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What to Do About That Russian Ultimatum
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“Get off our front porch. Get out of our front yard. And stay out of our backyard.”

This might stand as a crude summary of two draft security pacts Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei A. Ryabkov delivered last week as Russia’s price for resolving the crisis created by those 100,000 Russian troops on Ukraine’s borders.

Ryabkov’s demands appear to be a virtual ultimatum, designed to be rejected by the U.S. and NATO and provide Moscow with a pretext for an invasion and occupation of part or all of Ukraine.

Among the maximalist Russian demands:

Written guarantees from NATO that it will not admit into the 70-year-old Cold War alliance any more ex-Soviet republics, specifically, Ukraine, Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan.

Offensive weapons are to be kept out of nations that border Russia.

The U.S. and Russia should keep their warships and strategic bombers away from each other’s territory. The U.S. should forgo planting military bases in any of the five “stans,” the Central Asian nations that once were part of the USSR.

NATO should withdraw military infrastructure it has placed in Eastern European states after 1997.

That date is significant. For not until 1999 did Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic join NATO. And the accession of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Bulgaria, Slovakia and Slovenia came only in 2004.

Russia is calling for the creation of a security zone around its borders to include all of the former Soviet Union and beyond, where U.S. and NATO military bases would be prohibited.

That Ryabkov’s demands were specific and made public suggests they are to be taken seriously and Russian President Vladimir Putin is behind them. The deputy foreign minister is calling for immediate negotiations over these security pacts to begin in Geneva.

Before dismissing these Russian demands outright, the U.S. should look closely to see if there are not some issues on which compromise is possible and common ground can be found so the Ukraine crisis might be defused. One senior U.S. official has been quoted as indicating such:

“There are some things in those documents that the Russians know will be unacceptable … but there are other things that we are prepared to work with and merit some discussion.”

The U.S. has already signaled, with President Joe Biden’s warning to Putin about “severe … economic sanctions” should Russia invade, that we are ruling out war and confining any U.S. response to nonmilitary means.

British Defence Secretary Ben Wallace has said that the U.K. is also unlikely to send troops to defend Ukraine if Russia invades, as Ukraine is not a member of NATO.

Nor is the U.S. or NATO going to war for Georgia to validate its claims to Abkhazia and South Ossetia, as we showed in 2008. That August, President George W. Bush sat immobile as Putin’s Russia threw the invading Georgians out of South Ossetia.

ORDER IT NOW

Again, America is not going to war for Georgia or Ukraine. We have demonstrated that with our inaction in the Russian-Georgia war of 2008, in the Crimea and Donbass crises in 2014, and in the Ukraine crisis of 2021. So, why not find a way to convey this reality, to avert a Russian invasion of Ukraine and war Kyiv would surely lose?

If Ukraine and Georgia are not going to be admitted to NATO or given Article V war guarantees, why not say so publicly now?

What is happening today is that, after decades of moving NATO east from the Elbe River to the Baltic states and borders of Russia itself, the chickens of NATO expansion are coming home to roost.

Since the end of the Cold War, NATO has doubled in size.

We now have outstanding U.S.-NATO war guarantees to 28 nations on the other side of the Atlantic, some of them tiny nations deep inside Eastern Europe, in the very shadow of Russia, the largest nation on earth.

The day cannot be far off when the U.S. is going to have to review and discard Cold War commitments that date to the 1940s and 1950s, and require us to fight a nuclear power such as Russia for countries that have nothing to do with our vital interests or our national security.

Ryabkov’s call for U.S.-Russia negotiations at Geneva may be the place to begin a public reappraisal of our Cold War commitments.

For any concessions we make on not expanding NATO into Ukraine and Georgia, we can demand reciprocal Russian concessions. New arms agreements to limit U.S. and Russian missiles in Europe and to restrict the number of U.S. and Russia air and naval operations near the borders of our respective countries seem negotiable.

A Russian-Ukrainian war, which Kyiv would almost surely lose, would prove a disaster for both nations.

The winner would be China. For such a war would leave Russia no place else to turn for an economic, political and strategic partner. And U.S. interests are not served by the cementing alliance between Beijing and Moscow.

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of “Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever.”

 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: American Military, Russia, Ukraine 
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  1. Renoman says:

    The US has no business over there beyond selling bombs and guns, if you think Americans are willing to watch their Son’s die for that again you are sadly mistaken. Go home and pave your roads, help the poor and for god’s sake tax the bejesus out of those ridiculously rich Billionaires. You are embarrassing to your people and a joke in all parts of the World.

