other natural resource, medicine and military hardware at a rate far below market value.

Russia received little in return. The treaty affirmed the ‘territorial integrity’ of Lenin’s borders of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic in spite of the fact that these borders lumped together regions with very different histories and demographic makeup.

The people were given no choice. The mantra read: Lenin’s’ borders were sacred and to hell with democracy. This was reality under Yeltsin’s presidency. The treaty also put in question the value of the Helsinki Agreement of 1975, wherein the west at long last agreed to respect the borders of the Soviet Union under the ancient principle of uti possidetis (as you possess).

By 1991 borders of the Soviet Union were allowed to be dissolved extra-judicially but Lenin’s internal borders would form the basis of new states. The injustice was surreal. Russia gave up more in this instance, due to internal treachery, than even the most pugnacious western opponent could dream of.

So whilst Russia continued to feed gas and medicine to ‘fraternal Ukraine’, successive governments in Kiev, beginning with Kuchma’s started to grant observer status to western organisations and import American advisors into government. Russian schools were closed, the Russian language was increasingly spat on in Kiev, Russian churches were closed and Russian clergy left out in the lurch. Kiev was allowed to be courted by an EU which never seriously wanted or needed an association agreement with Ukraine.

This eventually led to the election of the openly anti-Russian Victor Yushchenko in 2005 and eventually to the Maidan coup in 2014. Moreover it has led to the slaughter, rape and torture of civilians in Donbass and the treat of terror against Crimea. This is the result of a one sided friendship. Some friendship indeed!

The treaty was a mistake in the first place. It set the stage for Kiev to abuse Russia’s good will, deprive self-identified Russian’s of liberty and self-determination and emboldened rightist forces in Kiev to gradually and later violently take power, whilst the country continued to receive the privilege of Russian material generosity.
Due to the ongoing war in Donbass, most parts of the treaty are no longer being implemented anyway. Yet Russia still refuses to formally suspend, renounce or disown the treaty. I do understand that the Russian government are looking to the long term, when hopefully the fascist forces will fall from power in Kiev and be brought to justice in a court of law for their crimes against humanity.

Once this happens perhaps the mistakes of history can be corrected and genuine friendship and fraternal relations can be re-established. But it cannot be done on the basis of a treaty which self-evidently puts Russian in a position to give everything and receive nothing.

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Tape recorded evidence of Clinton-Ukraine meddling in US election surfaces (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 114.

Alex Christoforou

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RT CrossTalk host Peter Lavelle and The Duran’s Alex Christoforou take a look at new evidence to surface from Ukraine that exposes a plot by the US Embassy in Kiev and the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) to leak Paul Manafort’s corrupt dealings in the country, all for the benefit of Hillary Clinton during the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

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Via Zerohedge


Ukraine’s Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko has launched an investigation into the head of the Ukrainian National Anti-Corruption Bureau for allegedly attempting to help Hillary Clinton defeat Donald Trump during the 2016 US election by releasing damaging information about a “black ledger” of illegal business dealings by former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.

The Hill’s John Solomon, Ukrainian Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko

“Today we will launch a criminal investigation about this and we will give legal assessment of this information,” Lutsenko said last week, according to The Hill

Lutsenko is probing a claim from a member of the Ukrainian parliament that the director of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU), Artem Sytnyk, attempted to the benefit of the 2016 U.S. presidential election on behalf of Hillary Clinton.

A State Department spokesman told Hill.TV that officials aware of news reports regarding Sytnyk. –The Hill

“According to the member of parliament of Ukraine, he got the court decision that the NABU official conducted an illegal intrusion into the American election campaign,” said Lutsenko, speaking with The Hill’s John Solomon about the anti-corruption bureau chief, Artem Sytnyk.

“It means that we think Mr. Sytnyk, the NABU director, officially talked about criminal investigation with Mr. [Paul] Manafort, and at the same time, Mr. Sytnyk stressed that in such a way, he wanted to assist the campaign of Ms. Clinton,” Lutsenko continued.

