Tag "Alexander Mercouris"

Boris Gryzlov and Ukraine: Russia brings on a Heavy-Weight

  Appointment of Boris Gryzlov to represent Russia on the Contact Group brings a key Russian decision maker into the heart of the crisis by Alexander Mercouris for Russia Insider That the Russian leadership continues to accord the Ukrainian conflict the highest importance is confirmed by a very interesting appointment the Kremlin has just announced. This is the appointment of Boris Gryzlov as Russia’s representative on the so-called Contact Group.

Russian diplomacy achieved a trio of Security Council Resolutions over the last month which give Russia a decisive advantage

by Alexander Mercouris for Russia Insider At the  beginning of Russia’s intervention in Syria – in an interview for Radio Sputnik – I predicted the Russians would seek legal cover for their actions in the form of a Security Council mandate. In the event, months of intense diplomatic activity have resulted in three separate but complimentary Security Council Resolutions, all passed in just a few weeks. Taken together with reports

IMF Dithers as Ukraine Defaults on Russia Loan

This article was originally published on Russia Insider: http://russia-insider.com/en/business/imf-dithers-ukraine-defaults-russian-loan/ri11901 by Alexander Mercouris The issue of the $3 billion loan Ukraine owes Russia is becoming increasingly complicated. The IMF has in recent days made a series of announcements which everyone knows relate to the Russian loan but which appear to contradict each other. One is to say that the loan is indeed “public” (“Paris Club”) debt as opposed to “private” (“London

US Wants Him So Yatsenyuk Stays

This article was first published on Russia Insider: http://russia-insider.com/en/politics/us-wants-him-so-yatsenyuk-stays/ri11871 Altercation in Ukrainian parliament obscures fact of Yatsenyuk’s political survival because of US backing. by Alexander Mercouris Last week’s fight in the Ukrainian parliament between Prime Minister Yatsenyuk and a deputy of Poroshenko’s party has made world headlines. In doing so it has obscured the single most important fact about political developments in Ukraine over the last two weeks. This is that despite

EU Sanctions on Russia to be Extended – No Veto or Discussion Allowed

This article was originally written for Russia Insider: http://russia-insider.com/en/politics/eu-sanctions-russia-be-extended-no-veto-or-discussion-allowed/ri11858 In conversations with Russian news agency TASS EU diplomats and officials outline the undemocratic means whereby the decision to extend the sanctions will be imposed. by Alexander Mercouris Recently I wrote a piece for Russia Insider discussing how the EU really works. I pointed out that the veto small states supposedly have over key EU decisions is a fiction. Decisions are made

So did Syriza win a victory?

by Alexander Mercouris   Since Greek was granted a 4 month extension there has been a sustained attempt both within Greece and in the English speaking world to claim that it is Syriza rather than the EU hardliners that came out ahead on points.  This is the view of Tsipras but also the view of such Anglophone commentators ranging from Jack Rasmus on the far left to Paul Krugman on

Back from Moscow

by Alexander Mercouris As everyone by now knows I have been a week in Moscow. It was an extraordinary, wonderful visit packed with productive work and meetings with good friends.  There is so much to say and I will try to say it when I can.  But first a quick general impression about the economic and security situation unrelated to specific political news or to the Nemtsov murder (of which

The Minsk “Agreement”

by Alexander Mercouris   Already there is debate about who has “won” and who has “lost” in the Minsk talks. The short answer is that as the German foreign minister Steinmeier correctly said there is no breakthrough but the Russians and the NAF have made progress. One point needs to be explained or reiterated (since I have explained it already and many times). The agreement does not make provision for

Talks in Moscow – a two-part analysis

by Alexander Mercouris   Part one (On 6th February 2015) They have apparently continued for 5 hours and are still not finished though it seems some sort of document is being prepared for tomorrow.   Three comments: 1. If negotiations go on for 5 hours that does not suggest a smooth and conflict free discussion. 2. One of the most interesting things about the Moscow talks is that they mainly

