Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy and US President Joe Biden at the G7 summit, Hiroshima, Japan, May 21, 2023
UPDATE, MAY 22:
I joined the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s breakfast program on Monday to chat further about the G7 summit and Ukraine.
Listen to Discussion
I begin with an analysis of the G7’s statement that it seeks to “de-risk” rather than “de-couple” from China, in the context of trying to distance Beijing from any support of Russia’s invasion.
China taking a middle position as a broker, rather than as an ally of Moscow — that’s something the US, Europe, and indeed Australia want to encourage.
ORIGINAL ENTRY, MAY 21: I joined BBC Radio Scotland on Saturday to analyze the G7 summit in Japan, particuarly the defense of Ukraine against Vladimir Putin’s invasion.
Listen to Discussion from 12:37
I discuss the expansion of sanctions on Moscow and focus on the possibility of the supply of F16 fighter jets to Kyiv.
And I deal with the distraction that a minority of Americans could halt US aid for Ukraine’s survival.
I don’t want to give Donald Trump too much oxygen.
There has always been a loud group in America — not just Trumpists, not just some irresponsible Republicans, but also some pro-Kremlin people who call themselves “leftists” — who say the US should never have given any support to Ukraine.
So far not just the Biden Administration but the majority of the American public have held firm.
[Editor’s Note: Commenter will need to provide an actual example to test his assertion.
He is incorrect about Obama’s position on Ukraine, both regarding military and political situation. Obama — as with Syria — was too inclined to trust in the diplomatic situation to mitigate Russia’s aggression. That failed in Syria, as it did with Moscow’s occupation of parts of Ukraine post-2014.
Because commenter is apparently ignorant about both cases, he errs in his depiction of “realism”.]
Lucas calls realists in Washington pro-Kremlin. These people are not pro-Kremlin. They’re just realists. Obama was a realist, which is why he resisted calls to send weapons to Ukraine. Obama did not want to start a war with Russia in Ukraine because he knew that Russia had escalation dominance.
[Commenter — Stick with one pen name, either “Clara Bow” or “Jean Arthur”.
I’m afraid that you have no facts in this attempt to excuse Putin and to justify the Russian occupation and invasion. Your one substantive claim is a distortion of Merkel’s interview a few months ago.]
“Obama — as with Syria — was too inclined to trust in the diplomatic situation to mitigate Russia’s aggression.”
No. You’ve got it all backward. It was Putin who was too inclined to trust in the diplomatic situation to mitigate Ukraine’s aggression. He said so himself when he expressed regret for not moving Russia’s forces into the Donbass in 2014. NATO used Minsk to buy time and arm the government in Kiev so it could continue its shelling of the Russian-Ukrainian people in the Donbass and destabilise Russia’s border. Chancellor Merkel made a mealy-mouthed admission of this.
[Editor’s Note: “Jean”, you’ll need to provide a single piece of evidence for this pro-Kremlin line.]
Nonsense. Russia negotiated in good faith, whereas France and Germany were insincere. Ukraine’s intention was always to take the rebel region by force. They knew it, and they enabled it.
[Editor’s Note: No, “Jean”, it’s EA WorldView’s analysis that Vladimir Putin never produced a shred of evidence that “Ukraine was about to launch a major offensive”.
And nor have you.]
Call it what you want. The Russians claim to have obtained intelligence indicating that Ukraine was about to launch a major offensive on the rebel territories in February of 2022; and that this offensive had NATO support. Russia acted on that intelligence. It’s EA Worldview’s word against theirs.