What will be the results of the Xi-Putin talks? Shall we guess?

If you read the torrent of articles which American foreign affairs experts put out daily with respect to the future course and likely outcome of the Russia-Ukraine war, you could be forgiven for thinking that you know something.  However, for better or worse, no one really knows the true correlation of forces on the ground in Ukraine at present, nor do they know the strategic merits of the offensive/counteroffensives that the warring parties are planning in secret and will unleash in the coming weeks. So whether the war will continue for years to come or end in a couple of months with the capitulation of one of the sides is anyone’s guess. The only thing that is not guesswork is that the longer the war drags on, the greater the chances of some fatal miscalculation by one or another of the sides leading to escalation and WWIII.

Discussion in the Western media of the visit by Chinese President Xi to Moscow which begins tomorrow is similarly voluble and based on very few objective facts. The overriding issue guiding our experts is hostility to both leaders and to the countries they represent.  Since I do not share that hostility and have a few insights that I do not see in play elsewhere, I will depart from my usual practice and step up to the scrimmage line. 


What we know about the forthcoming Xi visit to Moscow is that it is his first foreign trip after his reelection as China’s supreme leader and the consolidation of his pre-eminence by the appointment of his close supporters to key government positions. We also know that the timing of this visit was brought forward by several weeks from what had previously been mentioned in Russian media. And we know that it is for three days, which is a substantial block of time, enough to deal with some very thorny issues and not just to sign off on documents prepared by subordinates. 

Russian media say that it will be used to conclude a great number of separate agreements for the implementation of the strategic cooperation the countries announced more than a year ago. One can easily imagine that these agreements will focus on the energy sector and on detailed projects to expand Chinese investment both upstream in exploration and production, and downstream in logistical solutions to bring Russian hydrocarbons to the Middle Kingdom. There probably will be further progress to announce in finance, namely in payment systems that will compete globally with SWIFT and in currency exchange solutions that effectively remove the dollar from their mutual trade.

We are also told that the heads of state will discuss one-on-one issues of international relations, and here is where I am predicting an announcement with respect to the Ukraine war, namely formal Russian acceptance Chinese mediation to arrive at a peace settlement built upon the 12 principles laid down by Beijing several weeks ago. After all, who would be a better ‘honest broker’ to facilitate the talks than the Chinese?

The world was thunderstruck a couple of weeks ago by the successful conclusion of an agreement reestablishing diplomatic relations between Saudi Arabia and the Islamic Republic of Iran thanks to mediation by the People’s Republic of China. The importance of that agreement can hardly be overstated: it potentially puts an end to the Yemen civil war, in which the Saudis and Iran had each been giving military support to their preferred factions in the conflict. That war not only created great human suffering in Yemen but for many years has threatened broader regional stability. The settlement opens the way for implementation of Saudi-Iranian letters of intent on commercial and investment cooperation signed back at the beginning of the millennium. These will go far to normalize the Iranian economy, to cancel the harm done by unilateral Western sanctions, and to promote domestic tranquility within Iran, all of which, in turn, will put legs under Teheran’s decision not to pursue production of nuclear arms.

The outstanding feature of the Saudi Arabia-Islamic Republic agreement was that it was mediated by an ‘interested party.’  Yes, China was not an ‘honest broker’ in the sense of a disinterested party seated high on Olympus.  It is the world’s largest importer of oil, while Saudi is the world’s largest exporter, much of it going to China. And Iran is also a major seller to China. Accordingly it was in China’s interests that these two suppliers not force it to take sides in their dispute and resolve their differences amicably. Knowing both sides in-depth, the Chinese were well positioned to suggest compromises that could be acceptable to all.

I suggest that we consider China’s diplomatic feat in the Middle East as a dress rehearsal for the still bigger prize of mediating an end to the Russia-Ukraine war. Here, too, China is an ‘interested party.’ 

In this regard, we have to put the close strategic cooperation between Beijing and Moscow in the spheres of military exercises, mutual trade and diplomacy in the United Nations and other international institutions up against the trade and rumored military cooperation that China has going with Ukraine in supply of some critical components. Given the looming confrontation with the United States over its defense perimeter in the South China Sea and its plans for reunification with Taiwan, China would like to see an early end to the Ukraine war that leaves both warring parties viable and eliminates any possibility of revanchisme reviving in a few years time.

That leaves us with the question of why Vladimir Putin might be tempted to seek an end to the war right now, when his army has achieved only partial victory in terms of freeing the Donbas oblasts claimed by Russia from Ukrainian occupation. The reason should be seen in the points of China’s position paper on the war dated 24 February 2023 that deal with regional and European security, which were, after all the Realpolitik reasons for Russia opening its Special Military Operation.

The language in the Chinese paper regarding forging “an effective and sustainable European security architecture,” in which no country pursues its security at the expense of others, in which there is no ‘bloc confrontation’ – all of this constitutes the essence of what the Kremlin was pursuing with the United States and NATO in December 2022; it amounts to a rollback of NATO from its post-1997 forward presence in Eastern Europe. It amounts to a neutral Ukraine. This was flatly rejected by Washington, and the Kremlin then moved on to a military response to get what it wanted.

As for the romantic nationalism language that the Russian President used in his speech to the nation on the eve of launching the invasion of Ukraine, that was for public consumption, to sell the SMO to a Russian nation that is not easily moved by Realpolitik arguments. This is the truly negotiable part of the Russian program in Ukraine for which solutions can be found with Ukraine under conditions of professional and empathetic mediation.

Of course, the very first point in the Chinese position paper which emphasizes respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity will be a tough issue in any future negotiations at which the Chinese are mediators. As University of Rhode Island professor of political science Nicolai Petro and I proposed back in June 2022 in The National Interest, one solution would be to put aside sovereignty over the Donbas for resolution by some future referendum after a cooling off period that might run into decades during which each side would govern over the territory it held at the signing of the cease-fire. This idea has most recently been further developed by Paris-based international lawyer John Whitbeck (Counterpunch, 22 February 2023). Surely the highly professional diplomatic service of Beijing will be able to find a solution that satisfies the fox and keeps the chickens safe.

Finally, I point out that by accepting Chinese mediation based on their 12-point position paper, the Russians would be giving the lie to Western assertions that the Kremlin has no interest in peace talks, that Russia is hell-bent on territorial aggrandizement including absorption of Ukraine before moving on to invade the Baltics, Poland, etc. By smashing that propaganda narrative written in Washington and London, Russia will open the way for doubters within NATO and within the EU to find their voices and reject the further pursuit of war through open-ended funding and military supplies to Kiev. And that, friends, will by itself put us on the road to peace.

©Gilbert Doctorow, 2023

Translations below into German (Andreas Mylaeus), French (Youri), Spanish (Hugo Guido) and Brazilian Portuguese (Evandro Menezes)

Was werden die Ergebnisse der Xi-Putin-Gespräche sein? Sollen wir raten?

Wenn man die Flut von Artikeln liest, die amerikanische Außenpolitikexperten täglich über den künftigen Verlauf und den wahrscheinlichen Ausgang des Krieges zwischen Russland und der Ukraine veröffentlichen, könnte man meinen, man wisse etwas. Wie dem auch sei, niemand kennt das wahre Kräfteverhältnis vor Ort in der Ukraine und auch nicht die strategischen Vorzüge der Offensiven/Gegenoffensiven, die die Kriegsparteien im Geheimen planen und in den kommenden Wochen entfesseln werden. Ob der Krieg also noch jahrelang andauern oder in ein paar Monaten mit der Kapitulation einer der beiden Seiten enden wird, lässt sich nur vermuten. Das Einzige, was keine Vermutung ist, ist, dass je länger sich der Krieg hinzieht, desto größer ist die Wahrscheinlichkeit, dass eine fatale Fehlkalkulation der einen oder anderen Seite zu einer Eskalation und einem Dritten Weltkrieg führt.

