Fears that Russia could seize a second chunk of territory in eastern Europe grew on Sunday after Nato’s top commander warned that Moscow’s troops were poised to move into a pro-Moscow enclave of Moldova, according to the Telegraph‘s Colin Freeman.
The great sage goes on to tell us that US Air Force General Philip Breedlove said that Russian troops massing on the eastern border of Ukraine were well-positioned to head to Transdniester, a Russian-speaking enclave that has declared independence from the rest of Moldova. General Breedlove said it would give President Vladimir Putin the perfect pretext to send troops in there as a “protection” force for ethnic Russians, just as he has done with his military annexation of Crimea.
There is absolutely sufficient (Russian) force postured on the eastern border of Ukraine to run to Transdniester if the decision was made to do that and that is very worrisome.
Never mind that NATO has been desperate to get Ukraine into its gang and also wants Moldova on board. Breedlove’s comments are an example of NATO being precious because Russia wants to keep a buffer between itself and its expansionist western rival. If the west wants to drag countries into its sphere of influence, via the EU, that is OK. If Russia tries to do the same or, God forbid, tries to woo those countries with counter offers, that is an outrage.
But what makes Freeman’s piece stand out is the ignorance or deceit about the EU Assocation Agreements put on the table to Ukraine and Moldova. He writes:
Moldova, whose five million people mostly speak the Latin dialects of neighbouring Romania, is Europe’s poorest country, and has ambitions to eventually become part of the European Union.
It is currently negotiating a free trade agreement with the European Union, the same one that Ukraine’s ousted President, Viktor Yanukovych, abandoned last November amid massive Kremlin pressure.
Signing the free trade agreement would take Moldova firmly into the European fold, but Transdniester’s unresolved status would make full membership of the EU or Nato more complicated. As such, some believe the Kremlin has a direct vested interest in fomenting further pro-Russian sentiment in Transdniester.
As we have demonstrated previously, Association Agreements are not free trade instruments. Perhaps he should tell us why the EU-Ukraine ‘free trade agreement’ necessitates that political dialogue in all areas of mutual interest…
shall be further developed and strengthened between the Parties. This will promote gradual convergence on foreign and security matters with the aim of Ukraine’s ever-deeper involvement in the European security area.
The Parties shall explore the potential of military-technological cooperation. Ukraine and the European Defence Agency (EDA) shall establish close contacts to discuss military capability improvement, including technological issues.
The agreement with Moldova is little different, including this element in Article 5:
The Parties shall intensify their dialogue and cooperation and promote gradual convergence in the area of foreign and security policy, including the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP), and shall address in particular issues of conflict prevention and crisis management, regional stability, disarmament, non-proliferation, arms control and export control.
Clearly that is essential to the process of selling sunflower seeds and walnuts. Colin Freeman is either a lazy hack who talks about things he doesn’t understand and hasn’t even researched, or he is a liar shilling for the EU and deliberately misleading readers about what our supreme government is doing. Either way, this sums up the British press perfectly.