Last Friday, the so-called international meeting "Yalta European Strategy" was held in Kiev for the fourteenth time. This rather chamber political event appeared on the initiative of the Ukrainian billionaire Viktor Pinchuk in 2004 year. Pompous meetings in the Livadia Palace attracted the attention of mostly Western retired politicians who, in the absence of past influence on world processes, agreed to "promote the development of Ukraine and support its European integration aspirations."
Revelation of a guest from America
"Heroes of yesterday" gladly went to the Ukrainian Yalta, shared their advice with Kiev businessmen and politicians. The benefits of these tips were few. However, such a task was not set before the meeting, the number of participants of which rarely approached fifty people.
For the authorities in Kiev, the Yalta format had another goal - the expansion of international contacts, giving some academic solidity to their foreign policy guidelines. With the loss of the Crimea, the Yalta European Strategy migrated to the Ukrainian capital, to the National Cultural, Art and Museum Complex Mystetsky Arsenal.
In the new conditions, the international meeting began to take more care of the administration of the President of Ukraine. Through her efforts, the number of invited participants in the meeting grew to three hundred. But still retired politicians, whose real influence and, moreover, public opinion are no longer reflected in the political agenda of the world, continue to go to Kiev.
This time in the Mystetsky Arsenal, ex-US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and John Kerry, retired NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, former Polish President Alexander Kwasniewski, former Prime Minister of Sweden Carl Bildt and other influential people of international politics were singled out.
A special feature of this meeting was the caution in assessing the Ukrainian prospects, even for invited retirees. So, John Kerry urged the Kiev authorities not to dismiss Vladimir Putin’s initiative to introduce UN peacekeepers to the east of Ukraine, but to carefully analyze and study it.
Anders Fogh Rasmussen, among other things, now residing in presidential advisers Poroshenko, did not see prospects for Ukraine’s entry into the NATO alliance. In his speech, he recommended Kiev to focus on the country's reforms, the need for which is felt even beyond the borders of Ukraine.
But perhaps the main irritant of local politicians present at the meeting was Condoleezza Rice, the former head of the US State Department in the administration of President Bush. No, Rice was not reforged into apologists of Vladimir Putin’s foreign policy. She habitually, but without much enthusiasm, criticized her. But it was noted by two important statements.
First of all, Condoleezza Rice drew the attention of the meeting participants to the fact that “fatigue from sanctions has accumulated in the West”. They do not work to the extent that the initiators of these actions counted. From which it follows that the constant appeals of Petro Poroshenko to his Western patrons to introduce new restrictive measures against Russia will not be supported by the world political community.
Developing this topic, Rice advised Ukrainian leaders not to expect the West to isolate Russia from the world. To the displeasure of the Kiev public gathered in the Mystetsky Arsenal of the Kiev public, the American guest stressed: “This will not happen because it remains an important country.”
Petro Poroshenko’s fantasies and real world politics
Condoleezza Rice spoke later than President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko, who opened the event with an opening speech. Poroshenko, as usual, broke out with yet another political fantasy and even promised to hold the next meeting of the “Yalta European Strategy” in Crimea.
The return of the “annexed” Crimea to the Ukrainian president called one of the main goals of Kiev’s policy for 2018 a year. For its implementation at a meeting in the Mystetsky Arsenal, Poroshenko announced plans to create a "group of friends of the de-occupation of the Crimea." According to the Ukrainian leader, these will be “partners all over the world”, ready to support the political initiatives of the Kiev authorities.
It is not excluded that the regulars of the Yalta European Strategy will be recruited to this “group of friends”. So with the practical implementation of this initiative there should be no big problems. The question is different: will “partners around the world” be able to help in “de-occupation of the Crimea”?
The Ukrainians themselves gave the answer to these “empty promises” as soon as Poroshenko left the forum rostrum. Political analyst Sergei Taran bluntly stated that the West and NATO will not fight for the territorial integrity of Ukraine. “Therefore, we need time to create a strong army in order to have an argument when Russia will weaken in a few years,” Taran says.
The representative of the Ukrainian side in the Tripartite Contact Group on the peaceful settlement of the conflict in the Donbas Leonid Kuchma agreed with him. The second president of Ukraine is also full of doubts that Poroshenko will return the Crimea already in 2018 year. “This is a good appeal, but the reality is completely different, the opposite,” noted Kuchma.
