Sunday, February 05, 2017

Ukraine an Obstacle to US Lifting Sanctions on Russia

Ukraine an Obstacle to US Lifting Sanctions on Russia

by Stephen Lendman

Ukraine is a fascist police state, its putschist regime installed by Washington, waging war on its own people since usurping power in February 2014.

Trump’s UN envoy Nikki Haley outrageously “condemn(ed) Russian actions” in Ukraine, ignoring flagrant Kiev aggression, shamefully claiming Ukrainian people “suffered for nearly three years under Russian occupation and military intervention.”

Her disgraceful misrepresentation of hard facts shows improving US/Russian relations may be wishful thinking - except perhaps in combating terrorism, but even that’s uncertain given longstanding US support for these elements.

On Saturday, Trump told US-installed Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko he’ll work with Kiev and Moscow to “restore peace along the border.”

On Thursday, he told former convicted/lawlessly released mega-thief former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko US sanctions on Russia won’t be lifted until (its nonexistent) forces leave southeastern Ukraine.

It’s a dead-end policy, assuring continued US/Moscow adversarial relations despite Trump’s pledge to improve ties and get along with Vladimir Putin.

His policy on Ukraine also likely means withdrawing from Crimea - Russia’s newest republic following Crimeans overwhelmingly voting by national referendum to return to Russia, correcting a historic mistake.

The decision stands. Crimea won’t be given back. It’s nonnegotiable. Yet Nikki Haley, speaking for Trump at the Security Council, said “(t)he United States continues to condemn and call for an immediate end to the Russian occupation of Crimea.” 

“Crimea is a part of Ukraine. Our Crimea-related sanctions will remain in place until Russia returns control over the peninsula to Ukraine.”

A White House official wouldn’t explain what Trump and Tymoshenko discussed, saying “the president and former prime minister had a brief, informal photo-op meeting in the reception before the national prayer breakfast. While no formal assurances were given, the United States remains concerned about violence in Eastern Ukraine.”

Trump hasn’t said much on Ukraine. What he intends awaits a definitive administration policy statement - from him, his Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Defense Secretary James Mattis, and National Security Advisor Michael Flynn.

What’s known based on Haley’s remarks isn’t encouraging.

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: How the 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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