Solomon asked Lutsenko about reports that a member of Ukraine’s parliament obtained a tape of the current head of the NABU saying that he was attempting to help Clinton win the 2016 presidential election, as well as connections that helped release the black-ledger files that exposed Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort‘s wrongdoing in Ukraine.

“This member of parliament even attached the audio tape where several men, one of which had a voice similar to the voice of Mr. Sytnyk, discussed the matter.” –The Hill

What The Hill doesn’t mention is that Sytnyk released Manafort’s Black Book with Ukrainian lawmaker Serhiy Leshchenko – discussed in great length by former Breitbart investigator Lee Stranahan, who has been closely monitoring this case.

Serhiy Leshchenko

T]he main spokesman for these accusations was Serhiy Leshchenko, a Ukrainian politician and journalist who works closely with both top Hillary Clinton donors George Soros and Victor Pinchuk, as well as to the US Embassy in Kyiv.

James Comey should be asked about this source that Leshchenko would not identify. Was the source someone connected to US government, either the State Department or the Department of Justice?

The New York Times should also explain why they didn’t mention that Leshchenko had direct connections to two of Hillary Clinton biggest financial backers. Victor Pinchuk, the largest donor to the Clinton Foundation at a staggering $8.6 million also happened to have paid for Leshchenko’s expenses to go to international conferences. George Soros, whose also founded the International Renaissance Foundationthat worked closely with Hillary Clinton’s State Department in Ukraine, also contributed at least $8 million to Hillary affiliated super PACs in the 2016 campaign cycle. –Lee Stranahan via Medium

Meanwhile, according to former Fusion GPS contractor Nellie Ohr, Leshchenko was a source for opposition research firm Fusion GPS, which commissioned the infamous Trump-Russia dossier.

Nellie Ohr, a former contractor for the Washington, D.C.-based Fusion GPS, testified on Oct. 19 that Serhiy Leshchenko, a former investigative journalist turned Ukrainian lawmaker, was a source for Fusion GPS during the 2016 campaign.

“I recall … they were mentioning someone named Serhiy Leshchenko, a Ukrainian,” Ohr said when asked who Fusion GPS’s sources were, according to portions of Ohr’s testimony confirmed by The Daily Caller News Foundation. –Daily Caller

Also absent from The Hill report is the fact that Leshchenko was convicted in December by a Kiev court of interfering in the 2016 US election.

A Kyiv court said that a Ukrainian lawmaker and a top anticorruption official’s decision in 2016 to publish documents linked to President Donald Trump’s then-campaign chairman amounted to interference in the U.S. presidential election.

The December 11 finding came in response to a complaint filed by another Ukrainian lawmaker, who alleged that Serhiy Leshchenko and Artem Sytnyk illegally released the documents in August 2016, showing payments by a Ukrainian political party to Trump’s then-campaign chairman, Paul Manafort.

The documents, excerpts from a secret ledger of payments by the Party of Regions, led to Manafort being fired by Trump’s election campaign.

The Kyiv court said that the documents published by Leshchenko and Sytnyk were part of an ongoing pretrial investigation in Ukraine into the operations of the pro-Russian Party of Regions. The party’s head had been President Viktor Yanukovych until he fled the country amid mass protests two years earlier.

-RadioFreeEurope/Radio Liberty (funded by the US govt.).

So while Lutsenko – Solomon’s guest and Ukrainian Prosecutor is currently going after Artem Sytnyk, it should be noted that Leshchenko was already found to have meddled in the 2016 US election.

Watch:

Meanwhile, you can also check out Stranahan’s take on Leshchenko being left out of the loop.

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‘I will take over as Brexit Party leader’: Nigel Farage back on the frontline

Nigel Farage says that if the UK takes part in European elections, he will lead his new Brexit Party.

RT

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Via RT


Former UKIP leader Nigel Farage has announced that he will lead his new Brexit Party into the European elections if UK MPs decide to delay Brexit beyond May 22.

