Is Ukraine the Bait for a New Cold War?
The prolonged political, social and economic crisis in Ukraine tests the nerves, diplomatic skills and the capacity for international leadership in the United States, the European Union and Russia. The political balance is up in the air while the most powerful players look for solutions before the destabilization of the country deepens even more.
The U.S. European allies were angered by the outburst of the Secretary of State for European Affairs, Victoria Nuland, who this week left no doubt of how little she thought about EU partners. She revealed in a telephone call how much involvement the Americans have in the current conflict between the Ukrainian government and the opposition parties. Nuland said “fuck the EU” while criticizing Brussels policy towards Ukraine. The outburst happened during a private conversation with the U.S. ambassador to Kiev. Nuland had to apologize, but not before causing the condemnation of German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
After nearly three months of having mobilized its diplomatic teams, even during Christmas, neither the EU nor the U.S. have found the key to overcoming the confrontation between the regime of President Viktor Yanukovych, and protesters calling for his removal. During the telephone conversation both American officials made it clear that the United States is determined to support the Ukranian opposition in an effort to kick out President Yanukovych.
“U.S. and EU value the situation in the same way in Ukraine. Namely, it is necessary to resolve the conflict peacefully through a round table, although they may have differences in methods on how to help, “says Irina Gerashchenko, deputy of the UDAR group and member of the European Integration of the Verkhovna Rada of Kiev.
Gerashchenko refuses to comment on the content of the conversation in which Nuland asserted that her choice to head the government would be Arseniy Yatseniuk and not Vitali Klitschko. “The Ukrainian security services are in such an unfortunate situation that it is possible for foreign secret services to act in our country.”
The Russian spies have become the prime suspects of the filtration that unmasked the real American intentions. Russian President Vladimir Putin made ??his career in the KGB and then the Federal Security Service ( FSS ) and Russian political circles attribute the spread of incriminating documents to the Russian secret service. Its actions include the video that brought down the Prosecutor General of Russia in the nineties when he was about to organize an investigation into the family of former president Boris Yeltsin.
The revelation of Nuland’s dialog with the American ambassador would be a new cause for ‘war’, which adds up to the case of the former intelligence analyst, Edward Snowden, who is currently asyled in Russia.
On her last trip to Kiev, EU representative Catherine Ashton, found Yanukovych was indifferent to the theoretically open prospect of having Ukraine’s partnership agreement with the EU fail, the media reported.
In this political game, both Americans and Europeans have relied on the leaders of parliamentary opposition groups, who are not exactly trustworthy because the protests have their own dynamics and protesters their own claims.
Western envoys well known to Klitschko, leader of UDAR, Arseniy Yatseniuk, the head of the parliamentary group of Yulia Timoshenko and Oleg Tiagnibok a nationalist from the Freedom Party. European diplomats who in November strove to ” keep alive ” the flame of Euromaidán to press for Ukraine’s integration into Europe, are now trying to identify groups of protesters, in a critical situation, to play a moderating role and deterr radicals willing to die if Yanukovych is taken from power.
The current president “will not yield power and, moreover, his figure is necessary for the East of Ukraine to remain stable” say, in private, European diplomats who are very involved in finding a solution to the conflict in Ukraine.
His message, also private, is that the U.S. and Russia should maintain their involvement in the search for a solution. This would require forming a basis of trust among these big players who are experiencing divergent paths. Moscow presents the protests in Ukraine as a phenomenon of fascist ideology permeated in society and accuses Western countries of fanning the protests with anti-Russian intentions. The Ukrainian opposition politicians have turned their back to Moscow, saying that the Kremlin meddles in the affairs of their country and helps to destabilize it.