Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Gorbachev and Lavrov on US/Russian Relations

Gorbachev and Lavrov on US/Russian Relations

by Stephen Lendman

Since Soviet Russia's 1991 dissolution, Washington tried imposing its will on all 15 former republics and Warsaw Pact countries.

Wanting pro-Western stooges in charge. Turning independent states into virtual US colonies. Without sovereign independent rights.

America largely succeeding. Even in 1990s post-Soviet Russia. Under Boris Yeltsin. The Russian Federation’s first president. A caricature of a leader. A hooligan.

A political criminal. A world-class thug. An incompetent drunk. A lost decade under his leadership. 

Letting US-directed shock therapy produce mass unemployment and impoverishment. Economic genocide.

He was a Western darling. Representing free market gangsterism. Producing unconscionable human misery.

Surrounding himself with like-minded apparachiks. Using his presidency to boost his political ambitions.

Defiling democratic principles. Operating secretly. Deciding things behind closed doors. Without popular consent. 

Creating an oligarch class. Looting Russia's wealth. Wrecking the economy. Western interests exploiting its resources and people. Eventually drinking himself to death.

Putin is polar opposite. Believing Russia's sovereign independence is too precious to lose. Supporting peace, stability and multi-world polarity. 

Not about to roll over for Washington. Overwhelmingly popular for geopolitical toughness. Opposite what America wants in a Russian leader. One it controls.

Wanting him deposed. Replaced by a pro-Western stooge. Heading for an eventual showdown. Confrontation risking war.

Pitting the world's two most formidable nuclear powers against each other risks the unthinkable. Lunatics in Washington make anything possible.

Soviet Russia's last leader/elder statesman is now aged 83. Mikhail Gorbachev believes urgent efforts are needed to "defrost relations."

Expressing his views in Rossiiskaya Gazeta. A Russian broadsheet, saying:

"I suggest that the leaders of Russia and the United States think about holding a summit on a broad agenda, without preconditions." 

"The same kind of summit must be prepared between Russia and the European Union."

Discussing "the specter of relations and problems." All sides have a "special responsibility."

"We shouldn't be afraid that someone will 'lose face' or someone will win a propaganda victory. That should all belong in the past. We should think about the future."

Restoring trust and good relations requires "decid(ing) together by transferring the war phase of Ukraine’s conflict into a political one."

Mutual cooperation for peace, stability, security and economic well-being matters most.

"(T)he West West is almost curtailing interaction with Russia in these areas." 

"But will anyone win from refusing to present a united front against terrorism, climate changes, epidemics?" 

"We should immediately 'defrost’'relations in this direction." Instead of risking "longterm confrontation."

Benefitting no one. Risking the worst possible outcome. War is madness.

"We need to discuss urgent measures to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe. And start creating an international consortium to aid and restore the affected regions," said Gorbachev.

Ukrainian crisis conditions beg for resolution. Continued conflict assures no winners.

Crimea rejoining Russia corrected a Soviet-era mistake, Gorbachev said. He condemned Kiev's dirty war. Murdering its own people. With full Western support and encouragement.

He called Obama a "mediocre" "lame duck." Diplomatically avoiding saying what others stress.

He's a war criminal multiple times over. Guilty of high crimes against peace. 

Heading fascist US governance. Waging war on humanity. At home and abroad. 

Risking confrontation with Russia. Possible nuclear war. It bears repeating. Lunatics infesting Washington make anything possible.

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov comments often on geopolitical issues. East/West relations. Resolving conflicts responsibly. Speaking forthrightly. Polar opposite duplicitous Western mumbo jumbo.

On December 9, he responded to questions posed by the Rossiya Segodnya news agency.

Asked about deteriorating US/Russian relations, he cited Putin saying containing Russia is longstanding policy. For centuries.

Whenever it's considered too strong and independent, "the necessary tools are immediately put to work," said Lavrov.

Containment is longstanding US/UK policy. As early as 1917, both countries wanted Soviet Russia destroyed.

Britain under Lloyd George lead a multi-nation force. Three months before WW I ended.

Thousands of US marines were involved. Invading Russia.  Intervening against Bolshevik forces. Remaining until April 1920.

Naked aggression failed. Red Scare propaganda followed. Inventing a possible US Bolshevik revolution. Nonexistent earlier or now.

J. Edgar Hoover's FBI career began around the same time. COINTELPRO viciousness followed WW II. 

On the pretext of "protect(ing) national security, preventing violence, and maintaining the existing social and political order."

Protecting privilege from beneficial social change. Targeting political dissidents. Independent voices challenging America's imperial agenda. 

Communists. Human and civil rights activists. The American Indian movement. Black Panthers.

Activists against predatory capitalism. Permanent wars. Homeland repression. Hoover deploying FBI goons disruptively. Lawlessly. 

Infiltrating. Surveilling. Sabotaging. Destroying activism for ethnic justice. Racial emancipation. Economic, social and political equality. Across gender and color lines.

Ruthless political repression. Soviet Russia supporters becoming prime targets.