Die Diskussion in den westlichen Medien über den morgen beginnenden Besuch des chinesischen Präsidenten Xi in Moskau ist ähnlich ausschweifend und beruht auf sehr wenigen objektiven Fakten. Das übergeordnete Thema, von dem sich unsere Experten leiten lassen, ist die Feindseligkeit gegenüber beiden Führern und den Ländern, die sie vertreten. Da ich diese Feindseligkeit nicht teile und über einige Erkenntnisse verfüge, die ich anderswo nicht im Spiel sehe, werde ich von meiner üblichen Praxis abweichen und mich an die Seitenlinie stellen.


Was wir über den bevorstehenden Besuch von Xi in Moskau wissen, ist, dass es sich um seine erste Auslandsreise nach seiner Wiederwahl zum obersten Führer Chinas und der Konsolidierung seiner Vormachtstellung durch die Ernennung von engen Anhängern in Schlüsselpositionen der Regierung handelt. Wir wissen auch, dass der Zeitpunkt dieses Besuchs um mehrere Wochen vorverlegt wurde, als zuvor in den russischen Medien berichtet wurde. Und wir wissen, dass er drei Tage dauert, was ein beträchtlicher Zeitblock ist, genug, um sich mit einigen sehr heiklen Fragen zu befassen und nicht nur Dokumente abzusegnen, die von Untergebenen vorbereitet wurden.

Russischen Medien zufolge soll er dazu genutzt werden, eine Vielzahl von Einzelvereinbarungen zur Umsetzung der strategischen Zusammenarbeit zu schließen, die die beiden Länder vor mehr als einem Jahr angekündigt haben. Man kann sich leicht vorstellen, dass sich diese Abkommen auf den Energiesektor und auf detaillierte Projekte zur Ausweitung chinesischer Investitionen sowohl im Upstream-Bereich bei der Exploration und Produktion als auch im Downstream-Bereich bei logistischen Lösungen für den Transport russischer Kohlenwasserstoffe ins Reich der Mitte konzentrieren werden. Im Finanzbereich sind wahrscheinlich weitere Fortschritte zu vermelden, insbesondere bei Zahlungssystemen, die weltweit mit SWIFT konkurrieren werden, und bei Lösungen für den Währungsumtausch, die den Dollar effektiv aus dem gegenseitigen Handel entfernen.

Man sagt uns auch, dass die Staatsoberhäupter unter vier Augen Fragen der internationalen Beziehungen erörtern werden, und hier erwarte ich eine Ankündigung in Bezug auf den Ukraine-Krieg, nämlich die formelle Annahme der chinesischen Vermittlung durch Russland, um eine Friedensregelung auf der Grundlage der 12 Prinzipien zu erreichen, die Peking vor einigen Wochen festgelegt hat. Wer wäre schließlich ein besserer “ehrlicher Makler”, um die Gespräche zu erleichtern, als die Chinesen?

Vor einigen Wochen wurde die Welt durch den erfolgreichen Abschluss eines Abkommens zur Wiederherstellung der diplomatischen Beziehungen zwischen Saudi-Arabien und der Islamischen Republik Iran dank der Vermittlung der Volksrepublik China überrascht. Die Bedeutung dieses Abkommens kann gar nicht hoch genug eingeschätzt werden: Es beendet möglicherweise den Bürgerkrieg im Jemen, in dem die Saudis und der Iran jeweils die von ihnen bevorzugten Konfliktparteien militärisch unterstützt hatten. Dieser Krieg hat nicht nur großes menschliches Leid im Jemen verursacht, sondern bedroht seit vielen Jahren die Stabilität in der Region insgesamt. Die Einigung macht den Weg frei für die Umsetzung der saudi-iranischen Absichtserklärungen über die Zusammenarbeit in den Bereichen Handel und Investitionen, die bereits zu Beginn des Jahrtausends unterzeichnet wurden. Diese werden weiter dazu beitragen, die iranische Wirtschaft zu normalisieren, den durch einseitige westliche Sanktionen verursachten Schaden zu beseitigen und die innere Ruhe im Iran zu fördern, was wiederum Teherans Entscheidung, keine Atomwaffen zu produzieren, untermauern wird.

Das Besondere an dem Abkommen zwischen Saudi-Arabien und der Islamischen Republik war, dass es von einer “interessierten Partei” vermittelt wurde. Ja, China war kein “ehrlicher Makler” im Sinne einer uneigennützigen Partei, die hoch oben auf dem Olymp sitzt. China ist der weltweit größte Importeur von Öl, während Saudi-Arabien der weltweit größte Exporteur ist, wobei ein Großteil des Öls nach China geht. Und auch der Iran ist ein wichtiger Verkäufer an China. Daher lag es im Interesse Chinas, dass diese beiden Lieferanten es nicht zwangen, in ihrem Streit Partei zu ergreifen und ihre Differenzen gütlich beizulegen. Da die Chinesen beide Seiten sehr gut kennen, waren sie in der Lage, Kompromisse vorzuschlagen, die für alle akzeptabel sein könnten.

Ich schlage vor, dass wir Chinas diplomatische Leistung im Nahen Osten als Generalprobe für den noch größeren Preis der Vermittlung eines Endes des Krieges zwischen Russland und der Ukraine betrachten. Auch hier ist China eine “interessierte Partei”.

In dieser Hinsicht müssen wir die enge strategische Zusammenarbeit zwischen Peking und Moskau in den Bereichen Militärübungen, gegenseitiger Handel und Diplomatie in den Vereinten Nationen und anderen internationalen Institutionen gegen die handelspolitische und gerüchteweise militärische Zusammenarbeit zwischen China und der Ukraine bei der Lieferung einiger wichtiger Komponenten stellen. In Anbetracht der sich abzeichnenden Konfrontation mit den Vereinigten Staaten über deren Verteidigungsgebiete im Südchinesischen Meer und deren Pläne für eine Wiedervereinigung mit Taiwan wünscht sich China eine baldige Beendigung des Ukraine-Krieges, die beide Kriegsparteien lebensfähig lässt und die Möglichkeit eines Wiederauflebens des Revanchismus in einigen Jahren ausschließt.

Damit stellt sich die Frage, warum Wladimir Putin versucht sein könnte, gerade jetzt ein Ende des Krieges anzustreben, wo seine Armee doch nur einen Teilsieg bei der Befreiung der von Russland beanspruchten Donbass-Gebiete von der ukrainischen Besatzung errungen hat. Der Grund dafür ist in den Punkten des chinesischen Positionspapiers zum Krieg vom 24. Februar 2023 zu sehen, die sich mit der regionalen und europäischen Sicherheit befassen, die ja die realpolitischen Gründe für die Eröffnung der militärischen Sonderoperation durch Russland waren.

Die Formulierungen in dem chinesischen Papier über die Schaffung einer “effektiven und nachhaltigen europäischen Sicherheitsarchitektur”, in der kein Land seine Sicherheit auf Kosten anderer verfolgt, in der es keine “Blockkonfrontation” gibt – all dies ist der Kern dessen, was der Kreml im Dezember 2022 mit den Vereinigten Staaten und der NATO anstrebt; es läuft auf einen Rückzug der NATO von ihrer Präsenz in Osteuropa nach 1997 hinaus. Es läuft auf eine neutrale Ukraine hinaus. Dies wurde von Washington rundweg abgelehnt, und der Kreml ging daraufhin zu einer militärischen Antwort über, um zu bekommen, was er wollte.