  2. Again, America is not going to war for Georgia or Ukraine.

    The difference here is the Ukraine is a Jewish pet project while the rest are just generalized Jewish hatred for Mother Russia going back to Catherine the Great
    i.e. the prospects are not good.
    And China being the “winner” presupposes that Russia is run by idiots
    who might be bamboozled, a dangerous idea also.

    • Replies: @Bull Gator
  3. Molip says:

    It all comes down to Russia wanting _guaranteed_ peace but the US and Nato refusing. In fact the latter seem to be pushing war at every opportunity.

  4. meamjojo says:

    I heard the guy threatening nuclear war on the BBS Monday evening, if NATO and the USA did not agree to his demands.

    I wonder if Putin will allow his in the fallout shelter?

  5. Mostly, a sensible response to the issue, apart from this:

    This might stand as a crude summary of two draft security pacts Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei A. Ryabkov delivered last week as Russia’s price for resolving the crisis created by those 100,000 Russian troops on Ukraine’s borders.

    There are not 100,000 Russian troops on Ukraine’s borders. There are very few indeed, it appears. There are certainly large concentrations of Russian troops well back from the Ukrainian border, at places like Yelnya, 250km ( 150 miles ) away. These would be effective for a counter-offensive, against a Ukrainian attack on the Donbas, not an offensive.
    The story of 100,000, or even 175,000, Russian troops on Ukraine’s borders first appeared over a month ago. It was quickly shot down: US Intelligence said there was no evidence of it. Likewise, other European NATO states denied. Now it has reappeared again, from the usual “anonymous sources “. As before, no evidence is presented.
    So it is disappointing that Pat Buchanan is repeating this US Deep State fabrication. I say Pat Buchanan: more properly his researchers or gophers. I don’t believe Pat has written his columns unaided for a number of years. There are errors in fact and misrepresentations that Pat would never had committed in his prime. He is over 80, so maybe it is time to retire.

  6. anonymous[333] • Disclaimer says:

    The winner would be China. For such a war would leave Russia no place else to turn for an economic, political and strategic partner. And U.S. interests are not served by the cementing alliance between Beijing and Moscow.

    The alliance between China and Russia is already solid. I doubt it would serve Chinese interests to see Russia get further isolated from Europe. It would make Russia economically weaker and also Europe more aggressive towards China.

    • Agree: PJ London
    • Replies: @Badger Down
  7. Pat brilliantly documented how Britain, with US encouragement, created a crisis in Poland in 1939 in order to have an excuse to wage war on National Socialist Germany. It is unfortunate that he fails to see the pattern repeating today with the US provoking Russia in the Ukraine (and elsewhere). Britain saw the resurgent Germany as its chief obstacle to ruling the world. But by attempting to annihilate its rival, Britain annihilated itself as a world power. Evidently the madmen in Washington today are as unacquainted with the law of unintended consequences as their equivalents in London were long ago. But this time the target is not a nearly landlocked European nation of 75 million souls, but a global power with a defense establishment linked to China and her 1.4 billion people.

    • Agree: Bull Gator
    • Replies: @Annacat
    , @Zorost
  8. @Verymuchalive

    Time to retire? Mr. Buchanan (or whoever writes these columns) is better than ever!

    Urging restraint while reinforcing Establishment narratives is his job.

    • Replies: @Verymuchalive
  9. @Verymuchalive

    A more important point is that the thousands of Russian troops are in Russia!
    Thousands of USer militants are in the wrong places.
    Stupid Japan has just agreed to pay \$2 bn a year, plus a bunch of extras, to the US for “protection”!
    How much does the US pay “israel” each year for hushhh!

    • Agree: Kolya Krassotkin
  10. @anonymous

    China and Russia both claim to want free trade with Europe. It seems believable. But you know how the US hates free trade.

  11. SafeNow says:

    The Blinken-type of mental style (dissension and contentiousness put a spring in the heel; an obsession with irresolvable conflict), coupled with incompetence, could well lead to war. My war-probability meter currently points to 28% (Russia or China, next 3 years). But given recent domestic losses, Biden might respond with a foreign adventure. The gamble then would be that the war stays tactical, and does not escalate into a nuclear ash pile.

  12. Annacat says:
    @Observator

    “Pat brilliantly documented how Britain, with US encouragement, created a crisis in Poland in 1939 in order to have an excuse to wage war on National Socialist Germany. It is unfortunate that he fails to see the pattern repeating today with the US provoking Russia in the Ukraine (and elsewhere). Britain saw the resurgent Germany as its chief obstacle to ruling the world.”

