Just meeting Putin with permission – the US must be careful to offer more

US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman, left, and Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov appear in security on Monday at the United States Mission in Geneva. (Denis Balibouse / Associated Press)

On Monday, Vladimir Putin announced this The Russian “peacekeepers” will remain in Kazakhstan “for a short time.” Russia’s lifelong president has sent police to Central Asia to help end the violence that has threatened the dictatorial regime there.

Putin made the remarks at a meeting of the Collective Security Treaty Organization, the New York Times he explained as “a similar NATO organization comprising six countries from the former Soviet Union.”

I bring this up so I don’t get carried away by radio criticism but I show how easy it is to adopt Russian lies and misconceptions by discussing relations with Russia and the ruling elite in general. Yes, CSTO is, like NATO, a military alliance, but the equality ends there. Commitment to the principles of democracy is essential for NATO membership. None of the CSTO members – Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan – are democratic. Armenia is very close; Freedom House calls it a “slightly cohesive dictatorship” with a “Democracy Score” of 33 per cent. The rest are “integrated dictatorial regimes.”

In short, the CSTO is a tyrannical club in which the rulers agree to protect each other in power, in addition to internal threats from their own people. NATO will not send troops to member states to support failed governments.

The CSTO is Putin’s tool to rebuild the lost Soviet Union.

Putin uses another weapon at the very end: the military, or the threat. That is what they are doing in Ukraine. Putin sent about 100,000 soldiers on the Ukrainian border in preparation for a possible attack on neighboring Russia. The US and Russia are in Geneva this week to find a solution to Putin’s crisis.

It is rumored that the US will meet with Putin to discuss the embassy’s decision and approval. He prefers powerful meetings like this one because he refutes the government’s false claims about Russia’s popularity. The fact that Ukraine itself has been set aside for these talks is a gift to Putin, because it reinforces his claim that major powers such as Russia should not negotiate – without worrying about recognizing the rule of – small countries that want to persecute. .

None of this is to say that the US should not attempt to negotiate with Putin to invade Ukraine. But it does know what the US has to say.

Putin’s case against Ukraine was based on his desire for Soviet Union and Russian imperialism on a regular basis. Ukraine once belonged to Russia, and if Russia cannot hold it back – it is still “like” in Putin’s mind – it should rule Ukraine’s future with a treaty.

Putin subscribes to legend – encouraged by Russian government propaganda – that the United States and the West have promised not to develop NATO during negotiations on German alliance and other alliances after the collapse of the Soviet Union. No such guarantees were made, but the United States, the United Kingdom and Russia agreed Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances. In 1994, in exchange for Ukraine voluntarily leaving Soviet nuclear weapons on its soil – then the third largest group in the world – the signatories agreed to protect Ukraine’s loyalty and security. Putin declared that the alliance was nothing when the Ukrainian people elected a government that was not Putin’s.

Putin’s ambition is greater than in Ukraine. According to the draft agreements Russia’s ousted president, Putin ‘s demand for influence “almost out”Must overlook the most important things in Russia. They will be barred from joining NATO, and countries that joined NATO after 1997 will be barred from conducting or being trained by NATO troops or weapons.

These requirements are insignificant, and appropriate. Giving up on them could weaken NATO, reward war-torn ones and leave Eastern European allies at risk of a government that has already set itself up for arrogance against its neighbors – most recently in 2014 to take Crimea out of Ukraine.

But Putin is an expert at asking the whole store to settle down in a shopping cart full of free stuff. And it looks like the White House is thinking acceptance, including delaying military aid to Ukraine.

The political temptation to please Putin – just a little bit – is understandable. The last thing Biden needs is another global crisis, not to mention war. But one thing is for sure: Putin’s every move will be less than worthwhile.


The story first appeared Los Angeles Times.

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