Was den romantischen Nationalismus betrifft, den der russische Präsident in seiner Rede an die Nation am Vorabend des Einmarsches in die Ukraine verwendete, so diente er dem öffentlichen Konsum, um die SMO einer russischen Nation zu verkaufen, die sich nicht so leicht von realpolitischen Argumenten überzeugen lässt. Dies ist der wirklich verhandelbare Teil des russischen Programms in der Ukraine, für den Lösungen mit der Ukraine unter den Bedingungen einer professionellen und einfühlsamen Vermittlung gefunden werden können.

Natürlich wird der erste Punkt des chinesischen Positionspapiers, der die Achtung der Souveränität und der territorialen Integrität betont, ein schwieriges Thema bei künftigen Verhandlungen sein, bei denen die Chinesen als Vermittler auftreten. Wie Nicolai Petro, Professor für Politikwissenschaft an der University of Rhode Island, und ich bereits im Juni 2022 in The National Interest vorschlugen, bestünde eine Lösung darin, die Souveränität über den Donbass für eine künftige Volksabstimmung nach einer Abkühlungsphase, die sich über Jahrzehnte erstrecken könnte, beiseite zu legen, in der jede Seite über das Gebiet regieren würde, das sie bei der Unterzeichnung des Waffenstillstands innehatte. Diese Idee wurde jüngst von dem in Paris ansässigen Völkerrechtler John Whitbeck weiter entwickelt (Counterpunch, 22. Februar 2023). Sicherlich wird der hochprofessionelle diplomatische Dienst Pekings in der Lage sein, eine Lösung zu finden, die den Fuchs zufriedenstellt und die Hühner in Sicherheit bringt.

Schließlich weise ich darauf hin, dass die Russen, wenn sie die chinesische Vermittlung auf der Grundlage ihres 12-Punkte-Positionspapiers akzeptieren, die Behauptungen des Westens Lügen strafen würden, der Kreml habe kein Interesse an Friedensgesprächen und Russland sei wild entschlossen, sein Territorium zu vergrößern und sich die Ukraine einzuverleiben, bevor es in das Baltikum, Polen usw. einmarschiert. Indem Russland dieses in Washington und London verfasste Propagandanarrativ zerschlägt, wird es den Zweiflern in der NATO und in der EU den Weg ebnen, ihre Stimme zu erheben und die Fortsetzung des Krieges durch unbefristete Finanzierung und Militärlieferungen an Kiew abzulehnen. Und das, meine Freunde, wird uns allein schon auf den Weg zum Frieden bringen.

Quels seront les résultats des discussions entre Xi et Poutine ?

Pouvons-nous le deviner ?

Si vous lisez le torrent d’articles que les experts américains en affaires étrangères publient quotidiennement sur l’évolution future et l’issue probable de la guerre entre la Russie et l’Ukraine, vous pourriez être pardonné de croire que vous savez quelque chose.  Cependant, pour le meilleur ou pour le pire, personne ne connaît vraiment la véritable corrélation des forces sur le terrain en Ukraine à l’heure actuelle, ni les mérites stratégiques des offensives/contre-offensives que les parties belligérantes planifient en secret et déclencheront dans les semaines à venir. Par conséquent, personne ne sait si la guerre se poursuivra pendant des années ou si elle se terminera dans quelques mois par la capitulation de l’une des parties. La seule chose qui n’est pas une supposition, c’est que plus la guerre s’éternise, plus il y a de chances que l’une ou l’autre des parties commette une erreur de calcul fatale qui conduira à une escalade et à une troisième guerre mondiale.

Les discussions dans les médias occidentaux sur la visite du président chinois Xi à Moscou, qui commence demain, sont tout aussi volubiles et reposent sur très peu de faits objectifs. La question primordiale qui guide nos experts est l’hostilité à l’égard des deux dirigeants et des pays qu’ils représentent.  Comme je ne partage pas cette hostilité et que j’ai quelques idées que je ne vois pas à l’œuvre ailleurs, je vais déroger à ma pratique habituelle et m’avancer jusqu’à la ligne de front.


Ce que nous savons de la prochaine visite de Xi à Moscou, c’est qu’il s’agit de son premier voyage à l’étranger après sa réélection en tant que dirigeant suprême de la Chine et la consolidation de sa prééminence par la nomination de ses proches partisans à des postes clés du gouvernement. Nous savons également que le calendrier de cette visite a été avancé de plusieurs semaines par rapport à ce qui avait été mentionné précédemment dans les médias russes. Nous savons également qu’elle durera trois jours, ce qui représente un laps de temps considérable, suffisant pour traiter certaines questions très épineuses et pas seulement pour approuver des documents préparés par des subordonnés.

Selon les médias russes, elle servira à conclure un grand nombre d’accords distincts pour la mise en œuvre de la coopération stratégique que les deux pays ont annoncée il y a plus d’un an. On peut facilement imaginer que ces accords se concentreront sur le secteur de l’énergie et sur des projets détaillés visant à accroître les investissements chinois en amont, dans l’exploration et la production, et en aval, dans les solutions logistiques permettant d’acheminer les hydrocarbures russes vers l’Empire du Milieu. D’autres progrès seront probablement annoncés dans le domaine financier, notamment en ce qui concerne les systèmes de paiement qui concurrenceront SWIFT au niveau mondial et les solutions d’échange de devises qui élimineront effectivement le dollar de leurs transactions mutuelles.

On nous dit également que les chefs d’État discuteront en tête-à-tête de questions de relations internationales, et c’est là que je prédis une annonce concernant la guerre en Ukraine, à savoir l’acceptation formelle par la Russie d’une médiation chinoise pour parvenir à un accord de paix fondé sur les 12 principes énoncés par Pékin il y a plusieurs semaines. Après tout, qui serait un meilleur « honnête médiateur » pour faciliter les pourparlers que les Chinois ?

l y a quelques semaines, le monde a été frappé par la conclusion d’un accord rétablissant les relations diplomatiques entre l’Arabie saoudite et la République islamique d’Iran, grâce à la médiation de la République populaire de Chine. L’importance de cet accord ne peut être surestimée : il met potentiellement fin à la guerre civile au Yémen, dans laquelle les Saoudiens et l’Iran apportaient chacun un soutien militaire aux factions qu’ils favorisaient dans le conflit. Cette guerre a non seulement engendré de grandes souffrances humaines au Yémen, mais elle a également menacé pendant de nombreuses années la stabilité régionale dans son ensemble. Le règlement ouvre la voie à la mise en œuvre des protocoles de coopération commerciale et d’investissement entre l’Iran et l’Arabie saoudite, signés au début du millénaire. Cela contribuera grandement à normaliser l’économie iranienne, à annuler les dommages causés par les sanctions occidentales unilatérales et à promouvoir la tranquillité intérieure en Iran, ce qui, à son tour, renforcera la décision de Téhéran de ne pas poursuivre la production d’armes nucléaires.

L’accord entre l’Arabie saoudite et la République islamique se distingue par le fait qu’il a été négocié par une « partie intéressée ».  En effet, la Chine n’était pas un « honnête médiateur » dans le sens où elle serait une partie désintéressée siégeant au sommet de l’Olympe.  Elle est le premier importateur mondial de pétrole, tandis que l’Arabie saoudite est le premier exportateur mondial, dont une grande partie de la production est destinée à la Chine. L’Iran est également un vendeur important pour la Chine. Il était donc dans l’intérêt de la Chine que ces deux fournisseurs ne l’obligent pas à prendre parti dans leur désaccord et qu’ils règlent leurs différends à l’amiable. Connaissant parfaitement les deux parties, les Chinois étaient bien placés pour suggérer des compromis acceptables pour tous.

Je suggère que nous considérions l’exploit diplomatique de la Chine au Moyen-Orient comme une répétition générale en vue d’un enjeu encore plus important, celui de la médiation pour mettre fin à la guerre entre la Russie et l’Ukraine. Ici aussi, la Chine est une « partie intéressée ».

