Ultima Thule

In ancient times the northernmost region of the habitable world - hence, any distant, unknown or mysterious land.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Axis of Evil?

By Aussiegirl

Russia sees a new "Axis of Evil" forming under the umbrella of the proposed revival of the GUUAM pact between Georgia, Ukraine, Moldova and several other former Soviet countries, and suggests that "non-standard methods", which can't help but sound ominous, be applied to counter the threat, according to the Russian newspaper Kommersant.

Depends on whose ox is being gored, I suppose. It wasn't Putin who was recently poisoned and nearly assassinated in a failed car bombing. Yushchenko has not interfered in any way in Russia's internal business the way Putin interfered in the recent Ukrainian elections, by actively campaigning for his chosen candidate and then prematurely congratulating Yanukovych before the votes had even been tallied. But this goes to show the paranoia and isolation under which the current Russian regime operates -- a state of mind and attitude which sounds particularly hostile and defensive.

Particularly troubling to me are references to suggestions made about possible military moves made on a pretext of "humanitarian disasters" in the disputed border regions of the Prednistrovie (Transdneister) and Georgia and suggestions to "revise borders" as a way of triggering concerns in Lithuania, Poland, Ukraine or Moldova.

Wouldn't it be simpler to just get along -- as the liberals are always telling us? None of these countries has expressed any hostile intent towards Russia, they merely want to be free to determine their own policies and destinies free of Russian meddling. This is somewhat akin to a bully whining and sniveling and planning retribution because his victims have banded together to walk to school in a group for self protection.

The translation here is a bit awkward, so I may be misunderstanding some fine and subtle point of policy. But knowing the original language as I do (I do read some Russian but not fluently enought to translate) but still -- Ukrainian and Russian are similar enough that I think I can glean what the original language stated from the awkward direct and non-idiomatic translation here. Read it and judge for yourself.

Axis of Evil Shaping Against Moscow

Rose-orange Georgia, Ukraine and Moldova are establishing an anti-Russian tie-up to force Moscow from Caucasus and Pridnestrovie, analysts say quoted by the RBC news agency.

Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili arrived in Moldova last night. In Kishinev, Saakashvili held talks with Moldova's President Vladimir Voronin. The parties canvassed establishing cooperation under the GUUAM bloc, which unites Georgia, Ukraine, Moldova, Uzbekistan and Azerbaijan (membership of the last two countries is formal), to oppose "Russia's imperialism" in the region. Only three parties appear aggressively involved in consultations.

The day before yesterday, Voronin went to Kiev to negotiate with Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko. By mere chance, the visit of Moldova's leader coincided with the tour of the new Georgian PM Zurab Nogaideli. Top officials have never bothered to conceal the target of GUUAM revival. The main highlights are forcing Russia from the Caucasus and Pridnestrovie; establishment of transport corridors, going the round of Russia. Therefore, the parties actually endeavor to create a sanitary corridor to isolate Russia from Europe and Transcaucasia. In view of the traditionally weak foreign policy of Russia, Moscow is unable to rebuff, analysts told RBC. The only way out is stop dancing to someone else's pipe and apply "nonstandard methods."

. . . Meanwhile, the battle might turn out not so losing for Russia. "The key thing is not to repeat mistakes made in Ukraine and Abkhazia, i.e. not to get involved in the 'color' revolutions," Borovikov said. Russia must deliver unusual response. For instance, it may denounce Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact and offer the neighbors to revise borders, in a move to trigger concerns in Lithuania, Poland, Ukraine and Moldova. Or Russian military bases could be assigned to the Emergency Ministry, which may be fighting "disastrous humanitarian situation" and terrorism in Georgia and Pridnestrovie, Borovikov offered. Such point of view is shared by Alexander Sobyanin, head of the strategic planning service at the Association of Frontier Cooperation. "Russia is weak. We must act in full conformity with the Western rhetoric, but under our own, not other's rules," Sobyanin specified.


At 7:05 PM, Anonymous One Eyed Cat said...

Putin behaves like an increasingly cornered animal. Revolutions are transpiring at such breakneck speeds that I really can't afford to stop updating over spring break!


At 8:04 PM, Blogger Timothy Birdnow said...

I fear (as I know you do, Aussiegirl) an alignmen between Russia, China, North Korea, and Iran forming. We are in a World War now, but we could see far worse if this happens. The Russians are becoming increasingly agitated, and the danger is increasing daily.

These are strange times we live in.

At 8:22 PM, Blogger Aussiegirl said...

Dittoes on both excellent comments. I can hardly keep up with all the great articles I'm finding, and with my slow dial-up (high-speed connection imminent) it's really time consuming, but the times are so momentous and events are moving so rapidly we can't take time off from the barricades.

And Tim, you and I share these concerns, and I haven't seen them expressed in too many places -- so we may be prophetic in this -- or we are missing something. However, with the world re-alligning itself so rapidly we have no idea what future alliances are going to look like. The old East/West split is long gone, the EurocRATS are increasinlyg irrelevant and are reluctantly bringing up the rear as they admit that maybe Bush's policy is bearing fruit, (we'll see how long it takes them to recast it in their usual way to Bush was just a lucky dope in the right place at the right time -- ala Duncehead Reagan. But witness the emerging alliance of the former Soviet States -- and in my mind they would do better to hang together as they have more in common, being that they are a "New Europe" -- as opposed to attaching themselves to the sinking anchor which is the European Union. Pretty soon we are going to see an alliance of new more democratic Arab States which will put pressure on the old dictators in that part of the world -- and Osama bin Laden cries out in desperation -- "Attack, Attack -- attack the United States."

Sure -- they could pull off a few nasty, even catastrophic attacks -- but what will they gain by it? I think we have reached a tipping point in history that is just so amazing to witness -- I'm just high and heady with it all -- it's better than vodka -- (well -- you know) -- Wow - I've gone on so I might as well post this and your comments on the main board. Thanks for the comments guys, it lets me know that someone's reading.


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