Following the humiliation of tonight's much anticipated Eurogroup meeting in which for the first time ever, not only did Greece punk Germany's stern finance minister, but the ensuing disarray was so profound the panicked European finance ministers couldn't even find a quorum consensus to produce even the tersest of official statements, there was some hope that the second round of negotiations currently taking place in Minsk to find a solution to the Ukraine civil war would at least partially redeem Europe's faltering negotiating reputation.
Alas, as of this moment, that does not appear to be the case, and as Reuters reports citing a Kiev presidential aide, that Minsk talks on Ukraine crisis could last six more hours. "We've got another 5-6 hours of work. At least. But we should not leave here without an agreement on an unconditional ceasefire. There's a battle of nerves underway," aide Valeriy Chaly said in a Facebook post.
Well, if it is indeed a "battle of nerves", something tells who the victor will be, considering all his peers are just a little more preoccupied with the potential collapse of their artificial monetary and political union.
Yet, just like the previous Minsk "agreement", even if by some miracle there is a solution this time around, the probability peace will be maintained is slim to none.
The reason is not simply because the Ukraine civil war will go on until there is a terminal partition between the pro-western West part of the country, and the pro-Russian eastern regions. The real reason may be what one of Vladimir Putin's top security advisors, the secretary of the Security Council, Nikolai Patrushev said earlier today, when he told a Russian state newspaper that the U.S. was orchestrating events in Ukraine in a bid to overthrow Mr. Putin’s government. He also expressed certainty that the West’s financial aid for Kiev would only bring the Ukrainian economy to a “dead end.”
“The situation in Ukraine is being used as a pretext for the active ‘repression’ of our country,” Mr. Patrushev, who ran Russia’s Federal Security Service during Mr. Putin’s first eight years as president, said in an interview with the Rossiyskaya Gazeta, published Wednesday.
And, if accurate, Patrushev's assessment is that the US will not stop short of what effectively will be world war: “The Americans are trying to involve the Russian Federation in an interstate military conflict, cause regime change [in Russia] and ultimately dismember our country via events in Ukraine,” he said.
To be sure, Patrushev's view that the Ukraine events have been orchestrated by the US from day one, is a widely shared one (and not only because it has been validated to a great extend by the leaked facts). The WSJ adds that "Mr. Patrushev’s comments reflect the views of some of the hard-liners around Mr. Putin, who have characterized the rise of a pro-Western government in neighboring Ukraine as an existential threat to the Kremlin leadership.
They describe last year’s protests on Kiev’s Independence Square, which ended with then-President Viktor Yanukovych fleeing to Russia, as a U.S.-orchestrated attempt to encroach upon Russia and spur a similar uprising in Moscow.
“The U.S. administration expects [its recent] anti-Russian measures to decrease quality of life for the population, give rise to mass protests and push Russian citizens to overthrow the current government using the scenario of the ‘color revolutions,’” Mr. Patrushev said, referring to pro-Western uprisings that occurred in Georgia, Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan from 2003 to 2005.
To be sure, while Putin has repeatedly been compared to Hitler if mostly in the western press, the inverse is true in Russia, where people like Patrushev compare what Obama is trying to do to the actions of Hitler and Napoleon.
He noted that both Napoleon and Adolf Hitler failed to conquer Russia. “In today’s difficult times, when the U.S. and its allies have taken the path of confrontation with the Russian Federation, it is necessary to recall again and again the lessons of history,” he said.
So as futile diplomacy rages in this latest proxy war, the biggest loser are the common Ukraine people whose role is to be the pawn in the latest cold war between the east and west:
Mr. Patrushev suggested that the West wasn’t dedicated enough to overhauling Ukraine’s battered economy. “I suspect that the West will bring the Ukrainian economy to a dead-end,” he said. “The aid sent to Kiev won’t lead to any practical results. No one is preparing to raise the standard of living in Ukraine or set up its young people in Europe for real.”
Regarding the recent attempts to send lethal support to Ukraine, or to send the US army to train Ukraine troops, Putin's security advisor didn't comment on the possibility of the U.S. arming Kiev, but Russian officials have said that Moscow would interpret such a move as a direct threat. Then again he didn't have to: as reported earlier "Russia Warns US, Supplying Arms To Ukraine "Will Have Dramatic Consequences."
In the interview, he repeated a claim often heard in Russia—that former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright once said Moscow had come to control too much territory and too many resources—as evidence of a U.S. desire to dismantle Russia. Ms. Albright has denied ever making such a statement.
His punchline, as reported by Bloomberg: "the current US approach will lead to inevitable confrontation with Russia and China."
It hardly needs an explanation.
Finally, Patrushev also brought up another theory often cited by Russian officials: that the U.S. is “trying to seed conflict” around the world as a way to increase its power.
“Beginning with the global financial crisis in 2008, the U.S. decided to recover at the expense of others, including with the help of military adventurism and the destruction of full governments, employing the theory of ‘managed chaos'."
Considering 7 years after the great financial crisis, the world is still stuck deep in a glboal recession with central banks monetizing more debt than ever before in history while the US oligarchy has never been richer even as the global middle class is left for dead and told to just "buy assets" his observation is rather spot on.