À cet égard, nous devons comparer l’étroite coopération stratégique entre Pékin et Moscou dans les domaines des exercices militaires, du commerce mutuel et de la diplomatie au sein des Nations unies et d’autres institutions internationales avec le commerce et la coopération militaire présumée que la Chine entretient avec l’Ukraine pour la fourniture de certains composants essentiels. Compte tenu de la confrontation imminente avec les États-Unis au sujet de leur périmètre de défense en mer de Chine méridionale et de leurs projets de réunification avec Taïwan, la Chine souhaiterait voir une fin rapide à la guerre en Ukraine, qui laisse les deux parties belligérantes viables et élimine toute possibilité de retour au revanchisme dans quelques années.

Cela nous amène à la question de savoir pourquoi Vladimir Poutine pourrait être tenté de chercher à mettre fin à la guerre maintenant, alors que son armée n’a remporté qu’une victoire partielle en libérant de l’occupation ukrainienne les oblasts du Donbass revendiqués par la Russie. La raison doit être vue dans les points du document de position de la Chine sur la guerre daté du 24 février 2023 qui traitent de la sécurité régionale et européenne, qui étaient, somme toute, les raisons de Realpolitik pour lesquelles la Russie a lancé son Opération Militaire Spéciale.

Les termes employés dans le document chinois concernant la création d’une « architecture de sécurité européenne efficace et durable », dans laquelle aucun pays ne cherche à assurer sa sécurité aux dépens des autres, dans laquelle il n’y a pas de « confrontation de blocs » – tout cela constitue l’essence de ce que le Kremlin cherchait à obtenir des États-Unis et de l’OTAN en décembre 2022 ; cela équivaut à un recul de l’OTAN par rapport à sa présence avancée en Europe de l’Est d’après 1997. Il s’agit d’une Ukraine neutre. Cette proposition a été catégoriquement rejetée par Washington et le Kremlin est alors passé à une réponse militaire pour obtenir ce qu’il voulait.

Quant au langage nationaliste romantique que le président russe a utilisé dans son discours à la nation à la veille du lancement de l’invasion de l’Ukraine, il était destiné à la consommation publique, pour vendre le SMO à une nation russe qui n’est pas facilement touchée par les arguments de Realpolitik. Il s’agit là de la partie véritablement négociable du programme russe en Ukraine, pour laquelle des solutions peuvent être trouvées avec l’Ukraine dans des conditions de médiation professionnelle et bienveillante.

Bien entendu, le tout premier point de l’exposé de la position chinoise, qui met l’accent sur le respect de la souveraineté et de l’intégrité territoriale, sera une question épineuse dans toutes les négociations futures auxquelles les Chinois participeront en tant que médiateurs. Comme Nicolai Petro, professeur de sciences politiques à l’université de Rhode Island, et moi-même l’avons proposé en juin 2022 dans The National Interest, une solution consisterait à mettre de côté la souveraineté sur le Donbass pour la régler par un futur référendum après une période de réflexion qui pourrait durer des décennies et pendant laquelle chaque partie gouvernerait le territoire qu’elle détenait au moment de la signature du cessez-le-feu. Cette idée a été récemment développée par John Whitbeck, avocat international basé à Paris (Counterpunch, 22 février 2023). Le service diplomatique hautement professionnel de Pékin sera certainement en mesure de trouver une solution qui satisfera le renard tout en protégeant les poules. Enfin, je souligne qu’en acceptant la médiation chinoise sur la base de leur document de position en 12 points, les Russes démentiraient les affirmations occidentales selon lesquelles le Kremlin n’est pas intéressé par des pourparlers de paix, que la Russie est déterminée à accroître son territoire, y compris en absorbant l’Ukraine avant d’envahir les pays baltes, la Pologne, etc. En détruisant cette propagande écrite à Washington et à Londres, la Russie permettra aux sceptiques au sein de l’OTAN et de l’UE de s’exprimer et de rejeter la poursuite de la guerre par le biais d’un financement illimité et de fournitures militaires à Kiev. Et cela, mes amis, nous mettra sur la voie de la paix.

¿Cuáles serán los resultados de las conversaciones Xi-Putin? ¿Adivinamos?

Si lees el torrente de artículos que los expertos estadounidenses en asuntos exteriores publican diariamente con respecto al curso futuro y el probable resultado de la guerra entre Rusia y Ucrania, se te podría perdonar por pensar que sabes algo. Sin embargo, para bien o para mal, nadie conoce realmente la verdadera correlación de fuerzas sobre el terreno en Ucrania en la actualidad, ni se conocen los méritos estratégicos de las ofensivas / contraofensivas que las partes beligerantes están planeando en secreto y desencadenarán en las próximas semanas. Entonces, si la guerra continuará en los próximos años o terminará en un par de meses con la capitulación de uno de los lados es una incógnita. Lo único que no son conjeturas es que cuanto más se prolongue la guerra, mayores serán las probabilidades de algún error de cálculo fatal por parte de uno u otro de los lados que conduzca a la escalada y la Tercera Guerra Mundial.

La discusión en los medios occidentales sobre la visita del presidente chino Xi a Moscú, que comienza mañana, es igualmente voluble y se basa en muy pocos hechos objetivos. La cuestión primordial que guía a nuestros expertos es la hostilidad hacia ambos líderes y hacia los países que representan. Como no comparto esa hostilidad y tengo algunas ideas que no veo en juego en ningún otro lado, me apartaré de mi práctica habitual y subiré a la línea de golpeo.


Lo que sabemos sobre la próxima visita de Xi a Moscú es que es su primer viaje al extranjero después de su reelección como líder supremo de China y la consolidación de su preeminencia por el nombramiento de sus partidarios cercanos a puestos clave del gobierno. También sabemos que el momento de esta visita se adelantó varias semanas respecto a lo que se había mencionado anteriormente en los medios de comunicación rusos. Y sabemos que es por tres días, que es un bloque sustancial de tiempo, suficiente para tratar algunos temas muy espinosos y no solo para firmar documentos preparados por subordinados.

Los medios rusos dicen que se utilizará para concluir una gran cantidad de acuerdos separados para la implementación de la cooperación estratégica que los países anunciaron hace más de un año. Uno puede imaginar fácilmente que estos acuerdos se centrarán en el sector energético y en proyectos detallados para expandir la inversión china tanto en aguas someras de exploración y producción, como aguas profundas en soluciones logísticas para llevar hidrocarburos rusos al Reino Medio. Probablemente habrá más avances que anunciar en finanzas, es decir, en sistemas de pago que competirán globalmente con SWIFT y en soluciones de cambio de divisas que eliminan efectivamente al dólar de su comercio mutuo.

También se nos dice que los jefes de Estado discutirán directamente asuntos relativos a las relaciones internacionales, y aquí es donde estoy prediciendo un anuncio con respecto a la guerra de Ucrania, a saber, la aceptación formal rusa de la mediación china para llegar a un acuerdo de paz basado en los 12 principios establecidos por Beijing hace varias semanas. Después de todo, ¿quién sería un mejor “intermediario honesto” para facilitar las conversaciones que los chinos?

El mundo quedó atónito hace un par de semanas por la conclusión exitosa de un acuerdo que restableció las relaciones diplomáticas entre Arabia Saudita y la República Islámica de Irán gracias a la mediación de la República Popular China. La importancia de ese acuerdo difícilmente puede ser exagerada: potencialmente pone fin a la guerra civil de Yemen, en la que los saudíes e Irán habían estado dando apoyo militar a sus facciones preferidas en el conflicto. Esa guerra no solo creó un gran sufrimiento humano en Yemen, sino que durante muchos años ha amenazado una estabilidad regional más amplia. El acuerdo abre el camino para la implementación de las cartas de intención saudí-iraníes sobre cooperación comercial y de inversión firmadas a principios del milenio. Esto ayudará enormemente a normalizar la economía iraní, para cancelar el daño causado por las sanciones occidentales unilaterales y para promover la tranquilidad interna dentro de Irán, todo lo cual, a su vez, propiciará la decisión de Teherán de no proseguir la producción de armas nucleares.

