Staunton, November 22 – Vladimir Putin has four specific goals in Ukraine, according to Stanislav Belkovsky, and the pursuit of them will leave Ukraine fragmented, isolated from Europe, and subject to Moscow’s diktat and Russia on the verge of new revolutionary convulsions, out of which in each case something new may emerge.
The Moscow commentator says that in Ukraine Putin seeks first guarantees that Ukraine will not become a member of NATO, that its drive for European integration will be slowed in all possible ways, that it will yield a land corridor to Russian-held Crimea, and that it will yield another such corridor to Transdniestria (echo.msk.ru/programs/personalno/1440776-echo/).
If Putin gets his way on all four – and Belkovsky told Ekho Moskvy’s Marina Koroleva that the Kremlin leader is confident that the West won’t block him – then “there will not be a new war,” although the Russian intervention in southeastern Ukraine will continue to provide Moscow with the continuing leverage it wants.
But in response to Western anger about what he is doing in Ukraine, Putin has turned away from Europe to China, something that promises no good for Russia either, Belkovsky says. That is because China isn’t any more interested than the West in the development of Russia into anything more than a raw materials supplier.
Neither the West nor China views today’s Russia “as an equal partner in the military, technological or economic spheres,” and that won’t change until Moscow changes course so that it too can pursue a European course reflecting the fact that “we also are Europe,” a shift Putin shows little interest in making.
As a result, not only Ukraine but Russia too will enter into a period of “agony.” But Belkovsky says that one should remember that “before being reborn, it is necessary to die, as our friend Jesus Christ told us. He who does not die cannot be reborn.” What is happening now are “imperial convulsions” out of which something new may come.
Asked how long these “convulsions” might last, Belkovsky says that “there are only two factors about which astrologists and tarot card readers tell us: December 2014 and January 2015 will feature one important event, and in March 2017” – the centennial of the overthrow of the tsar – will complete an important cycle of Russian history.”