    Very well said, Observator!
    I do hope Mr Buchanan’s unability to see trough the anti-Russian agenda is due to old age…

  13. PJ London says:

    USA threatens to close bank accounts and put meaningless financial sanctions which 50% of the world will just ignore. Russia on the other hand makes it quite clear that it is going straight to a military option.
    Russia also has promised that in any future conflict, the US mainland will not be ignored but will become a theatre of war. Russia has no interest in putting Russian soldiers on the US mainland. This means Missiles and inevitably Nuclear missiles if any conflict arises between Russia and US-NATO.
    US has worked on the doctrine that in a US – Russia conflict the engagement would be in Europe and that the US had no problem with 100 million Europeans and Russians being obliterated. Putin has thrown that option out of the window and will go straight to Washington and San Diego.
    Putin does not want Ukraine, not even as a gift. Any one please come and sort it out. Russia doesn’t have the money or personnel to occupy or fix it. But Russia will not allow Medium range nuclear or conventional weapons within 200 -300 miles of its’ major cities. For that it will go to war. The Patriot anti-missile systems can be converted into Offensive weapons in minutes by changing the missiles. Already Russia is both scared and angry.
    The USA needs a major issue to rescue the American regime from an internal revolution, Covid has put it off for a year but that is running out of “fear factor”. An internal or external war is the only thing that will save the country from implosion.
    Putin and Xi realise this and are very scared that they will be drawn into the US internal problem.

    • Agree: Bull Gator
  14. Yee says:

    The winner would be China.

    Always keep in mind that war in Europe and Asia benefits the US, see the 2 world wars… China does not want war anywhere, since wars are bad for the kind of trades we’re doing.

    • Replies: @Marshal Marlow
  15. Andreas says:

    The US is already a former super-power. The Great Rollback is in progress. It is just not yet being stated openly. The Russian ultimatum comes from knowing there is little the US can do to push its ambitions further eastward. The US military is a paper tiger led by incompetents, and its sanctions are pathetic. Once Russia and China have decoupled themselves from the US financial system and other nations follow suit, then the real US collapse will begin. This will probably occur within 5 years at the most, unless some catalytic event precipitates it sooner. 2022 will be interesting.

    • Agree: Max Maxwell
  16. @nokangaroos

    Well if Ukraine is a Jewish pet project then send in the Ovens. They seem so dumb in Tel Aviv and Ju York that they might just climb in all on their own.

  17. @Greta Handel

    Urging restraint while reinforcing Establishment narratives is his job.

    Mr Buchanan advocates negotiation – real negotiation – with the Russians, resulting in some form of compromise. The US Establishment do not want any such negotiations: they are completely opposed to any compromise. There will be no concessions.
    He advocates restraint, but the US Establishment want no restraints on what they can do. He, or his helpers, do get facts wrong and misrepresent situations in some instances, as previously mentioned.
    However, he does not reinforce Establishment narratives. It has never been his job.

    • Replies: @Andreas
    , @Greta Handel
  18. Andreas says:
    @Verymuchalive

    The US Establishment do not want any such negotiations: they are completely opposed to any compromise.

    But they will compromise. There will be concessions. And they will be happy.

    • Replies: @Verymuchalive
  19. Putin/Russia are going to force the US/NATO to face cold hard facts very soon. Why does US continue to pretend Ukraine is an important ally or that it is going to defend it or it will be admitted into NATO? Putin/Russia will not tolerate further eastward expansion of NATO, this is reality. What will likely happen is some compromise; a written agreement that Ukraine will never be admitted into NATO is probably bridge too far for US/Biden; there will probably be a tacit agreement as there already effectively is; Biden has already said Ukraine can forget about joining NATO for next decade; it seems Ukraine has two options; either make a Modus Vivendi with Russia and implement Minsk accords and accept its fate that it will always border Russia and will never be in NATO build up militarily and acquire nuclear weapons; the fools in Kiev must wake up to reality they will never be in NATO and forget about fantasies of American troops defending them; it is said Russia has no veto over NATO membership but it effectively does; Ukraine and Georgia are not NATO members mostly because Russia objects.

  20. mijj says:

    > “And U.S. interests are not served by the cementing alliance between Beijing and Moscow”

    ..no rational being is concerned aboutU.S. interests.
    Go ahead Beijing-Moscow .. make it complete with Tehran.