La característica sobresaliente del acuerdo entre Arabia Saudita y la República Islámica fue que resultó de la mediación de una “parte interesada”.  Sí, China no era un “intermediario honesto” en el sentido de ser una parte desinteresada sentada en lo alto del Olimpo. Es el mayor importador mundial de petróleo, mientras que Arabia Saudita es el mayor exportador del mundo, y una gran cantidad va a China. E Irán también es un gran vendedor de petróleo a China. Por consiguiente, redundaba en el interés de China que estos dos proveedores no la obligaran a tomar partido en su disputa y resolvieran sus diferencias de manera amistosa. Conociendo ambas partes en profundidad, los chinos estaban bien posicionados para sugerir compromisos que pudieran ser aceptables para todos.

Sugiero que consideremos la hazaña diplomática de China en el Medio Oriente como un ensayo general para el premio aún mayor de mediar para poner fin a la guerra entre Rusia y Ucrania. También en este caso China es una «parte interesada».

En este sentido, tenemos que considerar la estrecha cooperación estratégica entre Beijing y Moscú en las áreas de los ejercicios militares, el comercio mutuo y la diplomacia en las Naciones Unidas y otras instituciones internacionales y confrontarla al comercio y la rumoreada cooperación militar que China tiene con Ucrania en el suministro de algunos componentes críticos. Dada la inminente confrontación con los Estados Unidos sobre su perímetro de defensa en el Mar del Sur de China y sus planes para la reunificación con Taiwán, a China le gustaría ver un final adelantado de la guerra de Ucrania que deje a ambas partes beligerantes viables y elimine cualquier posibilidad de revanchismo revitalizado en unos pocos años.

Eso nos deja con la pregunta de por qué Vladimir Putin podría verse tentado a buscar el fin de la guerra en este momento, cuando su ejército ha logrado solo una victoria parcial en términos de liberar a los óblasts de Donbas reclamados por Rusia de la ocupación ucraniana. La razón debe verse en los puntos del documento de la posición de China sobre la guerra, del 24 de febrero de 2023 que tratan de la seguridad regional y europea, que fueron, después de todo, las razones de la Realpolitik para que Rusia abriera su Operación Militar Especial.

El lenguaje en el documento chino sobre forjar “una arquitectura de seguridad europea efectiva y sostenible”, en la que ningún país persiga su seguridad a expensas de otros, en la que no haya “confrontación de bloques”, todo esto constituye la esencia de lo que el Kremlin estaba pretendiendo lograr con los Estados Unidos y la OTAN en diciembre de 2022; equivale a un retroceso de la OTAN respecto a su avanzada presencia posterior a 1997 en Europa del Este. Equivale a una Ucrania neutral. Esto fue rechazado rotundamente por Washington, y el Kremlin pasó luego a una respuesta militar para obtener lo que quería.

En cuanto al lenguaje nacionalista romántico que el presidente ruso utilizó en su discurso a la nación en vísperas de lanzar la invasión de Ucrania, eso fue para consumo público, para vender el SMO a una nación rusa que no se mueve fácilmente por los argumentos de la Realpolitik. Esta es la parte verdaderamente negociable del programa ruso en Ucrania para la cual se pueden encontrar soluciones con Ucrania en condiciones de mediación profesional y empática.

Por supuesto, el primer punto del documento de la posición china que hace hincapié en el respeto de la soberanía y la integridad territorial será un tema difícil en cualquier negociación futura en la que los chinos sean mediadores. Como el profesor de ciencias políticas de la Universidad de Rhode Island, Nicolai Petro, y yo propusimos en junio de 2022 en The National Interest, una solución sería dejar de lado la soberanía sobre el Donbas para su resolución por algún referéndum futuro después de un período de enfriamiento que podría durar décadas durante el cual cada lado gobernaría sobre el territorio que tenía en el momento de la firma del alto el fuego. Esta idea ha sido desarrollada más recientemente por el abogado internacionalista con sede en París John Whitbeck (Counterpunch, 22 de febrero de 2023). Seguramente el servicio diplomático altamente profesional de Beijing podrá encontrar una solución que satisfaga al zorro y mantenga a los pollos seguros.

Finalmente, señalo que, al aceptar la mediación china basada en su documento de posición de 12 puntos, los rusos estarían desmintiendo las afirmaciones occidentales de que el Kremlin no tiene interés en las conversaciones de paz, que Rusia está empeñada en su engrandecimiento territorial, incluida la absorción de Ucrania, antes de pasar a invadir los países bálticos, Polonia, etc. Al romper esa narrativa propagandística escrita en Washington y Londres, Rusia abrirá el camino para que los escépticos dentro de la OTAN y dentro de la UE encuentren sus voces y rechacen la búsqueda de la guerra a través de fondos abiertos y suministros militares a Kiev. Y eso, amigos, por sí solo nos pondrá en el camino hacia la paz.

Quais serão os resultados das negociações entre Xi e Putin? Vamos adivinhar?

Se se lê a torrente de artigos que especialistas em relações exteriores estadunidenses publicam diariamente, a respeito do curso futuro e do provável resultado da guerra entre a Rússia e a Ucrânia, se pode ser perdoado por pensar que se sabe alguma coisa. No entanto, para melhor ou para pior, ninguém realmente conhece a real correlação de forças em campo na Ucrânia atualmente, nem conhece os méritos estratégicos da ofensiva ou da contra-ofensiva que as partes em guerra estão planejando em segredo e que eclodirá nas próximas semanas. Portanto, se a guerra continuará nos próximos anos ou se terminará em alguns meses, com a capitulação de um dos lados, ninguém sabe. A única coisa que não é adivinhação é que quanto mais a guerra se arrasta, maiores serão as chances de algum erro de cálculo fatal de um ou do outro lado, levando à escalada e à Terceira Guerra Mundial.

A discussão na mídia ocidental sobre a visita do presidente chinês Xi a Moscou, que começa amanhã, é igualmente volúvel e baseada em poucos fatos objetivos. A questão primordial que orienta nossos especialistas é a hostilidade aos líderes e aos países que eles representam. Como não partilho desta hostilidade e tenho algumas idéias que não vejo em nenhum outro lugar, vou me afastar de minha prática habitual e avançar para a linha de pênalti.


O que se sabe sobre a próxima visita de Xi a Moscou é que é sua primeira viagem ao exterior após sua reeleição como líder supremo da China e a consolidação de sua preeminência pela nomeação de seus aliados próximos para cargos importantes no governo. Também sabemos que o momento desta visita foi antecipado em várias semanas, em relação ao que havia sido mencionado anteriormente na mídia russa. E se sabe que é por três dias, que é um tempo considerável, suficiente para se tratar de assuntos muito espinhosos e não apenas para se assinarem documentos elaborados por subordinados.

A mídia russa diz que [a visita] será usada para concluir um grande número de acordos específicos para a implementação da cooperação estratégica que os países anunciaram há mais de um ano. Pode-se facilmente imaginar que estes acordos se concentrarão no setor de energia e em projetos detalhados para se expandir o investimento chinês, tanto em exploração como em produção, quanto em soluções logísticas para se trazerem hidrocarbonetos russos para o Reino do Meio. Provavelmente. haverá mais progresso a anunciar nas finanças, especificamente sobre sistemas de pagamento que competirão globalmente com o SWIFT e em soluções cambiais que efetivamente removam o dólar de seu comércio mútuo.

