As the date is remembered, the picture of the 70 year-old event pops up right in front of my eyes. I can see the Livadiysky palace in Yalta on February 4, 1945. The three delegations representing the countries that founded the anti-Hitler’s coalition are about to take their seats. The agenda includes: the return to the traditions of irreconcilable fight against Nazism, the restoration of the United Nations role as the main instrument of international security, doing away with the attempts to destroy the post-WWII system of international law, the right of the peoples to make a free and democratic choice regarding their future, the preservation of memory and firm rejection of attempts to revise the history of WWII. The protocol service invites the participants to go to the balcony and take pictures before the session kicks off. The heads of delegations shake hands and occupy the seats. The armchairs seem to be familiar as one remembers the photos taken those days. Having become a bit out of fashion today, they still remind us of Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin...
What a pity it’s just a pipedream. Today the Yalta conference with the participation of the Big Three cannot be repeated for a number of reasons.
The main thing preventing such a possibility is the fact that the West has adopted the policy aimed at Russia’s isolation pushing it to the sidelines of forums discussing the global agenda. For this purpose it uses sanctions, excludes Russia from G8 to make it G7, suspends its activities in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) and other international structures. On February 1, 2015 US President Barack Obama emphasized his readiness to «impose higher costs» and «bring diplomatic pressure to bear on Moscow» in CNN’s interview. Johannes Hahn, the EU Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, is happy about the fall of Russian currency. He sees it as evidence testifying to the efficiency of sanctions. Today he represents the prevailing view in the West.
There are also people who understand that the deterioration of Russia’s economic situation will negatively affect the economy of Western states. In early January Sigmar Gabriel, German Vice-Chancellor, Economic Affairs and Energy Minister, sounded the warning bells saying more anti-Russian sanctions will "provoke an even more dangerous situation for all of us in Europe." Not once German Foreign Minister voiced the same warning. Former Chancellor Helmut Kohl, a veteran of German and international politics, has also expressed his disagreement with the policy of the West aimed at isolating Russia. These warning have been largely ignored. US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel says absurd things about «a revisionist Russia» and its «modern and capable army on NATO’s doorstep.» The West is losing the ability to see the things as they are when it comes to Russia and the world. In his interview Obama emphasized that «given the size of the Russian military, given the fact that Ukraine is not a NATO country and so as a consequence there, you know, there are clear limits in terms of what we would do militarily.» Will these reasons keep him away from taking steps which may entail disastrous consequences? Warsaw, Vilnius and Kiev are already dreaming about the possibility of exerting military pressure on Moscow.
There is one more factor to prevent the repetition of the 1945 Yalta events. The current US administration is incapable of making sound judgments when it comes to international issues. Washington cannot make allies. It only breeds opponents and adversaries.
Winston Churchill said on June 22, 1941, «No one has been a more consistent opponent of Communism than I have for the last twenty-five years. I will unsay no words that I've spoken about it. But all this fades away before the spectacle which is now unfolding.» He added, «If Hitler imagines that his attack on Soviet Russia will cause the slightest division of aims or slackening of effort in the great democracies, which are resolved upon his doom, he is woefully mistaken. On the contrary, we shall be fortified and encouraged in our efforts to rescue mankind from his tyranny». The British leader noted that «His invasion of Russia is no more than a prelude to an attempted invasion of the British Isles». According to Churchill, «The Russian danger is therefore our danger and the danger of the United States.»
Roosevelt saw things the same way. He believed that fascism was an absolute evil and it was necessary to cooperate with the Soviet Union to fight it. Talking to Joseph E. Davies, the US Ambassador to the Soviet Union, he said, «I can't take communism nor can you, but to cross this bridge I would hold hands with the Devil.» The current US President renders support to the Ukraine’s Neo-Nazi regime which is influenced by the ideology espoused by those who collaborated with Hitlerites. America has gone a long way down from Roosevelt to Obama. The same has happened to Great Britain as the difference between Winston Churchill and Cameron strikes an eye. The latter one has recently joined Obama saying the anti-Russian sanctions were needed to be in force until Russia "changes its behaviour and stops the aggression in Ukraine". The West does not understand that there are many problems in the world and it’s unthinkable to find solutions to them without Russia. Indirectly Americans seem to realize it as they continue to cooperate with the Russian Federation on Afghanistan, Syria, the fight against international terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. But what makes American President think that Russia would continue to cooperate on some issues and agree to be kept away when it comes to tackling others?
The difference between the US and UK politicians then, who were great historic figures, and those who lead these countries nowadays is clear for all to see. Talking candidly the current Western leaders don’t even hold a candle to Churchill and Roosevelt. Being anti-Communists did not prevent them from giving the devil his due recognizing the contribution of Red Army into the victory over Nazism. On September 27, 1944, British Prime Minister Churchill wrote to Stalin, «I shall take the occasion to repeat tomorrow in the House of Commons what I have said before, that it is the Russian Army that tore the guts out of the German military machine and is at the present moment holding by far the larger portion of the enemy on its front». «The Red Army and the Russian people have surely started the Hitler forces on the road to ultimate defeat and have earned the lasting admiration of the people of the United States» wrote Roosevelt on February 23, 1943 congratulating the Red Army on its twenty-fifth anniversary.
Can anybody imagine a contemporary Western leader saying anything like that?
Russian President Vladimir Putin did not take part in a ceremony in Poland marking the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi Auschwitz. They did not sent him an invitation. What a shame! He is the head of the state which is a successor to the Soviet Union. Red Army liberated Auschwitz and about half of Europe. This fact speaks for itself. Today the West is not able to recognize that without the Soviet Union there would have been no unconditional surrender of fascist Germany, no crushing defeat suffered by Japan, no post-war European borders the West wants to change so much. It did it in former Yugoslavia.
This is the case when ingratitude is mixed with the complex of inferiority. They are right saying that the anti-Russia sanctions are a reaction to Obama’s low rating. Can anyone imagine President Roosevelt flirt with political opponents or trying to hike his rating among conservatives by, say, curtailing land-lease programs for the Soviet Union – the US WWII ally? It brings to mind another President of the United States. Harry Truman believed that he did not need the USSR after Germany was defeated. In May 1945 he tried to stop the military supplies. Then he was made remember (not by Moscow but by those who belonged to Washington’s corridors of power) that there was a war against Japan going on and the burden could be unbearable for the United States in case the Soviet Union decided to stay away.
The current Western leaders thoughtlessly squander the legacy of Yalta left by the Big Three Alliance that saved the world from total enslavement by Nazism 70 years ago. It was the principle of equality that enabled the Alliance to act effectively. Today the world faces no less serious challenges. The West’s attempts to isolate Russia may make the contemporary problems insurmountable.
Leaving a comment on the decision not to invite President Putin to Auschwitz one of the bloggers wrote that former inmates would come to be met by the people of the same nationalities: Germans, Poles, Ukrainians (Banderites), but there would be no Russians. It would mean that there is no guarantee the 70 year-old events would not be repeated with new crematoria ovens, gas chambers, lamp-shades made of human skin…
Today it’s important for the world to avert this threat.