PACE Resolutions: ‘Russia not a bear, but ‘black swan' committing crimes' – analyst on Putin's failed blackmail

16:08 Oct. 14, 2016

‘Russia not a bear, but ‘black swan' committing crimes' – analyst on Putin's failed blackmail

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Ukrainian political expert Alexander Khara talks PACE pro-Ukraine resolutions and how they could affect Russia

The latest PACE resolutions on Russia's involvement in Ukrainian conflict have been named essential by international community, meaning the organization has adopted a much harsher approach towards Moscow.

The documents not only reiterate condemnation of the annexation of Crimea, slam Russian Parliamentary elections there, and call on the Kremlin to cease violations of human rights, they also acknowledge ‘the crucial role of Russian military personnel in taking over' the areas in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

Read also: Ukraine wins important battle in PACE: Russia's revanche fend off

‘Regarding the ‘DPR' and the ‘LPR', effective control is based on the well-documented crucial role of Russian military personnel in taking over and maintaining control of these regions, against the determined resistance of the legitimate Ukrainian authorities and on the complete dependence of the ‘DPR' and ‘LPR' on Russia in logistical, financial and administrative terms', one of the resolution says.

The documents arrived at the times, when it seemed almost inevitable Moscow would regain its positions at PACE, as even the organization's President evidently supported the return of the Russian delegation, which had been excluded from PACE over the Kremlin's actions in Ukraine. 

‘Russia was trying to employ the power of all its proxies within the organization to change the rules and to get back to PACE. The two resolutions could be considered as a sign of the failed Russian blackmail diplomacy towards this important body', Ukrainian political expert Alexander Khara said.

Mr. Khara praised the resolutions as organization's move in the right direction, adding that PACE had made more progress even than Ukrainian government, calling Russia the aggressor in Crimea and, especially, in Donbas.

Read also: Is Russia really preparing for war?

The Parliament Assembly rapporteurs pointed out that according to the international law it is Russia that is responsible for protecting the human rights in the territories it seized within Ukraine. They also said that any elections in militant-held Donbas are not possible due to the many factors, including security situation and a lack of freedoms.

It remains to be seen whether the resolution will have any effect on the Kremlin. Khara says, in the meantime Moscow is gambling and raising stakes in Ukraine and in Syria, but it's unlikely to achieve what it wants.

‘Russia now is not a bear, but rather a black swan. It's making a lot of mistakes, committing a lot of crimes that the Free world (the West – UT), cannot just turn a blind eye on', the analyst said, apparently referring to the black swan theory, which is a metaphor that describes unexpected events of large magnitude and consequence and their dominant role in history.

'Before the PACE vote, Russia did a lot of bad things in Syria, Putin is not fulfilling his promise, and this is the reason why the West has no choice but to step up the pressure'.

Putin, in turn, has repeatedly denied Moscow's responsibility for the rift in the relations with the West, dismissing the accusations as ‘anti-Russian hysteria'. He would often say that the US acted unilaterally, avoiding consultations with him on the key issues.

Read also: Plutonium blackmail: Putin demands US pay compensation for his own countersanctions

As Khara emphasized, both Washington and Berlin have always stressed they were open to dialogue with the Kremlin, combining deterrence and diplomacy in their approach. But Putin often makes the latter impossible, which was clearly demonstrated by the failed meeting of the Russian and French Presidents.

‘Because of the rising violence and crimes committed by Assad and Russian air force, bombing hospitals, Mr. Hollande decided to step away from the talks. And it was right after the Russian delegation voted for the fifth time against a UN resolution on ceasefire and a no-fly zone in Syria, because peace is not in Russia's interests, escalation is, to push the West to negotiate with Assad', Ukrainian analyst said.

Still, Khara says he believes that the increasing pressure and possible stronger sanctions will eventually push Putin towards fulfilling his obligations in Minsk and other international agreements. 

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