Iran: ‘West in the quandary of Ukraine crisis’

Source: State-run Iranian daily Kayhan, Ali Khamenei’s mouthpiece, September 2, 2014
In the special meeting of European leaders held this week to discuss the crisis in Ukraine, the Ukranian President Petro Poroshenko noted the dire situation in eastern Ukraine and warned that his country is getting closer to an all out war with Russia. Meanwhile, EU leaders gave Moscow a week to reconsider its policies in Ukraine and to cease its military intervention in eastern Ukraine or face added sanctions that will be imposed on Russia.

Moscow has not only paid no heed to the threats by the West, but has underscored that it will continue with its policies in Ukraine. Veladimir Putin, the Russian President, warned the West not to confront a nuclear Russia and humiliated the West by underlining that an independent country needs to be born in eastern Ukraine.

What is in fact unfolding these days in Ukraine is a serious face off between the East and the West at a level that even belittles the cold war.

Although the Russians have denied the allegations by the West about their direct military intervention in Ukraine, they are not shy of stressing their support for those who seek independence in eastern Ukraine.

Moscow’s insistence to continue its policies in Ukraine demonstrates that the Russians are resolute in confronting the meddling by U.S. and Europe in their traditional territory and back yard and have repeatedly said so.

It is crystal clear that not only Moscow has no intention to retreat in face of the West’s threats, but it has adopted an aggressive policy.

In such circumstances, the West-inclined Ukraine is attempting to avert a military confrontation with the Russians while enticing the West to more forcefully come to the aid of Kiev.

Recently, a number of Ukranian officials have requested that their country would become a member of NATO although this request has not taken an official face yet. However, the West is not welcoming such a request and for good reason; the West wants to avert raising the anger of Russia and not to provoke it since any tension between the two may lead to quite a dangerous predicament.

In this week’s summit, the EU leaders threatened the Russians while even among themselves there are deep rifts. Some European leaders have no desire to face off with Russia and prefer the path of negotiations. Moscow in turn is rebuffing West’s threats and considers its actions in Ukraine as defending its interests and as the aspiration of people in eastern Ukraine.

Unquestionably, the Russians are aware of the costs and consequences of their policy in Ukraine, but their stern resolve in continuing their policies and measures demonstrates the extent of their rage and anger for the West’s intervention in their interest-area and the West’s influence in their backyard.

Ignoring West’s threats by Russians also signifies that in its accessments, Moscow has concluded that the West cannot seriously hurt it as the West has no effective tool to compel Russia to kneel to its threats.

Resorting to military threat against Moscow is fundamentally flawed since imagining the consequences of this threat is enough to get the West to refrain from talking about it. On the verge of annexing the Karima region, some U.S. officials spoke of military threat aimed at Moscow, but they quickly came to grasp the consequences of such a development and thus refrained from repeating this threat.

In addition to a well-equipped army and millions of men in arms, Russia enjoys an arsenal of 20,000 nuclear weapons that the West cannot disregard in its accessment.
West’s economic threats are also inadequate to seriously challenge Moscow. Although the West has extensive economic transactions with Moscow, but one should keep in mind that the greater part of Europe’s energy is provided by Russia and Moscow can use this leverage to cause serious problems for the West and thus defeat West’s economic sanctions.
Occupation of Karima by Russia laid bare the fact that despite all the commotions, the West is without teeth and this was a test that showed Russia can continue with its actions.

It now seems that the West has concluded that it should accept the present situation and that the West prefers to arrive at a mutual agreement with Moscow to avert further tarnishing of its prestige.

The West now finds itself entangled in the Ukraine quagmire and is quite inclined to free itself from this predicament in a face-saving way. The crisis of Ukraine has challenged the ego and dominion of the West and posed serious challenges to it and made this crisis one of the greatest challenges to the West in the past several decades.

The West that just in the past winter their supporters had toppled the pro-Russian government and were jubilant never thought they would get into such a quandrum.

Ukraine has now turned into an arena for a face off of interests between the West and Russia and the extent of this confrontation expands by the day. As the President of Ukraine noted, this confrontation is approaching an all out war and of course what is not important here is the interest of the Ukrainian people; they are the ones who have to pay the price of this war-for-domination.

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