Tuesday, November 29, 2022
Miles from the Mainstream
D. R. ZUKERMAN, proprietor
The Essence of the Russia-Ukraine Conflict?

March 5, 2022 --

The New York Times, the past January 14, reported that Russian officials threatened to end talks on resolving security issues relating to Ukraine.

The Times quoted one of the U.S. officials involved in the talks, Michael R. Carpenter, as stating Washington's "bedrock principles." He said, "'That means no tolerance for overt or tacit spheres of influence, no restrictions on the sovereign rights of nations to choose their own alliances, no privileging one state's security requirements over those of another."

It seems to LPR that this question is presented by this statement of "bedrock principles" -- isn't  NATO ian alliance of states comprising Western Europe's  sphere of influence that,  since the dissolution of the Soviet Union, has encroached onto states that formerly were in Russia's sphere of influence in eastern Europe?

The Times report went on to assert:  "[W]hile American officials say they are prepared to discuss some of Russia's concerns -- such as negotiating reciprocal limits on where and how military exercises are conducted, or perhaps reviving the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, which the United States pulled out of two years ago -- they reject any discussion of Russia's central demand to roll back NATO expansion."

Seems to LPR that "American officials" asserted, in effect:    "Mr. Putin, the spheres of influence that were created at the end of the Second World War became moot once the Soviet Union was dissolved.   There is a new European reality, and the sphere of influence covering the states of  Europe is whatever we say it is."

Alongside this Times story was a report with this headline: "Senators Reject Effort/To Impoee Sanctions/On Russian Pipeline."

A teaser in mid-story noted: "A Republican-led measure endorsed by Ukraine, but opposed by President Biden." This article reported that Democrat Sen.  Bob Menendez, chair of the Foreign Relations Committee, proposed, instead, sanctions on Russian officials, including President Putin if Russia resorts to hostile action against Ukraine and, in that case, $500 million dollars in emergency security assistance for Ukraine.   LPR understands that since Russia invaded Ukraine, President Biden  has proposed $350 million in security assistance to Kyiv.