  21. The US establishment doesn’t want an actual shooting war. They want a rebooted Cold War, where they control the flow of international commerce, and everyone seeks shelter in holding USD.

    They fear the New Silk Road and the death of the dollar more than they fear hypersonic missiles.

    They want to poke the bear just enough to get a reaction to justify a return to 1981, with proxy wars and trade barriers between East and West.

    A lot has changed since 1981. They’re just too stupid to know how futile their gambit is.

  22. JimDandy says:
    @Renoman

    The Cossacks were mean to Jews, tho.

    • Replies: @siberiancat
  23. The day cannot be far off when the U.S. is going to have to review and discard…commitments that…require us to fight…for countries that have nothing to do with our vital interests or our national security.

    “cough*Israel*cough*

    • LOL: Mustapha Mond
  24. MarkinLA says:

    The whole purpose of NATO was that the Red Army was so strong and western Europe so weak that the Red Army could roll right over the west if they wanted to. Those days are long gone and NATO should be too. If Europe thinks it needs to create a common defense structure against Russia, let them build one without us.

    I realize that OUR leaders do not want to leave NATO because we want to call the shots but it is time for Europe to kick us out.

    • Agree: Old Prude
  25. @Verymuchalive

    You must be one of the dwindling base of loyal old fans, still in denial.

    He, or his helpers, do get facts wrong and misrepresent situations in some instances, as previously mentioned.
    However, he does not reinforce Establishment narratives. It has never been his job.

    There are hundreds of comments beneath his columns showing that you’re wrong. How much proof is enough?

    Mr. Buchanan is the Right jamb of Uncle Sam’s Overton window.

    • Replies: @Verymuchalive
  26. @Greta Handel

    You are one of those people who believes that if someone is not 100% in agreement with your views, they are a tool of the Establishment. You really are deluding yourself.

    • Replies: @Greta Handel
  27. @Renoman

    Russia won’t invade. They will help the Ukrainians to overthrow their Zio dictatorship which has the support of less then 1 in 10 Ukrainians in a coup. Russia will use its air power and special forces to assist the Ukrainian people when and where needed.

  28. @Andreas

    The economic, and, thereafter, political and social, collapse of America is imminent. Any number of events could precipitate it, including a Russia-Ukraine War. Conflict, war and partition are likely to be America’s fate. I’m sure a future “American Government” will reach an agreement with the Russian Government. However, that American Government will be one after the collapse. It will not consist of the present Establishment and it will not have full authority and control over all the country. In fact, it may just be the representatives of a rump state.

    There is only one scenario in which I can see the present US Establishment reaching agreement with Russia. In the death throes of the American regime, enough Deep Staters might realise that they must free themselves from foreign entanglements so as to concentrate resources on the rapidly deteriorating situation at home. But most of these people are stupid and completely brainwashed by their Ziocon ideology. So I doubt very much that this would happen.

  29. Cking says:

    Exactly, a little sophistication in statecraft is required here; working to consolidate the firm of Russia and China against the United States is just plain stupid. Knowing that a message exists, I never liked the US Army’s new WWII retro, ‘pink and greens’ uniform. The prospect of the US invasion of Europe for the third time has to be unacceptable to the American people who are living with some hope that Great America can be achieved in the next Administration.

  30. @JimDandy

    The Cossacks were mean to Jews, tho.

    The Ukrainian ones, actually. Not the Russian ones.

    • Replies: @JimDandy
  31. @Yee

    Exactly. Europe and Russia are the ones who will be diminished by the Ukrainian squabble. So long as a war doesn’t go nuclear, then the US gets a really cheap victory against either Europe, Russia or both because western europe and eastern europe will stop trading with each other.

    The US can’t really lose – its just a choice between the victory being good, better or best.

  32. JimDandy says:
    @siberiancat

    Oy, you with the details. Let G_d sort ’em out, amiright?

  33. @Verymuchalive

    You’ve resorted to ad hominem instead of refuting my argument.

    The evidence has been piling up for years. Just thumb back to Mr. Buchanan’s previous (December 10) column and comment #4 for another example. And then let me know when to check that thread for your specific rebuttal.

    • Replies: @Jokem
  34. SteveK9 says:

    Ukraine will attack Donbass, which will be repelled. Russia will hold a referendum in the Donbass on admission to the Russian Federation. They will vote to join Russia.

    What happens next?

    • Replies: @El Dato
  35. Anon[233] • Disclaimer says:

    A short and sharp war would separate the eastern and western portions of Ukraine with Rus likely taking the eastern part.

