From preventing to making peace in Ukraine

Today published a new TFF PressInfo # 314 with the above headline.

I hope you’ll find it more constructive than most of the other things you may see and that you will hsrae it if you do. Also, you can subscribe to TFF PressInfos and get them by e-mail into your in-box – before they are posted on the Net – by writing to pressinfo@transnational.org Welcome!

9 responses to “From preventing to making peace in Ukraine

  1. Sergei Ribon

    Jan Oberg

    You suggest that Russia should withdraw from Eastern Ukraine, but not from the South (i.e. Crimea)?

    If that is your position you are as much a part of the problem.

  2. Dear Sergei – that’s how we get nowhere in this world: Find one thing you don’t like (and which I have not said) – and appreciate nothing of of what is said. If there is one thing you don’t like, all the rest – every proposal – is thrown out. You know, we’ve got a long way to go to make peace in this world. My best – Jan

  3. Sergei Ribon

    Jan Oberg

    Excuse me, but if you really think we should reward Russia by letting them keep Crimea, then you not only don’t understand the dynamics of Eastern Europe, but you will in effect turn the blind eye to a blatant transgression of OSCE and UN’s foundations and charters.

    Now I don’t know if it was on purpose that you left out Southern Ukraine (including Crimea) in your list of proposals, or that you merely (a common misunderstanding) assume that “Eastern Ukraine” also include Crimea, and if the latter is the case then I apologize.

    But could you please be a bit clearer then?

    /Serg

  4. The main – main – reason that Ukraine lost Crimea was the obvious US-instigated regime change in Kiev. That was predictable – however not nice – in Realpolitik terms. The West should never have fiddled with this at a time when there also were no Ukrainian opinion polls which showed any enthusiasm for NATO and EU membership. Secondly, with the long-term lease of the base in Crimea it should have been obvious that Russia could never accept to have a major base in a NATO country.
    I can regret it with you but Crimea is not going to belong to Ukraine unless there is some very solid confidence-building, cooperation and mutual respect and friendliness between Russia and Ukraine who can negotiate the necessary modalities – and that is probably going to take a very long time. Finally, Russia has violated a number of international agreements, that is true. However no major country in the West with the exception of Germany has a cleaner record in this regard and have cheated the Russian leaders since 1989 about NATO expansion never taking place etc.
    I feel sorry that, in a way, that is now hitting Ukraine – but its own leaders have not played their cards particularly well either.
    So, you see, with these my arguments I did not mix the two areas up. Eastern Ukraine is an entirely different matter – and no less easy to negotiate a longterm, sustainable solution for. I hope this satisfies you, I can do no more about it here – and you did not take up the challenge to find just one little thing you thought was useful in my quite extraordinary and “different” analysis – the only one of its kind anywhere, as far as I know. Best – Jan

  5. Sergei Ribon

    Jan Oberg,

    This is hardly believable. You swallow Moscow’s lie hook, line and sinker. Either that or you consciously support Russian agression.

    For one. The events in Kiev i 2014 eas never more than a pretext. I’m born and grew up in Ukraine and since independence from Soviet, Russia has continously demanded Crimea “back”. For more than 20 years. Every single year. How can you lie that the issue is a result of recent developments?

    For second. You have critized Kosovoan independence from Serbia even though Ukraine has NEVER treated the minorities in Crimea half as bad as Serbia. So why do you fall over as a lamb when the issue is Crimea? Your excuse “all others are just as bad” is the most stupid case of whataboutism i have heard.

    There is only one solution. Russia must withdraw to its own borders. If you deny that, you are plainly supporting war crimes and are nothing than a puppet for Putin.

    Disgusting is too mild a word.

    /Serg

  6. Hallelujaaaaa ! Fine with me. You are obviously not interested in a conversation: Whenever you disgree with me I am a liar, puppet, aggression supporter, disgusting etc. I spent too much time already on you – because I wanted to respect you and thought you were interested in talking issues. You attack the player not the ball. Game over!

