Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Some more links

The Chinese view

Nicu Popescu on the Chinese view of Ukraine :
The Chinese strongly disapprove the Russian military intervention in Ukraine at several levels. Russia is an opportunistic supporter of the principle of state sovereignty: it resists military or political interventions in Kosovo, Iraq, or Syria, but practices such interventions in Georgia and Ukraine, while piling up pressure on other post-Soviet states. China is more consistent in its respect of sovereignty as it does not support or practice open military interventions, though it can still be tough with its neighbours. 
The easy recourse by Russia to military means of power projection is also worrying for the Chinese with regard to Central Asia. It is not unimaginable that a country like Kazakhstan or Uzbekistan face a messy succession when their current ageing leaders have left the political stage. The question from a Chinese perspective is then: if such an intervention can take place in Ukraine, why should it not happen in Kazakhstan, too, provided there is a pretext for that?
But China doesn't approve of the Euromaidan uprising either. Countries with pickled revolutionaries on display (Lenin, Mao) are always the most disapproving of genuine popular revolutions (the same would hold true for Venezuela but unfortunately Chavez rotted before he could be mummified).

Russia's propaganda machine

Alan Yuhas on Putin's stirring of anti-fascist hysteria :
Fear of fascists goes a long way in Ukraine, which suffered in the second world war. By definition, fear (“Fascists are coming for your family!”) and confusion (“Fascists? Are there fascists? What’s a fascist?”) matters much more in propaganda than truth (not so many fascists). It doesn’t have to make sense – in fact it’s better if it doesn’t. Incoherent theories of a gay, Jewish, Muslim fascist conspiracy in Kiev don’t matter so long as they’re riling someone up, like a man in Simferopol who told the Guardian: “I mean, I am all for the superiority of the white race, and all that stuff, but I don’t like fascists.”
Moldova worried Transnistria might be next

David Kashi in "International Business Times":
Like Ukraine, Moldova was in talks with the EU over a trade association agreement. Unlike Ukraine, though, Moldova did not succumb to Russian pressure, and signed the association agreement. 
Before the signing of the trade agreement in November, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin visited Moldova and threatened the country with economic sanctions. 
"Energy is important, the cold season is near, winter on its way,” he said, as quoted by several news agencies. “We hope that you will not freeze this winter.” 
Threatening to cut off natural gas supplies is an old tactic Moscow continues to use. In 2006 and 2009 Russia cut supplies to Ukraine over price disputes.  
More recently, Rogozin said that any actions taken to “hinder the communications of Transnistria with the rest of the world will be a direct threat to the security and constitutional freedom of 200,000 citizens of Russia permanently living in Transnistria,” he said on Twitter, as reported by Interfax. He added that Russia will never forget that “it is the guarantor of constitutional rights of its citizens.” 
Last Thursday, Lithuanian President Dalia GrybauskaitÄ— said in Brussels that Moldova and other countries may be Russia’s next target.
(I might add more links during the course of the day)


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