    Ukraine territories have substantial cultural differences, for example, in the east Russian is the dominant language and in the west it is Ukrainian. Economically, the east might pay its way since it is more industrialized. By annexing the east, Russia would further cement its possession of Crimea and gain much more coastline on the Black Sea.

    If Rus chose military action they would be subject to heavy sanctions, and that would last for several years. But they have a large internal market, and are open to a great deal of trade other than the west. They would survive very nicely, and twenty years from now would largely overcome any sanctions.

    But I look at it as WW One. Rus came to the aid of Slavs in Serbia and it triggered a cascade of treaty obligations. WW One cost them dearly.

    Will they choose action if provoked, or will they be patient?

  36. Our federal mafia govgoons live in their own world: Russian “crisis” not a single American cares about, another “deadly” variant of the repackaged regular flu flooding hospitals with imaginary patients, “Supreme” morons deciding a man is a woman if he says he’s a woman.

    Red State Secession is needed to divorce us from those who have already seceded from reality.

  37. KenH says:

    This is all about enforcing the (((Wolfowitz Doctrine))) which aimed to prevent a re-consolidation of resources on the territory of the former Soviet Union and to ring Russia with states hostile to its national interests and willing to serve as bases for U.S. military troops and offensive weapons systems.

    The doctrine calls for efforts to help Russia and Ukraine become “peaceful democracies with market-based economies” which is code for turning them into U.S. vassals. The framers of the Wolfy doctrine did not foresee the rise of someone as formidable as Vladimir Putin.

    https://www.nytimes.com/1992/03/08/world/excerpts-from-pentagon-s-plan-prevent-the-re-emergence-of-a-new-rival.html

  38. El Dato says:

    For any concessions we make on not expanding NATO into Ukraine and Georgia, we can demand reciprocal Russian concessions.

    That’s the full US bandit mindset: Demanding “concessions” on things that don’t belong to you.

    NOPE! You can’t. Maybe you can demand concessions for de-milling Poland and Romania and taking out those missiles.

    New arms agreements to limit U.S. and Russian missiles in Europe and to restrict the number of U.S. and Russia air and naval operations near the borders of our respective countries seem negotiable.

    That’s actually in the proposal, which is not an “Ultimatum”. Someone called “Buchanan” should know what an “Ultimatum” is unless retirement is overdue.

    The one word I have not found in the article is “peer”. Russia demands *symmetric treatement* and *recriprocity*, not being subjected to “the international rules-based order” when it suits the US and being subjected to anything else cooked by de-skilled politicians wandering homelessly between European capitals when it doesn’t.

    More clear words from the top:

  39. El Dato says:
    @SteveK9

    Zelensky is hung naked by irate mobs while German newspapers are outputting rosary-clenching material about murdered democracies and NATO demands immediate application of the do-something principle.

    In other words: nothing.

  40. Anonymous[110] • Disclaimer says:
    @Verymuchalive

    So it is disappointing that Pat Buchanan is repeating this US Deep State fabrication.

    He’s been consistently doing it in every article I’ve bothered to read. Maybe I’m just not old enough to remember those ancient times when Pat didn’t sound like a wind-up shill puppet.

    At least I’m not disappointed.

  41. Jokem says:
    @Greta Handel

    He is not the only one who resorts to ad hominem. You have done so yourself on occasion.

    • Agree: Greta Handel
  42. Anon[159] • Disclaimer says:

    Oh gee whiz Pat, just say the Truth!

    Jews are the problem. You know it, as well as anyone.

    If YOU of all people cannot say this, then you doom mankind to save your own skin.

    I respect prophets, those that speak Truth to Power, and martyrs.

    I don’t respect chickenshits.

    Used to respect you… voted for you multiple times.

    Probably got several dozens others to vote for you too, in fact, would have led a battalion in the Pat’s Pitchfork Brigade.

    Now… what have you become?

    I guess it’s True… Heroes are fewer than Hero-Pretenders by a 1000:1 margin.

    So long… Pretender Pat.

  43. Tichy says:

    There is a point where “sanctions” transcends into “theft.”

    In America, or at least what was once America, thieves are put in prison, and thieves resisting arrest are shot.

    Perhaps the Russians should point that out.

  44. Zorost says:
    @Observator

    The group calling the shots then and now are the same. They didn’t care that the Brit empire fell, and they won’t care when the American empire falls.

    • Replies: @Jokem
  45. Jokem says:
    @Zorost

    Never mind that Hitler had a long history of broken promises and had told the world his plan to exterminate ‘inferior races’.

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