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A UN Security Council resolution seeks to isolate Russia over its sending of approximately 20,000 troops into Ukraine. In an obvious attempt to rig the process, Crimea is calling an election this Sunday over joining Russia and seceding from Ukraine. There is no place on the ballot for a "no" vote, allowing Crimea to remain part of Ukraine. Ukrainian PM Yatsenyuk confronted Russia yesterday over the situation; however, both sides agreed in principle that war was not the answer.

At the Security Council meeting, Yatsenyuk reiterated Ukraine's desire for a dialog, saying his nation has had "warm and friendly relations" with neighboring Russia for decades, and that he is also convinced "that Russians do not want war."

"This aggression has no reasons and no grounds," Yatsenyuk said. "This is absolutely and entirely unacceptable in the 21st century, to resolve any kind of conflict with tanks, artillery and boots on the ground."

"And I hope that the Russian government and the Russian president will heed the wishes of their people and that we return urgently to dialogue and solve this conflict," he said.

Russia's U.N. Ambassador Vitaly Churkin, speaking after Yatsenyuk at the Security Council meeting, said, "Russia does not want war and neither do the Russians, and I'm convinced the Ukrainians don't want that either."

However, Churkin did not respond to Yatsenyuk's call for talks. Instead, he urged a return to a European-mediated plan in which Ukrainian protest leaders and the ousted President Viktor Yanukovich agreed on Feb. 21 to form a new government and hold an early election.

The hope is that China will abstain from the resolution even though Russia will likely veto it. China has historically backed Russia in recent years, including Syria. However, China has downplayed the Ukraine crisis in its state-run media and has come out neutral. For instance, they back Putin's line that the ethnic Russian minorities have to be protected. However, they also say that Ukraine's territorial integrity must be respected.

Condemning violences over the past days in Ukraine, Qin said China has been urging all parties in Ukraine to address their domestic disputes peacefully in accordance with the country's law, safeguard the legitimate rights of the Ukrainian people of all ethnics, and restore social order as soon as possible.

Qin said China always sticks to the principle of non-interference in any country's internal affairs and respects the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.

While both sides say that they do not want war, the US has dealt with secession issues in its past. The secession of South Carolina in December 1860 was the immediate trigger for the Civil War, which started four months later. However, in the meantime, there were four months of diplomatic wrangling before hostilities actually commenced at the Battle of Fort Sumter in South Carolina. There was even a peace conference in February of 1861, which failed to resolve the differences. The Civil War resulted in the loss of hundreds of thousands of American lives, more than all of our other wars. Similar to Ukraine, there was a prolonged siege of Fort Sumter as well as the seizure of federal property in South Carolina, including guns, installations, and ammunition.

The conflict also points to a larger crisis between NATO and Russia. Back in 1990, following the collapse of Communism, the US had promised Russia that it would not expand beyond a certain point. This has been documented.

After speaking with many of those involved and examining previously classified British and German documents in detail, SPIEGEL has concluded that there was no doubt that the West did everything it could to give the Soviets the impression that NATO membership was out of the question for countries like Poland, Hungary or Czechoslovakia.

On Feb. 10, 1990, between 4 and 6:30 p.m., Genscher spoke with Shevardnadze. According to the German record of the conversation, which was only recently declassified, Genscher said: "We are aware that NATO membership for a unified Germany raises complicated questions. For us, however, one thing is certain: NATO will not expand to the east." And because the conversion revolved mainly around East Germany, Genscher added explicitly: "As far as the non-expansion of NATO is concerned, this also applies in general."

Shevardnadze replied that he believed "everything the minister (Genscher) said."

However, it was never formally put into writing, which allowed NATO to expand to the east with impunity over the next 20+ years. However, it has now come to to a point where NATO has to come to terms with the limits of its expansion. There is simply nowhere else for them to grow. They may be able to peel off Ukraine if Russia follows through and annexes Crimea, but that will be it. Spigel notes that when certain elements in Hungary sought to break away from the Warsaw Pact during their 1956 uprising, that gave the USSR the pretext it needed to invade Hungary.
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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    amyzex, Louisiana 1976

    "The cost of liberty is less than the price of repression." - W.E.B. Du Bois Be informed. Fight the Police State.

    by Eternal Hope on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 05:32:51 AM PDT

  •  What is driving NATO inexorably eastward is the (6+ / 0-)

    transnational corporatocracy's lust for natural resources, especially energy. And it won't stop till it's gobbled up Russian and Iran as well.

    And then we'll all live in one big happy world of predator capitalism and enslavement to the banksters.

    Cheers !

    We're shocked by a naked nipple, but not by naked aggression.

    by Lepanto on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 05:46:28 AM PDT

    •  Russia should be gobbled up! (0+ / 0-)

      With NATO comes FREEDOM! - Learn Ukrainian history before you entertain a thought! Know how people died under Russian oppression before you have an opinion! I'm sorry if it dents your über Lefty blinders into a little too wide of a vista for your "correct vision," but you might learn that your point of view on NATO isn't the only one there! NATO is not the Devil, PUTIN IS!!!

      "The time has come to say fair's fair to pay the rent to pay our share!" - Midnight Oil

      by gwojtowy on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 09:37:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  NATO should've been dissolved (3+ / 0-)

    at the same time as the Warsaw Pact.  Its continued existence is an abomination.

    Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

    by corvo on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 06:00:48 AM PDT

    •  Abomination!? Take The Beam Out Of Your Own Eye! (0+ / 0-)

      Who are you to decide!? The people of Poland wanted NATO in to protect from Russia! We Slavs have had enough of Russian domination!! What we don't need - is some über Lefty attitude that the West is "always wrong" concerning Eastern Europe! The Left in the West has a rather sorry history concerning human rights in Eastern Europe, especially concerning the Holodomor in Ukraine and Kazakhstan! Look up the shameful history of the Bernsteins in the U.S.S.R during the Holodomor! The Good Boy Medal that Stephen Cohen got from that gay hating bully Putin on his "journalism!" Or, how 'bout that man of a thousand faces Israel Shamir!? Not very reliable in my opinion!

      "The time has come to say fair's fair to pay the rent to pay our share!" - Midnight Oil

      by gwojtowy on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 09:26:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  umm . . . (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JesseCW, Eternal Hope

        Remind me, would you? Who killed more Poles: Hitler, or Stalin?  You can even omit Polish Jews from the count if you'd like.

        Oh, and your beloved NATO isn't about to go anywhere near Ukraine or Kazakhstan.  So much for saving them from another liquidation of Kulaks . . .

        Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

        by corvo on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 05:09:40 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Very balanced diary (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Louisiana 1976, Eternal Hope

    pointing out facts inconvenient to both sides without making wild allegations.  I appreciate it.  Tipped and rec'd.

    The Stars and Bars and the red swastika banner are both offerings to the same barbaric god.

    by amyzex on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 08:56:43 AM PDT

  •  And this was when ... (0+ / 0-)

    The people of East Germany tore down the Berlin Wall!? The Velvet Revolution in Czechoslovakia!? After Solidarnoscz in Poland!? The whole Iron Curtain being torn down by People's Revolutions all over Eastern Europe!? Lithuania's declaration of independence!?

    Are you so closed minded as to not acknowledge that a deal between the West and a no longer existing entity like the U.S.S.R. holds no more weight for Eastern European's aspirations for democracy and freedom!?

    Über Lefty myopia knows no bounds!

    "The time has come to say fair's fair to pay the rent to pay our share!" - Midnight Oil

    by gwojtowy on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 09:51:02 AM PDT

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