Também somos informados que os chefes de estado discutirão individualmente questões de relações internacionais.  E é aqui que prevejo um anúncio a respeito da guerra na Ucrânia, ou seja, a aceitação formal pela Rússia da mediação chinesa para se chegar a um acordo de paz construído na base dos 12 princípios estabelecidos por Pequim há várias semanas. Afinal, quem seria melhor ‘parte desinteressada’ para se facilitarem as negociações do que os chineses?

O mundo ficou chocado há algumas semanas com a conclusão bem-sucedida de um acordo que restabelece as relações diplomáticas entre a Arábia Saudita e a República Islâmica do Irã, graças à mediação da República Popular da China. A importância deste acordo dificilmente pode ser exagerada: ele potencialmente põe fim à guerra civil no Iêmen, na qual os sauditas e [os iranianos] vinham dando apoio militar a suas facções preferidas no conflito. Esta guerra não apenas criou grande sofrimento humano no Iêmen, mas por muitos anos ameaçou a estabilidade regional. O acordo abre o caminho para a implementação das cartas de intenções entre os sauditas e os iranianos sobre cooperação comercial e de investimentos, assinadas no início do milênio. Isto contribuirá muito para normalizar a economia iraniana, para cancelar o dano causado pelas sanções unilaterais ocidentais e para promover a tranquilidade doméstica no Irã, o que, por sua vez, colocará pernas sob a decisão de Teerã de não prosseguir com a produção de armas nucleares.

A característica marcante do acordo entre a Arábia Saudita e a República Islâmica foi que ele foi mediado por uma “parte interessada”. Sim, a China não era uma “parte desinteressada”, no sentido de uma parte desinteressada sentada no alto do Olimpo. É o maior importador mundial de petróleo, enquanto que a Arábia Saudita é o maior exportador mundial, grande parte indo para a China. E o Irã também é um grande vendedor para a China. Assim, era do interesse da China que estes dois fornecedores não a obrigassem a tomar partido em sua disputa e resolvessem suas diferenças amigavelmente. Conhecendo ambos os lados profundamente, os chineses estavam bem posicionados para sugerirem compromissos que pudessem ser aceitáveis a todos.

Sugiro que se considere a façanha diplomática da China no Oriente Médio como um ensaio geral para o prêmio ainda maior de mediar o fim da guerra entre a Rússia e a Ucrânia. Aqui, também, a China é uma “parte interessada”.

A este respeito, tem-se de colocar a estreita cooperação estratégica entre Pequim e Moscou nas esferas de exercícios militares, comércio mútuo e diplomacia nas Nações Unidas e noutras instituições internacionais contra o comércio e rumores de cooperação militar que a China mantém com a Ucrânia no fornecimento de alguns componentes críticos. Dado o confronto iminente com os Estados Unidos sobre seu perímetro de defesa no Mar da China Meridional e seus planos de reunificação com Taiwan, a China gostaria de ver um fim rápido para a guerra na Ucrânia que deixe ambas as partes no conflito viáveis e elimine qualquer possibilidade de se reviver o revanchismo em poucos anos.

Isto nos deixa com a questão de porquê Vladimir Putin pode estar tentado a buscar o fim da guerra agora, quando seu exército obteve apenas uma vitória parcial em termos de libertar as províncias do Donbas reivindicadas pela Rússia na ocupação ucraniana. A razão deve ser vista nos pontos do documento de posição da China sobre a guerra, datado de 24 de fevereiro de 2023, que tratam da segurança regional e européia, que foram, afinal, as razões da realpolitik para a Rússia começar sua Operação Militar Especial.

A linguagem do documento chinês sobre se forjar “uma arquitetura de segurança européia efetiva e sustentável”, na qual nenhum país busca sua segurança à custa de outros, na qual não há “confronto em bloco”, tudo isto constitui a essência do que o o Kremlin estava negociando com os Estados Unidos e a OTAN em dezembro de 2022.  Equivale a um retorno da OTAN de sua presença avançada na Europa Oriental após 1997. Isto equivale a uma Ucrânia neutra. Isto foi categoricamente rejeitado por Washington e o Kremlin então partiu para uma resposta militar para conseguir o que queria.

Quanto à linguagem dum nacionalismo romântico que o Presidente russo usou em seu discurso à nação, na véspera do início da invasão da Ucrânia, era populismo, para se vender a Operação Militar Especial a uma nação russa que não se comove facilmente com os argumentos da realpolitik. Esta é a parte verdadeiramente negociável do programa russo na Ucrânia, para a qual podem ser encontradas soluções com a Ucrânia em condições de mediação profissional e empática.

É claro que o primeiro ponto do documento de posição chinês, que enfatiza o respeito à soberania e à integridade territorial, será uma questão difícil em qualquer negociação futura em que os chineses sejam mediadores. Como Nicolai Petro, professor de ciência política da Universidade de Rhode Island, e eu propusemos em junho de 2022 em The National Interest, uma solução seria deixar de lado a soberania sobre o Donbas, para solução por algum referendo futuro após um período de esfriamento que poderia durar décadas, durante o qual cada lado governaria o território que ocupava na assinatura do cessar-fogo. Esta idéia foi desenvolvida recentemente pelo advogado internacional baseado em Paris, John Whitbeck (Counterpunch, 22 de fevereiro de 2023). Certamente o serviço diplomático altamente profissional de Pequim será capaz de encontrar uma solução que satisfaça a raposa e mantenha as galinhas seguras.

Finalmente, indico que, ao aceitar a mediação chinesa com base em seu documento de posição de 12 pontos, os russos estariam desmentindo as afirmações ocidentais de que o Kremlin não tem interesse em negociações de paz, que a Rússia está empenhada em seu engrandecimento territorial, incluindo a absorção da Ucrânia, antes de avançar para invadir o Báltico, a Polônia, etc. Ao esmagar a narrativa de propaganda escrita em Washington e em Londres, a Rússia abrirá caminho para aqueles dentro da OTAN e da UE que duvidam dela encontrarem suas vozes e rejeitarem a continuação da guerra por meio de financiamento e de suprimentos militares ilimitados para Kiev. E isto, amigos, por si só, nos colocará no caminho da paz.

27 thoughts on “What will be the results of the Xi-Putin talks? Shall we guess?

  1. Bonjour du Québec, M. Doctorow.

    Ce qui me frappe le plus dans les analyses géopolitiques lues et vues sur Internet (celles nuancées, dont les vôtres, i.e. qui ne souffrent pas de russophobie primaire ni de chauvinisme occidental) c’est l’absence complète de toute référence à la crise climatique. Diplomate, vous avez à cœur la paix entre les peuples… elle sera bien difficile à conserver avec la flambée des prix de la nourriture qui pointe déjà, les migrations massives, les pénuries d’eau potable, etc… toutes annoncées mais ignorées par nos gouvernements belliqueux.


  2. I certainly agree that Xi and Putin will propose something, and it will be more than fair to the Ukraine, given recent history. That said, I do not understand how Russia can acquiesce to any future referendums in the new oblasts. It is my understanding that under Russian law, these territories cannot ever be ceded. New laws could be written of course, but if this was done, what would be the electoral results for Putin and his party? I suspect that Russians would be incredibly angry over such a concession, and do not consider it likely.
    Also, although I believe Russian attempts to negotiate will be sincere, I also believe that the US will either force Ukraine to simply deny negotiations citing unrealistic preconditions, or that they will be sabotaged in some other way during the process. The US is simply blinded by bigotry and anger over this challenge to it’s supposed hegemonic authority (Batshit crazy, in short). Ukrainian leadership has a huge problem, given that the bulk of their wealth is in western banks. We know Zelensky himself is a billionaire (see Panama Papers) and has property all through the western nations, and he is never going to give that up. Russia or China would have to buy Ukrainian leadership off in a similar manner, to get them to accede to any proposals, and I doubt the Chinese or Russian populations would be supportive of that. Ukrainian leadership has absolutely no incentives to save their country. Their incentives all lie with the west, so unfortunately, I do not see any attempts to negotiate ever being successful.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, my understanding is that, since July 1, 2020, it is unconstitutional to cede any part of Russian territory to a foreign power, and that, moreover, the Russian president is duty bound to defend Russian territory. So, on the face of it, certain possibilities are off the table given that, under Russian law, the two Donbass republics, plus the Kherson and Zaporizhzhia oblasts are part of Russia. Independent of this, Gilbert’s final two sentences seem to be extreme examples of wishful thinking.


