Huge blow to US: Recognition of Donbas Republics

Huge blow to US: Recognition of Donbas Republics

US plans to surround countries like Russia, China, Iran or Turkey, which constitute obstacles for Washington, are no secret. When we take a look at the Ukrainian crisis and the recent recognition of the People’s Republics of Donetsk and Luhansk, then we observe that this is connected to the general conflict constellation.

The United States’ goals in the Ucraine crisis

The United States pursues several goals using the Ukraine crisis: The first target is to continue the plan to encircle and contain Russia. Here, of course it is important to emphasize that the US not only tries to surround Russia, but at the same time also Turkey, Iran and other Eurasian countries as well.

The second US goal in the Ukraine crisis is to maintain control over Europe. This is a response to the fact the members of the European Union increasing take the stage in global politics as a pole separated and independent from the US. France and Germany are leading examples for this tendency, which even has come to the point that the establishment of European Army separated from NATO forces is being discussed. The United States in response tries to keep its former allies in NATO under control, use them for its own purposes and stop them from evolving to a separate pole. For that purpose, the US has invented a “Russian Threat”, for which the Ukrainian crisis is used. Thus, Washington tries to prevent that its former allies evolve to become its competitors.

We can also state that over the Ukraine Crisis, the US also tries to create a Turkish-Russian conflict. Washington makes use of the current crisis to disrupt relations between Ankara and Moscow, or at least to prevent them from developing to their full potential.

NATO eastward enlargement in 5 waves

In that sense, Russia considers the events evolving around the crisis as a threat to itself. Actually, the current crisis needs to be evaluated within a context that has been developing since the 1990s. Back in the 1990s, when the Soviet Union was dissolving, the NATO side promised to the Soviet representatives that the alliance would not enlarger to the East of Germany. But these promises were made on only in words, without being recorded or manifested in any written agreement. The transcriptions of these meetings have also been published in the past times.

But these promises were not held. As the Russian President expressed in his speech when he recognized the Donetsk and Luhansk republics, NATO continued its enlargement towards the East in 5 waves. And as a consequence and continuation, the NATO membership of Ukraine and Georgia appeared on the agenda. Thus we can state that NATO is trying to reach the Russian borders today.  

Russia naturally considered these steps as a threat, an assessment that they have expressed at various occasions. Russian representatives have highlighted that any nuclear missiles deployed to the eastern parts of Ukraine would be able to reach Moscow within minutes. In his speech, President Putin stated that Ukraine has the capacity to develop nuclear weapons and mentioned that NATO also could consider deploying nuclear weapons to the concerning regions.

The fact that NATO has defined Russia officially as an enemy contributed to Moscow’s assessment that Ukraine’s NATO membership would be an act of hostility towards itself.

Russia did not get the security assurance

In the last months, Russia has demanded repeatedly security guarantees from the West and has expressed demands concerning its own safety. Russia has demanded a written statement confirming that Ukraine would not be given NATO membership.

Countries like Germany supported that demand. For instance, the German Chancellor Olaf Scholz stated during his visit to Moscow that Ukraine would not become tomorrow member of NATO, trying to calm Putin down. But the Russian President responded that, if not ‘tomorrow’, this could happen ‘the other day’, insisting on the demand of written statement insurance that Ukraine would not become a NATO member.

Hence, Russia has not considered sufficient the verbal statements and declarations, insisting on a written statement. We observe that the written responses from the US have not satisfied Russia at all. Here it is necessary to detect that the US did not provide any guarantee or insurance on that in the future, Russia’s security would not be violated.

On top of all that, one needs to remember that the recent years, the United States has unilaterally withdrawn from various disarmament agreements. One needs to take into consideration that the West has rejected all Russian proposals for disarmament in the last 10 to 15 years. In his speech, Russian President Putin has reminded of an important concept: the indivisibility of security. Putin said here the following: ‘It s true that every country is free to organize its security on its own terms and to take the according decisions independently, but the establishment of security for one state shall not harm the security of another state’. With that statement, Putin has reminded that security is indivisible.

