The dispute between Russia and the new Ukrainian government covers several broad areas of dispute, and the German government is reportedly pushing a “grand bargain” sort of deal to settle everything at once, ending the crisis outright.
The German interest is primarily economic. At present Ukraine has no gas deal with Russia’s Gazprom company, and the risk is that later this year Ukraine’s stockpile will run out, they’ll start siphoning, and Gazprom will be forced to stop using the pipeline, which supplies a large portion of Europe with natural gas, including Germany. It could be a cold winter without this.
A key portion of the plan would be to get Gazprom and Ukraine’s Naftogaz to agree to a long-term deal, reportedly roughly in line with what Russia was offering when talks broke down.
On the issue of East Ukraine, Russia would agree to stop backing the separatists there, in return for a promise of significant reforms in the Ukrainian government to grant the region more autonomy. Again, this was roughly what Russia was pushing months ago.
Ukraine would formally promise not to ever join NATO, and Russia would agree not to object to increased Ukrainian trade with the European Union.
Last but not least, Russia would agree to a “financial aid” package of cash worth what Ukraine would have gotten in rent for the remaining years of its Sevastopol base deal, and in return the international community would recognize Crimea’s secession earlier this year as legal, as well as its accession into the Russian Federation.
The deal has reportedly been on the table for awhile, and is said to be the only game in town, with no real alternatives being present, the primary obstacles are Ukraine’s opposition to making a deal with Russia, Russia’s reluctance to commit to aid to a government that is openly hostile, and the US opposition to international recognition of Crimea’s accession into Russia.
19 thoughts on “Germany Pushes Broad Plan to Settle Russia-Ukraine Dispute”
Glad to read this. Not quite in line what the buffoons in the German government have been babbling about–sanctions, blame Putin and the like. Sounds like a good deal, but better hurry, before the Ukrainian war criminals complete their ethnic cleansing of the Eastern parts. Waiting till it's winter and they need that Russian gas might be too late for them.
Expect neocon infested Washington to heavily lean on Merkel and Germany and scuttle any possible deal as the "exceptional" and "indispensable" US wants chaos and war.
This deal is three months old and the US backed Nazi junta has, after a relentless killing spree and after commiting multiple crimes against humanity, reach a dead end.
There is of course no sign that Novorossiya will ever accept that and accept living under a Nazi regime in any shape or form. There was a possibility for such a deal before they sent in death squad arsonists in Odessa, after that, they (with US consent) have been escalating the war on what they call "subhumans" (untermenschen) rats and Moskals with whatever perversity in their arsenal incl. Grad missiles and worse. With Nudelmans (Nulands) "Yat´s" leaving the sinking ship more will follow since they both economical and militarily are exhausted, the anti-fascist self defence are winning and could well be marsching to liberate Kiev before the years end. The Nazi junta and Poroshenko will be ripe for the Tribunal before that.
A more realistic scenario, given that the US and NATO wont start a WW3 over ukraine and since Germany (EU) is firmly in the US pocket and this is a US escalating and very aggressive war against Russia to save the Dollar and it´s hegemony, is that Russia (and possibly some other states within BRICS and the free world) is about to recognize Novorossiya which would allow her legally to send in the troops to protect it and end the slaughter. The Junta will survive two month maximum and ukraine is pretty much dead as such.
Sounds pretty good but
"Ukraine would formally promise not to ever join NATO"
This will scupper the deal — it's a no-go area for the US.
Unfortunately, NATO membership has become moot, as there's a Senate bill to make Ukraine a "US ally," which would legitimate the stationing of US troops there and do an end run around NATO. The situation is very unpredictable and dangerous, especially with the recent adoption by the US of a first use doctrine and the belief of many military brass and neo-cons that the US can "win" a pre-emptive nuclear war with a surprise first strike.
A spokesman for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office said they had no knowledge of such negotiations taking place. However, the spokesman said he thought it highly unlikely that either the US or UK would agree to recognising Russian control over Crimea. There was no one available at the German embassy’s press office yesterday.
The UK Cameroon having a morning glory about how the UK is still relevant today and will stand up against Russia like it did against Germany in WWI by guaranteeing the neutrality of Belgium (he actually said that – either he is lying or historically incompetent), this deal is off the table.
Some reference facts about this would add to the credibility to what otherwise is an optimistic scenario.