War in the Ukraine

by Alexander Mercouris   Russia Insider has published my latest piece on the course of the Ukrainian war. It is a more refined and thought through version of the piece I previously wrote on this Page. The Ukrainian Army Is Bleeding to Death   1. My key point is that it is not minor tactical movements that are determining the course of this war. It is the level of casualties

EU sanctions meeting

by Alexander Mercouris   As Eric Kraus has pointed out there is complete confusion in the media today about how to spin the latest EU sanctions decision. Did Syriza fold as per Reuters and Bloomberg. Or did the meeting expose growing splits within the EU as per the Financial Times and the London Times. The best answer is that nothing definite was decided at the latest EU Council meeting but

A key day in the Ukrainian Conflict?

by Alexander Mercouris   This may turn out to be a critical day in the evolution of the Ukrainian conflict. 1. The Russian Security Council met today. We do not (obviously) have a full account but Putin’s website has provided some details. Strikingly, Putin referred to the junta as “official Kiev” and not “the Ukrainian government” or “the Ukrainian side”. He also referred to the two east Ukrainian republics as

Ukraine Goes to War – and Always Will as Long as Maidan Holds Power

by Alexander Mercouris for Russia Insider As the economic situation in Ukraine goes from bad to worse the response of the Ukrainian government’s attention is focused instead on resuming the war in the Donbass. Over the last few weeks we have heard boasts from President Poroshenko that the combat capabilities of the Ukrainian military have been fully restored since its defeat last summer and that all its losses in armour

The Importance Of The Cancellation Of South Stream

by Alexander Mercouris The reaction to the cancellation of the Sound Stream project has been a wonder to behold and needs to be explained very carefully. In order to understand what has happened it is first necessary to go back to the way Russian-European relations were developing in the 1990s. Briefly, at that period, the assumption was that Russia would become the great supplier of energy and raw materials to

Official – China Recognises Crimean Referendum

by Alexander Mercouris “OFFICIAL – CHINA RECOGNISES CRIMEAN REFERENDUM” This is the clear meaning of the statement TASS reports that a senior official of the Chinese Foreign Ministry has made.  The fact that China recognises the Crimean referendum means that de facto (and surely before long de jure) China has recognised Crimea’s unification with Russia.  Note also that the official has expressed support for Russia’s Ukrainian policy. http://en.itar-tass.com/world/760944 This is

Obama in retreat on MH17

by Alexander Mercouris Amidst all the hysteria about what western leaders said to Putin during the Brisbane G20 summit (answer: nothing new or important), the media has entirely ignored certain very interesting comments about MH17 that Obama made in his speech at the University of Queensland. His precise words (taken from the White House website) were as follows: “We’re leading the international community in the fight to destroy the terrorist

New MH17 satellite photos – a warning

by Alexander Mercouris I have deliberately helped back on the story about the satellite photos that supposedly show a Ukrainian fighter shooting down MH17 to see what the response would be, whether any more evidence would come to light and what the Russian government and military would say about them . In the event the Russian government and military have ignored them as I notice to a great extent have

German intelligence report on MH17

by Alexander Mercouris It seems the German intelligence agency the BND has provided a Bundestag committee with a report that once again attributes the MH17 shoot down to the NAF. The report has not been published but for me the single most interesting thing in it is that it apparently finally demolishes the theory that MH17 was shot down by a BUK system secretly transferred to the NAF by the

Alexander Mercouris: Deadlock and Gas Talks in Milan

Dear friends, It is a huge pleasure to announce today, specifically in response to the request of many of you, Alexander Mercouris has agreed to send me his his FaceBook analytical posts for posting here.  I have a huge respect for Alexander and I am delighted to welcome him here as a regular contributor. The Saker——-Alexander Mercouris: Deadlock and Gas Talks in Milanby Alexander Mercouris Deadlock in MilanNews from the

Analysis of the ceasefire by Alexander Mercouris

Dear friends,I am under the very strong impression that a lot of folks are in a full-blown “panic” mode for no valid reason at all.  I did my best to calm things down in my recent Q&A/FAQ+RFC post (if you have not read it *please* do so!) but my feeling is that my words have fallen on deaf ears.  Then I tried again, by posting Yuri Baranchik’s article.  Again, I