      1. Ceding the new territories would be experienced by its population as well as Russians at large as treachery. It is politically impossible.


  3. Sorry, english version
    The problem with your argument about the Chinese peace plan is that there are no audible skeptics in Europe. Anyone who deviates from the Washington discourse is immediately pilloried.
    It is certainly possible that Moscow will accept the Chinese peace plan and declare itself committed to the process, but it will be to find that the American side, followed by its European lackeys, will not accept it. Moreover, even Beijing should not be too fooled by the outcome of its proposal. Is it not in China’s interest that the proxy war that the US is waging against Russia should be prolonged in order to exhaust US and NATO resources and exasperate Western populations, while allowing China to continue modernizing its army?
    It seems to me more realistic to think that China and Russia will also, behind the scenes, develop the support that Beijing can give Moscow in its war against Washington via Ukraine.


  4. The US is against any potential efforts by China to broker a deal between Russia and Ukraine. The US and Ukraine even refused a temporary ceasefire effort that Russia suggested over Christmas 2022, i seem to recall. There’s another problem, which is that many of us are aware that America never honours agreements, even legal treaties. It has a history of abandoning legal treaties whenever it likes. It’s unlikely Russia can trust America when it comes to agreements over the Donbass, and other Ukraine regions where millions of Russians have suffered military attacks and all sorts of discrimination and deprivation for 9 years.
    But the meeting between the Russian and Chinese leaders shows the quite tiny western bloc that things are changing; they can’t push all countries around by force as they have done for too long.


  5. One of the biggest difficulties is America’s unpredictableness.
    Firstly America has shown itself to be a rogue nation in international affairs. But it could at any stage find some perspective and behave decently.
    Secondly American’s leaders don’t seem to be acting in the name of national interest. The Southern border is porous, the nation’s infrastructure is crumbling and I have my fears about the vaccine.
    America’s actions lack reason. Or to put it another way, who is running America’s policies, domestic or international? Until we know what America’s motivations (and who their leaders) are it is very difficult to know what they want or might do.


  6. The two vaunted principles of international law (sovereignty & territorial integrity) are not themselves Real-politischer constructs, in fact, they are incoherent concepts, drawn up as nation-state equivalents to the concepts of autonomy & bodily integrity from human rights theory.

    Territorial integrity does not exist. If you lose a leg or a head you are not whole. Countries have often lost or gained strips of land, and they never turn the nation-state into a cripple or an invalid: all existing countries were born not as integral wholes, but by historical processes of assimilation and accretion. As for sovereignty, it vies with the also acknowledged principle of self-determination; the latter actually democratic principle is in practice always overruled. Both concepts in fact have their entire content in US fiat (Golan Heights, Kosovo; compare to Kurds or Catalans).


    1. Well said. And I agree with Gilbert that this is a Realpolitik (or Great Powers) contest. In which case, the powers involved may decide what is or is not negotiable. International law is itself imaginary, as there is no international ‘state’ to which all nations belong and which has the coercive power to enforce such law. And in my own view, in a practical sense, everything is negotiable.


  7. This summit has turned out to be about strengthening economic ties, and probably about some under-the-table Chinese aid in the form of intermediate goods for Russia’s MIC.

    The frenzied response from the West (to put it mildly, and including the sending of depleted uranium shells from the UK and the visit to Kiev of the Japanese PM, both meant to upstage the summit) is the bigger story imo. I’m still not sure of the cause – well in Japan’s case it is simple opportunism to turn itself back into a manufacturing & trade hub for the West in the great bifucuration – but in the West, I don’t know if it is a kind of moral panic, or if there is worry that Ukraine is losing the war. I lean toward moral panic.

    Every few days, some now escalation, Putin himself indicted as a war criminal, then a drone attack on Northern Crimea, then sending frickin depleted uranium ammunition to skyrocket the cancer rates in Russia’s new territories. Meanwhile Russia protests, complains of the unfairness, and carries on its war without change. Russia under Putin realistically has no red lines. That has been established beyond a reasonable doubt I think. Not the timeline I would have expected in 2021


    1. And likely vice-versa technical co-operation from Russia for China’s MIC, especially with regard to missile technology, Air Defense, and other aeronautical expertise and perhaps military product. China needs to gear up to face off against US plans for naval containment.


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  9. News of the uranium-depleted ammunitions is horrible. I first read it in Sean’s comment then articles started appearing everywhere. But does anyone have exact information on the level of toxicity? A European report denies that such weapons are toxic, or they would be forbidden. On the other hand the CND has for a while asked to discontinue them. The Russian reaction equals them to nuclear weapons, something that the UK MoD has dismissed. So much evil!


  10. Whatever the ‘European report’ says, the Russians make reference to the use of depleted uranium bombs in the NATO assault on Serbia in 1998-99. The Serbs later reported heightened incidence of cancers attributable to these bombs. The Russians refuse to allow use of such weapons on territory that they consider to be an integral part of the Russian Federation.


  11. from Kay in Wellington, New Zealand –
    British authorities say they will send shells containing depleted uranium (DU) to Ukraine because of their “improved efficiency against armored vehicles.”
    Like robotic, humanity-less ghouls, the British, who liberally used DU in Iraq, announced this in March 2023, the 20th anniversary of the monstrous US/UK illegal “Shock and Awe,” attack on Iraq, which killed many thousands of civilians in apartment buildings, just on the first day. The Russian Embassy in the UK has warned against supplying Kiev with DU munitions, saying it will escalate the conflict further. The radioactivity, high toxicity and carcinogenicity of such weapons are well-known, the embassy said.

    Britain knows this! Does President Zelensky know what it will do to the country and its people? Iraq’s Minister of Environment admitted in July 23, 2007 in Cairo that “at least 350 sites in Iraq are contaminated with (DU).” She said the nation is facing a tremendous number of cancer cases and called for the international community to help Iraq cope with the problem.

    Professor Souad N. Al-Azzawi reports that the US and UK administrations were using Depleted Uranium weapons against civilians and the environment of Iraq since 1991. “A few years after exposure to (DU) contamination, multifold increase of malignancies, congenital malformations, miscarriages, children with leukemia, and sterility cases have been registered in suburb areas of Basrah and other surrounding areas. Similar problems appeared in Falluja, where illegal weapons were also used intensively in the 2004 attack of occupation forces on the city.”
    “Intentional denial and refusal of the US and UK administrations to release any information about the types, locations, and amounts of DU weapon used against Iraq have caused additional radioactive doses, and health damages to the people in contaminated areas. Both administrations should be held responsible for this crime.”
    “UN resolutions since 1996 called DU weaponry “incompatible” (i.e. illegal) under existing humanitarian law and human rights [UN Doc. E/CN.4/Sub.2/1997/27 and additions; E/CN.4/Sub.2/2002/38 and E/CN.4/Sub.2/2003/35]
    “On March 23rd, 2007, the Belgian Chamber Commission on National Defense voted unanimously in favor of banning the use of DU ammunitions and armor plates [30].
    – “On November 1, 2008, a UN committee passed a resolution with an overwhelming majority, highlighting concerns over the military use of Uranium. The resolution entitled “Effects of the use of armaments and ammunitions containing Depleted Uranium 1” urges the UN member states to re-examine the health hazards posed by the use of Uranium weapons.
    – “In September 2009, a British jury at Smethwick Council House ruled that DU was the likely cause of death of Gulf War veteran Stuart Dysan in June 2008. Dyson had been a Lance Corporal with the Royal Pioneer Corps and had cleaned tanks after the 1991 Gulf War. He developed colon cancer that killed him last year [33].”
    The European Parliament on 22nd of May 2008 passed its fourth resolution against the use Uranium weapons. MEP’s have called for EU and NATO-wide moratorium and global ban.

