OpEdNews Op Eds

Obama heads to Europe for week of meetings directed against Russia

By (about the author)     Permalink       (Page 1 of 2 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; ; ; , Add Tags Add to My Group(s)

View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com Headlined to H3 6/3/14

Cross-posted from WSWS

From youtube.com/watch?v=aNoiYpOKnqs: President Obama Speaks in Belgium about the importance of Europe staying united in the face of Russian aggression in Ukraine.
President Obama Speaks in Belgium about the importance of Europe staying united in the face of Russian aggression in Ukraine.
(image by YouTube)

President Barack Obama left Washington Monday night for a four-day trip to Europe, where he will seek to intensify the campaign against Russia that began with the US-backed and fascist-led coup in Ukraine in February. The trip will include Obama's first face-to-face meeting with Petro O. Poroshenko, the billionaire oligarch who is to be inaugurated as the new president of Ukraine on June 7.

Obama meets Tuesday in Warsaw with Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski and Prime Minister Donald Tusk, then with a group of Eastern European officials, including representatives from Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania and Slovakia. The following day he has a one-on-one session with Poroshenko.

The US president will also meet with American airmen deployed at a Polish air base and he will give a public speech marking the 25th anniversary of the first elections held after the collapse of the Stalinist regime in Poland.

Press reports suggest that Obama and Poroshenko will discuss direct US military aid to help the Kiev regime in its campaign to suppress opposition groups in eastern Ukraine, populated mainly by Russian speakers hostile to the ultra-right Ukrainian nationalists who now control the country's government.

Washington has so far limited its aid to "nonlethal" supplies, including military rations, but may well use the May 25 presidential election -- largely boycotted in the eastern third of the country -- as the pretext for escalating its intervention in the Ukraine crisis by supplying weapons and ammunition as well as providing military training.

Derek Chollet, the US assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs, was in Kiev meeting with senior Ukrainian officials Monday. His task is to draw up a detailed shopping list for the Ukrainian military that could be presented for Obama's signoff at the Wednesday meeting with Poroshenko.

Obama's deputy national security adviser, Ben Rhodes, told the press, "We very much admired that the people of Ukraine have turned out in huge numbers to elect President-elect Poroshenko. We've admired his commitment to pursue dialogue and to aim to reduce tensions and put Ukraine on a positive path."

The "dialogue" pursued by Poroshenko involves the use of armored cars, artillery shells and aerial bombardment to "reduce tensions" with the people of eastern Ukraine by killing as many as possible. In the city of Slavyansk, for example, a center of opposition to the right-wing Kiev regime, Ukrainian government forces have hit residential districts with indiscriminate mortar and shellfire -- actions that constitute war crimes under international law.

New fighting flared in the district of Luhansk, the easternmost part of the country, as 500 insurgents attacked pro-Kiev forces along the border with Russia. A spokesman for acting President Oleksandr Turchynov claimed that Ukrainian border guards were attacked by separatists seeking to open the border to obtain supplies and reinforcements.

A spokesman for the pro-Russian militants said they were not fighting border troops, but rather the Ukrainian National Guard, comprised largely of neo-Nazi thugs from the Right Sector and Svoboda (Freedom) Party. Reports from both sides described heavy fighting and considerable loss of life.

Obama's European trip will continue with a meeting of the Group of Seven, the heads of state from the US, Canada, Germany, Britain, France, Italy and Japan, to be held in Brussels Wednesday night and Thursday. The G-7 has been reconstituted to exclude Russia, which was to host a G-8 summit meeting in Sochi on the Black Sea this month.

The US will use the G-7 meeting to pressure its European allies, who have been reluctant to impose sweeping economic sanctions on Russia because of the consequences for their own economies. Germany relies on Russia for one-third of its energy supplies, for example, while Britain depends on the influx of capital from Russian billionaires to prop up the London financial markets.

A major American goal at the G-7 meeting is to revive an atmosphere of confrontation after Moscow responded to the May 25 presidential vote in Ukraine with significant concessions -- recognizing Poroshenko as the president-elect, pulling all Russian troops back from the Ukrainian border, and offering better terms to Ukraine in negotiations on Russian gas exports. A "senior Obama administration official" told the New York Times: "What we don't want is for everybody to exhale, 'the election went well, now we're all done.'"

National Security Adviser Susan Rice, speaking Sunday on the ABC television interview program "This Week," boasted of the US role in stoking up tensions over Ukraine. "The United States, working with our European partners, has rallied to isolate and pressure Russia for its activities in Ukraine," she said. "That's the kind of leadership that only the world's greatest power can bring to bear."

The Putin regime will seek to forestall this gang-up with further diplomatic maneuvers at the United Nations Security Council. Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Russia was submitting a resolution Monday calling for an end to the violence and the creation of humanitarian corridors in eastern Ukraine to allow civilians to leave combat areas.

Next Page  1  |  2


Patrick Martin writes for the World Socialist Website (wsws.org), a forum for socialist ideas & analysis & published by the International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI).

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact Author Contact Editor View Authors' Articles

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

The Low-wage, No-raise Economy

US House of Representatives votes to abolish Medicare

Nearly One Million US Workers Cut Off Unemployment Benefits

Obama hails deal to impose record cuts in social spending

US House of Representatives approves plan to destroy Medicare, Medicaid and food stamps

One in seven Americans now living in poverty


The time limit for entering new comments on this article has expired.

This limit can be removed. Our paid membership program is designed to give you many benefits, such as removing this time limit. To learn more, please click here.

Comments: Expand   Shrink   Hide  
2 people are discussing this page, with 3 comments
To view all comments:
Expand Comments
(Or you can set your preferences to show all comments, always)

Russia's acquiescence and commitment to the "new w... by Ethan Hollow on Wednesday, Jun 4, 2014 at 9:29:07 AM
Australia, Luxembourg, and Jordan are planning to ... by Ethan Hollow on Wednesday, Jun 4, 2014 at 9:42:25 AM
Interesting article ____ G-8 when it suits predato... by urb musak on Thursday, Jun 5, 2014 at 6:03:23 PM