  7. Aroy Hammadi

    Sergei,

    With due respect to all, I don’t think you can claim that Jan Øberg’s position is a surprise. He has never claimed to harbour any other position or tried to hide it. I don’t agree with Jan, but he is fighting with open cards.

    Like it or not, he – just as Johan Galtung – is openly supporting the historical Russian claim on Crimea, and while I disagree with Jan on this, it is a perfectly legitimate position to hold.

  8. Thank you, Aroy Hammadi – I appreciate your decent tone and attempt to understand what I was trying to say both in the PressInfo and here. (I see from you email that you have some kind of double identity but that is OK, I guess you are the person who are active on Facebook, given your email address).
    What I feel or don’t feel about some issue is, however, quite irrelevant here. What I wrote is a Realpolitik argument and that is not the same – for the sake of logics – as arguing that I s-u-p-p-o-r-t this or that side/move/policy, or whatever. And why a realpolitik argument? Because that is what decision-makers base themselves on. In other words, if I say that I think Crimea is lost (due to whatever events or causes) does that imply that I think it is good that it is lost or that it is good that Russia now controls it or that I support Russia in doing so?
    To explain something, in my book, doesn’t necessarily – but may, of course – imply defending it. If, say, I explain why A killed B – it doesn’t mean that I am supporting A in doing so.
    PS – Both Galtung and I have said repeatedly that the way this was done was wrong, even if understandable from a Realpolitik viewpoint – just read my PressInfo above and Galtung article about it on TFF’s blog.
    Best – Jan

  9. Aroy Hammadi

    Jan

    Yes you are correct that I write under two names. You know my real identity and where I reside, and that is the reason. Moscow is not as it was under Soviet rule, and the FSB is not going to pick me up a night and throw in Lubyanka, but being critical of Putin and even writing articles or comments that can be perceived as criticism can be dangerous. The university newspaper I mentioned to you some months ago had an abrupt change of editors after university management had a “friendly chat” with the Government two months ago, and every journalist – professional or not – that didn’t submit to the pro-government line proscribe now was fired. And the right-wing gangs that used to rough up gays and immigrants is more and more often also focusing on individuals whos “crime” is critique or lack of “sufficient patriotism”.

    As for the issue above, yes I do understand your point and can only commend you for being open about it. Where I differ and where I see a source of potential disasters are in two areas.

    Firstly Johan Galtung’s argument that was basically – and has been cited repeatedly in Russian State media support for the Russian argument – that the _historical_ argument for annexation of Crimea was sound. I haven’t seen you been quoted as supporting that view (my guess is that you do, but that is only my observation – not one that I have seen you quoted for, and I apologize if it is incorrent), but that fact remains that this is a disasterous view. It is a repudiation of the principles that was carved in stone with CSCE/OSCE that _no_ country could claim parts of another, and I can easily understand why Galtung’s view is like pouring gasoline on a fire, seen from a Ukrainian point of view. It may be that Galtung’s view is mis-used or mis-represented by Russian state media, but the way he wrote it is simply catastrophic. He should in all honesty re-write it in order to avoid undermining the foundations of Europe.

    The second point where I disgree is more broad, but potentially also more fundamental. It is the questions of “realpolitik”. To use your own term I understand it and I know it explains your view, but I still think it is misguided. We certainly need to apply “realpolitik” to obtain peace, like it or not, but certain parts of “realpolitik” simply has so dark implications that they need to be weeded out. And the main problem is is when “realpolitik” will be used to accept – not necessarily morally, but de facto – that one country can annex parts of another. That will open the door for any other country wanting to acquire parts of another. Israel will claim – as they already do – that “realpolitik” will allow them to acquire most of the West Bank. And everywhere where borders are subject to disagreement and conflict, that kind of “realpolitik” your are asking here, could be used as argument for “might makes right”.

    If Russia is permitted to keep Crimea in the name of “realpolitik” we open a pandoras box, and will see the greatest re-arming of Europe since the Cold War. Every smal neighbor to Russia will be scrambling to find ways to defend themselves.

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