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Turkey demands return of Crimea, suppression of Donbass, NATO membership for Ukraine
Rick Rozoff, AntiBellum, Apr 11 2021

Two days after donning combat gear while visiting government troops at the Donbass battle line, Zelensky flew to the Turkish capital of Ankara to join Erdoğan in a tête-à-tête and a meeting of the Strategic Ukrainian-Turkish Council that produced a twenty-point statement. In that document Turkey fully backs the position of Ukraine and its backers in the US, NATO and EU in regard to forcing the Donetsk and Lugansk republics to return to Ukraine, forcing Russia out of Crimea and granting NATO membership to Kiev. The website of the Ukrainian head of state confirms that “all aspects of the strategic partnership between the two countries were considered at today’s meeting.” Zelensky is cited emphasizing commitments to joint work in the energy sphere and in weapons manufacturing. The energy factor involves among other matters the prospect of Ukraine connecting with the 1,100-mile Baku–Tbilisi–Ceyhan oil pipeline and the Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum gas pipeline running from the Caspian Sea region to Turkey. Routing oil and gas from Turkey to Ukraine and beyond to the rest of Europe would jeopardize Russia’s role as energy provider to EU nations. In terms of defense industry cooperation, already extensive, the joint production of military aircraft was discussed. Zelensky stated:

Turkish-Ukrainian defense cooperation is the locomotive of the strategic partnership between the two countries.

Turkey of course is a NATO member; in fact is NATO’s second-largest member in terms of both population and the size of its armed forces. The joint statement expresses support for “for the prospect of Ukraine’s NATO membership, in particular its intention to obtain a Membership Action Plan in the near future, and to note the desire to promote interoperability of the Armed Forces of Ukraine with the armed forces of Allies.” The Zelensky-Erdoğan meeting occurred seventeen days after a meeting of the Quadriga (2 + 2) format, also held in Ankara, wherein one representative each from the two nations’ foreign and defense ministries meet to solidify their strategic military and foreign policy partnership. That meeting also demanded that Donetsk, Lugansk and Crimea be returned to Ukraine, referring to Crimea as “temporarily occupied by the Russian Federation.” It also recommended further cooperation in the defense sector between Russia’s neighbor and the NATO powerhouse.

The earlier meeting also pledged the two states to work together in “resolving conflicts in the regions of the Middle East, North Africa, the Eastern Mediterranean and the Caucasus.” What conceivable role Ukraine would have in those parts of the world is hard to fathom; but Turkey is active in every one of them and in an aggressive military capacity: Syria (and recently Iraq), Libya, vis-à-vis Greece in the Aegean Sea and supporting Azerbaijan in its recent war against Nagorno-Karabakh in the Caucasus. The Quadriga format was created on Dec 18 of last year. The declaration issuing from the Erdoğan-Zelensky meeting of Apr 10 echoed most of the above points, calling for continued deliberations by the Quadriga group, “the de-occupation of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, as well as the territories in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions,” and, as was seen above, to hasten Ukraine’s incorporation into NATO. What is described as the de-occupation of Crimea means taking it from Russia and expelling the Russian Black Sea Fleet. Point 8 of the joint declaration says the following:

To strengthen joint efforts to improve the living conditions of Ukrainian citizens, in particular Crimean Tatars, who have been forced to leave their homeland, Crimea, as a result of the temporary occupation.

21st century neo-Ottoman sultan he may secretly style himself, Erdoğan has likely never accepted the results of the 1853-1856 Crimean War. By “de-occupying” Crimea, and nothing short of war with Russia could attain that objective. He does not necessarily intend returning it to Ukraine. Or if so not for long. Crimean Tatars are a Turkic people, and are being exploited by Turkey in Russia as other Turkic populations have been in Iraq, Syria and the Caucasus to justify military interventions. With Turkey pledging support to Ukraine to “de-occupy” Crimea, one is reminded of the Aesopian fable of the wolf, the sheep and the sheepdog, in which the wolf assures the sheep that he can help “liberate” them from the often officious attentions of the sheepdog. Also, on Apr 9 Erdoğan and Putin discussed Ukraine. One wonders if they chatted about bringing Russia’s 1,200-mile neighbor into NATO and evicting Russia from Crimea. Likely not.

Baku: Multinational Turkic Council applauds Azerbaijani-Turkish war against Nagorno-Karabakh
Rick Rozoff, AntiBellum, Apr 10 2021

The Cooperation Council of Turkic-Speaking States, consisting of Turkey, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan, was established in 2009 in Nakhchivan, capital of the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic of Azerbaijan. It was in part to compel Armenia to allow a land corridor between the rest of Azerbaijan and Nakhchivan that the Turkish-supported Azerbaijani military onslaught against Nagorno-Karabakh was launched last year. The Azerbaijani armed forces are a Turkish proxy force and Turkey is NATO’s second-largest member in terms of population and troops. With the complicity of the Russian government, a small contingent of Turkish troops – which is to say NATO troops – are now stationed in Upper Karabakh: the furthest east NATO has moved since it took command of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan in 2003.

