… from TASS – World, Moscow
[ Editor’s Note: Merkel continues to play a double game. The ‘flexibility’ that she is showing, much of that is driven by the growing public realization that EU leaders sold their own people out to a US policy that has been paid for on the backs of innocent EU constituents who have taken the sanctions hit.
Every week more articles appear showing that the West’s policy to destroy the Russian economy is going to take the EU down with it. And the smallest item on the list is the currency manipulation, partly due to the Saudi/US plan to bring oil prices down to kill the ruble.
To pay the $150 billion of EU bank debt due in 2015, which cannot be rolled over due to the sanctions, the Russians would have to spend $300 billion of rubles to buy $150 billion, which would drive the ruble even lower. Or…they can just default on the loans and watch the European banking system collapse.
Merkel below is still trying to cover the US-EU aggression with their terrorist driven regime change coup by pin,ing the aggression tail on the Crimea donkey. But that ploy is dead on arrival. The Crimea event happened as a result of the Western attack on Ukraine’s former government.
And what did it do to deserve this? The claims that he had stiffed the EU on their association offer were untrue. It was a crummy deal, offering no cash which Ukraine desperately needed, with a benefit maybe carrot that was five to ten years down the road.
Without Russian subsidies Ukraine would be bankrupt long before that. So Yanukovych tried to buy more time to find a way to straddle the fence. He wanted a year to negotiate some way to maintain Ukraine’s free trade status with Russia while increasing business with the EU.
Never mentioned in any of the reporting is that Ukraine had a trade deficit with the EU in the annual amount of Russia’s subsidies.
Who could blame the Russians with being unhappy with that situation when they had pumped $50 billion over the years into Ukraine to keep it afloat, partially due to Russian banks holding $25 billion in loans to Ukraine. You just can’t make this stuff up… Jim W. Dean ]
BERLIN, December 31. /TASS/. The European Union seeks “to establish a system of security in Europe jointly with Russia” that will not be directed against the Russian Federation, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said in a New Year address recorded for the German television.
Merkel also said “Europe will not allow Russia to disregard international law in the context of the Ukrainian crisis.”
Ukraine has been in deep crisis since the end of last year, when then-President Viktor Yanukovych suspended the signing of an Association Agreement with the European Union to study the deal more thoroughly. The move triggered mass riots that eventually led to a coup in February 2014.
The coup that brought chaos to Ukraine prompted the Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol with a special status to refuse to recognize the legitimacy of coup-imposed authorities, hold a referendum and secede from Ukraine to reunify with Russia in mid-March after some 60 years as part of Ukraine.
After that, mass protests erupted in Ukraine’s south-east, where local residents, apparently inspired by Crimea’s example, did not recognize the coup-imposed authorities either, formed militias and started fighting for their rights.
The positions of Russia and Western nations on the Ukrainian developments differ drastically. Russia has repeatedly denied any involvement in the intra-Ukrainian crisis, but the West accuses Moscow of participation in clashes in Ukraine’s war-torn south-east and has subjected Russia to sanctions.
Sanctions vs Russia
Russian officials and companies came under the first batch of Western sanctions, including visa bans and asset freezes, after Russia incorporated Crimea in mid-March after a coup rocked Ukraine in February.
Despite Moscow’s repeated statements that the Crimean referendum on secession from Ukraine was in line with the international law and the UN Charter and in conformity with the precedent set by Kosovo’s secession from Serbia in 2008, the West and Kiev have refused to recognize the legality of Crimea’s reunification with Russia.
The West announced new, sectoral, restrictions against Russia in late July, in particular, for what the West claimed was Moscow’s alleged involvement in protests in Ukraine’s south-east.
In response, Russia imposed on August 6 a one-year ban on imports of beef, pork, poultry, fish, cheeses, fruit, vegetables and dairy products from Australia, Canada, the European Union, the United States and Norway.
Situation in south-east Ukraine
Kiev’s military operation designed to regain control over the breakaway Donetsk and Lugansk regions in Ukraine’s southeast on the border with Russia, which call themselves the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics, has left thousands of people dead, brought destruction and forced hundreds of thousands to flee.
Businessman and politician Petro Poroshenko won the May 25 early presidential election in Ukraine.
The parties to the intra-Ukrainian conflict agreed on a ceasefire during talks mediated by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) on September 5 in Belarusian capital Minsk two days after Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed his plan to settle the situation in the east of Ukraine.
Numerous violations of the ceasefire, which took effect the same day, have been reported since.
A memorandum was adopted on September 19 in Minsk by the Trilateral Contact Group on Ukraine comprising representatives of Ukraine, Russia and the OSCE. The document outlined the parameters for the implementation of commitments on the ceasefire in Ukraine laid down in the Minsk Protocol of September 5.
The nine-point memorandum in particular envisioned a ban on the use of all armaments and withdrawal of weapons with the calibers of over 100 millimeters to a distance of 15 kilometers from the contact line from each side. The OSCE was tasked with controlling the implementation of memorandum provisions.
A “day of silence” in eastern Ukraine began at 09:00am local time on December 9. It is seen as another attempt by both parties to the intra-Ukrainian conflict to put an end to hostilities.