Moratorium against NATO enlargement as a temporary, de-escalating compromise?
One of Putin’s advisers, also Gazproman employee and moderator of the Valdaiclub Dr. Alexander Rahr emailed us today that he understood from the German Chancellor’s speech that he had suggested a kind of moratorium against further NATO expansion as a short-term compromise proposal for de-escalation. We wondered if that was just a hint and what that meant in practice. If so, Scholz must state and demand it clearly and openly and present it as his own proposal. Due to the criticism of the alleged German special path, Dr. Rahr thought that it was a pity that Macron was not at the MSC and could propose such a moratorium. But French Foreign Minister Yves Le Drain is present and could take on that role if there are any Russian signals. But since the Russians sent neither Putin nor Lavrov, but the former Foreign Minister Ivanov, who is not authorized to do anything and reports more, this would be their own fault, especially since they themselves might not have any interest in such a moratorium on de-escalation, since they now wanting to establish facts on Novorussia. Putin would be free to call Macron or put Lavrov in touch with Le Drian to initiate a proposal for a moratorium on Ukraine and NATO expansion. Rahr then said that Johnson and Scholz were too far apart. Our assessment is that due to party gates, quarrels in the Royal Family, Brexit hangover and Northern Ireland problems in addition to the economic crisis, Johnson is perceived more as a troublemaker and quartercracker from Global Britain, which is desperately interfering in continental Europe. It would make sense to bring the moratorium proposal to the French so that they could strengthen Scholz in this direction by means of the Franco-German axis and then push through this orientation against the Poles and Eastern Europeans together in the Weimar Triangle and the EU. Rahr then suddenly brought up alleged grenade hits by Ukrainian artillery on Russian soil and we asked him to distance himself from this transparent sacrificial propaganda of poor, attacked Russia and to come back to the moratorium proposal he had raised. Russia should propose this, General Kujat popularize this in Germany and thus put pressure on Scholz together with France, and contact should also be made with Timothy Garton Ash, who had first raised the idea of a New Ostpolitik based on three pillars at the MSC.
We also wanted to know whether the information that Ukraine had written NATO membership as a goal in its constitution or whether this was Russian fake news was true. Should this be the case, parallel to the moratorium, a deletion of the alleged constitutional amendment should be demanded as a goodwill gesture by Ukraine. Although it is repeatedly emphasized that it is the right of states, including smaller states, to enter into alliances, strangely enough, it is always pretended that sovereignty only depends on alliance membership and that neutrality cannot equally constitute a sovereign state. Wasn’t Austria or Finland sovereign without NATO membership? It should also be noted that although it is part of the sovereignty of states to submit applications for membership, it is also part of the sovereignty of other states or organizations to reject these applications. So such a moratorium would be a very interesting thing. Still, the Russian side, despite having raised it, doesn’t seem interested at all. Especially since Dr. Rahr also wrote that the Russians, like Ivan, wanted to be the third collector of Russian soil, that is, to incorporate Belarus and Ukraine. We said that Putin might want that, but that the Russian population would no longer celebrate it like the annexation of Crimea and was against it, which is also supported by the open letter from former Russian generals and intelligence officers, who wanted a strong Russia within its current borders, but no Novorussian dreams or a Russian neo-Ottoman Empire ala Erdogan, including all the costs and loot, especially since Ukraine is also tied to a proper economic millstone and the Chinese would only laugh because Russia would then fall into their womb like a withered fruit.
As always. The question is whether Putin doesn’t want to create a fait accompli. Novorussia, enduring 2 years of sanctions until Trump is re-elected in 2024 and then making a deal with him at the expense of Europe, Germany and also the Eastern EuropeansMany call Trump a business man, a geo-economist who sees the competition with the USA primarily from an economic policy point of view – which is why Russia and North Korea are not his problem, but above all China and the EU, especially since he also said that the EU is „worse than China, but smaller,“ but can also be fought. Iran, which is also economically insignificant, is the exception to his theory. China and Iran are the main opponents. However, he prevented a trade war against the EU halfway after EU Commissioner Juncker showed him the reverse of the EU’s means of torture. And Trump was also clear: Two trade wars at once would probably be too much. So he focused on the center of Europe, Germany, because of the lack of NATO target and Northstream, but in doing so he also questioned the whole of NATO using these scapegoats as he questioned NATO as “obsolete” and then Macron as “brain dead”. It doesn’t matter: Putin and Xi hope for these contradictions. Putin on the rule of three: Novorussia, Trump’s re-election, decomposition of NATO and the EU into individual countries that can then be colonized, pushing the US back out of Europe, while Xi also hopes for a second front in Taiwan and the Indo-Pacific in cooperation with Russia, that weakens and distracts the US. Trump might make a deal at the expense of NATO and Eastern Europeans, might even pull out of Europe to be more active against China in the Indo-Pacific, but he would put the US and the West in the position of pulling out in Europe and then the final battle against China. Since this dual economic war and one-sided orientation would result in Trump diametrically opposed to China but unable to defeat either Russia or China, he would have to retreat to US island like Global Britain to his island and a few micromilitary references elsewhere. The most critical phase would come when Trump has offered Russia so much in Europe that he hopes for it as a junior partner. At best, Russia will remain neutral in the Sino-American conflict, but perhaps see concessions on Europe and NATO as gains that spur it on to go further, perhaps with China. The sticking point would come when Trump was given the choice of taking military action against Russia and China and possibly risking a nuclear war. Then Putin and Xi hope again that he behaves like a businessman and, in addition to verbal shouting, withdraws to his American island. Like Global Britain, Make America Great Agian would then be an isolated great power that is pulling out everywhere and becoming smaller and smaller. Biden and the transatlanticists do not want that, although they have not yet broken with their expansionism towards NATO expansion, but they could. A moratorium and possible pressure on Ukraine to remove NATO membership as a goal from its constitution could theoretically be a de-escalation bring and maybe a new Ostpolitik. But it is questionable whether this would be desired by the US and Russian side at all.