Thus, the Russian President stated clearly that Ukraine’s membership in NATO – a measure for its security – harms the security of Russia and violates the abovementioned principle.

Russia has taken a decided and concrete step

Actually, when we take a look of Putin’s speech, we can state that he did not express anything new. His recent speech resembles positions expressed since the 2007 Munich Security Conference on repeatedly on different occasions. He had warned the US and the West on various occasions and repeatedly on that matter, and he also has repeatedly expressed that Russia may be forced to apply coercive measures.

In Putin’s most recent speech, we observe that Russia has no expectations from negotiations with the US anymore. We can say that Moscow now considers things could not advance by applying warnings. Kremlin now calculates that warnings, messages and negotiations may not be sufficient to stop the US. And truly, Russia faces a NATO threat that has approached in 5 waves.

Therefore, Russia has undertaken practical and decided steps to ensure its national security. And we can say that by recognizing the Lugansk and Donetsk republics, Russia has given a clear and decided response to US threats.

Turkey is part of the confrontation

Taking all these factors into consideration, it is obvious that this conflict is not limited to Russian-Ukrainian relations. But it also needs to be underscored that the conflict is also not limited to US-Russian relations. This conflict concerns Turkey also very directly; moreover, Turkey is due to its objective interests directly part of the conflict. Turkey is also confronted with US plans of encirclement. The US’ plans concerning Ukraine and the Black Sea are not different from Washington’s plans pursued in cooperation with the PKK in Syria. Within its general strategy, the US will repeat its collaboration with the PKK/PYD in Syria in similar manner in Ukraine too. It is therefore right to conclude that the US measures of containment do not only target Russia but Turkey as well.

The United States surrounds Turkey as well

The United States surrounds Turkey not only over Syria, but also over the Eastern Mediterranean, the Aegean Sea, Thrace and the Black Sea. And Washington’s policies in Ukraine are a prolongation of the encirclement. In summary, the US activities in the Black Sea and Ukraine also target Turkey.

Notwithstanding, while Turkey is affected by this conflict in the Black Sea in its objective interests, Russia’s objective interests are also connected to developments in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Just as US activities concerning Crimea, Luhansk and Donetsk not only surround Russia but also Turkey, in the same way do Washington’s efforts concerning the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus and Cyprus in general constitute attempts not only to surround Turkey but Russia as well.

Global frontline: The Atlantic versus Eurasia

Actually, there is one sole frontline in the world: The Atlantic and Eurasia are facing each other. And conflicts even in the most remote regions of the world are of concern and interest for those countries that are confronted by US pressures. The conflict around Taiwan is not only a Chinese matter; it is also a matter for Russia or Turkey. Or to provide a geographically even more remote example: The conflict around the Malvinas (British: Falkland Islands) is not only a matter of concern for Argentina. It is an issue for all countries that are facing threats from British and US imperialism.

Therefore, all these countries facing imperialist threats need to be sensitive on all these conflicts of local focus but global content. They need to consider these conflicts as their own from the perspective that, the more imperialism is defeated and retreats, the more they will take a deep breath. The more the US is defeated, the more will China, Turkey, Russia, Pakistan, Azerbaijan and so on will gain space.

In that context, I would like to draw attention to the Russian-Chinese joint statement recently declared on the meeting between Putin and Xi in Beijing. In that resolution, the beginning of a news era has been announced. While Russia has expressed support for China concerning Taiwan in that resolution, China has declared it considers Russia’s concerns regarding the Ukraine crisis and the NATO enlargement as legitimate and justified.

Taking all this into consideration, Turkey needs a strong Russia and Russia needs a strong Turkey. And mutual solidarity between the two countries in regard to each other’s most vital issues of concern will not only constitute a diplomatic gesture; much more than that: due to the abovementioned reasoned, these acts of solidarity will constitute for them an effective and important measure to realize their own national interests.