Containment remains official US policy. Cold War politics never ended. Policies under Obama worse than ever. Threatening world peace.

US hostility evident long before Ukrainian crisis conditions erupted. Lavrov noted the "notorious (2012) Magnitsky Act.

Putin justifiably called it "purely political." Imposing visa bans, asset freezes, and other sanctions on Russian nationals accused of committing human rights abuses.

No nation in world history has a more appalling human rights record than America. Including every imaginable crime and then some.

Operating the world's largest homeland gulag. Supplementing it with global torture prisons. Crime bosses make policy. 

Monied interests control them. Democracy is pure fantasy. Conditions worse now than ever.

Washington accuses Moscow of its crimes, said Lavrov. Notably in Ukraine. 

"(A)s early as last spring, Washington ended bilateral dialogue in most areas and even suspended the activities of the Presidential Commission, which was created in 2009," Lavrov explained. 

Working groups from both sides discussing issues affecting both countries. Sanctions imposed violate international law and WTO norms, said Lavrov.

European nations are bullied to go along with Washington's agenda. Whether they want to or not. Against their own self-interest. Shooting themselves in the foot.

"All of this has been accompanied by aggressive statements from Washington, such as naming Russia a major global threat alongside the Islamic State and the Ebola virus," said Lavrov.

Responsibly led countries don't operate this way. Hostile "rhetoric (and policies) can indeed create certain associations."

"(T)he time when international relations could be determined by two or a single superpower is over." 

"In today's world, with several independent power centres, the attempts to isolate a major player or impose unilateral prescriptions based on this idea of US exceptionalism are destined to fail."

On the one hand, Washington professes to wanting cooperative bilateral relations. On the other, actions speak louder than words. 

Anti-Russian policies persist. Including irresponsible Putin bashing. Considered public enemy number one. 

Despite having done more than anyone along with Lavrov for world peace and stability. Big Lies claim otherwise. Repeated with disturbing regularity.

"(S)peaking to Russia in the language of force is pointless," Putin explains. "(T)here is much more to gain from cooperating with Russia," said Lavrov.

"(E)specially considering the consequences that discord between the nuclear superpowers can have for international security and strategic stability."

"(W)e are always open to constructive and honest dialogue with the United States both in bilateral affairs and on the world stage, where our two countries bear a special responsibility for international security and stability." 

"The question is, when will Washington be prepared to cooperate on the basis of genuine equality and respect for Russia’s interests, which we are not going to compromise under any circumstances."

Asked about bilateral disarmament efforts, Lavrov said "(w)e should understand that there is no direct link between the implementation of bilateral treaties on arms control and the cooling down of Russian-American relations."

Doing so is in the interest of both countries. World peace at a time it hangs by a thread. Putin was clear and unequivocal saying Washington's efforts for global missile defense threatens Russian security.

World peace. Upsetting the strategic balance of forces, said Lavrov. At some point, Moscow will " to take adequate measures in order to ensure our own security." 

"We have no intention of rushing into a costly arms race but we guarantee that we’ll make sure that our country has reliable defence capabilities."

Asked about Russian/NATO relations "down to the zero point if not below," Lavrov said they "can be described as the most serious crisis since the Cold War."

Containment reflects hostility. US-led NATO policy "augments its military potential and consistent increase of its military presence along the Russian border." 

"The bloc has made a decision to suspend both civilian and military cooperation with Russia. These moves have certainly aggravated the tensions and undermined European stability."

Asked about US/Iranian relations, Lavrov said it's better to ask Washington about its intentions.

"We…have  always advocated the normalisation of US-Iranian relations because the prolonged crisis is harming both countries’ interests."

Asked about sanctions harming both sides, Lavrov said Russian/EU relations deteriorated to "where goodwill gestures don’t lead to the necessary result."

"(T)he current situation is a consequence of the policy Brussels had been pursuing towards Ukraine, in particular, supporting the coup d’état and armed power grab by ultra-nationalists."

Washington and EU countries irresponsibly blame Russia for crisis conditions they caused.

"We have stated repeatedly that attempts to speak to Russia in the language of ultimatums are absolutely unacceptable and futile," said Lavrov.

"Our response to those actions was balanced. It took into consideration Russia’s rights and commitments under international agreements, including as part of the WTO."

"We are not going to discuss any criteria for lifting the sanctions. They should be lifted by those who imposed them." 

"Of course, if the EU demonstrates common sense, we will be ready for constructive cooperation on this issue."

"As President Vladimir Putin emphasised, even as some governments are trying to build almost an iron curtain around Russia, we will continue to actively expand cooperation, promote business and cultural contacts, as well as scientific, educational and cultural ties."

Russia forthrightly pursues world peace, stability and security. Washington wages permanent wars of aggression.

Irresponsibly blaming Russia for its crimes. Democrats no different from Republicans.  Threatening world peace. At a time it hangs by a thread. 

Lunatics in Washington make anything ahead possible. At the most perilous time in world history. 

Lest we forget. It bears repeating. Either we end wars or they'll end us.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

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