Russian FM after meeting with Kerry: Russia has no “common vision” on Crimea with the west

posted at 2:01 pm on March 14, 2014 by Allahpundit

The Crimean referendum on independence is Sunday. Western sanctions are set to take effect Monday. Today’s meeting was the last grasp for a deal before the two sides dig in.

No deal.

“We do not have a common vision of the situation,” Sergei Lavrov told journalists in London through an interpreter, adding that the “dialogue was constructive.”…

Lavrov also told reporters that Russia had no plans to invade southeastern Ukraine.

“The Russian Federation does not and cannot have any plans to invade the southeastern regions of Ukraine,” he said…

Lavrov also said Crimea – which was part of the Soviet Union before the end of communism – was of “immeasurable” value to Russia, and meant more to his country than the Falklands mean to Britain.

Here’s what Lavrov means he says they have no plans for a broader invasion:

Russian troops are now massing in three different border regions to Ukraine’s east. Could be that the Crimea referendum is itself largely a pretext for a broader invasion: If there are any protests or skirmishes in the south or east in response to the vote, which seems highly likely, that’s Putin’s cue to claim that ethnic Russians throughout the rest of Ukraine are in danger and need “rescuing.” In fact, per The Interpreter, Lavrov refused to acknowledge at today’s meeting that Russia has invaded Crimea. They’re still sticking to the transparent fiction that the troops now in control of the province are some sort of mysterious homegrown element that’s keeping the peace lest it explode from ethnic tensions. Can’t wait to find out next week where the 200,000 men in camouflage patrolling eastern Ukraine supposedly came from.

Kerry warned him today that the west won’t recognize the results of the referendum under these circumstances, as if Lavrov cares. On the contrary, Moscow’s focused right now on preparing Russians for confrontation with the west and its sympathizers:

But then came the day a Moscow acquaintance announced on Facebook that her daughter, a first-grader, came home from school in a panic because the teacher had told the class that America was about to invade Russia. But then television host and attack dog Dmitry Kiselev went after the “radicals” in Kiev in a special broadcast dedicated to Ukraine, saying that the transfer of Crime to the Ukrainian Soviet Republic in 1954 was “a historical crime” and blaming the dissolution of Yugoslavia on the West. “What is Yugoslavia now? A pimple on the body of Europe.”…

Yesterday, Ekho Moskvy, the biggest Moscow radio station who had its website blocked yesterday, invited on the air the editor of Den, a strange Moscow paper, said the crackdown on the press was necessary because the West had waged “an information war” against Russia, to which Russia had to present a united front. A family friend wrote from Moscow in shock: His television was telling him the internet is for radicals and perverts, which, to him, was a clear foreshadowing of a great firewall with the West. (Other Moscow friends, all liberals, are beginning to get seriously depressed. One describes a foreboding feeling that a civil war is near, another asked for the number of a good immigration lawyer in the U.S.)…

Here’s what’s scary about this: this is all being done, according to various reports, without any consultation with anyone outside Putin’s shrinking inner circle of old KGB spooks. The economic elites most likely to suffer from a plummeting ruble and sanctions have been shut out of the decision-making process. This is all about intangibles, the things that reason can’t hook, the things impervious to logic and reasoning and even the cynical algebra of geopolitical interests.

So, yeah. To put it mildly, between this and the fact that 69 percent of Americans now see Russia as a threat to the U.S., there is indeed no “common vision.”


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