What Turkey should do

Turkey needs to take an according position in the context of the recent incidents in the Black Sea and Ukraine. First of all, Ankara should take a position and pursues steps that focus on its own national interests and concentrate on efforts to break through the encirclement it faces. Every step that pushes the US back is in favor of Turkey, where ever in the world is – and in the case of Ukraine even more so as we are talking of the close neighborhood of Ankara. Therefore, these Russian steps that foil US plans in the region do benefit Turkey clearly.

In that sense, Russia should carry the same consciousness. Moscow should consider every Turkish success concerning the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus or the struggle against the PKK/PYD as its own success and support it intensely wherever possible.

Secondly, Turkey’s positioning in the Ukraine crisis should be directed towards creating or strengthening an international alliance of resisting against the US. Taking into consideration the US threats we are facing, an isolated resistance against these is not possible and a web of international alliances is necessary. Turkey should approach the Ukraine crisis with the perspective of constructing this web of international alliances. This perspective leads to cooperation with all those countries that are facing US threats.

Thirdly, Turkey should approach the conflict additionally from the perspective of establishing international cooperation that safeguard its economy and enacts its Production Revolution. Turkey will of course master the economic problems and crises by increasing its own production. At the same time, it needs supportive international alliance in various fields from the energy security to food supply and measures in international trade. Turkey’s relations with Russia, China, Iran, but also with all other neighbors, from Azerbaijan to the Turkic states bear importance. And concerning the approach to the Ukrainian crisis, a perspective on constructing the alliances that will recover the economy is needed. Russia is one of the most important partners of Turkey in that context.

Turkey in no way and under no circumstances can accept to participate in the sanctions that the US will impose on Russia. Such sanctions should be rejected, just as Turkey has done after the incidents of Crimea.

Turkish and Russian soldiers share fate

From these angels, the Ukraine crisis does not evolve outside of Turkey but affects its national security and economic development directly. Turkey shares here Russia’s destiny. We can even state that ‘Mehmetçik’, the Turkish soldier, and ‘Ivan’, the Russian soldiers share their fate and are brothers in arms.

Hence, Ankara needs to elevate political, economic and security cooperation with Moscow onto a strategic level. And both countries face similar threats concerning cultural or social degeneration, where joint positions should be taken whose content is to prevent US attacks.

Who are Ukraine’s true enemies?

Besides of that, Ankara faces the responsibility and the duty to save Ukraine from US dominance. Today, Kyiv is governed less by Ukrainian and more by Washington’s will. As Putin mentioned in his speech, the US embassy in Kyiv has paid every day a million dollars for the protests during the Maidan. And unfortunately, we cannot detect a Ukrainian will in the recent events. Ukraine has suffered great losses and damage from the situation of being dominated by the US. It has suffered great loss in its trade with Russia, and it has entered a severe economic crisis in general. Hence, when we take a look at the recent events, we can easily detect who pursues a hostile policy towards the Ukraine.

Those who call for Ukraine’s membership in NATO and who provoke the country against its neighbor, Russia, bear the responsibility for the situation Kyiv finds itself in.

If the Maidan events had not taken place, followed by Ukraine falling under US dominance and pursuing provocations against Russia, then the regions Crimea, Luhansk and Donetsk would have continued under Ukrainian control. Ukraine has paid a heavy price for playing a role in US plans.

What good can be done to Ukraine? What means friendship to Ukraine today? NATO is the root of all evil in our region and the whole world. Turkey’s experience itself demonstrates this clearly. After becoming NATO member, Turkey has gone through a process where the country today faces the threat of partition. We can state that the main force behind separatism in Turkey is NATO, thus turning the alliance into a matter of national security threat.

