More on Ukraine

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More on Ukraine, from two Irish magazines. Click on titles for the full articles.

Red Lines bring High Noon to Ukraine
“I don’t accept anybody’s red lines!” U.S. President Joe Biden, December 4, 2021, Washington.

“As a citizen of Russia and the head of the Russian state I have to ask myself: Why would we want a world without Russia?” Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The foreign policy of the United States has lately consisted of the assertion of red lines – US red lines – across the world. These red lines are boundaries which the current US President has decided other states should not cross – or else! In asserting these red lines it was naturally assumed in the White House that other powers did not have red lines and that such things only applied to states other than the United States. It came as something of a surprise, therefore, when Russia suddenly declared that it too had red lines, that the US and associated states should also not cross. And that is how the High Noon situation in Ukraine has come about.
Ukraine: Neutrality Or Atlanticism
In the wake of Russia’s recognition of Luhansk and Donetsk and its subsequent invasion of Ukraine, the EU has finally capitulated to Atlanticism—subservience to the US in ideological and geopolitical matters. After many years of foot dragging, Germany and other EU Member States are now complying with instructions from across the Atlantic. Economic ties with Russia are being phased out and military spending is being increased to the level America expects of its NATO allies. The idea that Brexit would cause the remaining 27 states of the EU to follow a course independently of the US and Britain, that Europe would become a new pole in a brave new multipolar world, is no longer credible.

In mild defiance of the US, Angela Merkel persisted for years with the construction of Nord Stream 2, a set of gas pipelines bringing Russian gas to Germany, owned by a subsidiary of a Russian state company. Gazprom. At a cost of €6.6 billion the project was completed in 2021 but the new Social Democratic Chancellor, Olaf Schulz, decreed that its certification should be cancelled when Vladimir Putin officially recognised the two separatist entities in Eastern Ukraine on the 21st of February. Following that initiative, Schulz’s Government has set about closing down the Nord Stream 1 gas pipelines. They will be replaced by importing Liquid Natural Gas from Qatar and the US and perhaps by reverting to coal-fired and nuclear forms of energy.

The other watershed change being implemented by the new German Government is that a once-off fund of €100 billion is being created to rebuild the German army, and annual public expenditure on the military is to be increased beyond the 2 per cent of Gross Domestic Product required by NATO. The anti-militarist orientation of German politics dating from 1945 has been abandoned.

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