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Obama In Policy ‘Limbo,’ Putin Wants Finland

From Reuters:

Obama ends four-nation trip in diplomatic limbo over Ukraine

By Steve Holland and Jeff Mason | March 29, 2014

RIYADH (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama ended a four-nation foreign trip on Saturday in the same situation as he began it – facing great uncertainty about a diplomatic way out of the Ukraine crisis.

Of course, ‘limbo’ is also a very apt description of Obama’s entire term in office. But isn’t it racist?

His diplomatic consultations in The Hague, Brussels and Rome over the past week all resulted in a strong show of unity between the United States and Europe that Russia must face consequences should it move against southern or eastern Ukraine…

That is, there is a new ‘red line.’ But are there any Putin cronies who have not already been slapped with ‘harsh sanctions.’ (Sarcasm.)

A late-night phone call on Friday between Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin raised the possibility that Moscow might be willing to negotiate a diplomatic outcome. But the news was greeted warily by U.S. officials, unconvinced that Putin really wants to cut a deal…

Putin already has gotten what he wanted — Crimea. Is Obama trying to find a way to give him even more?

U.S. officials are increasingly concerned about Russian troops, numbering as many as 40,000, massed on Ukraine’s eastern border. A Russian statement on the Putin-Obama phone call also said Putin had raised concerns about Transdniestria, a tiny breakaway territory comprised mainly of Russian-speakers in the ex-Soviet republic of Moldova.

It looks like Obama will have to give Putin Transdniestria, too. Whatever that is.

At the heart of subsequent negotiations expected between U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is a U.S. diplomatic "off ramp".

Under this plan, international monitors would be deployed to Ukraine to ensure the safety of ethnic Russians – the issue Moscow cited in annexing Crimea, Russia would pull back its forces from the border and there would be a direct Russia-Ukraine dialogue…

In other words, Russia will get to put in ‘monitors’ who will keep a gun to the head of the Ukrainian leadership. And Obama and Kerry would get to pretend that they had done something to stop Putin.

So it’s a win-win.

Meanwhile, we have this from the UK’s Independent:

Vladimir Putin ‘wants to regain Finland’ for Russia, adviser says

Finland has increased border surveillance in recent weeks as Mr Putin moves to ‘protect what belongs to him and his predecessors’

Adam Withnall | 30 March 2014

After annexing Crimea and with troops massed on the border of Ukraine, Vladimir Putin will not stop trying to expand Russia until he has “conquered” Belarus, the Baltic states and Finland, one of his closest former advisers has said.

According to Andrej Illarionov, the President’s [i.e., Putin’s] chief economic adviser from 2000 to 2005, Mr Putin seeks to create “historical justice” with a return to the days of the last Tsar, Nicholas II, and the Soviet Union under Stalin.

Lest we forget, we are coming up on the 100th anniversary of the birth of the Soviet Union, which will be in 2017. How much do you want to bet Putin wants to have it reassembled by then.

Speaking to the Swedish newspaper Svenska Dagbladet, Mr Illarionov warned that Russia will argue that the granting of independence to Finland in 1917 was an act of “treason against national interests”.

“Putin’s view is that he protects what belongs to him and his predecessors,” Mr Illarionov said. “Parts of Georgia, Ukraine, Belarus, the Baltic States and Finland are states where Putin claims to have ownership.

This was also the ‘Brezhnev Doctrine.’ And, in fact, the ruling doctrine throughout the history of the USSR.

He added: “The West’s leaders seem, from what they say, entirely to have forgotten that there are some leaders in the world who want to conquer other countries.”

Obama hasn’t forgotten anything. He’s glad this is happening. It’s payback time, as far as he is concerned.

Mr Illarionov has helped draft a host of Russia’s economic policies in recent years, and served as Mr Putin’s personal representative at a number of G8 conferences. He is now a senior fellow at the Cato institute’s Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity in Washington…

So he knows whereof he speaks. Consequently, he will be ignored by our news media.

This article was posted by Steve on Monday, March 31st, 2014. Comments are currently closed.

4 Responses to “Obama In Policy ‘Limbo,’ Putin Wants Finland”

  1. captstubby says:

    “In the Winter War (November 1939–March 1940), Finland was left alone to face Soviet aggression with only a modicum of assistance from Western countries.”


  2. GetBackJack says:

    Finland cir. 1940 was a tough bunch of calloused bare knuckled muthas. Today, they’re limp as linguine.


  3. canary says:

    Obama didn’t react to Putin invading Crimea. He reacted to the American people complaining of his lack of reaction.
    Obama and Hillary’s Arab Spring makes Russia think they can do what they want.

  4. yadayada says:

    o’bummer and his half baked G7 have been busy consulting over the drawing of new red lines. those new lines are all over eastern yurp and happen to coincide with the borders of the old ussr.

    “here’s your new map mr. putin!”

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