Why are Democrats against the settlement of the Ukrainian crisis?


The meeting of the leaders of the Normandy Four countries in Paris became one of the most important foreign policy events of this year.  As a result of lengthy and rather nervous negotiations, the presidents of Russia, Ukraine, and France, as well as the chancellor of Germany, adopted a final communiqué with three main highlighted points.  The first is immediate stabilization measures in Donbass.  It is about establishing a ceasefire before the end of 2019, as well as creating three new areas of withdrawal of forces by the end of March 2020.  The second point refers to measures for the political implementation of the Minsk Agreements.  Besides that, the extension of the law on the special status of Donbass is proposed.  The third one dwells on devising schemes for the further roadmap.  Here, leaders asked their ministers and advisers to ensure the implementation of the agreements reached and begin preparations for a new meeting in four months.  On the same day, Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov had a meeting with the U.S. secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, along with President Donald Trump.

The parties discussed a wide range of global security issues and came to a crucial conclusion: relations between America and Russia should not be paused.  Moreover, they should not become hostage to the intriguing conjuncture of individual forces.  Such an outcome is significant because the relations between these two great nuclear powers are crucial for the geopolitical well-being of all mankind.  Interstate dialogues are not just indicative events, but also important elements in maintaining the red lines.  Their violation can lead to unpredictable consequences.

As a result of the Caribbean Crisis of 1962, Moscow and Washington went through a serious test, which subsequently allowed them to develop a certain culture of strategic deterrence.  This still plays an important role when it comes to the most sensitive points of political competition.  Within the framework of the Ukrainian, Syrian, and Venezuelan crises, there are groups on both sides that seek to use any situation to bring America and Russia into open confrontation.  It is difficult to say what the world would be like if General Curtis LeMay had succeeded in persuading John F. Kennedy to take drastic measures against the Soviet Union.  Today, there are still many radicals, though the world lacks pragmatic and rational leaders.

The Ukrainian case is a difficult obstacle to normalizing the political dialogue between Moscow and Washington now.  President Trump inherited this problem from Obama's administration, which completely failed regarding foreign policy in Eurasia.  Being a classic geopolitician and representative of the power elite, Putin has always made decisions based on rigorous political calculations.  From this standpoint, the fundamental priority of Russia's foreign policy was to maintain balanced partnership relations with the United States and the European Union.  On the one hand, they are the most important actors from the point of view of the economic and technological future of Moscow.  On the other hand, it is the harmony in U.S.-E.U.-Russia relations that could determine the solution to the major problems of global security.  It is difficult to assume that at one point, the pragmatic Kremlin decided to sacrifice all this for the sake of dubious geopolitical adventures.  Moscow accepted recognition of South Ossetia and Abkhazia only after the Georgian side launched active hostilities, as a result of which Russian peacekeepers were killed, though they were deployed there based on international agreements.

In the end, Saakashvili, who actually launched the war, is now wanted.  Meanwhile, the current authorities in Tbilisi are trying to develop at least trade and economic relations with the Russians.  The same thing happened with Ukraine.  Leftist globalists did not know that this country has important political, economic, energy, cultural, and civilizational significance for Russia.

The philosophy of Putinism has never denied that Kiev should develop an active dialogue with the West.  However, at the same time, Ukraine must maintain non-aligned status and consider the particularities of economic and energy relations with the Russian side.  The figures show that the Ukrainian state cannot exist without Russian energy resources, and the supply of raw materials from other states is too expensive.  Instead of pragmatic negotiations, Kiev called to ignore the opinion of a significant part of the Russian-speaking population in Donbass and completely break off diplomatic relations with Moscow.  In fact, today, the new Ukrainian leadership has come to the conclusion that the country cannot have a political future without rational, good-neighborly relations with the Kremlin.

Only Democrats are interested in maintaining chaos.  They do not want this issue to be resolved during the presidency of Donald Trump.  Firstly, this would mean that Trump's foreign policy strategy is more effective and viable.  Secondly, far-fetched reasons for impeachment would immediately disappear, and Trump's opponents would lose.  Thirdly, any success could prove that the United States, the E.U., and Russia can find a common language and, together, find the keys to solving complex regional and global issues.  This, in turn, will lead to the understanding that political realism works, in contrast to the liberal theory, which so far creates new problems.  In the end, there will be no more barriers for the United States, the leading players in Europe, and Russia to begin the process of forming a new system of international relations.

Areg Galstyan, Ph.D. is a regular contributor to The National Interest, Forbes, and The American Thinker.

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