Paris, March 12, 2014 --The Ukraine crisis has slowed to a temporary halt as none of the significant actors will speak directly to anyone else in a position to break the stalemate.
John Kerry has cancelled his proposed visit to Moscow because he wanted Vladmir Putin to talk to the new government in Ukraine. Russia rejects relations with what they regard as a rump government formed under American tutelage, as the result of an American-instigated and supported mob in Kiev, composed of ex-Nazis and American mercenaries (among the proofs being that the American Assistant Secretary of State was there to distribute cookies to the mob beforehand).
In any case its new prime minister pro-tem, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, (“Yats’ the guy,” as Assistant Secretary Victoria Nuland identified him to the American ambassador) will be in Washington this week to be rewarded (Moscow assumes) and given his further orders by Barack Obama.
Russia will deal only with Viktor Yanukovych, Ukraine’s President, chased from his office, and from his sumptuous, gilded residence near Kiev, by the demonstrators (although he has a second home being built in Crimea, which may prove to have been a prudent precaution). He is, for the Russians, the legitimately elected head of the Ukrainian state, temporarily dispossessed. Moscow, respecting legality, will deal only with him.
Russia’s Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, says Russia has its own proposals to make in order to put the situation back into a framework of international legality, but these are unlikely to interest Washington, for whom the change of Ukrainian government seems taken as a fait accompli.
Crimeans, meanwhile, are preparing to vote on Sunday to confirm their permanent re-attachment to the Federation of Russia (Nikita Khrushchev having fecklessly given Crimea to Ukraine in 1954).
But a legal complication exists, which the Kiev parliament has raised. The United States, Russia, and Britain in 1994 signed a Memorandum of Security Assurance when Ukraine agreed to give up the nuclear weapons that had been installed there when Ukraine was part of the Soviet Union.