Farage, who has ostensibly appointed himself leader, told various media, including the BBC and Sky News on Friday morning: “I will take over as leader of the Brexit Party and lead it into the European Elections.”

It comes after the Brexit Party’s leader, Catherine Blaiklock, quit over a series of alleged Islamophobic statements and retweets of far-right figures on social media.

It is not yet thought that Farage has officially been elected as leader, as the party does not, as yet, have a formal infrastructure to conduct such a vote.

The right-wing MEP vowed to put out a whole host of Brexit Party candidates if the UK participates in the upcoming EU elections in May, adding: “If we fight those elections, we will fight them on trust.”

On Thursday night, the EU agreed to PM May’s request for a delaying to Brexit beyond the March 29 deadline. Brussels announced two new exit dates depending on what happens next week in the UK parliament.

The UK will have to leave the bloc on April 12 unless British MPs agree to May’s Brexit deal. If the withdrawal agreement is passed by next week, EU leaders have agreed to grant an extension until May 22.

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Baltics cannot rely on Germany any more

The matter is NATO today is not as strong as it is supposed to be. And it is not only because of leadership blunders.

The Duran

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Submitted by Adomas Abromaitis…

On March 29 Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia will celebrate 15 years of becoming NATO member states. The way to the alliance membership was not simple for newly born independent countries. They have reached great success in fulfilling many of NATO demands: they have considerably increased their defence expenditures, renewed armaments and increased the number of military personnel.

In turn, they get used to rely on more powerful member states, their advice, help and even decision making. All these 15 years they felt more or less safe because of proclaimed European NATO allies’ capabilities.

Unfortunately, now it is high time to doubt. The matter is NATO today is not as strong as it supposed to be. And it is not only because of leadership’s blunders. Every member state does a bit. As for the Baltic states, they are particularly vulnerable, because they fully depend on other NATO member states in their defence. Thus, Germany, Canada and Britain are leading nations of the NATO battle group stationed in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia respectively.

But the state of national armed forces in Germany, for example, raises doubts and makes it impossible not only defend the Baltics against Russia, but Germany itself.

It turned out, that Germany itself remains dissatisfied with its combat readiness and minister of defence’s ability to perform her duties. Things are so bad, that the military’s annual readiness report would be kept classified for the first time for “security reasons.”

“Apparently the readiness of the Bundeswehr is so bad that the public should not be allowed to know about it,” said Tobias Lindner, a Greens member who serves on the budget and defense committees.

Inspector General Eberhard Zorn said (https://www.reuters.com/article/us-germany-arms/germany-not-satisfied-with-readiness-of-submarines-some-aircraft-idUSKBN1QS1G7) the average readiness of the country’s nearly 10,000 weapons systems stood at about 70 percent in 2018, which meant Germany was able to fulfill its military obligations despite increasing responsibilities.

No overall comparison figure was available for 2017, but last year’s report revealed readiness rates of under 50 percent for specific weapons such as the aging CH-53 heavy-lift helicopters and the Tornado fighter jets.

Zorn said this year’s report was more comprehensive and included details on five main weapons systems used by the cyber command, and eight arms critical for NATO’s high readiness task force, which Germany heads this year.

“The overall view allows such concrete conclusions about the current readiness of the Bundeswehr that knowledge by unauthorized individuals would harm the security interests of the Federal Republic of Germany,” he wrote.

Critics are sure of incompetence of the Federal Minister of Defence, Ursula von der Leyen. Though she has occupied the upper echelons of German politics for 14 years now — and shows no sign of success. This mother of seven, gynecologist by profession, by some miracle for a long time has been remaining in power, though has no trust even among German military elites. Despite numerous scandals she tries to manage the Armed Forces as a housewife does and, of course, the results are devastating for German military capabilities. The same statement could be easily apply for the Baltic States, which highly dependent on Germany in military sphere.

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