Can Putin trust an assurance that Ukraine will never become a NATO member? After all, Gorbachev got taken to the cleaners on the assurance that there would be no further NATO expansion if Germany were united. How about an iron-clad guarantee that there will be no further expansion of NATO membership PERIOD?
Two of those obstacles seem to me to be insurmountable.
Whether the US is opposed to international recognition of the Crimean vote to secede from Ukraine, it seemed legal (I don't know Russian/Ukrainian law) and besides, we haven't heard anything from the affected Crimean citizens since so they seem to be happy. And it's really none of the US' business.
Sounds like a pretty reasonable deal, but the criminals in Washington DC will probably try to torpedo it. As to NATO, I would be more impressed with the German deal if the Germans also threw in the provision that they also would leave NATO. They should at least add a credible threat to do so, if they don't get their gold from the Federal Reserve, heh.
But I guess one could add too many bells and whistles to this proposal.
The deal seems reasonable but the US government is clearly out for war.
Such a deal is indeed "the only game in town" and the end result will probably look more or less like that. Interesting to note that European leaders see no point in having Ukraine in NATO, unless, of course, Russia joins at the same time. The proiblem is, though, can Putin deliver? Does he actually control the private contractors who are arming, training and backing the rebels? I have long suspected that precisely that is Putin's problem. As Mr Ditz says, this, very obvious, deal has been on the table for a long time. The other problem is the classic American one: Israel. NATO's credibility has taken a pounding. That has not gone unnoticed in the Middle East and a terrified Israel is now lashing out wildly in blind panic in Gaza trying (and failing) to prove that it doesn't need American protection. Israel would no doubt prefer to see Putin definitively clobbered and European shoulder-shrugging indifference to Ukrainian membership of the alliance is hardly what they want.
Thanks for picking up this story.
Keep up the great work, Mr. Ditz.
Not only should there be no NATO expansion, there should be no more NATO. It should be dissolved. So should other military alliances the USA has. Every nation should spend its own money and resources on their militaries.
I'm sorry but what does this crisis have to do with the U.S.? Obviously Ukraine and Russia will eventually have to come to some sort of agreement about their future relations, especially in light of Russia's perceived backing of the separatists, the gas dispute and possible NATO membership. And then there's the EU and the Ukrainian government's wish to align towards them. All of these actors have a vested interest in seeing a stable Ukraine.
But the U.S.? All they seem to want to do is punish Russia for not capitulating completely to their will and demands. Thereby throwing a monkey wrench in these whole talks, continuing the destabilisation of Ukraine. In a crisis they have absolutely no interests in. (seemingly so, until you count world domination as granting them an "interest" in any country on the planet, of course)
Back in February, both the US and UK immediately recognized the coup government as "legitimate" even as the unconstitutional seizure of power scuttled a mediated agreement sponsored in part by Germany. Both the US and UK knew full well that sponsorship of the coup and the empowerment of neo-fascist elements in the new government would result in Russian moves in Crimea – policy papers written in the past decade told them exactly that. So the US and UK's "outrage" over Crimea has been a sort of theatrical embellishment to predetermined policy. Unlike Germany, neither the US or UK face a cold winter without Russian gas and so are free to continue their policy of isolating Russia from Europe.
Germany's problem is that two of its NATO partners – including top dog US – are committed to instability in Ukraine as policy, and that there is no rational actor in the Ukraine government to work with, as the empowered neo-fascist rump is fanatically committed to hostility to all things Russian.
Germany and other European countries could override the “indispensable” US and accomplish this. Obama/Biden/Kerry and Hillary have discredited themselves to the level of the neocons in their greed-driven geopolitical strategy and war-mongering, until now the US.has zero credibility in foreign policy.
The British gov’t is supportive of the US installed regime in Kiev, but it appears the British press is less eager to support the Obama Administration’s russophobic hysteria and propaganda. The Telegraph accepts without question that MH17 was accidentally targeted by separatists — but assign culpability to US and Ukrainian failures as well. Too bad the article stops short of blaming US interference for the coup and subsequent excesses of the puppet government for creating the volatile situation in the first place!
This is a good article with decent analysis, but Jason's second paragraph opener "The German interest is primarily economic" suggests other national interests are based on something other than "primarily economic interest". They are not. Economic interest is at the heart of the matter. It always has been and always will be.
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