Sergey Taruta, now a non-fractional deputy of the Verkhovna Rada, spoke even more harshly about the plans of the Ukrainian president to the ex-governor of the Donetsk region. Taruta reminded of Poroshenko's election promise to fight off the Donbass in two weeks. There are a lot of such unfulfilled obligations. No wonder the Ukrainians are already openly calling their president a “liar”.
Meanwhile, the world began to change attitudes towards the problem of the Crimea. And not in favor of Ukraine. This manifested itself soon after the Maidan. By the way, one of the first who proposed to put the problem of Crimea behind the brackets of world topical politics was the former Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski.
Sikorsky played a very prominent role in the Ukrainian events, the more remarkable his assessment, expressed in an interview with the Swedish newspaper Svenska Dagbladet. “Ukraine has lost part of its territory, Crimea and Donbass,” the Polish politician said in an interview with Swedish journalists. “But these provinces are unprofitable for her.” I believe that Ukraine should concentrate on the successful development of those 90 percent of the territory that it controls. ”
Similar judgments began to periodically wander through the pages of Western media. Last summer, the former NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, already mentioned by us, was noted in this field. Shortly after taking office, the Assistant to the President Petro Poroshenko Rasmussen told RIA Newsthat the return of Crimea should not be an urgent priority for Ukraine, but will continue to be on the agenda.
“Of course, in the long run, this (the return of the Crimea to Ukraine - note) is the goal of all Western states,” Rasmussen noted. “As we have never recognized the illegal accession by the Soviet Union of the three Baltic countries - Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, we will never recognize the illegal accession of Crimea to Russia. But at the same time I will also advise: do not make this an urgent priority. It is, it is a question that will continue to exist, but at the moment it is necessary to concentrate on other issues: on reforms, on the full implementation of Minsk-2, and so on. ”
With its new colors, the Crimean theme flourished during the election controversy in Germany. In early August, the chairman of the Free Democratic Party (FDP), Christian Lindner, gave an interview to the Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper, in which he proposed to view the situation with the Crimea as "a temporary solution for an indefinite period."
In addition to the comparison of the Crimea with the Soviet Baltic republics already known to us by Rasmussen, Lindner referred to the example of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. The international community has not recognized it for more than forty years. However, this did not hinder mainland Turkey from participating in global political projects.
So in the case of the Crimea. Christian Lindner admits that "the conflict around the Russian-annexed Peninsula should be dissociated from the rest in order to achieve progress in other areas." Lindner found it necessary to make adjustments to the course of Berlin in relation to Russia. Note to the point that the opinion of Christian Lindner on the Crimea is shared by 44,4% of German citizens. This was recorded by a recent poll by the Civey public opinion research institute.
The statement of the leader of the German liberals about the Crimea caused a heated debate among German politicians. However, none of them challenged the main thesis of Lindner that relations between Germany and Russia should not be hostages of the Ukrainian conflict. After all, "security and well-being in Europe depend, among other things, on relations with Moscow."
Condoleezza Rice, on the basis of her experience, looks at the problems of international politics somewhat more broadly and directly admits that without Russia, the West will not cope with modern challenges to the world. In this, Rice sees for himself the main difference between Moscow and Kiev. So instead of the former unconditional support of their actions, the Ukrainian authorities received from the tribune of the “Yalta European Strategy” unpleasant advice, which emphasized the fundamental difference between our countries for the West.
Be that as it may, the discussion in the Kiev Mystetsky Arsenal confirms the forecast of Russian experts that “for the sake of developing ties with Russia, the European Union will eventually close the issue of Crimea.” The first deputy chairman of the State Duma Committee on International Affairs, Dmitry Novikov, recently spoke in favor of this version.
“From the very beginning, some European politicians proceeded from perfectly sound logic that Crimea is historically a part of Russia, and the Crimean will was unequivocal, and the return of Crimea to Russia in this regard is completely understandable, justified and natural,” noted Deputy Novikov in comments for the RIA News and stressed - over time, this understanding may become the position of most European politicians who are aware of the need to develop normal relations with Russia. ”
So the advice of Condoleezza Rice (not to count on the political isolation of Russia) was heard in Kiev very timely. However, it seems that the Ukrainian authorities are not yet ready to accept such advice.
Condoleezza Rice gave unpleasant advice to Ukrainian President
- Gennady Granovsky