Turkey walking a tightrope over Crimea

By Dorian Jones  The Russian-Ukrainian crisis over Crimea is forcing Turkey into a delicate balancing act: Ankara feels a need to be seen as a protector of the peninsula’s Tatar minority, yet it does not want to vex Russia’s paramount leader Vladimir Putin in a way that complicates Turkish-Russian economic arrangements.  There are abundant reasons why Turkey is taking a close interest in Crimean developments. Crimea operated as a vassal khanate of Ottoman Empire from the 1470s until 1783. In addition, Turks are bound by a strong cultural connection to Crimean Tatars, an ethnic minority group that comprises roughly 15% … Continue reading Turkey walking a tightrope over Crimea

Spring fails in Ukrainian plunderland

By Pepe Escobar  Here’s the US’s exceptionalist promotion of “democracy” in action; Washington has recognized a coup d’etat in Ukraine that regime-changed a – for all its glaring faults – democratically elected government.  And here is Russian President Vladimir Putin, already last year,talking about how Russia and China decided to trade in roubles and yuan, and stressing how Russia needs to quit the “excessive monopoly” of the US dollar. He had to be aware the Empire would strike back.  Now there’s more; Russian presidential adviser Sergey Glazyev told RIA Novosti, “Russia will abandon the US dollar as a reserve currency if the … Continue reading Spring fails in Ukrainian plunderland

Careful what you wish for in Ukraine

By Spengler  Western governments are jubilant over the fall of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich, a Russian ally. They may be underestimating Vladimir Putin: Russia has the option to hasten Ukraine’s slide into chaos and wait until the hapless European Union acquiesces to – if not begs for – Russian intervention.  That leaves the West with a limited number of choices. The first is to do nothing and watch the country spiral into chaos, with Russia as the eventual beneficiary. The second is to dig deep into its pockets and find US$20 billion or more to buy near-term popularity for a pro-Western … Continue reading Careful what you wish for in Ukraine