Biggest problem: NATO

And Turkey has seen that clearly during the July 15-16, 2016 coup attempt. NATO has always played a negative role concerning Turkey’s territorial integrity and national sovereignty, from past till today. Currently, Ukraine is going through a similar process – but much earlier, even before becoming NATO member. Ukraine is witnessing great political and economic damage even before having become a NATO member.

The Ukrainians and Russians are as Slavic people very connected to each other concerning language, culture and common history, so much that one might consider them even as one sole nation. But the US and NATO have divided them and put them in conflict with each other.

Turkey faced a partition threat by staying in the NATO. Ukraine on the other hand has been divided from its closest neighbor even before becoming a member.

NATO prevented Minsk Agreement’s implementation

NATO has prevented the implementation of the Minsk Agreements. In that sense, Brussels has provoked Kyiv. NATO has given Kyiv the role of a battering ram, imposing great costs on the country.

Ukraine’s desire for membership in NATO and its will to play a role in US plans are the most important reasons for the situation the country finds itself in currently. This process bears very important lessons.

And here, Turkey can do a good to Ukraine by crushing or limiting Washington’s influence on Kyiv. Turkey can show its friendship to Ukraine by introducing the country into processes of regional integration. This also serves Turkey’s national interests, because the conversion of Ukraine into a US or NATO basis not only contradicts the interests of the Ukrainian people and Russia but also those of Turkey due to the abovementioned reasons.

The United States has shown – again – that it is unreliable

The United States has once again shown that it is unreliable. In a sense, the Afghanistan experience has taken place once again, this time in Ukraine. Ukraine has been provoked, but it has not received any concrete support in the conflict it has been thrown into. This once again demonstrates that the US and West can anytime abandon countries they have used before. The process, which Armenia in the South Caucasus has gone through recently in the conflict around Nagorno-Karabakh, can be cited as another example for that.

Every US attack ended with a further push back of the US: recent examples

The US has staged attacks and provocations against Russia in the last 15 years. But in all of them, the US was not only pushed back, it was also forced to a position even worse that before the according attack. This is also very important. All these US initiatives and efforts end up in defeats.

For instance, let us take a look at the situation before August 8, 2008 in Georgia. Georgian leader Saakashvili is provoked by the US to attack Russia. He starts a military operation. The result is not that the US encircles Russia further, quite the contrary, the Atlantic front loses South Ossetia and Abkhazia forever.

The US attempts to encircle Russia and Turkey via Syria and attacks on Syrian soil have also ended in a failure, enabling Russia to establish itself in the Eastern Mediterranean militarily. Another push back of the United States.

US steps following the incidents in the Maidan have resulted in the loss of Crimea. And the most recent steps concerning Ukraine’s NATO membership have resulted in the loss of Luhansk and Donetsk from the perspective of the Atlantic camp.

Taking all these developments into consideration, we clearly detect that US attacks do not achieve any success anymore, instead resulting in ruinous defeats.  

In that sense, displaying a decided stance instead of a step back when confronting US threats constitutes an example to follow. Facing such threats, Turkey should not consider compromising or taking steps back, but taking a firm, decided stance against these as its main policy.

The end of the unipolar world

And following the most recent events, we can state that we have arrived at the end of unipolarity. The end of the unipolar world and the establishment of a multipolar world is a very good news for Turkey as well, because this new situation bears great potential for Ankara to balance the threats it faces from Washington.

A new world is being established, and within that process, not fainthearted but firm and decided positions should guide policy and activities. The problems and challenges ahead of Turkey can only be solved with such firm and decided positions and acts.

Clear, decided and firm stance needed

Turkey should have a clear and decided view and approach to the Ukrainian crisis and the recent events. It is obvious and clear where Turkey’s objective interests are located. Turkey’s support for Russia in that context does not constitute a gesture or a selfless act of friendship but the result of pursuing its own national interests, which demand a clear stance against US plans.

Mehmet Perinçek
Historian and political scientist (Turkey)

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May 2023