Russian Foreign Ministry says large-scale Azerbaijani war games “don’t pose threat”
NATO appoints Turkey to lead drive into the Middle East and Asia

Last year’s war zone

Turkic-speaking countries to continue to support Azerbaijan – Turkic Council
Trend News Agency, Apr 10 2021

BAKU, Azerbaijan – Turkic-speaking countries will continue to support Azerbaijan, Secretary-General of the Cooperation Council of Turkic-speaking States (Turkic Council) Baghdad Amreyev said, Trend reports. Amreyev made the remark at the third meeting of the responsible ministers and top-ranking officials for information and media of the Turkic Council in Baku. The Turkic Council secretary-general congratulated Azerbaijan on the liberation of its lands from the Armenian occupation. “We are very glad that Azerbaijan has liberated its de-occupied territories. We, the Turkic states, express our solidarity with Azerbaijan,” Amreyev said.

US Sec Def & Sec State Headed to NATO HQ Over Ukraine Crisis
Rick Rozoff, AntiBellum, Apr 10 2021

The DoD announced on Apr 8 that Sec Def Austin was to leave today to consult with civilian and military leaders in Israel, Germany, NATO HQ in Brussels and Great Britain. Topics to be discussed include international defense relationships, burden sharing and “enduring trans-Atlantic security.” The last is a reference to NATO. In Israel he’s to meet with Sec Def Gantz and PM Netanyahu. In Germany he’s scheduled to meet with Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer and Foreign and Security Policy Adviser Dr Jan Hecker to discuss what the DoD website describes as bilateral military cooperation with “one of our closest NATO Allies.” The Pentagon press release also states Austin and the German officials will deliberate over “combatting the malign influence of our shared strategic rivals.” That can only mean Russia and China. While in Germany Austin will also tour EUCOM & AFRICOM headquarters in Stuttgart where he’ll meet with senior commanders to discuss “security interests in the region.” The top commander of EUCOM, General Tod Wolters, is also NATO’s SACEUR.

From there he’ll travel to NATO HQ to meet with Stoltenberg to coordinate efforts on dealing with “destabilizing behavior by Russia, a rising China, terrorism, and global challenges such as COVID-19 and climate change.” The threats, and their ranking order (more or less), are the same identified at the NATO foreign ministers meeting at NATO HQ last month. The final leg of Austin’s journey will be in Britain where he’ll meet with Sec Def Ben Wallace to discuss “global security challenges.” Bloomberg News announced today that Blinken, who only left NATO HQ two and a half weeks ago after condemning Russia in language as harsh and condemnatory as one would have expected during the Cold War, is to return there next week to meet with top NATO and other European officials as, to quote Bloomberg:

The US grows increasingly concerned about Russian troop movements near Ukraine.

Blinken’s visit to NATO will coincide with Austin’s. That is, they will be at NATO HQ simultaneously to address the crisis in Ukraine, no matter which subsidiary issues are examined. Blinken’s meetings are expected to last most of the week. His website has no information on the impending visit, neither does NATO’s. In his two-day visit in March to NATO HQ, Blinken held a joint press conference with Stoltenberg and delivered an address after the foreign ministers meeting ended on Mar 24. In the first he attacked Russia’s Nord Stream 2 natural gas project, stating:

Ultimately, it’s in contradiction to the EU’s own energy security goals. It has the potential to undermine the interests of Ukraine, Poland, a number of other close partners or Allies. And I’m sure I’ll have an opportunity to reiterate that, including the law in the US which requires us to sanction companies participating in the efforts to complete the pipeline.

In his policy pronouncement of Mar 24 entitled Reaffirming and Reimagining America’s Alliances, he mentioned NATO’s Article 5 collective military obligation clause in the course of launching blistering attacks on Russia in a veritable catalog of accusations that included “undermining the rules-based order; aggression in eastern Ukraine; its build-up of forces, large-scale exercises and acts of intimidation in the Baltic and Black Sea, the Eastern Mediterranean, the High North; its modernization of nuclear capabilities; and its use of chemical weapons against critics on NATO soil.“ He also accused Russia of the “use of disinformation to erode confidence in elections and in safe, effective vaccines.” The highly unusual if not unprecedented simultaneous deployment of America’s secretaries of state and defense to the headquarters of the thirty-nation military bloc to plan a collective response to Russia over the Donbass crisis is alarming to a degree.

One Comment

  1. lobro
    Posted April 12, 2021 at 1:52 am | Permalink

    erdogan should also levy a tribute of 20-30 thousand blond slav girls in time honored tatar tradition.

    not for nothing was that region called the broadbasket of europe—c’mon erdo, show them you’re not a faggot.

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