    For full details see: Iraq War Remembrance, March 20 2023 – How the U.S. Contaminated Iraq with Depleted Uranium Unspoken War Crimes By Prof Souad N. Al-Azzawi Iraq War Remembrance, March 20, 2023: How the U.S. Contaminated Iraq with Depleted Uranium – Global Research Global Research – Centre for Research on Globalization Global Research, March 21, 2023 – 8 November 2009


    1. Thank you. This is horrendous. Can it be stopped? This crime is almost going unnoticed in the British press, so I doubt the public will react. You need to search for this piece of news! This British government IS made of ghouls, only one needs to see what they are doing to migrants and healthcare. But other European newspapers are talking about the risks of these weapons. Can they stop Britain?


  12. I see Sean’s comment disappeared. But I’m serious: can it be stopped? There are influential people in this blog. Can NGOs be involved? Can a petition be sent to stop the shipment of these weapons? It will affect civilians and Europe as a whole, as food produced in Ukraine will be contaminated.


    1. try this:
      An Appeal of the participants of the conference
      Confidence Building Measures in the Face of Sharp Polarization in Europe

      Brussels, European Parliament, March 20, 2023

      STOP THE WAR !

      The war in Ukraine continues unabated, causing vast destruction to Ukraine’s people and its infrastructure, as well as enormous damage to the global economy. If the fighting continues, Ukraine will soon be a depopulated, devastated country.

      Many people throughout Europe fear an escalation of the war. They fear for their future and that of their children.
      The prolongation of the Ukrainian conflict is increasing the risk of nuclear, ecological, and socio-economic global disaster, and potentially risking the annihilation of humanity.
      This is why we consider it of utmost urgency to call for an immediate ceasefire and for a start of negotiations accompanied by the lifting of sanctions and a halt to the arming of Ukraine. Negotiating does not mean capitulating. Negotiating means making compromises. With the aim of preventing hundreds of thousands more deaths, or worse.
      We call on all governments to stop the escalation of arms deliveries. Now! Every day this war continues costs up to 1,000 more lives – and brings us closer to World War 3.
      There is no more important task for humanity today than to stop our descent towards disaster!
      We call on the citizens of the world, on all social movements, intellectuals, trade unions, religious communities, and governments to act firmly in this direction and to coordinate their efforts to achieve lasting peace.

      • Attila Antal (Hungary), Editorial board of quarterly journal Eszmélet/Consciousness
      • Pino Cabras (Italy), former Member of Parliament, editor of online portal Megachip
      • Aleksandar Ciric (Serbia), Board Member, Association of Lawyers of Black see – Caspian see regions
      • Michel Collon (Belgium), journalist, Director of Investig’ Action
      • Clare Daly (Ireland), Member of the European Parliament
      • Gilbert Doctorow (Belgium), political analyst, writer
      • Franceska Donato (Italy), Member of the European Parliament
      • Leo Gabriel (Austria), Member of the International Council of the World Social Forum
      • Marcel de Graaff (Netherlands), Member of the European Parliament
      • Inaki Irazabalbeitia (Basque country), former Member of the European Parliament
      • Dimitris Konstantakopoulos (Greece), journalist, editor of online portal Defend Democracy Press
      • Josifs Korens (Latvia), President, International Mouvement Pour un Futur Sans Fascisme
      • Vladimirs Lindermans (Latvia), journalist, publicist
      • Miroslav Radacovsky (Slovakia), Member of the European Parliament
      • Mick Wallace (Ireland), Member of the European Parliament
      • Zahari Zahariev (Bulgaria), President, Slavyani Foundation
      • Tatjana Zdanoka (Latvia), Member of the European Parliament


  13. We all want the Ukraine war to stop. I’m glad there’s been a response to some knowledge about DU in the information I sent through a few hours ago on the terrible inter-generational damage inflicted on people by Western countries that used DU weapons in their other wars against countries they want to dominate. This is usually because the country has resources like oil that mendacious western countries want to possess.
    I’m not sure that having a petition against the war will work. Why not at least refer in the petition to this diabolical offer of the UK, to send these banned DU weapons, and the multigenerational damage done to humanity that this will mean, that will also affect people in the Donbass region and Crimea, that Russia is trying to protect. Is Britain just trying to get rid of their banned weapons by sending them to Ukraine?
    Britain and the US/EU need to be shamed for their terrible wars. – Instead they try always to shame Russia, e.g. the ridiculous arrest President Putin warrant, when he is simply trying to protect people from the war the US and EU started, not just in the US orchestrated coup against the democratically elected govt in Ukraine govt in Feb 2014, but by the expansion of NATO and nuclear weapons right up to Russia’s borders. That is outrageous and against the NPT!
    There is more about DU that i want to read up on. I hope others will read the entire article i referred to. I only presented a little on it. We have to lament and rail against all the west’s atrocious wars against so many countries. And refer to the terrible damage. of DU and the damage done to all hte countries they have attacked, and destroyed, killing many millions of people.


    1. I agree, I was thinking the same just now. The petition must first and foremost be about NOT sending DU weapons. I know for instance that many politicians in various countries oppose that shipment even if they want to continue supporting Ukraine. bUt those weapons are something else, and the CND has already slammed the UK decision of sending them.


  14. Thanks Elena, glad we are on same page about need to at least have some details in the petition on DU as banned weapons. I don’t understand why the live link to the DU article won’t work – Iraq War Remembrance, March 20, 2023: How the U.S. Contaminated Iraq with Depleted Uranium – Global ResearchGlobal Research – Centre for Research on Globalization. But you can find it on the web, and there’s another article referred to in the article.
    Wonder what Zelensky would think if he knew that DU weapons also kill the troops who handle or deliver them to their “enemies”? It accentuates the “fighting to the last now potentially nuked forever Ukranian.
    The timing of UK’s announcement of their poisonous DU gift to Ukraine, the 20th anniversary of the horrendous start to the genocidal 20-year war on Iraq, is classic western hypocrisy-induced amnesia, mixed with racism. We simply don’t concern ourselves with those millions of Arabs and others killed by our wars over the past 20 years. They don’t matter at all, apparently.
    Why aren’t western leaders who have killed millions of people in wars of aggression issued with warrants for their arrest? The ICC in previous years was threatened by America, for wanting to investigate crimes in Afghanistan and Iraq.
    Instead of being appalled by our wars, we assume massive outrage and condemnation of Russia for its very much provoked to the point of forced intervention in Ukraine to protect those about to be killed by a massive military attack in February 2022, by an anti-Russia neo-hazi regime, illegally imposed by the US and its EU allies.
    Then we are delighted when President Putin is issued with an arrest warrant by the now totally discredited ICC for protecting people, which is what a good leader will do.
    And what about the anniversary of the shockingly awful and illegal bombing of Libya and tortuous killing of its leader Gaddafi? What about the anniversary later this year of the totally illegal bombing of Afghanistan by the barbaric western allies and all the killing in that sad country, even being denied its banking assets by tyrannical, tortuous America?


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