A Ring around Russia (III)

KIEV/TALLINN/CHISINAU/BERLIN | | estlandmoldawien

KIEV/TALLINN/CHISINAU/BERLIN (Own report) - NATO is increasing its pressure on Moscow by organizing bellicose provocations at Russia's north-western border and announcing further training programs for the Ukrainian military forces. A few days ago, about 100 NATO soldiers participated in a military parade on the Estonian Independence Day, marching in full combat gear, just a few meters from a Russian border checkpoint. Estonia provides one of the NATO's "spearhead" rapid response force bases, currently being developed under German leadership. It should soon be ready for deployment against Russia. At the same time, Great Britain has announced, it will join the USA in training Ukrainian military forces. The discussion of arms deliveries continues. NATO is now also taking an aggressive posture toward Moldova. "Russia could target Moldova," the media affirms, quoting NATO's Supreme Commander, Gen. Philip Breedlove. These unsubstantiated allegations are good examples of the western war alliance's reaction to its waning influence. Disapproval of the EU and sympathy toward Russia have recently been growing within the Moldovan population.

Austerity for the EU and the Oligarchs

The Moldovan population's sympathy for the EU has clearly been waning over the past few years. In 2009, a government took office in Chişinău, advocating a rapprochement with Brussels, which was favored by 70 percent of the population. In return for an IMF loan, the government imposed tough austerity measures, promoted stronger relations with the EU, finally signed an EU association agreement on June 27, 2014, (ratified July 2 by the Moldovan parliament). Particularly these austerity measures, required for closer ties with the EU, have caused sympathy for Brussels to significantly drop in this desperately poverty-stricken nation. The Liberal democratic (PLDM) and the Democratic Party (PDM), the two most important pro-EU parties - both under the leadership of highly unpopular oligarchs - have also made their contributions to this development in public opinion. As a German daily admitted in late November, in Moldova, the EU is "associated with the oligarchs."[1]

Manipulations

These pro-EU parties, which receive support from German political party foundations (germa-foreign-policy.com reported [2]) could only win a parliamentary majority in the November 30 elections, though extensive manipulation. For example, a pro-Russian party, which, according to a survey, would have received up to 18 percent of the vote, was banned three days before the elections. Only 15,000 ballots were available at the polling stations abroad for the several hundred thousand Moldovans living in Russia. With their salaries earned in Russia, they contribute a double-digit percent of the gross domestic product. The large majority of these Moldovans were thus deprived of their right to vote. These manipulations, however, cannot hide the fact that those in favor of Moldova's closer ties to the EU have dropped by half, to 35 percent, while, in late 2014, 43 percent were in favor of closer ties to Russia, within the framework of the Eurasian Union. Through its interventions in Ukraine, the EU's popularity has not grown in Moldova outside the urban middle classes.

PR-Maneuver

In spite of the signed agreement with Brussels, Moldova's EU association, in the long run, no longer seems assured. Since last week, the country has a new government. In spite of the manipulatively obtained majority, the three pro-EU parties have yet to agree on a prime minister. The current office holder, Chiril Gaburici, was elected with the votes of the parliamentary groups of the oligarch-dominated pro-western PLDM and PDM parties, along with the votes of the Communist Party, which would not support the country's permanent exclusive links to Brussels at the expense of relations to Moscow. Should this fragile government collapse and new elections be held, a pro-Russian victory could only be prevented with another massive manipulation. In this context German media is quoting NATO Supreme Commander Philip Breedlove's allegation that Moscow is waging "a strong information campaign,"[3] in Moldova. This means "Russia could target Moldova." This PR maneuver is meant to at least accuse Russian propaganda of being behind Moldova's tangible swing toward an anti-EU sentiment in opinion polls. It is unclear, whether this will serve as a justification for more extensive NATO measures.

Like the "Operation Horseshoe"

Similarly fictitious allegations are flanking current NATO provocations in the Baltic, where a force of around 100 NATO troops, including US soldiers in armored vehicles, participated in a parade celebrating Estonia's Independence Day on Tuesday. In full combat gear, they drove by a Russian border checkpoint only a few meters away. Narva, a city with a 95 percent Estonian Russian-speaking minority was the scene of this provocation. Estonia continues to refuse its citizenship to many of its Russian-speaking inhabitants. It is estimated that this is the case for nearly half of that minority, which accounts for approx. a fourth of the total population. NATO countries are justifying this bellicose attempt to intimidate the minority with the allegation that Moscow could be planning an aggression against Estonia. The dangerous speculation that Russia would seek to potentially unleash nuclear war by attacking a NATO member country, is as unsubstantiated as the German government's 1999 "Operation Horseshoe" fabrication, during the war on Yugoslavia.[4] Berlin is not only implicated simply as a NATO member in these provocations, but also as the leading force for developing NATO's "Spearhead" rapid response force, with its bases in several East European countries - including Estonia - capable of engaging within two days against Russia. (german-foreign-policy.com reported.[5]) Troops from the Netherlands, with which the Bundeswehr is closely cooperating, participated in this parade in view of the Russian border guards.

Training and Arms

While NATO is on parade in the North, at the Estonian-Russian border, not even 150 km from St. Petersburg, and is taking up position in Southern Moldova against Russia's growing influence, several NATO countries' armed forces are preparing to organize training programs for Ukrainian soldiers on Ukrainian territory. Canada's army could join the already announced 800 US and 75 UK soldiers, according to Ottowa. Additional supplies for the Ukrainian armed forces are being considered. The Canadian government has indicated that it had already delivered protective clothing last year and is prepared to supply night vision equipment. Last year, the German government also granted the supply of protective equipment. Arms supplies are still in discussion in Washington. Andriy Parubiy, The former "Commander of the Maidan" and later head of the National Security and Defense Council and currently Vice Chairman of the Ukranian parliament has arrived in Washington this week to plead for anti-tank missiles and other military equipment. In the 1990s, Parubiy was a Ukrainian fascist leader.[6] Today he can fulfill his dream of those days, and enter combat against Russia - with the help of NATO and its member countries, including Germany.

Other reports and background information on the West's policy of aggression toward Russia can be found here: The Alliance of the Threatened, A Monroe Doctrine for Eastern Europe, War by Other Means and War by Other Means (II).

[1] Karl-Peter Schwarz: Lieber zu Putin. Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung 28.11.2014.
[2] See Moldawiens europäische Wahl.
[3] Nato-Oberbefehlshaber warnt vor russischer Aggression. www.faz.net 25.02.2015.
[4] See From Račak to Maidan.
[5] See Ein Ring um Russland (II).
[6] See "Fascist Freedom Fighters".