‘Height of hypocrisy’: West demonizes Russia doing everything to avoid conflict in Ukraine
Eric Draitser is an independent geopolitical analyst based in New York City and the founder of StopImperialism.com. He is a regular contributor to RT, Counterpunch, New Eastern Outlook, Press TV, and many other news outlets. Visit StopImperialism.com for all his work.
RT:Russia has held snap military drills in
the region bordering Ukraine. This does give the EU grounds to be
reasonably concerned, doesn't it?
Eric Draitser: Well it should not necessarily give them concern considering that it was the EU, the United States and NATO powers were first at instigating the unrest in Kiev and in Ukraine more generally. We have seen that the unrest has been sponsored by the US. We know of course that Victoria Nuland and some of the figures in Germany who have been backing Klitschko and Yatsenyuk, they were exacerbating the situation, fomenting from the very beginning. So now in response to the unrest through the country, particularly in response from these probing attacks that we have seen since the takeover of Kiev, extending into the Eastern portion of the country.
You have seen regions in Ukraine, such as Crimea and elsewhere, calling on Russia to come and to protect the citizens. Now what Russia is doing in response is certainly not an intervention, not by any stretch of the imagination. What we have seen rather is putting military on high alert just like they did in 2008 in response to provocative attacks from Georgia.
So I think that any country throughout the world, whether it is the US, Canada, Russia or any other country would be on high alert just as the Russians are. Of course the US and western media more broadly are using it to demonize Russia and to make it seem as Russia preparing for an intervention, which it certainly is not.
RT:Russia has dubbed the statements coming from the West as provocative. Do you think the comments about possible interference from Moscow - could escalate the situation?
ED: I think it is laughable to be quite honest. I think it is ironic that I happened to be wearing a shirt with George Orwell’s face on it, because the double things involved in these sort of statements is astounding.
On one hand the US through John Kerry, the UK through William Hague and NATO through Rasmussen are all making it seem as if Russia should be chided for some kind of intervention that has not happened while at the same time it is the same powers who were involved in fomenting the chaos in the first place and supporting new-Nazi factions in Kiev, in supporting the so-called opposition.
We of course have the infamous phone call from Victoria Nuland where she makes a certain statement, what I would call provocative statements about EU.
All of this somehow goes unnoticed. It is the height of hypocrisy. It is pure double thinking. Quite frankly it needs to be laughed off and to a large extent that was what the Russian response has been. The statements from the foreign minister, Lavrov, have been quite indicative of how the Russians view this entire situation, understanding that Hague and Rasmussen and Kerry and all the rest are using these statements to demonize Russia and try to incite some kind of a conflict which at this point it seems Russia has done everything it can to avoid.
RT:Plans to join NATO were shelved in Ukraine after Yanukovich's election. Do you think the new government will move to join the organization?
ED: Well the new government, if we can call it that, I would not call it that but the so-called government is going to do whatever it can to save themselves. Look, we have Yatsenyuk making statements in public talking about the fact that Ukraine is bankrupt as if no one knew this beforehand. And now they are saying that Ukraine is going to need at least $35 billion just in 2014, just to stave off bankruptcy. And where is that money supposed to come from? We have seen the IMF making statements about $15 billion, we have seen the US talk about $1 billion, who knows what else the Europeans have in store.
All of this to say that the Ukrainian government, this occupying force in Kiev, that these individuals will have no leverage whatsoever against Europe and against NATO. So if they want some kind of a bailout, if they want some way out of this crisis, they are going to do what NATO tells them to do. And that Association Agreement by the way, the 1000 page document which the Yanukovich government has turned away from, that was a back door to the military expansion of NATO. There were elements in the agreement which essentially amounted to a defense cooperation treaty.
So we’ve known for quite a long time that NATO looks toward Ukraine as a key element in its expansionist policy and its aggressive assault against Russia and this will only continue, only escalate now that the so-called government in Kiev is at their mercy.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.