Politicians avoid the word “values” while discussing geopolitical issues behind closed doors in different capitals more and more often. They are embarrassed of this word. It annoys them. They proclaim it archaic for the modern world.
And as a result…
The policy of fascination with superpowered countries dominated after World War II and moved to the ’90s after the collapse of the Soviet Union. The same policy that prevented democratic countries, especially the United States, from seeing a threat in Russia, rather than in the ideology of communism that covered the Russian-Soviet empire. This is exactly the policy that led to Russia’s war in Georgia, Ukraine, and Syria. And the continuation of this policy will only encourage Russia’s aggression – “It is great, so it can do anything.”
I have an open question to the signatories of yesterday’s open letter about “restoring the flexibility of the sanctions regime. Are you ready to encourage the formation of the modern aggressive empire?
After all, this is exactly what Russia has declared itself with the amendments to the Constitution of the Russian Federation:
– “zeroing” of Vladimir Putin’s presidential terms made him a lifelong ruler;
– Russia called itself the successor of the Soviet Union, declared “protection of historical truth,” readiness to defend “the rights of compatriots abroad” and, thus, justified for itself the present and further aggression;
– and by limiting the effect of international law, Russia has absolved itself of responsibility for any aggression.
No matter how much America hopes to “cover the rear” in the growing confrontation with China, “such” Russia will never be a reliable ally for the United States. Instead, the pacification of “such” Russia threatens not only Ukraine but also many European countries, the unity of Europe in general, and fragile Euro-Atlantic relations.
Looking for compromises with Russia, only the values on which the democratic world is based can become a watershed – human dignity and freedom, the inevitability of punishment for crime, the rule of law. If you go to the “field” of Russia, where it invites you, and start playing by its rules, do not be surprised that it will be the one who wins.
The recipe for Ukraine survival is the only one – values, military capacity, and daily work with international partners, with explanations about the price of compromise with Russia, based on examples of Ukrainian history.